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New Research Could Slow Human Aging

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the slowing-things-down dept.

Biotech 180

schliz writes "A team of scientists from Japan and New Zealand have helped baker's yeast live 50% longer than usual by artificially stabilizing a genetic sequence called ribosomal DNA. The study's authors say that rDNA is a 'hot spot for production of the aging signal.' Because rDNA genes are very similar in yeast and humans, they say their experiment is a first step towards anti-aging drugs."

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How does that work? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802457)

So, by doing new research, I won't age as fast?

Re:How does that work? (5, Insightful)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#44802481)

Well, remaining mentally and physically active has been linked to prolonged life spans . . .

Re:How does that work? (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44802611)

Well, remaining mentally and physically active has been linked to prolonged life spans . . .

And vice versa, confirmed by a recent study on a large group of scientists with the control group being the local cemetery.

Re:How does that work? (1)

kesuki (321456) | about a year ago | (#44802717)

over active people also wear out their body parts with the exertion. there is a happy medium though and i think that it just needed to be clarified. if you run several super marathons every year its going to kill you early... if you run a 5k it's all good.

Re:How does that work? (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#44802773)

over active people also wear out their body parts with the exertion. there is a happy medium though and i think that it just needed to be clarified. if you run several super marathons every year its going to kill you early... if you run a 5k it's all good.

I think more studies are showing that intermittent interval sorts of exercise are the best.

You do explosive runs for short bursts...and then do slow walking, lower activities in between, but these short intense explosions of activity mixed with low intensity activity seems to have the best effect on the human body.

At least from what I'm reading these days...

Re:How does that work? (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#44802795)

It goes without saying that taking something to extremes leads to different results.

Re:How does that work? (2)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year ago | (#44802975)

Well, remaining mentally and physically active has been linked to prolonged life spans . . .

Right. So if I work hard, exercise and deprive myself of good food, I might live long enough for them to slow down my aging process to 1/10th of normal. And I'll have a chipper 4 more years until death, instead of several weeks.

Re:How does that work? (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#44803061)

Not right. That's not what I said.

Re:How does that work? (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#44803313)

And as this study shows, genetics can play an even larger part. But try convincing my 84 year old mother that, she's convinced eating right and getting exercise was why she's old and healthy, despite the fact that she's the baby of the family and almost all of her siblings are still alive. One is 99 and owned a bar when she was middle aged, my guess from knowing bar owners she was far from a teetotaler.

Now I understand what part of my DNA had the health screeners say my vitals showed a healthy forty year old and excellent for someone 61. They thought I must work out, but I get little exercise and eat a lot of junk food, drink a little beer and have smoked pot for four decades. Most people are amazed that I'm over 50. Of course, my rDNA won't keep me from staggering in front of a bus or something.

If all your grandparents died of natural causes before age 60, no amount of diet or exercise will keep you alive past 70. But perhaps this research will come up with something that will.

Re:How does that work? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803389)

And as this study shows, genetics can play an even larger part. But try convincing my 84 year old mother that, she's convinced eating right and getting exercise was why she's old and healthy, despite the fact that she's the baby of the family and almost all of her siblings are still alive. One is 99 and owned a bar when she was middle aged, my guess from knowing bar owners she was far from a teetotaler.

This has been long known.

Dawn, n: The time when men of reason go to bed. Certain old men prefer to rise at about that time, taking a cold bath and a long walk with an empty stomach, and otherwise mortifying the flesh. They then point with pride to these practices as the cause of their sturdy health and ripe years; the truth being that they are hearty and old, not because of their habits, but in spite of them. The reason we find only robust persons doing this thing is that it has killed all the others who have tried it.

Re:How does that work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803401)

And as this study shows, genetics can play an even larger part. But try convincing my 84 year old mother that, she's convinced eating right and getting exercise was why she's old and healthy, despite the fact that she's the baby of the family and almost all of her siblings are still alive. One is 99 and owned a bar when she was middle aged, my guess from knowing bar owners she was far from a teetotaler.

This has been long known.

Dawn, n: The time when men of reason go to bed. Certain old men prefer to rise at about that time, taking a cold bath and a long walk with an empty stomach, and otherwise mortifying the flesh. They then point with pride to these practices as the cause of their sturdy health and ripe years; the truth being that they are hearty and old, not because of their habits, but in spite of them. The reason we find only robust persons doing this thing is that it has killed all the others who have tried it.

Apologies for omitting the attribution. The above is from The Devil's Dictionary [thedevilsdictionary.com]

Re:How does that work? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44803025)

So, by doing new research, I won't age as fast?

