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STATE OF ISRAEL I MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT   
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Name: Dror Sagi, Ph.D. (Researcher)
Units: Animal SciencePoultry and Aquaculture
Research Interests / Job description  
Cell: 0547800846
Email:    drors@volcani.agri.gov.il
Office location:Faculty of Agriculture, Rehovot
Address:
Research Interests / Job description
Aging, Metabolomics, poultry, machine learning
CV  

Aging is common to animals and a major risk factor for most diseases. Several model organisms are currently being used to study the aging process including yeast, fruit flies, nematodes, mice and humans. Humans aside, these model organisms are all studied under highly controlled, pathogen-free facilities that do not reflect the complex environmental conditions outside the laboratory. In addition, aging is an extremely complex phenomenon influenced by multiple molecular pathways and environmental factors. Thus, it is important to increase the scope of aging studies beyond the pool common model animals. Indeed, in recent years more vertebrate animals are being used to study aging. These include the African turquoise killifish, the naked mole rat and to some extent dogs and primates.
Egg laying hens are important to agriculture, as eggs constitute one of the most affordable sources of animal protein available. A rapid decline in egg production combined with a deterioration in shell quality are the main reasons for currently replacing flocks at or around 72 weeks of age. Thus, making hens lay for longer appears to be beneficial both financially and environmentally.
In addition to reducing egg numbers, during the laying period layers exhibit aging across multiple organs, which is reflected by ovarian aging, osteoporosis, decline in liver function and poor feather conditioning.
Our lab uses untargeted metabolomic profiling from blood plasma coupled with machine learning to identify aging biomarkers that can predict the true biological age of individual animals. These markers can predict which animals are prone to be healthy and productive and which are prone to be frail and sick. In addition we use these markers to identify fundamental mechanisms that drive aging in layers, thus contributing to applied and basic aging research.

Updated on: 23/08/20 16:02
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