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A little worm with a big problem...

Though separated from us by at least 600 million years of evolution, Caenorhabditis nematodes use a remarkably conserved tool-kit of genes to navigate the challenges and dangers of being alive on planet Earth. Oxidative stress, UV light, and excessive heat represent only a few of the miseries that plague our cells, leading to disease, aging, and death. Like us, these little worms walk a tightrope of energetic trade-offs to combat this onslaught of stressors as they mature and reproduce, securing the immortality of their genes. In the ETIRA lab, we use the elegant simplicity of nematodes to probe the genetics and physiology of energetic trade-offs in reproduction and aging, unlocking secrets of both evolutionary fitness and human disease.

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