Perhaps you may not age as fast, but if you enjoy living less (somewhat how I hear marriage goes) what's the point?

Re:How does that work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803467)

will I also be able to convert starches into alcohol and C02?

Re:How does that work? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44803487)

will I also be able to convert starches into alcohol and C02?

Most likely you will continue to produce CH4.

two liters of wine a day doesnt work??? (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#44803635)

I was working on that megadose of natural reservatol.

But (4, Funny)

nani popoki (594111) | about a year ago | (#44802479)

...when 900 yeas old you be, look so good you will not!

Re:But (3, Funny)

macraig (621737) | about a year ago | (#44802525)

Even at 900, spell better than you Yoda could!

Re:But (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#44803335)

His keyboard is 370 years old and the R doesn't work any more.

Re:But (1)

macraig (621737) | about a year ago | (#44803373)

It's a Northgate Omni, huh?

Re:But (2)

mjpollard (473241) | about a year ago | (#44802539)

Unless you're a Time Lord, in which case you stand a good chance of looking like David Tennant or Matt Smith. I could live with that.

Re:But (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44802557)

Not until we figger out regeneration.

Re: But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802889)

Slower aging, regeneration; six of one, half dozen of your mother.

Are governments interested in long lifespans? (0)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44802505)

I suspect, the governments — the leading stewards of the research dollars — aren't particularly interested in lengthening the lifespans. Because delaying the retirement age is politically difficult, such lengthening may further enlarge the number of people receiving retirement benefits.

Other social aspects will be affected too — such as bosses not retiring for longer, thus slowing down careers of the underlings.

Obviously, it would ultimately be a good thing for society, but not without quite some upheaval and costs [imf.org] . By trusting the government to spend the research dollars, that are already taxed away from us, we may have slowed this particular research down a bit...

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802591)

These problems are all solvable. Give people an option: 1) Receive treatment, accept delayed retirement age. 2) Forego treatment, retire when planned.

To paraphrase Barack Obama, if you like the lifespan you currently have, then you can keep it.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802983)

A shame it's not "if you like the privacy you currently have, you can keep it."

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802599)

We could adopt the solution they came up with in Logan's Run.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#44802793)

We could adopt the solution they came up with in Logan's Run.

What? Everyone only lives till age 21?

(from the original book, much better than the lame movie).

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803217)

Great. The blinking light in my hands went out of battery a lot time ago.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802609)

I suspect that those in power are very interested in it for themselves and much less so for the average populace.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (2)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44802623)

I suspect that those in power are very interested in it for themselves

I suspect, it is too late for the people already in power to be getting any sorts of treatment. Thus, they have no prospect of benefit for themselves...

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44802841)

This is likely true; but mortality salience isn't one of those factors that you really get conscious control over, any more than fear of flying is cured through statistical demonstration of its (superb) safety record...

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802663)

Makes perfect sense for Japan and other countries experiencing population crashes and not especially keen to weaken immigration controls. Making currently-younger people live longer, and presumably healthier during that prolonged period, mitigates the working-age population. Doesn't help places like the US so much.

It would also mean adjusting the public pension schemes of many countries, but they kind of needed to do that anyway.

What about prison for some a life sentence shout (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802749)

What about prison for some a life sentence is to shout and we can get a lot of labor out of inmates

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44802757)

Whatever keeps people paying into the system while raising the retirement age, ne?

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44802759)

Other social aspects will be affected too — such as bosses not retiring for longer, thus slowing down careers of the underlings.

Most everyone's careers would get slowered by that, perhaps proportionally to the lengthening of the active phase of life. But is that a bad thing? It would generally mean that people who get into higher positions would have more experience at average.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (1)

niado (1650369) | about a year ago | (#44802767)

This presupposes that our politicians withhold dollars from this sort of research to help their successors avoid difficult political decisions...these types of breakthroughs would take decades to produce anything even remotely practicable, and it would probably be a century before any imagined longevity vs. retirement age conflict became an issue.

I am pretty cynical when it comes to politics, but that's way out on a limb.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#44802809)

if you aren't aging then you are still viable as a worker. This isn't just extending the time we're elderly, this is extending the time we're in our prime work years.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (1)

Mr_Plattz (1589701) | about a year ago | (#44802813)

I challenge your comment that "it would ultimately be a good thing for society". I look around and I'm not particularly impressed. My neighbour downstairs is 29 with a 13 year old daughter and is on social security (called the dole in Australia) - never worked. Based on her first 29 years, I cannot see anything good coming to society for her living an extra 40 years.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802825)

Not sure how this tripe was moderated interesting. You're a buffoon.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (1)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44803127)

Not sure how this tripe was moderated interesting. You're a buffoon.

