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Exp Gerontol. 2006 Oct;41(10):1040-5. Epub 2006 Jul 28.

Microarray analysis of variation in individual aging C. elegans: approaches and challenges.

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Buck Institute for Age Research, 8001 Redwood Blvd, Novato, CA 94945, USA.


Aging is generally defined and studied as a population phenomenon. However, there is great interest, especially when discussing human aging, in the identification of factors that influence the life span of an individual organism. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans provides an excellent model system for the study of aging at the level of the individual, since young nematodes are essentially clonal yet experience a large range of individual life spans. We are conducting gene expression profiling of individual nematodes, with the aim of discovering genes that vary stochastically in expression between individuals of the same age. Such genes are candidates to modulate the ultimate life span achieved by each individual. We here present statistical analysis of gene expression profiles of individual nematodes from two different microarray platforms, examining the issue of technical vs. biological variance as it pertains to uncovering genes of interest in this paradigm of individual aging.

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