"Scientists have surprisingly discovered that a mere trace of alcohol doubles the lifespan of a tiny worm that has become a workhorse in biochemistry laboratories around the world."
"The worm normally lives for only about 15 days, but a trace of alcohol extended that to up to 40 days, according to the study."
"We saw that the life extension was entirely due to the ethanol," Clarke said. "That got us going. How could a typical solvent diluted 1,000-fold have this profound effect?
"Then we found that it would work at 20,000-fold dilution," or one part ethanol to 20,000 parts water, he added. "That level was basically nothing."
The worms, incidentally, apparently enjoyed the trip. Castro, who is the lead author of the study and is now in the doctoral bioengineering program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, described it this way in releasing the study:
"What is even more interesting is the fact that the worms are in a stressed developmental stage. At high magnifications under the microscope, it was amazing to see how the worms given a little ethanol looked significantly more robust than worms not given ethanol."
"The researches experimented with various amounts of ethanol, but the worms took up only a tiny amount. They didn't pig out on all that was there. Maybe they were like binge drinkers who know they've reached a point where they should stop."