Let me guess... You were offended by my questioning the wisdom of our letting the government decide, what aspects of medicine should be helped with our dollars?

Wow... The big-government fans are certainly easy to degrade into name-calling...

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44802827)

"I suspect, the governments — the leading stewards of the research dollars — aren't particularly interested in lengthening the lifespans"

I suspect that it hinges more on 'lengthening lifespans' vs. 'slowing aging'. Weak, sick, old people are not something anybody with medical or pension obligations really want living longer. If people became weak, sick, and old more slowly, though, you'd score more person-years of post-childhood, post-education, experienced labor (and, given most people's preparations for retirement, having them just say 'eh, fuck it' and stop working could largely be avoided, with the added "benefit" of keeping young workers in cheap, entry-level positions for much longer periods of time).

If this sort of research were steered purely by economic considerations, 'anti-aging' would probably be be behind dealing with common causes of mortality in children and young adults; but would be ahead of treating things that mostly kill old people. (Also worth remembering: 'the governments', if a useful generalization can be drawn at all, are heavily skewed toward people who are themselves... not exactly getting any younger. Compare the US population generally [wikipedia.org] with Congress [wsj.com] . If legislating with one foot in the grave doesn't increase the apparent need for anti-aging research, I'm not sure what would...)

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (1)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44803107)

If people became weak, sick, and old more slowly, though, you'd score more person-years of post-childhood, post-education, experienced labor

Of course! This is why I said, it will be ultimately useful to society. However, it would require delaying the retirement, which is a difficult thing to do politically.

A 67 year-old may — thanks to some miracle treatment — be hale and healthy, but he is still legally entitled to pension.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802909)

Government? Hell, I hope you never have to return something at a store. With even more old people the line to customer service counters will be so long it will have cops directing traffic.

If old people love anything more than a captive audience (employee) who's not allowed to say "leave me alone" or "no one cares that it wasn't just so", I couldn't tell you what it is. So many of them seem lonely and desperate for attention and apparently any kind will do.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (1)

stephenmac7 (2700151) | about a year ago | (#44802979)

Which, of course, would be why you would not trust the government to do anything of this sort.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (1)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44803175)

Which, of course, would be why you would not trust the government to do anything of this sort.

I wouldn't, of course. Unfortunately, Socialism has this sort of appeal to the "low-information voter".

Any question like: "Would you like the government to help research life-saving medicines?" — gets a resounding "yes" from many people. Without it occurring to most, that it means, the government officials — the same omniscient and benevolent folks, who have already given us the Department of Motor Vehicles, the NSA, the Post Office, Amtrak and commuter rail — will be deciding, what "life-saving" means, and how the research is to be conducted.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803069)

That's not the barrier to this sort of thing. The main barrier is that people see the whole idea of radical or even moderate life extension as a joke. It's all a myth, right, like the fountain of youth? If people could snap out of their death worship long enough to realize that life extension is as much of a possible medical target as anything else is, there would be riots in the streets to get more funding for such lines of research. As it is, I don't think that will happen until someone actually comes up with a workable way of extending healthy life in humans by a decade or so. At that point it will be obvious to everyone that it is possible because it has already been done and all the stupid excuses for why it's bad will go away because people will realize that they, in fact, DO want this treatment that will significantly extend their healthy life. With current minimal levels of funding, it will probably be a very long time until that happens, but it will happen. After that point there will be so much funding for the research that there'll likely be rapid progress since then all of the promising low hanging fruit can be picked all at once in parallel.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803157)

I am 62 and have heard of these "life extending" findings since I was 20. I have been waiting 42 years for these "life extending" drugs, findings, developments, devices. These have never materialized.

Now with increase delays caused by the Federal Government, they will never, ever reach to marketplace. Neither I nor you will be able to buy and consume these. There is a high price to pay from developing the safety of drugs/device/etc. more strictly than the Europeans. The European standards permit more death per 1,000 people taking/using than the USA. The Federal Government is killing us, literally in the case of life extending" stuff, through over-regulation and over-taxation.

Re:Are governments interested in long lifespans? (3, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#44803689)

I agree that this would create massive social issues.

However the idea that delaying the retirement age is politically difficult is only valid in the current context. In a society where people live 50% longer I think there would be great political will to adjust the retirement age to compensate.

