Lots of scientists are interested in your
questions. The link between caloric restriction
and aging is a really hot research topic.
Believe it or not, model organisms like yeast
and nematodes (a type of worm) are the best
models for asking this question. You might also
check out something called the LEPTIN
RECEPTOR, which has been well-studied in mice.
Mutations in leptin and its receptor have been
linked with human eating disorders. You can
get information on these topics by running
literature searches on the database called
PubMed or by visiting the websites of some
key journals such as Cell, Nature and
Science. It is also possible that the PBS show
called NOVA has run a few spots on this topic and
that the National Institutes of Health
(www.nih.gov) may have some links on its website.
Also check out the magazine Scientific
American (www.sciam.com). Finally, the
American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)
website (www.ascb.org) may be able to link you to
some sites that would be able to directly help
with your experiment in terms of design and
available reagents plus model organisms. Of
course, how you monitor and, especially, how you
quantitate the effects of "overeating" are going
to be the big challenge. Good luck!
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