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Gene Therapy Extends Mouse Lifespan

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the boosterspice-before-i-get-old-please dept.

Biotech 182

Grond writes "ScienceDaily reports, 'Researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre have demonstrated that the mouse lifespan can be extended by the application in adult life of a single treatment acting directly on the animal's genes. Mice treated at the age of one lived longer by 24% on average (PDF), and those treated at the age of two, by 13%. The therapy, furthermore, produced an appreciable improvement in the animals' health, delaying the onset of age-related diseases — like osteoporosis and insulin resistance — and achieving improved readings on aging indicators like neuromuscular coordination.' Notably, the therapy did not cause an increase in the incidence of cancer."

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And soon we shall have the immortal (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40011925)

But they will be divided by a contest for power, for whoever takes the head of another shall gain his might.

I just hope they don't electrocute us all.

what about side effects? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012055)

what about side effects?

Re:what about side effects? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012091)

You seem to get cursed with a very bad accent.

your chronological age will still increase (2)

sanman2 (928866) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012117)

no cancer is a pretty good side effect, tho

how about just making some stem cells from a tissue sample, and then treating them with the telomerase virus, and then injecting them back into you?

Waste of Taxpayer $$$ (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012281)

I really don't need mice that live longer. I need them to find a gene therapy to KILL mice. What's the point of this?

Re:Waste of Taxpayer $$$ (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012599)

Fruit flies.

Re:Waste of Taxpayer $$$ (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012941)

Lmfao.... reminds me of the sheer ignorance that McCain snd Palin demonstrated regarding fruit flies. good poke.

Re:your chronological age will still increase (2, Interesting)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012601)

no cancer is a pretty good side effect, tho

It's not widely known that everyone has cancer. Shocking at first, but its not really that big of a deal. When we're young, we slough off cancer cells easily (I think they are digested... but I'm not an oncologist or anything) and they are replaced by healthy cells. As we get older, the ability to slough off cancer cells decreases, and when too many cells are cancerous, that's generally considered "having cancer." I think if people realized this fact of biology, there wouldn't be as much fear involved when cancer is diagnosed. I think by now the evidence is more than anacdotal that the right, positive frame of mind goes a long way in healing the body.

Re:your chronological age will still increase (2)

sanman2 (928866) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013001)

but when cancer is diagnosed, it means we have too many cancer cells to slough off - and that can often be fatal

some of how you feel may be related to frame of mind, but the basic stuff is really based on physiological health - like whether you have cancer or not

Re:your chronological age will still increase (3, Informative)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013491)

What you mean to say is that everyones suffer constant genetic damage that in the absence of cell cycle checkpoints and DNA repair mechanism and improper regulation of apoptosis(cellular selfdestruction) and whatnot else would most likely lead to cancer in a short time.

Some people actually have cancers that are contained and are free from symtoms, but this should be detected and treated as the very hallmark of cancer is their tissue-invasive and metetastatic properties, so given time, they will try their best to kill you if left alone.

But no, everyone do not have cancer.

Re:And soon we shall have the immortal (4, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012215)

But they will be divided by a contest for power, for whoever takes the head of another shall gain his might.

But where will they find swords small enough to fit into their tiny little mouse paws?

Re:And soon we shall have the immortal (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012239)

The cocktail section of the local liquor store.

Re:And soon we shall have the immortal (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013311)

I truly believe this [deviantart.net] is obligatory.

Re:And soon we shall have the immortal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40013175)

Why does the sun come up, or are the stars just pinholes in the curtain of night?

and you all thought.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40011941)

the singularity was gonna come from silicon.

old > wise > profit

Re:and you all thought.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012401)

the singularity was gonna come from silicon.

old > wise > profit

old > wise > collect underpants > ??? > profit

There fixed it for you.

Immortality (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40011955)

Yet another lab test of effective life extending drugs. Which, like with the amount of transistors that can fit onto the same area of a computer chip, will probably exponentially increase in effectiveness.

Oh, and mean time from such tests to a product on the market is 13 years.

If you are younger than fifty, be prepared to live forever *(getting run over by a bus, spaceship, miniaturized black hole excepting). And remember to tell your non-existent great grand kids about retirement, because having kids will be outlawed due to over population.