It's been done before in response to much weaker motivation.

It may ultimately have big economic advantages. For example:

1. Increased incentive to take care of one's health.
2. Better return (over a longer lifetime) on the costs of raising and educating a child.
3. Increased incentives to save.
4. Better depth of experience for making decisions by adults.

The bad side:

Without term limits we could end up with some really fucking old Congressmen and members of the Supreme Court.

I for one welcome... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802511)

... Our immortal yeast overlords.

With a world population of 7 billion, (1, Flamebait)

Nutria (679911) | about a year ago | (#44802527)

fresh water supplies at crisis levels and extreme weather happening more often... worst idea evar!

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44802573)

fresh water supplies at crisis levels and extreme weather happening more often... worst idea evar!

Yea, this - just what we don't need, more and more old and infirm people doubling the amount of resources they use up while providing no net benefit to the rest of society.

I mean, if we're talking about a system that will stop the aging process at, say, 30, and leave you with that body for the next 60-100 years, OK then; but we all know that's not going to be the case.

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44802635)

Don't be silly. The poor won't get to stop aging at 30. They will get screwed just like they always have. Only the ultra wealthy will have access to this stuff. Only a small subset of the population will get to stop aging at 30. The rest will get shortened lifespans if anything.

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802693)

Except for the 123 year-old Bolivian sheep herder who may or may not be a vampire.

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#44803151)

Reminds me of that recent dystopian sci-fi movie 'In Time'. Not the greatest flick, but it shows where your point could lead... more or less.

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about a year ago | (#44803419)

My thoughts were 'Repent Harlequin, Cried the Tick Tock Man'.

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#44803353)

This isn't going to make you stop aging at 30, it will simply slow the aging process. Have you not noticed that some people at 50 look 70 and some 60 look 50? Some people simply age faster than others and this study shows why.

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44803605)

Yes, obviously EVIL CORPORATIONS making anti-aging drugs will refuse to sell them to poor people, because EVIL CORPORATIONS like not making money where they can.

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802617)

Obviously, only the rich will get to live longer. That's the beauty of the system.

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (4, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44802687)

longer life expectancy correlates with smaller population growth.. just saying.

btw if you want to buy some fresh water I got plenty to sell. it's not running out. moving it to where people for some stupid historical reason want to live is the problem...

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year ago | (#44802697)

So.... by that logic... are you suggesting we shorten the lifespan of the everyone? Does that seem like a good idea to you?

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (2)

Nutria (679911) | about a year ago | (#44802745)

How in the hell do you equate extending life is a bad idea with contracting life is a good idea? Aren't /. readers supposed to have a higher-than-average level of intelligence?

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44803113)

Aren't /. readers supposed to have a higher-than-average level of intelligence?

No, not for several years now. You're thinking of the old pre-sellout /. before the steep fall in article and comment quality.

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year ago | (#44803215)

It's called "the inverse" [wikipedia.org] .
If A then B. So.... If !A then !B?

Come on dude...

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (1)

Nutria (679911) | about a year ago | (#44803413)

You're assuming the binary solution set of "increase" and "decrease" instead of the trinary "increase", "static" and "decrease".

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803739)

The inverse isn't always necessarily true; neither is the converse. Only the contrapositive is.

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44803239)

How in the hell do you equate extending life is a bad idea with contracting life is a good idea? Aren't /. readers supposed to have a higher-than-average level of intelligence?

Higher-than-your-average-news-site-commentator, but that isn't really saying much.

OTOH, perhaps it's an indication that even the more learned among our species still struggle with issues like cognitive dissonance, false equivalence, and faulty reasoning.

Option 3 is that maybe he knows what he's saying, and is just being a dick.

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44802969)

fresh water supplies at crisis levels and extreme weather happening more often... worst idea evar!

Age-related mortality has a certain special flavor to it, by virtue of being inevitable; but suitably motivated humans can trivially breed substantially above replacement rates even when living rather shorter lives than they do now (and, particularly when talking about women with dubious access to medical care, they often do live substantially shorter lives when breeding well above replacement rates...)

Old people who just won't die, damn it, will present problems of their own; but birthrate is the name of the game when it comes to population size (sure, there's war, famine, and pestilence; but you need a truly epic instance of any of these to equal the demographic effect of, say, the not-even-state-coerced shift in birthrates seen in places that can afford cool stuff like 'birth control' and 'college parties'.)

