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For the First Time, Organ Regenerated Inside a Living Animal

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the casio-not-wurlitzer dept.

Biotech 94

ananyo (2519492) writes "Scientists at Edinburgh University have successfully persuaded an organ to regenerate inside an animal. As they report in the journal Development, they have treated, in mice, an organ called the thymus, which is a part of the immune system that runs down in old age. Instead of adding stem cells they have stimulated their animals' thymuses to make more of a protein called FOXN1. This is a transcription factor (a molecular switch that activates genes). The scientists knew from earlier experiments that FOXN1 is important for the embryonic development of the thymus, and speculated that it might also rejuvenate the organ in older animals. They bred a special strain of mice whose FOXN1 production could be stimulated specifically in the thymus by tamoxifen, a drug more familiar as a treatment for breast cancer. In one-year-olds, stimulating FOXN1 production in the thymus caused it to become 2.7 times bigger within a month. In two-year-olds the increase was 2.6 times. Moreover, when the researchers studied the enlarged thymuses microscopically, and compared them with those from untreated control animals of the same ages, they found that the organs' internal structures had reverted to their youthful nature."

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And the telomeres? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46694495)

Are the organs really that young or is it just new growth of old tissue?

Re:And the telomeres? (4, Interesting)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46695325)

Presumably the telomeres continue to diminish as normal; however, unless I'm much mistaken organisms rarely survive long enough for their cells DNA to run out of telemorase. Instead the problem is a far more complicated and poorly understood - some of aging happens at the cellular level, but far more happens at a system level, and we don't really understand the interaction. It sounds like they may have found a way to rejuvenate an organ at the system level, presumably at a some increase in aging at the cellular level (a 3x increase in size could well be responsible for less than 1.6 generations of cellular aging), but if we could extend lifespans such that it was generally cellular aging that killed us rather than systemic aging, that would be a pretty impressive leap forward. As a side benefit greater systemic health probably promotes greater cellular health, so we might end up with cells more like that spry centenarian happily working his farm rather than the decrepit 70yo who's doing good to wipe his own ass.

Re:And the telomeres? (2)

lgw (121541) | about 6 months ago | (#46696047)

Plus, for greatly extended life we have to solve both problems: system decline and telemorase countdown. Criticizing this breakthrough because it only addresses one of the major problems would be quite silly. Congrats to the researchers!

Re:And the telomeres? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46696681)

Honestly, I rather hope we don't master greatly increasing lifespans for the time being - we've got way too many existing social and environmental issues to deal with that would be greatly complicated by drastically increasing the lifespan of the average person, and I don't see anything good coming of granting "immortality" only to the elite.

On the other hand if we can keep the adult population in their healthy apparent 30s or so until cellular death starts kicking in causing massive system failure, well that has a lot of upsides, and no serious downsides that I can think of, though government-facilitated retirement might well collapse. Quality of life would increase dramatically, non-regenerative medical expenses would become vanishingly small, sexual expertise would be passed between generations far more freely, and we could hopefully get over this ridiculous "survival at all costs" cultural mentality - if everyone knows that their last year or two of life will be a pure misery of incurable massive organ failure the idea of taking the first signs of collapse as warning to tie up any loose ends and check out in style while you still can could hopefully make a comeback in our culture.

Re:And the telomeres? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697491)

You're free to be the first to opt out. I, on the other hand, will be first in line to receive the fruits of (and to donate to) these research. And how short sighted of you to think we can't fix the other problems. As usual, Amara's Law [wikipedia.org] .

Re:And the telomeres? (2)

tlambert (566799) | about 6 months ago | (#46697535)

Honestly, I rather hope we don't master greatly increasing lifespans for the time being - we've got way too many existing social and environmental issues to deal with that would be greatly complicated by drastically increasing the lifespan of the average person, and I don't see anything good coming of granting "immortality" only to the elite.

If only we had a demographic with a lot of money and a vastly increased lifespan who has to live with their decisions of today and the consequences they have 400 to 500 years down the road. Then there would be a personal stake in solving things like existing social and environmental issues, rather than leaving them for the next generation to deal with because you find them personably survivable, at least for your limited lifespan.

Re:And the telomeres? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46698313)

Except the elite will face an entirely different set of challenges from environmental and social problems than the rest of us - short of large-scale biological or nuclear warfare they, their families, and their chosen associates will be well insulated from the repercussions of their actions, and will in fact be in a position to consolidate power to an extent not seen in centuries. And I imagine they're probably quite capable of weathering catastrophic wars as well, though it may be a bit less comfortable.

