Roundup: Worm lifespans, IPO bites the dust, medical researchers’ new kvetching corner

Why worms live longer — Scientists have known for some time that drastically reducing calorie intake appears to help animals from worms to rats live far longer than they ordinarily would. Now researchers have identified a gene that appears to play a major role in regulating that sort of life extension. Writing in Nature, a Salk Institute team describes how it identified a roundworm gene called pha-4 that seems to play a crucial role in diet-related lifespan increase. (Their technique was simple: After limiting their search to just 15 genes in the roundworm genome, the scientists methodically deactivated each one to see what effect it had on calorie-restricted lifespan, and found that worms lacking functioning pha-4 lived no longer no matter what their diet.)