Re:Immortality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012441)

Nembutal, my friend. Be prepared. Stock up.

That's great news (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40011983)

about mice not getting cancer. It makes it so much harder to scroll through websites when they do.

Re:That's great news (1)

CapOblivious2010 (1731402) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012803)

Yes, that was my first thought - extending my mouse's lifespan would be great, because I hate trying to find another one when the buttons stop working or the wheel stutters.

But NOOOOO, it's not anything useful like that - just some crap about making people live forever.

Re:That's great news (2)

Billlagr (931034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013347)

Well there is one obvious side effect. They've lost their balls.

THIS IS NOT NEWS (2, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012043)

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS (1)

Grond (15515) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012115)

No, the Harvard researchers didn't do the same thing. They genetically engineered mice to have short telomeres, inducing faster aging, and then reversed the process by reactivating telomerase. The mice didn't actually live longer than normal. By contrast, the researchers in this study used a single application of gene therapy to extend the lifespan of normal mice, and they did so using techniques that have already been used in humans to treat other conditions.

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012193)

"No, the Harvard researchers didn't do the same thing. "

Yes, they did. They used gene therapy to lengthen the telomeres. Exactly the same thing these folks did.

The exact mice they did it to are irrelevant.

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS (5, Informative)

Grond (15515) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012257)

The Harvard researchers didn't use gene therapy to lengthen the telomeres. They engineered a knock-in allele encoding a 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT)-inducible telomerase reverse transcriptase-Estrogen Receptor (TERT-ER) under transcriptional control of the endogenous TERT promoter. Basically, the mice had short telomeres and the researchers could reactivate telomerase by administering 4-OHT. That's genetic engineering, not gene therapy in adult mice.

Furthermore, the Harvard researchers showed the reversal of artificially-induced aging, but not an increase in lifespan. The researchers in this study demonstrated an increase in lifespan in normal mice.

The Harvard study showed that improving telomerase activity could reverse or slow aging, but it didn't show how to actually accomplish this in normal, adult organisms. That's what the researchers in this study have done, at least in mice.

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS (1)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012633)

Picked my way through the 2nd sentence, appreciate the detail and the absolute dumbing down of your statement for us laypeople without a degree in microbio. ;-)

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012769)

Pardon me, you are correct. I had that article mixed up with another one.

But the basic concept is still not new. A few years ago some other scientists demonstrated that you can even lengthen telomeres via oral administration of a plant extract. I didn't believe that until I read the research paper, which was peer-reviewed.

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012969)

My dad hypothesized this in the early 80s. Theory and proof are far diffetent... the same goes for transgenic inducible expression vs gene therapy.... the prior is a proof of concept, the latter is the pudding.

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013043)

"My dad hypothesized this in the early 80s. Theory and proof are far diffetent..."

I did not say "hypothesis" or "speculation". Look elsewhere in this thread for a link I supplied. This research has been going on for years and is far from mere speculation.

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS (3, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012889)

Here is a link to an article in Scientific American [scientificamerican.com] about the guys I mentioned just above.

The exact formula they make from astragalus (and possibly other sources?) they claim is made from several ingredients that they claim to have a synergistic effect. However, it is also astronomically expensive. But the main "active ingredient" is available on the open market at much more reasonable rates.

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012913)

By the way (and pardon the multiple posts... there are distractions here that keep pulling me away): the research published by the researchers at T.A. Sciences document a remarkable correlation between lengthened telomeres in the mice and longer lifespan (up to 40%), so that part was in fact demonstrated years ago, not just now.

They also reported all the other effects that these researchers claim: a drastic decrease in age-related disorders, and renewed strength and coordination (as demonstrated by tightrope-walking experiments).

So maybe the particular treatment is different, but the correlation between these effects and lengthened telomeres has in fact been well known for years now.

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40013437)

But you would agree that progress is progress, yes? Why are you so excited to discredit this? Do you have a horse in this race?

Increase in cancer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012053)

This study uses viruses to deliver genes into mouse genomes. The virus inserts new DNA (the telomerase enzyme) into their existing DNA, raising the probability of acquiring mutations that lead to cancer. They report no statistical increase in cancer, but an absence of signal is not a signal of absence, and the methods alone should clue you in.