Re:And the telomeres? (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 6 months ago | (#46700695)

Except the elite will face an entirely different set of challenges from environmental and social problems than the rest of us - short of large-scale biological or nuclear warfare they, their families, and their chosen associates will be well insulated from the repercussions of their actions, and will in fact be in a position to consolidate power to an extent not seen in centuries. And I imagine they're probably quite capable of weathering catastrophic wars as well, though it may be a bit less comfortable.

Well, given that they have to breathe the same air as you, and all the really desirable, expensive property is in coastal regions like The Hamptons, San Francisco, Rhode Island, Manhattan, etc., and therefore prone to flooding due to sea levels rising, you would at least not have to worry about either of those things.

Unless they are building a secret space station under the direction of Jodie Foster, and have a foolproof plan to keep Matt Damon out?

Re:And the telomeres? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46701495)

Yes, toxic air is a concern, at least if it's toxic enough that even their private island resorts are suffering. Property value loss to sea level rising? Not so much I think. We're talking about a group with an average income (after economic maneuvering) of 27 million dollars a year. The poorest is making 9 million per year. And that's just the money that goes into their personal wallets - their real wealth accumulation is is mostly in the form of capital gains and wielding what is for most practical purposes controlling influence in the megacorps. Do you really think these people quake in fear that their $100 million dollar seaside resort will face much increased storm surges in 30-80 years? That's what you lock in long-term insurance rates for.

Re:And the telomeres? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46698163)

I do. BTW, we could put everyone on the planet in there own small house on a 1/4 acre in Texas.
Think about that.
What that highlights is most of the problems are about transportation and distribution. Since most people can't think beyond there own lives, having people live 400 years might give reason to work on the logistics

Hell, just a massive global education policy for women would reduce the birth number dramatically.

", and I don't see anything good coming of granting "immortality" only to the elite."
why would only the elite have access? go you not understand that with a global society, many companies would do this ?
You think that could only make money from selling it to the top 1%?

Re:And the telomeres? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46698773)

Check your math, you dropped a decimal place: 268,820 sq mi / 7,000,000,000 people = 0.000 038 sq mi / person, which is only 1/40 of an acre per person, or 1070 square feet.

But the problem isn't elbow room, it's that our best estimates are that we're already consuming roughly 40% more natural resources than the planet can sustainably provide. That is to say that we're "spending the capital", and next year the biosphere will be unable to provide as many resources as it did this year. And over the next decades the vast bulk of humanity is going to be going through an economic revolution and want to increase their own consumption rates in line with the West.

Our best estimates are that the global population will plateau at 9-12 billion people depending on just how quickly we can spread zero population growth practices, and if there's not crushing income inequality or unsustainable resource consumption that's going to mean everybody gets about 1/10 of the resources currently being consumed by Americans, or 1/5 of that consumed by Europeans. That's going to require some *major* adjustments. Throw in widespread immortality and the associated surge in population growth unless we can convince people to give up having children entirely, and we'll have some serious issues on our hands.

As for why only the elite might have access - I can think of several reasons, mostly economic. Almost half the world's population earns less than a dollar a day, and needs to spend basically all of that on food so that they can survive to do the same tomorrow. If immortality costs $1000 they will never be able to afford it. If it costs $100,000 most Americans will never be able to afford it. And even if it costs $1 you need to ask if the 0.01% consider it a dangerous change they wish to keep to themselves - a bribe here, a bullet there, and the status quo is maintained. As much as we might like to believe otherwise, that kind of shit doesn't confine itself to the movies. Not when empires are at stake.

Re:And the telomeres? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46711831)

You realise that 100 sq.m. is more than the average per person currently? You're also ignoring the 3rd dimension. If you build even a very moderate 10 stories on average (a VERY low number), you get more than 4000 sq.m. per family. Putting aside the impractical nature of building a giant monolithic 10 story tall Texas, this is many times more space than the 99% currently have. As for resources, you can feed them in the same manner, by using New Mexico and California. We then have the rest of the planet for wood, minerals, solar power generation, growing food that won't grow in skyscrapers, etc.

The simple fact is that the planet can sustain a population of at least an order of magnitude more than it currently has, perhaps more. The Club of Rome managed to convince most of you that this is not true.

Re:And the telomeres? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46713475)

Are you including roads, parks, stores, and all the rest of the public spaces around us in that current avcerage? I didn't think so.

More to the point, you appear to have completely missed the point that elbow room is *not* the problem. We're consuming 40% more natural resources than the entire planet can sustainably provide.

