Art Direction: Nick Vokey

There’s a drug that makes mice live 8 percent longer — but only if they’re male. Female mice get roughly that amount of benefit from a totally different treatment, which does nothing for males.

These aren’t just one-off quirks in longevity research. A growing body of scientific research suggests that getting older plays out very differently in males and females. To make significant progress in fighting the diseases associated with aging, researchers will have to better understand and address these sex disparities.

“Males and females are more different organisms than we had originally appreciated, especially when it comes to longevity,” says David Sinclair, a geneticist and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging at Harvard Medical School.

July 2018