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Our laboratory studies the regulation of aging. Not very long ago, most people thought that aging was something that just happened. We just wear out, like cars. Not true! Several years ago, we discovered that mutations in the gene daf-2, which encodes an insulin/IGF-1-like receptor, double the lifespan of the nematode C. elegans. Since then, insulin/IGF-1 endocrine systems have been shown to regulate the longevity of flies and mice as well. We have found that this system is regulated by sensory neurons in C. elegans, and that signals from the reproductive system also regulate aging. Amazingly, if we perturb insulin/IGF-1 signaling and reproductive cells in the same animal, we end up with animals that live SIX times as normal! What's more, they stay vibrant and healthy until the very end. We have also discovered that a different regulatory system involving mitochondria functions during development to set the rates of behavior and aging. We are now trying to understand how the insulin/IGF-1, reproductive and mitochondrial pathways, as well as another perturbation, caloric restriction, influence lifespan at the molecular level.