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Key Gene Found Responsible For Accelerated Aging and Cancer

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the giant-book-that's-hidden-inside-you dept.

Medicine 114

First time accepted submitter gbrennan123 writes "Researchers at NYU School of Medicine have identified a single gene that simultaneously controls inflammation, accelerated aging and cancer. From the article: '"This was certainly an unexpected finding," said principal investigator Robert J. Schneider, PhD, the Albert Sabin Professor of Molecular Pathogenesis, associate director for translational research and co-director of the Breast Cancer Program at NYU Langone Medical Center. "It is rather uncommon for one gene to have two very different and very significant functions that tie together control of aging and inflammation. The two, if not regulated properly, can eventually lead to cancer development. It's an exciting scientific find."'"

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Lies, all lies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40130803)

What a bunch of quack charlatans!

new finding (5, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130869)

Took me a while to parse the article, but there were two parts. We already knew the gene group AUF1 controlled inflammation.

a gene called AUF1 controls inflammation by turning off the inflammatory response to stop the onset of septic shock.

The new discovery, which they apparently discovered and will be shown when their paper is published, was that AUF1 also releases telomerase to repair telomeres.

The current study reveals that AUF1....also maintains the integrity of chromosomes by activating the enzyme telomerase to repair the ends of chromosomes

But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130887)

I mean, this is a GREAT find, but we need drugs to be designed, tested and deployed.
So, when is this usable? in say 30 years?
I sure hope there is some way that cancer is gone in a couple of years, and then live slightly longer.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130899)

It's usable immediately, in the form of directing future research.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40133875)

I just read that as "It's usable immediately, in the form of directing funding of future research". Spending time near graduate students seems to do that to your brain.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 2 years ago | (#40133989)

Have him pick me up a couple rolls while he's out, in that case...

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (4, Informative)

GryMor (88799) | more than 2 years ago | (#40130969)

Depends on what you mean by usable. It immediately prompts a study of human populations to identify how certain defects can impair it's function which will likely lead to the development of gene therapies to correct those defects, and if beneficial variants can be identified, could later lead to general purpose gene therapies to slow the rate of aging. It may also lead to studies for the development of drugs to modify it's action, but thats probably farther out than basic gene therapies for those with defective instances of these genes.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40130997)

I mean, this is a GREAT find, but we need drugs to be designed, tested and deployed. So, when is this usable? in say 30 years? I sure hope there is some way that cancer is gone in a couple of years, and then live slightly longer.

can we start force-feeding people birth control then? if nobody dies from diseases anymore? i mean fuck 7 billion is too many.

imagine a planet with 1 billion humans. abundant resources for everybody, not much reason to go to war.

i propose first we start with a simple new federal law. if you take food stamps, WIC, SNAP, etc., you are required to be surgically sterlized. start with the negligent parents who can't afford children. if they start to prosper they can afford to reverse the surgery. till then, i don't give a damn who feels "offended" by this - if you can barely afford to feed yourself and you want to have children who are going to go hungry, you don't deserve to have children you selfish fuck. anybody wanna calmly, with logic, tell me why that is faulty?

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131027)

It is not faulty. I applaud this wonderful idea.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (0)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131115)

Way to go, picking only on the poor, you Anonymous Jackass.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131949)

The AC is only "picking" on those people who expect handouts taken at the force of a gun (wielded by the IRS/Tax Court et al) from others.

If you don't want to be fixed, don't sign up for SNAP. Either get by on your own, with the aid of family and friends, or try to get aid from charities funded by voluntary donations who will let you spawn freely while taking their money.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131119)

Without the upwards pressure of too many humans we'll never get off this shit hole of a planet :)

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#40134975)

Without the upwards pressure of too many humans we'll never get off this shit hole of a planet :)

You have deep psychological issues which won't be cured by space tourism, Tonto.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131121)

It's not a good idea to control the population be limiting the birth rate. You don't want a population of one billion old people.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131203)

If you've "cured" aging there are no "old people".

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (2)

DeSigna (522207) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131969)

There's still the genetic, physical and mental wear-and-tear of an extended lifespan to deal with. There's no cure for entropy. People will still have varying levels of skill and experience, and most likely will become more cautious and set in their ways as they age.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#40132701)

Maybe, but "curing" aging means fixing those genetic and physical weat-and-tear issues. Mental is another story, but who knows maybe massively extended lifespans makes people less cautious. Since we don't have them we don't know.

And of course there's a cure for entropy. Humans are not closed systems after all. Heck the heat pump in my house "cures" entropy.