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (2)

Arrogant Monkey (2818767) | about a year ago | (#44803075)

You could argue the exact opposite. Life extension would just as likely mean folks making the decisions impacting climate and environment now have to live with the consequences.

And if you hadn't noticed, birth rates are dropping precipitously in those countries where poverty rates fall -- China and India are showing this today, just as many of the asian tiger countries did 20 years ago. So much so that we're going to be having real problems in 20-30 years in the developed world, because (aside from the US) we don't have replacement workers coming into the market to replace the ones retiring and dying. We will level off around 10B.

Re:With a world population of 7 billion, (1)

Nutria (679911) | about a year ago | (#44803377)

We will level off around 10B.

That's still too many for a highly mechanized world.

New Research Could Slow Human Aging (1)

milindss (963310) | about a year ago | (#44802665)

Great news for Interstellar travel!

Re:New Research Could Slow Human Aging (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44803011)

Great news for Interstellar travel!

I suspect that it's deep hibernation or nothing (unless you are talking world-ships on a scale that would give most Kuiper belt objects inferiority issues) in that area. Replacing humans as they wear out has never been a huge problem, dealing with upkeep on the functional ones definitely has.

Just what we need... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802677)

Yeah the first assholes after the rich to get this will be the fucking baby boomers so we can deal with those parasitic cocksuckers for another 50 years. Fuck that noise.

What exactly is slowed? (4, Insightful)

jasnw (1913892) | about a year ago | (#44802761)

Does this sort of thing cover both the aging of the body and the brain? What's the gain in living to be 150 if your brain stops functioning at any sort of useful level at age 70? Yeah, "lots of people" are still firing on all mental cylinders at age 70, but most are not. If everyone is alive up to age 150 but is a non-productive consumer of stuff starting at age 70 this whole "live long and prosper" thing will be a total nightmare. Even if brain aging is held in check, do we have the resources to support that many human beings on this planet?

Re:What exactly is slowed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802911)

Sure, just stop breeding like rats.

Re:What exactly is slowed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803109)

Mandate sterilization as a condition to life extension.

Re:What exactly is slowed? (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year ago | (#44802913)

TFS says they tested that in yeast, thus you either didn't care enough to read it, or is asking if the yeast mental activity was degraded.

Re:What exactly is slowed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44802921)

If everyone is alive up to age 150 but is a non-productive consumer of stuff starting at age 70

It would be the biggest boost to productivity in the history of mankind if this treatment meant that people didn't become non-productive onsumers of stuff until age 70.

Re:What exactly is slowed? (1)

erice (13380) | about a year ago | (#44802981)

According to TFA, genetic damage during cell division is slowed. Brain aging would be affected little, at least directly. So few new neurons are produced during adulthood that for a long time, it was thought that all the neurons that a human would ever have were present at birth. Still, having a healthier support system for the brain should reduce cell death.

Further, there is still the potential for other advances to add the ability to generate new neurons. There is no particular reason why aging needs to be conquered with a single method.

Re:What exactly is slowed? (1)

ljw1004 (764174) | about a year ago | (#44803077)

Loss of brain function isn't a normal part of healthy ageing - it's the symptom of a DISEASE (usually alzheimers that affects 50%+ of 80 yr olds) and will eventually be cured through medicine like other diseases.

Re:What exactly is slowed? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year ago | (#44803141)

There have been some studies, and I'm sorry that I don't have a source on hand, that losing mental capacity is more a matter of not using it than natural degregation. Barring diseases (and a lot of diseases are pretty synonymous with your body falling apart) if you don't stop exercising your mind you'll stay mentally sharp. Too many people retire, get put in a home, and simply "kill time" all the while they rot. Look at cultures where the elderly are still needed and for lack of a better word, still work. People will still go senile when they have strokes, Alzheimer, and syphilis finally kicks in, but it doesn't mean that everyone that gets old gets stupid.

Re:What exactly is slowed? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#44803205)

The only reason most of the elderly are not "firing on all mental cylinders" by age 70 is because they haven't needed to... and their mental abilities are atrophying because they haven't had reason to push themselves beyond what they may already know and are comfortable with.

Re:What exactly is slowed? (1)

rsborg (111459) | about a year ago | (#44803229)

What's the gain in living to be 150 if your brain stops functioning at any sort of useful level at age 70?

Who cares? (devil's advocate) Massive market potential for the pharma industry - esp if the 100+ crowd are relatively weathly or government is willing to pay medicare costs for them... easy to think like a post-human "health" industry CxO.