Re:Increase in cancer (4, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012511)

They report no statistical increase in cancer, but an absence of signal is not a signal of absence, and the methods alone should clue you in.

I guess my tolerance for cute sayings as explanations has declined as my crotchetiness has increased. The phrase you are looking for is "small sample size". Glancing at the rear of the article:

Separate groups of mice were tail-vein injected with 2*10^12 (viral genomes)/animal of either AAV9-GFP, AAV9-mTERT or AAV9-mTERTDN, a catalytically inactive form of mTERT (Sachsinger et al, 2001), at 420 days (AAV9-GFP, n=14 [50% males and 50% females]; AAV9- mTERT, n=21 [52% males and 48% females]; AAV9-mTERT-DN, n=17 [53% males and 47% females]) or either AAV9-GFP and AAV9- mTERT 720 days (AAV9-GFP, n=14 [58% males and 42% females]; AAV9-mTERT, n=23 [52% males and 48% females] of age. All mice are of a >95% C57BL6 background. Longevity comparisons were always made within the same mouse cohort to avoid minimal possible differences in genetic background between the groups.

They had five samples from 14 to 23 in size. That's a bit slim for some of the claims they make such as the bit about cancer.

Re:Increase in cancer (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012747)

The value of being first to publish is wat youre talking about. Clearly the lab will reproduce the scenario dozens of times on hundreds of mice as they pursue further refining/expansion of this very interesting technique.

Re:Increase in cancer (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013025)

"The value of being first to publish is wat youre talking about."

Except that they aren't. See the Scientific American article I linked to way up above. Others have been studying lengthened telomeres (achieved by other means) for many years now, and none of them have reported any increase in cancer rates. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Some of the research suggests that short telomeres might actually be a factor in causing cancer, or helping it to grow.

Re:Increase in cancer (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013127)

And the results might survive the larger sample size.

Re:Increase in cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012827)

Massively slim for aging research in mice actually.

Re:Increase in cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40013337)

that's actually alot of mice for a study of this nature. They must have had really good funding to get that many actually. most of the articles that i've read about stem cells use around 25 mice total. The explanation that i got was that the animal cruelty people are hounding the bioethics people to cut down on the number of sacrificed animals.

Re:Increase in cancer (5, Insightful)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012561)

They report no statistical increase in cancer, but an absence of signal is not a signal of absence

What...the...fuck?

You took something you heard people legitimately saying about certain inferences and used in a way that is not legitimate.

Here's an example that is legitimate. A cold will sometimes, but not always, be accompanied by a cough. Therefore a researcher could be trying to examine the incidence of colds by examining the incidence of coughs. Because it's entirely possible to have colds without coughs, you may then legitimately claim that the absence of the signal, the cough, is not a signal of the absence of colds. It's sufficiently correlated that it is a useful metric, but it is not a sufficient metric to draw strong conclusions. The absence of coughs are, however, most certainly indicative of the absence of coughs

No statistical increase in cancer most certainly means no statistical increase in cancer (I'm a member of the tautology club!). It is possible that the the lack in statistical significance was an anomaly (and just how probable an anomaly that would be is quantifiable, and I'm sure is quantified in the paper in the form of a p-value), but it is certainly indicative of no increases in cancer. That is exactly what they were measuring.

Re:Increase in cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40013193)

Correlation... is... not... causation...

They do not report on cancer statistics to increase the signal is not the lack of a sign

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012061)

So how do I get it?

Posting AC because of Slashdot's Chrome bugs that mean you can't log in properly.

Too Late (3, Funny)

sanman2 (928866) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012081)

Just make sure to get it before you reach the age of 1 or 2

Rats! (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012079)

This reminds me of the "calorie restriction" guy, who found out rats live 50% longer if they are fed less food then they actually need.

So...they lived 3 years instead of 2.

So...would a human gain 35 years...or 2?

Same thing here.

Re:Rats! (1, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012287)

uh huh, the very famous pioneer "calorie restriction guy" Roy Walford, found peace and serenity through his restricted diet he claimed was going to let him live until he was 120. Which is to say, he flopped over dead before reaching the average age of U.S. male. Eating gruel while everyone around him was enjoying wine, beefsteaks, and ice cream, he reaped his reward. what a dumb-ass.