More cautious makes sense - you have more to lose dieing early, you have more to lose by losing your wealth, etc. Then again you've already lived a long time, maybe you consider it worth taking more risks just for the excitement value, maybe knowing you have huge amounts of time to make up that lost wealth makes risk taking more attractive?

Maybe centuries of wisdom more than compensates for whatever youth brings.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40133673)

The main thing for me is that if you can extend people's lifetimes by a significant amount, you have to make them chose between children and a longer life. Currently, in countries where people live longer (typically western or Asian countries with high levels of education), we tend to see very small population increases or even decline.

If, however, a sudden breakthrough in anti-ageing happened, we'd go from sustainable to non-sustainable in a heart beat, because people want to be physically young longer, but they also don't want to give up having children.

We'd all like our close family and friends to remain alive, but I'm not sure we'd like the world if we cured ageing and cancer.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#40134819)

Or the resulting wars for resources would see governments create policies that make China's one child policy look libertarian.

Or massive lifespans would spur expansion into space - now people will survive to see the results and a 200 year journey is just a minor footnote in your life.

Or the drive to have children would be "fixed" as the same time "aging" is fixed. Or that would automatically as people just keep putting it off (which is as you almost said what is happening in the western countries now - people are having their children later and later, what would they do if they knew they could have their first child with no complications due to age/etc in 500 years time?).

Basically we don't know what would happen. It is so far outside out experience with life that it is all guesswork.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#40135095)

Or massive lifespans would spur expansion into space - now people will survive to see the results and a 200 year journey is just a minor footnote in your life.

200 years of boredom cooped up in a large tin can, interspersed with occasional flashes of sickening danger, does not sound like an appealing prospect however long you're going to live.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#40135241)

Sure for you.

But maybe to someone who has been alive for a 2000 years, going into a 200 year sleep knowing that i they do survive the trips the people they know will all still be alive if they decide to make the return trip.

Maybe risks become more enjoyable when you will for essentially ever if you avoid accidents?

I wasn't claiming any of my statement were facts, just possibilities. It's so far outside our experience we won't know until (well there's an if there somewhere) we get close to it.

I personally find the idea of "eternal life" as presented in Christian style religions horrifying. Given the stats on religions I'm clearly in the minority there, and it is so far outside what I can understand I'm probably mistaken. I just doubt we can make accurate predictions of what the mental reactions to such lifespans would be.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40133801)

On the plus side, environmental concerns would take a huge leap forward, since its not people five generations down the road who will be affected by your decisions, its you personally. The world would go 100% renewable in a matter of years.

On the minus side, death really is the great leveller. The concentrations of wealth accumulated get dispersed among heirs and a large lump gets given to the government. This serves numerous important roles, but if people just aren't dying, you are going to see a huge disparity between bicentenians and teenagers, which risks creating an overclass of semi immortal super rich.

The effects it would have on progress are uncertain, could go either way. It will be vital to have measures in place to prevent massive concentrations of wealth in too few hands, and similarly with authority and scientific tenure for example - you do not want eternal professors or judges.

On the whole it would be a huge positive though, and by the time we have mastered it, we will already be plumbing the limitless wealth of the asteroids, not to mention infinite living space, so perhaps the concentration of wealth might not be an issue. Authority is a different matter however, change is good.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (2)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#40134987)

Maybe centuries of wisdom more than compensates for whatever youth brings.

Pert titties, that's what youth has going for it.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

arobatino (46791) | more than 2 years ago | (#40133161)

Someone who's lived a long time is old by definition (even if not decrepit).

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131675)

Agreed. Who has the patent on Soylent Green?

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (2)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131331)

There were sci-fi short stories sbout this theme that were written in the 1950's, before suburbanization. One was that a drug called Eternitol or something similar was found and that led to three or four grnerations of the same family living together. Others had the roads department deliberately timing traffic lights and placing street signs to cause as many traffic accidents as possible to achieve population control. The other had families fighting in home invasions in order to get birth permission documents.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | about 2 years ago | (#40137249)

There was a start trek episode on this (original one) about some planet that had no disease and lif expectancy was too long, and they had a population problem...and had developed a lottery to see who would die. Then there was a similar episode on sliders, about a lottery that allowed you to get money from an ATM but increased your chances of winning...the prize was death, so the more money you took out for free....the greater your chances at dying....

These are quite big moral issues, if China is making it so that we are plowing through all our resources way to quickly because of their sheer population volume, then is it not their responsibility to make sure not to overproduce.....?