Re:What exactly is slowed? (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | about a year ago | (#44803541)

I think you totally missed the point, it is to prolong the life of yeast so that it can make twice as much beer because who wants to live when the beer is gone anyway? :)

Re:What exactly is slowed? (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year ago | (#44803675)

Does this sort of thing cover both the aging of the body and the brain?

Does it cover both the aging of the body and the heart? Both the aging of the body and the liver? Both the aging of the body and the third toe on the left foot?

I know what you meant, but I get really tired of people acting like the brain and the body are something separate. The brain is part of the body; a complex and unique part, to be sure, but essentially it's just another organ. So if we can slow down aging generally, most likely our brains will benefit just as much as the rest of our bodies will.

Yes (4, Funny)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#44802857)

.... because people's brains are just like baker's yeast.

Or is it that most people's brains seem to function like they are made up of baker's yeast?

Anyway 50% more of that doesn't sound particularly wonderful.

Oh, good... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#44802867)

...more time on the planet with Honey Boo Boo & family.

Re:Oh, good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44804021)

Feel free to leave any time you wamt to.

Just go fasrer (1)

rossdee (243626) | about a year ago | (#44802875)

much faster

Like .99999 c

Prepare to work forever (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803001)

And never retire. Anti-aging drugs are great and all, but what about the effects on society? Every country in the world has had their life expectancy vastly increase in the past hundred years, ot the point where there's potentially not enough people feeding the system to take care of the non-workers. Japan's average age of it's population is 44. Germany is about 42. Most of Europe is in the early 40's. Only the US in the developed world has a population that is getting younger, and that's primarily due to immigration.

If people start work at 20 or so, and retire at 65, and then die at 130? No. We can't sustain that.

Re:Prepare to work forever (2)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#44803125)

If you are healthy enough for a longer period, what's so awful about working longer, and continuing to contribute usefully to society?

Re:Prepare to work forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803449)

There are too kids who don't want to extend life: young people who think grandpa is sucking up their oxygen, grandpa if her life currently sucks, and grandpa's kids, who don't want their life to suck like grandpa's does--actually or only imagined.

Anybody else who can think independently instead of extrapolating from their immediate experience is ready and waiting for life extension. We don't presume that life extension means being connected to a bunch of equipment, drooling, incoherent, and in extreme pain, while the Guinness World Records representative grips his stop watch.

People forget the most important reason.. (3, Interesting)

t0qer (230538) | about a year ago | (#44803161)

Forget vanity, we need to stop aging for one simple reason...

Space Travel

We still haven't created engines that can go 1/10th light speed. So even at best, a 40 light year trip to Alpha Centari will take 400 years even at that speed. OK forget other solar systems, just colonizing mars is going to require us to get the most out of the humans lifetimes we send there.

Re:People forget the most important reason.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803491)

You have some serious navigation issues if you travel 40 light years to reach a star that is 4 light years away...

Yeast consultant (0)

Empiric (675968) | about a year ago | (#44803185)

Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like a certain woman. She took a little leaven, concealed it in some dough, and made it into large loaves. Let him who has ears hear."

--Thomas

Now they just need to find that "certain woman"...

This is like 10 years old? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803321)

I read about this many years ago where bread (or rather yeast) could last significantly longer. I don't mean by a few days either, I mean a loaf of bread wouldn't expire before a few months. I swear I read it on /. So what's different between this and that? I feel like they are just reviving old research like they keep doing with regrowing teeth/bone technology. It's been around forever but every year there's "breaking development" which is the same as the last year.

Does this mean (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#44803409)

people will in the future die at 17?

Nooooooo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803451)

Noooooo, please *please* do not make medicines that significantly slow or stop human aging, it is a super-bad idea.

Human overpopulation is bad enough as it is, could you imagine what will happen when the human population explosion suddenly goes thermonuclear when most people start having unnaturally long lifespans?

We need to start thinking of fair ways to reduce the human population, not make it exponentially larger!

An anti-aging breakthrough will be a catastrophe for this planet.

The most important question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803653)

Will my HMO cover it?

Unintended side effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44803701)

Cells not dying is called cancer. Cells are designed to die after a certain number of divisions, determined by cell type. 50 may be the average. This is one area of medical research that the wealthy are welcome to work out the kinks until the costs come down or they die off, which every comes first.

Will keep this in mind next time I bud offspring (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#44804061)

The main problem is not physical aging per se, but the affects of aging themselves.

I have seen some mouse research that might extend lifespan, but if you can't use your brain for those extra 20-40 years, it's not going to do you much good.

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