Re:Rats! (5, Informative)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012375)

Avg. life expectancy USA male: 75.6 (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy [wikipedia.org] )

Roy Walford died at age 79 of respiratory failure as a complication of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Walford [wikipedia.org] )

Love your rage dripping between the lines, though

Re:Rats! (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012637)

Mod up, nice catch. Americans especially need to accept the fact that the less you eat the longer you live... except that you must eat the right things, the right nutrients that does a body good.

Re:Rats! (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012925)

Lying troll.

Re:Rats! (2)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013181)

This reminds me of the "calorie restriction" guy, who found out rats live 50% longer if they are fed less food then they actually need.

So...they lived 3 years instead of 2.

So...would a human gain 35 years...or 2?

Same thing here.

Or would the human quit the study because he was always hungry?

Don't fear the reaper (2)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012087)

We keep trying to live longer, but I can't see a life past 90 being very comfortable or enjoyable. I think no amount of drugs or therapies can fix the human psyche--it wasn't made to last forever. The older you get, the crazier you become in most peoples eyes.

Re:Don't fear the reaper (5, Insightful)

RedCard (302122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012185)

Sure, people lose some mental faculty as they age, but in my estimation it's far more likely because of physical degradation of the brain than a hand-waving concept like "degradation of psyche". Stop the physical degradation of the brain, and the mind will remain fresh.

Re:Don't fear the reaper (5, Insightful)

Databass (254179) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012459)

I'd make an off-the-cuff guess that most people could extend their effective lifespans by 24% if they just got +20 minutes of moderate (heart rate up, light sweat) exercise each day. Cost? $0 and 20 minutes of time. Available to everyone, ready for mass implementation today. Compared to gene therapy, anyone could do the exercise today for nothing. And most won't even then.

Re:Don't fear the reaper (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013189)

I'd make an off-the-cuff guess that most people could extend their effective lifespans by 24% if they just got +20 minutes of moderate (heart rate up, light sweat) exercise each day. Cost? $0 and 20 minutes of time. Available to everyone, ready for mass implementation today. Compared to gene therapy, anyone could do the exercise today for nothing. And most won't even then.

So this would increase life expectancy from 78 to 96? I'm not buying it.

Re:Don't fear the reaper (3, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013329)

Not to mention...
(20 Minutes * 365 days * 63 employable years) = 459900 minutes / 60 minutes per hour = 7665 hours of exercise.

7665 hours * $8 (minimum wage) = $61320. If the treatment costs less than $61000, it is cheaper to have the treatment than it is to exercise.

If you make even $25/hour, a $150000 procedure is cost effective.

Re:Don't fear the reaper (1)

Billlagr (931034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013417)

Assuming that you're giving up 20 minutes of productive work time, rather than 20 minutes of ass-sitting couch potato time

Re:Don't fear the reaper (3, Interesting)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013589)

Either way, you are doing work. You can either do the work for money, and pay cash for your results, or you can do the manual labor yourself. It becomes a question of whether it is more profitable to be employed by someone else, or be self employed for the task of extending life. Depending on the cost of the procedure and the earning capabilities of the individual, the implication that exercise is the better choice is misguided.

Re:Don't fear the reaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40013453)

Sounds like a lot of work. I have gold to farm.

Re:Don't fear the reaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012301)

But... dying has killed more people than all other illnesses combined! (the immortalist)

If your brain and body are physically undamaged, there's no need to suffer or go crazy from old age.
I think life past 90 will be quite different when we're 90. For most of us here that's still about 50-60 years off.

And imagine the video games and pass-times that will be available!
Even today, facebook and messenger are making retirement more enjoyable for our elders (those able/willing to use a computer).

Re:Don't fear the reaper (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012959)

"The older you get, the crazier you become in most peoples eyes."

Tell that to people like Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, etc., etc. ...

Sure, some people go crazy or get cantankerous. Others gain wisdom and give damned good advice. I don't think generalizing is going to go very far here.

Re:Don't fear the reaper (3, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013169)

We keep trying to live longer, but I can't see a life past 90 being very comfortable or enjoyable. The older you get, the crazier you become in most peoples eyes.

