Honors College Thesis


The Adverse Effects of Diurnal Light Exposure on Aging Drosophila melanogaster Public Deposited

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  • The proliferation of light emitting diodes (LEDs) are increasing human light exposure, yet the long-term effects of such exposure remains unknown. The current study aims to address this by measuring the longevity of Drosophila melanogaster kept in several light conditions. Initial longevity testing determined that flies kept in daily light-dark cycles of white fluorescent light have significantly reduced lifespan and health span compared to those in constant darkness. The longevity of flies maintained in various wavelengths, intensities, and photoperiods were also analyzed and revealed that long-term exposure to blue wavelengths is positively correlated with light-induced lifespan reduction as opposed to a combination of longer wavelengths that comprise a white light spectrum. Furthermore, blue-light induced lifespan reduction was proportional to the light intensity and length of daily exposure. The mechanism behind light-induced lifespan reduction remains unknown, but our data suggest that the effects of daily light exposure are eye independent. This project provides new information on the long-term effects of light exposure on aging and longevity, which will ideally spark further research to investigate these effects in humans.
  • Key Words: light exposure, longevity, aging, blue light
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