Resveratrol Influence on Lifespan among Caenorhabditis Elegans Genetic Variants & Implications for Personalized Medicine
Caul, Tela Amber
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Caul, Tela Amber
Precision medicine represents a modern transition toward utilizing patient genetics to create specific, individualized treatment options for a variety of diseases. To demonstrate the significance of personalized patient care, we can examine the variation in responses to drugs among genetic variants of the same species. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a model organism for human research, beneficial for collecting mass data from genetically identical individuals due to their hermaphroditic reproduction and relatively short lifespan. Experimentation with the nematode species C. elegans and drug applications may suggest variability in effects when examining different strains or slight genetic variants. Differences in drug or compound effectiveness among strains of the same species would indicate the importance of individualized care to maximize positive outcomes. In this experiment, we analyzed the lifespans of four strains of C. elegans when exposed to the antioxidant compound, resveratrol, compared to a control with no compound. Resveratrol is known to extend the nematode lifespan in wild-type or “non-mutant” lines. We also examined mutant lines of these four strains, each with the daf-16 transcription factor gene knocked-out through CRISPR technology. These mutant lines underwent the same procedures as their corresponding wildtype strains to compare lifespan changes between control and resveratrol exposure. The magnitude of difference in drug effectiveness among individuals of the same species indicates a need to investigate genetic variation and personalize treatment plans that are more efficient and effective As a passionate Human Physiology major with a long-term goal of working in medicine, I am always captivated by the transitioning platform for medical care. The advancements in science pave way for greater disease prevention and treatment with the potential of bettering the lives of countless individuals. This Clark Honors College thesis through the University of Oregon is a compilation of current personalized medicine research with the goal of analyzing the innumerable possibilities and potential future directions of Westernized medicinal care. Furthermore, the body of my thesis will include personal research conducted through an Ecology and Evolution laboratory to examine lifespan differences among strains of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to an antioxidant compound. The goal is to better understand the interactions between genetic makeup and drug responsiveness. This will provide correlative evidence and implications surrounding the importance of personalized treatments in humans, and provides the basis for examining the necessary considerations and conditions required to transition toward individualized care, including components beyond genetic analysis and targeting disease as well as the risks and ethical concerns surrounding the future of personalized medicine.