I look back on neighbors and family who lived well into their nineties --- at home, mentally alert and physically active until very near the end. It has me thinking that it is the contempt the young have for the old that is vain and mad.

Re:Don't fear the reaper (3, Interesting)

longk (2637033) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013277)

Why not? My grandma is 90+ and still happily alive. She lives alone and spends lots of time online Facebook-ing and Skype-ing the many people she's got to know during her long life and meets up with some of them every now and then. The only help she receives is a maid doing some of the heavier cleaning tasks two times a week.

My only fear at that age would be outliving all my close friends and family, but if my grandma is anything like I can expect for myself I'm certainly not worried about physical or mental issues.

And why exactly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012097)

..do we want to live longer ?!!

Re:And why exactly.. (4, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012291)

you're right, there's no point in it unless we can fuck hot young women until the end.

Re:And why exactly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012363)

Damn. Better start investing....

Re:And why exactly.. (4, Insightful)

yndrd1984 (730475) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012523)

you're right, there's no point in it unless we can fuck hot young women until the end.

If they don't age, why would we care if they're young?

The looks and energy of an 18 year old combined with the fertility and experience of a 918 year old sounds like the perfect combination to me!

Re:And why exactly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012795)

Why, it doesn't matter at all, that is what we have viagara and other drugs for. We can do what we want sexually until a ripe old age of 150 perhaps. The largest problem of course is that the users of slashdot getting a women in their prime is difficult, can you imagine the dorks of the world trying to get women at the age of 120?

"hey baby, want to go back to my place and check out my original and full sized Obi wan poster? Its full sized unlike something else until I pop this pill."

I don't think that is an issue worth considering, but then again as a joke, we all know that even dorks mature somewhat as they age. Perhaps this plus viagara will make it statistically possible for the nerds and the dorks of the world to not die virgins? Ah well, we can only hope. This is what science should be studying in conjection with this! now that is news that matters.

Re:And why exactly.. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013015)

"you're right, there's no point in it unless we can fuck hot young women until the end."

I'll be here. For a l--o--n--g time.

Re:And why exactly.. (4, Insightful)

wurp (51446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012603)

Do you want to die today?

You won't tomorrow, either.

awesome news!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012123)

mice everywhere must be celebrating this good news.

-dirtbag

Obligatory (1, Redundant)

ZipprHead (106133) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012147)

I for one welcome my new immortal mouse king

Compound interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012189)

If lifespans become significantly longer, we can do away with Social Security (wouldn't be able to afford it, anyway). People can just put a bunch of money in the bank when they're young and let the wonder of compound interest make them rich in their later years. And, 80's glam rock will be around forever!

Better, healthier genes = longer life (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012245)

Who'd have thought it?

Anyone else thinking of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012247)

"The Quiet Place", by Richard Maynard?

Sorry, it had to be said. (3, Interesting)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012303)

Long Live our new cheese eating over lords!

If we really want mice to live longer ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012351)

If we really want mice to live longer ...
shouldn't we ban mousetraps?

Which mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012381)

When I read the title I wasn't sure if they meant a computer mouse or a biological mouse. I'm sort of disappointed to find they mean the biological creature.

A little late.. (1)

Meatbucket (2039104) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012493)

but this would would have been great news for Roy Batty

whatcouldpossiblygowrong (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012569)

Whatever happened to the whatcouldpossiblygowrong tag? This story sounds like the beginning of a Michael Crichton novel and we all know how those end. Joe Haldeman's Old Twentieth also had something like this called the Becker-Cendrek process. Made you immortal. Somehow I don't think it would be too difficult to get human volunteers for this one.

I'll bet Aubrey de gray is dancing wherever he is (2)

KaiLoi (711695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012647)

He' been saying that telomerase lengthening is a good area of research for life extension for years and years. It's good to see one of his 7 therepudic targets for immortality verified.

Re:I'll bet Aubrey de gray is dancing wherever he (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012735)

Many people have been saying it for years; unlike him, many of them then spent those years actually trying to prove it instead of just talking and writing about what other people should do

Interesting science isn't always such a good idea (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012673)

Maybe if we had the resources to sustain an enourmous population... but we already have an enourmous global population... and there's a serious energy crisis, as well as ... polution, global temperatures... etc.