Re:And the telomeres? (1)

delt0r (999393) | about 6 months ago | (#46703733)

Honestly, I rather hope we don't master greatly increasing lifespans for the time being

I intend to live forever. Or die trying.

Scale this up (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46694541)

to humans.

Re:Scale this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46694803)

That's the goal, this is the second piece of research I have read about this year where a component of aging has been reversed in mice.

Researching ways to achieve advanced biological repair, rejuvenation and artificial negligible senescence in humans is a fast growing field. About time too.
I believe success is necessary for human preservation and advancement.

Space exploration
Global warming
Population control

Consider all the short term profit goals, political short sightedness that is rampant now. If those making decisions were around to see the results, damage and failures of their actions maybe their attitudes would be tempered.

A government needs to fund this like the Manhattan project for all mankind. Make the therapy free to all, but with stipulations. Permanent, but reversible birth control incorporated into the therapy to control population growth.

There would still be a 1-2% annual death rate so registration for child bearing waiting lists would be needed , store eggs and semen then have kids when you are 80 experienced and financially secure.

Re:Scale this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46694981)

There would still be a 1-2% annual death rate so registration for child bearing waiting lists would be needed , store eggs and semen then have kids when you are 80 experienced and financially secure.

Recommended reading: 2BR02B, by Kurt Vonnegut

Re:Scale this up (1)

Sarius64 (880298) | about 6 months ago | (#46695313)

I'll take that if it gets us off this rock in significant (read colony-size) numbers.

Re:Scale this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46695353)

US already funds multiple Manhattan Projects worth of ressearch each year.

Re:Scale this up (1)

backslashdot (95548) | about 6 months ago | (#46695735)

I call BS. The US govt. doesn't spend $26 billion (cost of Manhattan project in today's dollars) on any single research project. In fact the ENTIRE NIH budget is less than that.

Re:Scale this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46695793)

You are correct that it is not on any single research project.

Re:Scale this up (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 6 months ago | (#46696829)

The NIH's budget is more than that; I'm not sure where you got your numbers.

The NIH invests nearly $30.1* billion annually in medical research for the American people.

* This amount reflects the sum of discretionary budget authority of $29,928 million received by NIH in FY 2014 under The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, Public Law (P.L.) 113-76 net of transfers as well as a mandatory $139 million for special type 1 diabetes research authorized per P.L. 111-309 and P.L. 112-40. Details regarding current appropriations are available at http://officeofbudget.od.nih.g... [nih.gov] .

(source [nih.gov] )

Re:Scale this up (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46695595)

Well, I can see how it would help for space exploration, but population control? If indefinite lifespans were common we'd have to get WAY more draconian than even China's one-child policy, and you can see how effective that is, even in what is basically a dictatorship. So, children only for the super-rich, sterilization for everyone else. I'm sure that will go over well.

For global warming I have my doubts. Maybe if we had discovered an immortality serum a few centuries ago so that the elders had a chance to appreciate a longer flow of history, but today? I don't think it would make enough difference fast enough. After all those who are currently under 40 or so in the US today can reasonably expect to live long enough to see things start to get really ugly, but that's not changing much - as a species we've never before had much reason to evolve a tendency to plan more than a few seasons in advance - too much of the world operates outside our control, learning to "go with the flow" except when faced with an immediate threat is generally a far more productive strategy. Or to borrow someone's punchline: "Short-term pleasure will always win out over long-term misery - otherwise children would never be born"

There's also a second factor to consider with global warming - the people calling the shots and manipulating public opinion are wealthy, powerful people who can reasonably assume that they and their peers, along with their families and chosen associates, will be well-insulated from any repercussions. After all it won't be universally bad. The total carrying capacity of the planet will probably plummet for a while, but some parts of the world will still be lush paradises. A little strategic population reduction here, a few fortified enclaves there, and the powerful elite will stand to become more powerful than ever.

Re:Scale this up (3, Informative)

backslashdot (95548) | about 6 months ago | (#46695691)

Back in 1986 they regrew the thymus in rats. And actually a guy named Greg Fahy already regrew his own thymus a few years ago .. I dont understand how people can't use Google.

1986 article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm... [nih.gov]

Regrowth of thymus in human: http://online.liebertpub.com/d... [liebertpub.com]

They stopped regrowing the thymus in humans because they don't know if it may have a negative effect to have the thymus in an adult since the thymus normally is completely degraded (evolution may have programmed it to degrade for a reason).

or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46696713)

May have. Or may not. Evolution doesn't care much at all about you once you get past middle age.

