Thursday, March 23, 2006

A generation of immortal humans

By studying the genetics of aging, some labs try to find out if there's a longetivity gene. Right now, the most susceptible gene that could play this role is SIR2: "Sirtuins are hypothesized to play a key role in an organism's response to stresses (such as heat or starvation) and to be responsible for the lifespan-extending effects of calorie restriction". They found a life extension of 30% in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and up to 50% in roundworm.

Usually, the calorie restriction is the way to increased lifespan, the old idea was that process reduced the geneal metabolism, but in fact calorie restriction is speeding up the metabolism. The new idea is that calorie restriction is a stressor, then there's a double inhibition on genes that usually inhibit the production of SIR2 so the production increased.

What's the possibilities for life extension of Humans ? Right now, they found that the human version of SIR2, the SIRT1, give a longer life to cells. But, we don't know on lifespan what could happen. We cannot do a calorie restiction in human enough long to get the result. The scientists need to create a drug to increased this gene, try it on animal, and maybe in years we'll find a cure to aging. Soon is the time when at 100 years old, you'll be considered as young...

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