Imagine a COUNTRY with a billion people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131865)

how about TWO? Let's call them,... um... China and India.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (4, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#40132289)

Letting nature control population means relying on one or more of nature's methods. These are also known as War, Famine, Pestilence and Death. Human choices of control are preferrable if they beat nature's. By beat, we could be talking about "less wasteful", "kinder", or somehow "ethically fairer", and the exact conclusion will vary depending on which we emphasize. In fact, we could be trying to balance many such goals. You may be arguing from some definition of "ethically fairer", "less wasteful", "less arbitrary", or some other standard. So if you really want somebody to tell you what's faulty about your proposal, until you can explain what you are trying to accomplish better than by just letting nature take its course you don't really have any logic behind your claim to refute. Without that understanding, your proposal is an emotional argument disguised as a reasoned conclusion.
            Knocking out aging actually has relatively little effect on population growth in some ways, for example women still stop having fertile eggs at menopause even if they typically live much longer. How many of those opportunities to fertilize an egg actually get used has a direct effect on population that is really larger than any possible additional lifespan.
          (Yes, try the math. Increase the lifespan to a blisteringly worst case full 800 years, which would be about the average if we assume nobody dies of anything except violent accidents and deliberates such as being struck by a bus or shot in a war, and add some additional worst case for population assumptions such as that most of the people who kill themselves either do it early or wouldn't do it at all if they had their health. Assume ALL fatal diseases are cureable, and all people enjoy a biological age of about 25 for as long as they live, but women still stop being fertile about 45 to 50. Now instead assume current longevity prevails, but take the worldwide reproductive rate back up to about 4.2 children per generation, add that we can somehow feed all those kids for a few generations and so the rate can (temporarily, from a long enough perspective) stay that high, and now guess which group eventually gets bigger than the other way.).
          By the way, surgical sterilization is seldom reversable. The usual effect is that closing off the tubes (for either gender) triggers internal scarring and often within a couple of years an autoimmune reaction sets in which causes the eggs to become infertile or the sperm to not fully form. The odds of a pregnancy resulting from a successful reversal are as low as 20% for the most common methods of female sterilization, although there is a procedure involving simply banding the tubes with clips or rings and doing no cutting and this gives odds as high as 70%. Male sterilization reversal has slightly better odds than that, but this assumes the surgeon did the original procedure with an eye towards eventual reversal, the reversal can include more than a simple reconnection but be followed as necessary with a complete epididymal repair (with a doctor who can determine on the fly which of three different procedures should be used after he or she actually gets in there) and the auto immune reation didn't happen. We're talking about a great success rate if you have one of a few dozen extremely skilled doctors who can do that work, but those guys are a bit like heart transplant surgeons - they don't grow on trees, and they don't come cheap. If you pay a doctor public clinic wages to bulk sterilize poor people, he or she won't be a doctor with that sort of success rate on reversals. You're making something sound simple and reliable which is actually pretty much experimental rocket science, and nobody should get sterilized with the idea that it can reliably be fixed if they change their mind or circumstances..

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40132759)

Let's not forget the most likely cause of future reduction in America's middle-class (and above) birth rates: thirtysomething men who happily occupy their rent-free wing of Mom & Dad's McMansion, and have relatively high-paying jobs that finance cool toys, nice cars, a half-dozen vacations, and casual sex with college-age girls roughly 2/3 their age (shamelessly outspending their frustrated, mostly celibate college-age male peers) and have zero interest in dating girls their own age, because those girls all seem to be obsessed with marriage and having kids -- something they have zero interest in. Their college-age fsckbuddies view pregnancy as a major social disaster, use birth control, and run to their local abortion clinic at the slightest hint of pregnancy.

Thirtysomething women, meanwhile, increasingly find themselves forced to choose between having a child by artificial insemination (and rendering themselves un-dateable and likely to be single until their kid(s) are in college) and rolling the dice with a first pregnancy in their 40s by holding out hope that maybe some guy in his late 40s or 50s will finally grow up and decide he wants to be a dad... and that he really, truly DOES want to get married -- now -- and have kids, and isn't just losing his ability to score with 20something college girls & settling for "Plan B".

It's already happening, but the trend is clear -- given the chance, men can (and will) defer marriage (and parenthood) as long as they possibly can, and are perfectly happy extending adolescence into their 30s and beyond. Women, meanwhile, are running against a fairly fixed deadline that might be a tiny bit negotiable, but will ultimately arrive LONG before men their age who feel zero pressure to cooperate will feel the same way. Parents who are tolerant and smart recognize that grandkids are nice (in theory), but having their son around well into adulthood is potentially more useful. It might not be a strategy Evolution would smile upon, but from the rational viewpoint of two self-interested parents, it's not a bad idea.

