Home > Health/Pharma > Bees Can ‘Turn Back Time,’ Reverse Brain Aging

Bees Can ‘Turn Back Time,’ Reverse Brain Aging

July 4, 2012

ScienceDaily (July 3, 2012) — Scientists at Arizona State University have discovered that older honey bees effectively reverse brain aging when they take on nest responsibilities typically handled by much younger bees. While current research on human age-related dementia focuses on potential new drug treatments, researchers say these findings suggest that social interventions may be used to slow or treat age-related dementia.

Old bees collect nectar and pollen. Most bees start doing this job when they are 3-4 weeks old, and after that they age very quickly. Their bodies and wings become worn and they loose the ability to learn new things. Most food collector bees die after about 10 days. (Credit: Christofer Bang)
 

In a study published in the scientific journal Experimental Gerontology, a team of scientists from ASU and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, led by Gro Amdam, an associate professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences, presented findings that show that tricking older, foraging bees into doing social tasks inside the nest causes changes in the molecular structure of their brains.

“We knew from previous research that when bees stay in the nest and take care of larvae — the bee babies — they remain mentally competent for as long as we observe them,” said Amdam. “However, after a period of nursing, bees fly out gathering food and begin aging very quickly. After just two weeks, foraging bees have worn wings, hairless bodies, and more importantly, lose brain function — basically measured as the ability to learn new things. We wanted to find out if there was plasticity in this aging pattern so we asked the question, ‘What would happen if we asked the foraging bees to take care of larval babies again?”

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120703172547.htm

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  1. July 5, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Reblogged this on dborgzen.

  2. July 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Bees are such fascinating creatures. There is so much to learn from them. I always find it intriguing when new discoveries like this brain reversing process is discovered.

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