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Other study Organisms for C60 -OO

model organisms science fair projects

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#1 lemonhead

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 01:56 PM

Reading the C60 - OO threads prompted me to start thinking about the model organisms available for longevity studies.

The models I know about are - yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), nematode (Caenorhabditis elegans), fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster), house mouse (Mus musculus), and brown rat (Rattus norvegicus).

Obviously, it would be great to replicate the Baati study with rats, but many here (including me) are impatient and don't have the resources to run a controlled rat or mouse study with a decent number of individuals.

I don't know how to get yeast, nematodes, or fruit flies to eat olive oil. Perhaps it can be done; I don't have experience rearing these organisms.

I do know you can get crickets to eat fatty foods (peanut butter, for example), so one could prepare a diet containing c60 -oo for them. They also have a maximum lifespan of less than 100 days. They are relatively small and don't take up much space. They have mitochondria, a liver-like organ called a fat body, and an innate immune system not too far from ours. You can also pick 'em up cheap at the pet store (but I'd breed them a round first to avoid any health issues from pet shop rearing conditions).

The cons are: they eat each other, the males fight and chirp, they hop around and could escape during feeding, cleaning. and the big problem with any model - they aren't us (for an interesting series of articles on the problems with the reliance on the mouse model, see the Slate Magazine series 'The Mouse Trap' - sorry, I can't post a link because I'm a noob here).

Yes, I d love to do this study myself , but my significant other would not appreciate it. I was thinking this might be a great science fair project for some kid out there who has a detached garage or shed and supportive parents.

Also, I think it would be great to start a section of longevity science fair project ideas high scool students could do on yeast, nematodes, files, and maybe even crickets.

Edited by lemonhead, 21 August 2013 - 02:13 PM.

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#2 AgeVivo

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 08:02 PM

C elegans it is not easy in a garage because of the risk of mold/contamination. Crickets / fruits flies, that could be fun and doable... if we can filter out progeny?

#3 lemonhead

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 11:59 AM

Could C. elegans be reared in the kitchen without grossing out other people? I haven't worked with them. I always imagined them growing in petri dishes in an incubator.

Crickets can be sized up pretty easily so you can get a cohort together for breeding, then I think the neonates could be picked out and individuals reared separately. Not as space-saving as a mass culture but I think a better experimental design. You could rear them in vented mason jars or maybe lidded containers from a restaurant supply store. They can be sexed pretty easily (the females have a long ovipositor).

To me fruit flies seem difficult because they are a little too small. I 've used them in lab classes; they were grown as whole colonies in commercially available tubes containing growth medium. Would you have to pick out the dead guys every day with tweezers to keep count? If so, how do you keep the live ones from flying away? I guess they could be reared separatley, each in their own little test tube. One distinct advantage is that there is so much information available about their basic biology, plus I think there's a Methuselah fly prize? (That might get some teenagers interested). And I was wrong about them not eating fat; they can be fed relatively high-fat diets [PMID: 21035763].

Hmm... maybe somehow I could get the other people in my house on board and I could try this myself. Then I could test all my supplements and see how they do (except for the d-limonene I just took for my stomach; that's an insecticide - toxic to cats, too).

Edited by lemonhead, 27 August 2013 - 12:34 PM.

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#4 lemonhead

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 01:03 PM

Hmm ... just did some reading on the Mprize. Mice only - a shame, but I guess they can't spread themselves too thin.

#5 hav

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:56 PM

Crickets sound interesting. But how about something simple that doesn't involve trying to separate out new borns. Maybe just start off 2 equal numbered groups and count how many there are after a generation or two. Could at least give some info on effects, if any, on offspring numbers. Is there a cricket farming industry in China by any chance?


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#6 niner

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 08:09 PM

Sounds to me like removing neonates wouldn't be that hard. Maybe a screen with holes big enough to pass the little ones but not the big ones? If they did have offspring, then we would finally get some data points about the effect of c60 on development.

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