It's actually not hard to see a future where a large plurality of kids in school have a lesbian couple as parents (because they'd be one of the only groups left that still tended to be married and having kids in their early 30s), and a slightly larger group of heterosexual women who form households, have kids via artificial insemination, and eventually engage in "reverse polygamy" -- finding one of the few men of their age, educational background, and social class who actually DOES want to get married and have kids, and marrying him together. And of course, the remainder of kids, with mothers who won't be twice their age until they're in high school.

And the guys who didn't marry into a reverse-polygamous household and eventually get to be too old to pick up college girls, regardless of how much money they have? They eventually end up dating women their age, after those women's kids are in college (or beyond).

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

der_pinchy (1053896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40133009)

my gawd dude. why are you projecting so hard?

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (0)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#40134705)

given the chance, men can (and will) defer marriage (and parenthood) as long as they possibly can

Speak for yourself. Some of us don't want to remain children.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (2)

Disfnord (1077111) | about 2 years ago | (#40135055)

Right, because the only way to become a real adult is to have a kid. What the fuck? If that's your reason for having kids, you probably aren't mature enough to be having kids.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (2)

Holladon (1620389) | about 2 years ago | (#40136321)

zero interest in dating girls their own age, because those girls all seem to be obsessed with marriage and having kids -- something they have zero interest in. Their college-age fsckbuddies view pregnancy as a major social disaster, use birth control, and run to their local abortion clinic at the slightest hint of pregnancy.

I think what you mean is that they *assume* women their age are so obsessed. There's actually an emerging trend of thirtysomething women who are less concerned about marriage per se than about partnership, and who have no particular desire for children (or, at least, for biological children -- which negates most of the pressure of that pesky "biological clock" people so enjoy clucking their tongues about). We're well aware of how much people give up by having kids, and just because we have ovaries doesn't magically render us incapable of a hint of selfishness. And the majority of my female friends who've gotten abortions have done so in their thirties. As a thirtysomething woman, were I to wake up pregnant (in spite of the precautions I take to prevent it), that's where I'd go, myself. I suspect such men's preference for younger women stems less from the rational "I want people who want the same things I want" point of view you seem happy to infer on their behalf, and more from a troublingly immature "I don't want to have to deal with women as people, so I'll date someone too young to know who she is yet" perspective.

Thirtysomething women, meanwhile, increasingly find themselves forced to choose between having a child by artificial insemination (and rendering themselves un-dateable and likely to be single until their kid(s) are in college)

When I hear people talking this way about dating someone who has a child, I certainly agree that there's an undateable person in the equation -- and it's not the one with the kid. As an aside, I always find it entertaining when people decide on a particular way of viewing human nature, come up with a halfway-believable attribution to evolutionary pressures, and call it "evolutionary psychology." It's kind of like a college freshman who's decided he's a "philosopher" because he just learned why the cogito is important.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#40136771)

If this weren't Slashdot I'd swear you were a thirty something husband hunter.

The best correlation with birthrate is female education. That strongly suggests that it's the women who want to defer (or skip entirely) having kids in favour of building careers.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40134517)

Letting nature control population means relying on one or more of nature's methods. These are also known as War, Famine, Pestilence and Death.

War is never natural. Everything created by man is artificial by definition. Unless we are talking about wars between chimps clans. Famine may or may not be truly natural too. Pestilence can be artificial, though I don't think it happened yet. Death may result from any of the above and many other causes, natural and unnatural.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#40134713)

It's just a long winded fight, with many bouts. Nature fights.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

cribera (2560179) | more than 2 years ago | (#40133419)

i propose first we start with a simple new federal law. if you take food stamps, WIC, SNAP, etc., you are required to be surgically sterlized. start with the negligent parents who can't afford children. if they start to prosper they can afford to reverse the surgery. till then, i don't give a damn who feels "offended" by this - if you can barely afford to feed yourself and you want to have children who are going to go hungry, you don't deserve to have children you selfish fuck. anybody wanna calmly, with logic, tell me why that is faulty?

I dont know why the above comment was moderated negatively. Its true, we are 7+ billion now. How come people who can't get food for themselves, is allowed to bring more children?

Look what happened in China, with their one-child policy. Sure there were disadvatages, but, do you think China would be better now, if such policy would be never implemented?

If you feel to scared of massive sterilization, how about a one-child policy in any poor/overpopulated country? Doy you think India would be damaged with such policy?

Why is that 'politically correct' BS always is imposed over strict rationality?

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (2)

progician (2451300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40133685)

The thing is, that people with these excessive sense of self-importance think that the enlightened West should teach the world about how to reduce the population so the Western way of life could continue. That's the real problem here not the idea of birth-control.

