"The Molecular Basis of Aging": The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds 95th International Titisee Conference
Nearly 20 years ago, researchers discovered that lifespan can be extended by single-gene mutations in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. Further studies revealed that the mechanisms governing aging in the smallest organisms have been evolutionarily conserved and may operate in human beings. Since then, the field of biogerontology has expanded considerably, learning from - and contributing to - such disparate fields as cell signaling, metabolism, endocrinology, and a wide range of human diseases including cancer. To date, newly discovered connections and novel interdisciplinary approaches gradually unify what once seemed unrelated observations between seemingly disparate research areas. While this unification is far from complete, several overlapping themes have clearly emerged. At the 95th International Titisee Conference, devoted to "The Molecular Basis of Aging," 60 of the world's pre-eminent biogerontologists shared their most recent findings in the biology of aging, and discussed interdisciplinary connections between diverse fields.