Maybe scientists should be figuring a way to make people live shorter, but far better quality lives. I kid... of course. But quality of life is important, and as the population increases, so does competition for limited resources, and individual quality of life will decrease. If we suddenly have a way to easily allow humans to have an average life expectency of 110, how are we going to support a population growth like that? I guess we'll have to increase all the milestone ages... age of concent, drinking age, voting age, and retirement age... maybe make celebacy trendy somehow... really start giving gays and lesbians huge incentives... and start heavily taxing marriage and procreation.

Re:Interesting science isn't always such a good id (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012987)

Population increases have been leveling off faster than just about anybody predicted. Rates are down in Africa, China, India (the worst "offenders" of recent history).

Granted, things will probably get worse before they get better, but I just don't see the population apocalypse that others in the past have predicted, actually happening.

According to census figures, if it were not for immigration, the population of the U.S. would actually be lower today than 10 years ago.

Re:Interesting science isn't always such a good id (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40013073)

You probably know that, in most developed countries population actually decreases. And most of women giving birth are young. So population growth almost independent of number of people dying. So if you want to control population growth you need to educate African and Asian women so they give birth later in life. Death of old people on the other side of Earth is irrelevant to number of children born in Sub Saharian Africa.

Resources are plenty. Even peak oil is a myth. It's just very damn cheap oil not so cheap anymore. And if we give solar energy decade we will get clean water in every place on Earth, which will lead to drop in child mortality, which will lead to decrease in typical family size, which will solve "overpopulation" problem.

Re:Interesting science isn't always such a good id (2)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013221)

I guess we'll have to increase all the milestone ages... age of concent, drinking age, voting age, and retirement age... maybe make celebacy trendy somehow... really start giving gays and lesbians huge incentives... and start heavily taxing marriage and procreation.

Marriage and procreation are taxing enough as it is.

Re:Interesting science isn't always such a good id (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013273)

I guess we'll have to increase all the milestone ages... age of concent, drinking age, voting age, and retirement age... maybe make celebacy trendy somehow... really start giving gays and lesbians huge incentives... and start heavily taxing marriage and procreation.

Marriage and procreation are taxing enough as it is.

Well said, but I don't believe a word of it. One can only go so far alone.

Re:Interesting science isn't always such a good id (1)

longk (2637033) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013287)

While some resources are indeed really limited, many others are limited artificially only. Scarcity and poverty are necessary components of our current economy. If a scientist would invent a "quality enhancer" tomorrow, what do you think would happen? Exactly, it would sell at high prices to rich people (or those with expensive insurance plans) first.

Re:Interesting science isn't always such a good id (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013467)

But quality of life is important

Significantly delaying the onset of age-related diseases is one of the biggest contributors to quality of life I can imagine. And if we have to work an extra twenty years for an additional twenty years of youth and health ... well, that's a tradeoff I'd certainly be willing to make, and I expect a whole bunch of other people would feel the same.

There wouldn't be any need to delay the age of adulthood as you suggest. We'd just have longer, healthier, more productive, and all-around better adult lives. Sign me up.

1 yr. in mice = 20 in people so cancer may come. (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013035)

(Sorry about the abbreviations). A friend of mine pointed out that extending the life of a mouse by say 25 percent cancer free may not do the same when extending the life of a human by 25 percent.

The reason of course is because if it takes say 3 years for a cancer to develop because of this therapy (given to the mice when they were adults), the mice would still have died of other causes before the cancer could kill them (a 25 percent increase in a mouse's lifespan is only about a year). Whereas with people, if the therapy causes cancer just 3 years after the treatment then they have really got a problem because the therapy (should hopefully) make them live 20 years longer.

Still I am hopeful for this (or other treatments) to hopefully add on a decade or two of (very hopefully) healthy life to my lifespan. As my friend also pointed out, even a modest increase in lifespan will absolutely wreck every social safety net and pension. Perhaps there will be legislation correcting this saying, perhaps, if you elect to get this treatment you agree that your benefits won't kick in for another decade or two.

Working longer (or being poorer) is still preferable to dying younger.

Re:1 yr. in mice = 20 in people so cancer may come (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013227)

Unless 1 year in mice = 1 year in people.