First of all, look at the Western countries. It's not all that fun, if we put our demographics in perspective. An ageing population with decreasing number of active hands and hence, falling productivity. You can catch the tendencies of the problem around funding the healthcare, the education, and other stuff not because of immigration, but quite the opposite. We have a declining number of productive, healthy, young, fresh people, hence their political position is declining too, and the politics now in the western countries is characterized by the "politics of pension". The younger generation gets bleaker and bleaker prospects of life compared to the more numerous successive older generations. Gonna be great!

The western countries, this lifestyle certainly produces less children than the poverty stricken, poorly educated masses in places like in India. However, you should know that the rate of population growth around the globe has declined, and now barely up a little to the sustaining level 3 kid-model (World average between 2005-2010 was 2.52). Given that the wealth distribution is ridiculously uneven in the world, and the advance of technology, there's absolutely no reason why the world population should decrease. Enforcing one-child policies need social engineering and state power that contradicts with the very thing we would like to achieve: wide-spread growth in the general quality of life. In fact, such a social engineering also threatens with an other problems, such as gender parity issues (like the one in China, which could turn out quite nasty on the long term).

If we manage to sustain the population on the current level or only a slightly higher the future of human race is tied up with the quality of life we can spread around the planet. The more people get healthy, proper nutritious food, good education, stable circumstances, learning to cooperate with the rest of the world, the faster we get to a blooming human race, that can evolve in all sense to reach further than this lovely, but limited gravity well.

No matter how people like simplify things, the demographic issues are more complex than they think. It's all about social-political-economic-cultural system that you want to redesign or even revolutionize to get to finally flourish the human race and the rest of the planet.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (2)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#40134503)

Hi... I am a member of the screwed over generation.

1)Home is worthless because of the irresponsibility of the previous generations
2)Saddled in huge student loan debt because of the lack of care that previous generations had for controlling the cost inflation...they got theirs as it were.
3)Stagnating wages so the old people can keep their high wages and pensions
4)If the wrong people get elected, I will lose middle class tax breaks (mortgage interest deduction, child deduction, etc), because the middle class is apparently a special interest?

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40133815)

The fact that it's called "politically" correct in the first place answers the question.

People in power ALWAYS make the decisions, that's what being IN POWER means.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#40134477)

The only problem with the comment is that it is a paradox. A conservative mind came up with it. to have such a program, the conservative would have to come to terms with the fact that it must be paid for through taxes...so...never gonna happen.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

the gnat (153162) | about 2 years ago | (#40135245)

Why is that 'politically correct' BS always is imposed over strict rationality?

I dunno, some of us have an instinctual aversion to totalitarian social engineering imposed in the name of "strict rationality"... might have something to do with the 20th century.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (0)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131537)

cancer is evolution. It's how DNA tries new stuff. If it works, survival. If it doesn't work, death.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (2)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131683)

cancer is evolution. It's how DNA tries new stuff. If it works, survival. If it doesn't work, death.

Most of that applies to mutation. Are you saying that all cancers are the result of mutation, all mutation causes cancer, or something else?

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#40134523)

cancer is not evolution....it is caused, for most cancers, by a local mutation of somatic cells that produces cancer cells in a specific tissue. The mutation is due to environmental conditions (poor nutrition, poor habits, etc).

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#40134733)

Inflammation and heart disease and (Type II) diabetes are all intimately tied together, too. One wonders...and hopes.

Re:But how long before this is actually usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40136549)

Non-Contributing Internet Poster Disappointed in Scientists. Wants to be Immortal Now.

Where is the (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40130919)

political angle? This is SLASHDOT, you know. People with PLAQUES ON THE WALL who believe that GOVERNMENT is our LORD and SAVIOR and the SOLUTION to EVERY problem. Come on, where is the political angle?

Re:Where is the (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131013)

Don't worry, this guy found it [slashdot.org] . Down with regulations!!

"aging and inflammation.The two, if not regulated" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40130993)

how does one regulate aging?

Re:"aging and inflammation.The two, if not regulat (5, Funny)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131237)

how does one regulate aging?

Convince Republicans that it involves gays marrying.

Re:"aging and inflammation.The two, if not regulat (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131691)

Yeah, but that's how you can regulate anything.

Re:"aging and inflammation.The two, if not regulat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40132257)

Perhaps Republicans really don't care about gay marriage and just want to be loud about something to distract you from seeing them robbing you blind?

