A new interactive exhibit showcasing our latest epigenetic research
Come with us on a journey towards healthier ageing
Although time passes the same for everyone, some of us age more quickly than others. Recently researchers found a way to study the rate of ageing and it's called the epigenetic clock - the timer that measures biological wear and tear as we age. At the Babraham Institute our researchers showed that mice also have an epigenetic clock and they're using this to understand the biology of ageing. In Race Against the Ageing Clock you'll find out more about your biological age and how it compares to your chronological age - the amount of time that has passed since you were born. Living a healthy active lifestyle can slow the clock, helping you to live healthier for longer, but some things can make your clock tick faster.
Discover how our researchers make sense of ageing in biology and find out more about our lifelong Race Against the Ageing Clock.
Our researchStudying the epigenetic clock will help to advance ageing research and allow us to better understand how various factors influence ageing. Ageing is a long term and hard to measure process, particularly as it manifests differently across different parts of the body and in different people.
When you're studying such a slow process, how do you test an anti-ageing drug in the timescale of a clinical trial? The epigenetic clock could help to provide an answer; a way to reliably measure the rate of ageing over shorter timescales. With more work, the clock could make it possible to measure biological changes while having confidence that the results reliably relate to the ageing process.
In research, the epigenetic clock makes it possible to rapidly discover whether a particular diet or drug impacts the rate of ageing in a laboratory animal without waiting for that animal to reach advanced age. This makes experiments faster and more humane.
- Hahn O, Grönke S, Stubbs TM, Ficz G, Hendrich O, Krueger F, Andrews S, Zhang Q, Wakelam MJ, Beyer A, Reik W, Partridge L. (2017) Dietary restriction protects from age-associated DNA methylation and induces epigenetic reprogramming of lipid metabolism. Genome Biol. 18(1):56. doi: 10.1186/s13059-017-1187-1
- Stubbs TM, Bonder MJ, Stark AK, Krueger F; BI Ageing Clock Team, von Meyenn F, Stegle O, Reik W. (2017) Multi-tissue DNA methylation age predictor in mouse. Genome Biol. 18(1):68. doi: 10.1186/s13059-017-1203-5
- Frenk S, Pizza G, Walker RV, Houseley J. (2017) Aging yeast gain a competitive advantage on non-optimal carbon sources. Aging Cell. 16(3):602-604. doi: 10.1111/acel.12582