The Problem with lifespan extension (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013093)

Is that the extension takes place on the wrong end of life. I don't want to die at 200 years old. I want to live at 25 for 200 years.

In any event, we better be used to starvation diets if such things come to pass. If the Duggars and the Octomom and Kate Gosselian prove, it is impossible to keep people from irresponsibly overpopulating the world.

But let's say that we extend human lifespan to say 200 years. Is this increased lifespan going to be one in which everyone is healthy in a youthful manner until they clock out? Probably not. More likely they will have a growing, young adult, middle age, and old age similar to now, just with each portion extended.

There will probably be greatly increased chances of becoming ill with Cancer, or various brain degenerative diseases. That just as a result of living longer.

But the real kicker is that the old age and death part is likely to be drawn out over many more years than it is now. My mother in law spent the last ten years of her life as a dementia patient - interestingly enough, this was a person who "did everything right, no smoking, no drinking, etc. But it might stand to reason if a lifespan is tripled, she might have expected to spend 30 years that way. Let's cut off a third of that, and say 20.

I really have to say that you do NOT want to spend 20 years in a nursing home, shitting in adult diapers, incontinent, only knowing who you are or anyone around you 5 percent of the time. Having a prescription list that looks like a big day at the grocery store. And one of them, a drug tho more or less mitigate the dementia symptoms. Which just drags out the heartbreak another 5 years or so.

Hell, if I had an inkling that that was my fate, I'd take a reduction in lifespan as a more than even tradeoff.

I've seen our futures, and it ain't pretty.

Re:The Problem with lifespan extension (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013355)

Duggars and the Octomom and Kate Gosselian prove

Their children average out to a negative number when the nation as a whole is counted. If you are going to extrapolate from single individuals, any people that don't have kids are even worse, as their breeding practices would end the human race with their generation.

Re:The Problem with lifespan extension (1)

wrook (134116) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013451)

It's easy to get discouraged when watching a loved one live through that. Personally I think our paliative care options are too limited.

But it's important to remember that many people live long and active lives with very little problems. My grandfather died at 72 as each of his organs started to fail one after the other. It took him a very long time to die in a horrible, painful way. But my father, who is turning 70 this year, still rides his bike 60-70 km at a go, up and down mountains. He plays 18 holes of golf 3 days a week and actually wins local curling tournaments. Certaily he isn't as spry as he was when he was younger, but he's healthier than a lot of people half his age. I rather suspect he'll get hit by a truck long before he loses his faculties.

Death is inevitable; a long debilitating decline into death is much less so. Don't give up.

Re:The Problem with lifespan extension (1)

AlamedaStone (114462) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013519)

Sure, sure, all of that is scary. But think of the ultra-porn!

Gravy Train (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40013145)

I wanted to question why DNA could possibly affect the lifespan of my wireless mouse, but I'm just going to look the other way and save on batteries.

the racket of oncology (1)

Thunder_Princes (688516) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013153)

Look up otto warburg. Or more recently look up brian peskin connecting the dots of warburgs work and the "modern" diet. Cancer cells appear from lack of cellular oxygenation which is promoted by our food stuffs, the ones your great grandparents would not be able to identify as food.

Alpha Century (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40013171)

Obligatory Alpha Century reference: The longevity vaccine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdCB9yE9Hcc

Let the mouse die! (2)

wagonlips (306377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013369)

Bring on the advanced haptic interface now!

Hey Kids - Get out and VOTE now! (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013377)

With all the government entitlement spending being put on the "credit card" of "future generations", don't forget to raise the MAXIMUM benefit age along with the raising the MINIMUM benefit age. No sense in creating more pesky loopholes to deal with later...

Nice and believable study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40013415)

Im a bit sceptical that just lenghtening of the telomerase will cause such a result. But hey....i looked over the paper (which is open access btw so thats awesome!). And things seem to be in order.

also the vector is a good choice. Adeno associated virus is a very good and safe choice when making gene delivery.

So im gonna go out to my office now and print that article and will enjoy reading in depth tonight after lecture (Evening saved!)

Damn, Mice get all the best shit! (1)

phrackthat (2602661) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013511)

n/t
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