Re:"aging and inflammation.The two, if not regulat (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131319)

By regulating the damage that's results as people get older. It's not the age that's generally the problem it's these processes that go on causing small amounts of damage over decades. Things like the telemeres shortening and eventually cutting into vital DNA during replication. And the damage that inflammation does to things like the cardiovascular system.

Re:"aging and inflammation.The two, if not regulat (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | about 2 years ago | (#40137403)

I think a point to be made is that the opposite of accellerated aging due to lack of AUF1 (and its effect on causing repairing ends of DNA) is not delaying aging and prolonging life, it's normal aging.

And while delaying aging based on perpetually repairing ends of DNA, as an interested layman reading Weinberg's Biology of Cancer, cell immortalization "is a step that appears to govern the development of all human cancers."

In other words, that's one of the universal mutations that enable human cancer, as I understand it. Otherwise the cells with critical mutations enabling cancer would die off.

Link to actual paper? (1)

Prune (557140) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131015)

Would someone be kind enough to post a link to the paper or at least its name?

Re:Link to actual paper? (5, Informative)

jrminter (1123885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131045)

Re:Link to actual paper? (1)

jrminter (1123885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131069)

The authors found this in mice. Seems premature to assume that this same mechanism exists in humans.

Re:Link to actual paper? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131173)

But if he *swallowed* a mouse it would be in a human.

Re:Link to actual paper? (2)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131355)

Human DNA has teleomerase and teleomeres . Its known that inflammation and infection leads to swelling. Like arthritis patients - when the immune system gets hyperactive, white T-cells go into an "angry" state and attack healthy cells. The eventual destruction due to this pricess ends up with joints losing cartilage, grinding agsinst each other and causing more inflammation.

So? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131087)

What's the point of a longer life anyway? Jim Morrison only lived 27 years but his life was certainly more awesome than most people's lives.

Or even Jesus of Nazareth, he only lived 33 years and he changed history more than pretty much anyone. All of western civilization was shaped by this one guy who had a pretty short life.

Re:So? (4, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131293)

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying. - Woody Allen

I have to say that I agree with this sentiment. I'd much rather be me living now, than The Buddha himself, as I still get to breathe, etc.

Re:So? (2)

CapOblivious2010 (1731402) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131441)

The secret to a long life is actually very simple: Keep Breathing. That's all there is to it!

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40132167)

Buddha didn't go to Nirvana when he died, the entire point is that he achieved enlightenment (got to Nirvana) while alive.

Re:So? (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#40134533)

Achieving enlightenment is not going to Nirvana. Nirvana is a state that one is reincarnated to once enlightenment during one's life has been reached. Death is a requirement for reincarnation.

Re:So? (1)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#40134785)

Nirvana is the END of reincarnation. The point is to stop reincarnating not to continue it.

Re:So? Why these richs don't finance research? (1)

cribera (2560179) | more than 2 years ago | (#40133733)

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying. - Woody Allen

I have to say that I agree with this sentiment. I'd much rather be me living now, than The Buddha himself, as I still get to breathe, etc.

The Woody Allens who donñt want to die, and many other billionaires in a similar situation.

How much worty their millions (or billions) have for them, when they die?

Why they dont invest more heavily in PROVEN research?

What could be more proving that financing in a more heavy way to guys like these? http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2009/ [nobelprize.org]

More and better assistants, better equipments, maids, chauffeurs, cooks, vacations (to recharge batteries) whatever is needed to keep people like these FOCUSED on research and at the top of their productivity and creativity?

Even if it's not 100% sure the billionaires are going to be saved, at least it's better than accepting death without doing anything, isn't it? And they're paving the road for their children and grandchildren at least (perhaps if frozen, their immortal children and grandchildren could try to bring them back, as a way to say thanks.

Re:So? Why these richs don't finance research? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 2 years ago | (#40137433)

Tragedy of the commons - the same reason why everybody screams about drug companies making money.

Doing research costs money. Once the research is done, knowing the results of that research usually costs very little. So, why not just let somebody else pay for it?

The true cost of research isn't what it cost to run the experiment that lead to the breakthrough. The real cost is all those experiments that led to nothing useful at all. The problem is that you can't have the first without doing a lot of the second.

Re:So? (1)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#40134779)

The Buddha is not an external entity, friend. Being in the now is being the Buddah.

Re:So? (1)

zenasprime (207132) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131297)

I'm pretty sure I can find something interesting to do with the extra years. :p

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131503)

It is amazing how many people who say this, but waste their lives away watching TV and playing video games.

Re:So? (2)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131719)

Different things mean different things to different people. Who's to say someone watching TV and playing video games wasn't interesting to them? Or do we as a people dictate whether someone can have a greater life expectancy only if they are reasonably sure to do something perceived extraordinary by the general public?

Re:So? (5, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40132535)

Define 'waste', please.

If suddenly I could live for another 500+ years I don't see what harm it would do if I spent some of that time enjoying myself.

I would still be able to read more books, study more things and be more productive than I ever could have if I only lived to be 80 or so.

The argument you're making is hardly unique and when taken to its logical conclusion is that we should all sleep on the ground, work all waking hours and eat mass-produced nutrient slurry because anything more than that would be decadent and wasteful indulgences.

Even more so (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 2 years ago | (#40135463)

I'm pretty sure I can find something interesting to do with the extra years. :p

Ditto.

Even more so if, during the extra years, I am as healthy as I was at 20 (jogging as a normal gait) rather than at 65 (aching slightly all the time, pain in the morning, joints starting to fail, ...)

Coming from a line of people that typically lives to see birthdays numbered in the low nineties, I can say that even if I DON'T get any extra years it would still be a fine bonus to live just the rest of the same number without the inflammation and the impairment of body functions and healing due to cell senescence.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131437)

The question is what would Jim Morrison have accomplished had he not died at age 27. Unfortunately we'll never know, but that's really the question you should be answering. Presumably he would have put out at least one more album and done a few more shows.

Jesus is different, if you believe the Christian account he largely became a figure through death and resurrection.

Re:So? (4, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131701)

On the other hand, Shakyamuni Buddha lived into his 80s, Jean Manual Fangio only gave up professional motor racing in his 90s, and the Queen Mother was conducting human experiments on the effects of gin past the century mark.

Re:So? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#40132269)

On the other hand, Shakyamuni Buddha lived into his 80s, Jean Manual Fangio only gave up professional motor racing in his 90s, and the Queen Mother was conducting human experiments on the effects of gin past the century mark.

Fangio was born June 24 1911 and died July 17 1995, and he did give up professional motor racing in his 90's.

Re:So? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#40136791)

Now that's talent.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40133349)

What's the point of a longer life anyway?

You say this now, but if you were told you had just a few months to live, I really doubt your reaction would be "eh, no big deal".

Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131093)

It explains why I look 10 years younger and also have AS :/ Another article explaining the connection http://www.edoc.co.za/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=2390 [edoc.co.za]

The flip side (2)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131519)

Obviously this sounds like an amazing and important discovery, perhaps the holy grail of cancer research.

Imagine a world where you just pop a pill and keep living as long as you want. Without additionally having drastic population control, that's going to doom us to a totally unsustainable world, if we don't have that already. But even with that unlikely flip-side, imagine a population that is just fixed at some point with the people it has right now, never dying, never having offspring. How creepy would that be?

Jut sayin' - food for thought (and maybe a sci-fi novel).

Re:The flip side (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40131579)

Have you seen child birth? Or an autopsy? Those things are creepy. Being able to watch Seinfeld reruns for a thousand years? Not so creepy.

Re:The flip side (3, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131741)

There are many, many genes involved in different forms of cancer, the most this will do is impact research in a few forms of the disease.

Immortality would get tedious after a while. What you really want is a method to transcribe the contents of the brain plus the original genome of the body, altered to include a flesh-eating component that is normally inactive. When the body inevitably wears out, you make a few adjustments to the genome to prevent that cause of death killing you again. You then make the stem cell "carnivorous", using the raw material of your old body to create a new one, re-inserting "you" into the new brain in the process.

I call this technique "regeneration" and think that, in the interests of population control, people should be limited to 12 of them.

Re:The flip side (1)

steveha (103154) | more than 2 years ago | (#40133329)

I call this technique "regeneration" and think that, in the interests of population control, people should be limited to 12 of them.

Okay, admit it: you didn't think of this yourself! Did you get this idea from some sort of Doctor? WHO?

Re:The flip side (1)

jd (1658) | about 2 years ago | (#40135517)

I am Rassilon! Besides, if prior art isn't a problem for patents.... :)

Re:The flip side (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#40136581)

Immortality would get tedious after a while.

Speak for yourself. I can think of things to do that would fill a loooooong time.

Re:The flip side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40133157)

Might make a good novel...
Or maybe you should read "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow" a short story by Kurt Vonnegut?
Or maybe you should watch the movie "Children of Men"?

I'm sure there are numerous other works as well.

After those, if you feel, a novel should still be written about the subject, then go for it.

Re:The flip side (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40133845)

Without additionally having drastic population control, that's going to doom us to a totally unsustainable world

Nah. We're already on the cusp of the dawn of the true space age, there's all the room in the universe out there. Even if there wasn't, people aren't gaping maws of resource consumption, they are overall producers. The real trick will be to bring developing countries up to western standards of living, that way population growth will even out. Look at that Indian kid that solved the physics problem in Germany lately, how many like him are languishing in slums across the globe? Wicked waste of human potential.

Our goal must be to bring everyone to their maximum potential, population growth will solve itself at that point.

Re:The flip side (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#40135325)

And if immortality was achieved, would people start to be super careful about not dying for "non-natural causes"? I mean, wouldn't it suck to have lived 1000 years and then die in a car accident. Unless the immortality would somehow cover those cases too.

"To Live Forever" (4, Interesting)

bdwoolman (561635) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131629)

Jack Vance explored some of the social implications of selective immortality in his weird murder mystery. To Live Forever [wikipedia.org] As I read about possible life extension breakthroughs in the news and contemplate the implications -- we really do seem to be getting somewhere -- I often catch myself thinking about this insightful lesser known work of the reclusive and gifted Mr. Vance.

Re:"To Live Forever" (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40134645)

I'm a lot more worried about an engineered flu virus that flips these bits and makes you die early and inflamed. Guess now we know what Captain Trips will be made from.

In this week’s issue of (-1, Offtopic)

cffvdgb (2648771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40131813)

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so.... (2)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 2 years ago | (#40132479)

does this mean researchers know where to look in regards to a cure for accelerated aging diseases?

sand making machine (-1)

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old news is old (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40133461)

This isn't new. Nothing on Slashdot is new. The future has already been planned out for us, every little
'new' thing that comes out to the public has already been done years ago. The iPod, etc all should of been out a more than a decade ago.

Just ask yourself this. Lets say someone makes a invention that extends life beyond 200 years, without cancer/health problems, everyone in the world is able to get a piece.

Do you honestly think the government is gonna be quick, and give the world wants/needs, etc?
No, first they are gonna plan, study, etc Find out the negative effects. Even it it cost a penny to create, they would make it so only the 1 percent were wealthy enough to afford it at first. Or just flat out not tell the world about anything, just keep it under the covers.

It shows how ignorant the world can be. Every new piece of technology that comes out, people are just thunderstruck by it.
The stupidity amazes me. We should go back to when the wheel was first invented in 3,500 B.C, and just gaze at the amazing technology it is, because
100 years from now every piece of technology today will just be a piece of shlt.

Wow we are such a technologically advanced civilization. We drive around in our cars, sit inside our houses all day, talk on our phones, etc

Here is the future of humanity:
Every language except 3 or 4 of top used languages become dead,
Religion will be practically non-existent, everyone is atheist
Homosexuality increases (it has been increasing exponentially, and with a fall in religion)
we achieve immortal-like status, we live very long, safety is no longer a issue any where due to technology
there are no what you call countries, just continents.
No murders(ZOMGs did he say no war? Ask yourself why does it seem every generation seems to be more feminine(passive) than the last), no cancer, disease. People can smoke all day, eat like shit all day, lay on their ass, yet still be healthy

No one gives a shlt though, people just say fuk it I'm gonna work for the government, can't beat em join em.

This is the future, what I call hell. It's already hell, but at-least we have death to escape it.

We don't really need this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40134411)

I don't believe there are too many people in the world. We just don't live frugally and sustainably. We don't need people living forever unless they win some kind of life lottery via their own consent and are afforded the right to end their own life of their own free will and volition at any point after 100 years. For cancer research, I think we should permit it's use provided the longevity is removed, if that's possible. Otherwise, I think, we need to think about uthanasia for all old people. We're in no fit state to be living forever IMO.God, I hope I'm right for typing this. I'm not a globalist, but I don't think the world can handle unending generations of 'consumer gods'.

Also, sooner or later, you will die. I assure you, no matter how much you know about your genes. This is why we procreate. I would never consent to replacing children with undieing old people.

aging aircraft links the Pope to Elvis Presley (2)

epine (68316) | about 2 years ago | (#40134423)

Most wide-eyed researchers started off expecting 60,000 genes in the human genome yet we found something closer to 20,000 when the mist settled.

By my early childhood instruction in improper fractions, it's not impossible that all 20,000 genes are holding down multiple jobs to make ends meet.

I am sure this gene activates and deactivates (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#40134439)

I am sure this gene activates and deactivates based on environmental conditions. If I had to wager, I will be anti-inflammatory subspances have a huge effect on this gene.

That Key Gene (1)

ToddInSF (765534) | about 2 years ago | (#40135913)

What a fucking bastard he is...
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