Re:or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46711847)

Evolution doesn't even care about middle age, it just wants you to have a kid, and have someone (else) around to support it. Hence the high rate of deaths at childbirth until the past century. Intelligence (big heads) outweighed the need for mother's to survive.

Re:Scale this up (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46698071)

yes, in 1986 they did it with implants, now they are doing it directly in the rat.
  I don't understand how people can't read the article then compare it to previous research they find on Google..
Evolution just needs to get you to procreate, then you can wither and die.

.

Re:Scale this up (1)

backslashdot (95548) | about 6 months ago | (#46701703)

Did you not read the second link? Last time I checked humans are mammals.

Re:Scale this up (1)

Ken_g6 (775014) | about 6 months ago | (#46695935)

to humans.

...and you get Rodents of Unusual Size?

Jesus did it first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46694577)

Before it was cool

All part of the plan (5, Funny)

bravehamster (44836) | about 6 months ago | (#46694583)

Those hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional mice sure are good at getting humans to do all the work to cure mice of all disease and aging.

Re:All part of the plan (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#46694871)

I have no idea what your comment means, so I'm gonna grab my towel and go fill a plastic cup with a liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

Re:All part of the plan (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#46694925)

With milk? Squirted out of a cow?

Re:All part of the plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46695039)

Those hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional mice sure are good at getting humans to do all the work to cure mice of all disease and aging.

I have no idea what your comment means, so I'm gonna grab my towel and go fill a plastic cup with a liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

Beer. You're supposed to fill it with beer.

Re:All part of the plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46694877)

We know all about the mice's plan. Once we make them immortal, we'll switch off the laziness gene and make them do all the work.

Hypertrophy, not regeneration (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46694591)

That's organ hypertrophy for you, nor organ regeneration. With age, the thymus undergoes atrophy but it's still there. Whatever "youthful nature" means for a cell studied under the microscope.

Can't argue with function, though. (3, Interesting)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 6 months ago | (#46694873)

Don't care. If the organ is restored to youthful function, as at least the linked summary indicates, then this is a big deal.

Specifically, this appears to be very different from (say) cardiac hypertrophy, where the heart grows larger but works less efficiently. In this work, the "rejuvenated" thymus not only gets bigger, it produces more T cells -- in other words, it works more like a youthful organ.

Alright, alright,alright (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#46694597)

I have long imagined aging was a process much like disease, to be treated and fought regularly with a vengeance.

Cue the "What will we do with all the people?" arguments.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46694691)

The 1% of the 1% will hunt everyone else, just like in that Van Dam movie.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46695663)

Nah, too risky. The .01% will let the 1% do their dirty work and face the inevitable backlash, while they themselves are safe and comfortable in their remote private estates. Just like they always have.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

Xicor (2738029) | about 6 months ago | (#46694711)

well, it was recently decided to start treating aging as a disease instead of a natural occurrence. For some reason, (not pointing fingers at religious folk), this idea has been put off for far too long.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 6 months ago | (#46694889)

Well, it's pretty clearly both. Of course, being eaten by wolves is also a natural occurrence, but nobody seems to object to those who choose wolf-avoidance as a lifestyle.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

non0score (890022) | about 6 months ago | (#46695013)

Annnnnd we have people who domesticated them to make man's (and woman's!) best friends. I think it's pretty obvious who's right there. =D
In all seriousness, how is aging any different from a disease? That'd be akin to calling genetic diseases that manifest later in life a "natural occurrence".

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46695719)

Well, if we could eliminate aging without significantly extending lifespan you'd have a point. But the fact is aging and limited lifespans are strictly optional biological processes - our single-celled ancestors didn't experience them, nor do many of our more modern and sophisticated cousins in the plant and animal kingdom. Aging and mortality are things our species (and many others) evolved, presumably for a reason. "Curing" it without understanding that reason and arranging for alternate considerations is likely a recipe for long-term disaster.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46698171)

Evolved, or didn't need to evolve a process to keep use around that much past procreation?

Evolution doesn't have a plan.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46698965)

What do you mean past procreation? Only humans and orcas are know to experience menopause, all other species remain fertile throughout their lives.

At some point in the distant past some mutation in one of our ancestors introduced aging and mortality. And for some reason the descendents who inherited that mutation were able to out-compete their immortal cousins, until eventually the entire species was mortal. Why? Evolution may not have a plan, but it does tend to arrive at intelligent solutions. Maybe not the *most* intelligent as it can get stuck on local maximums, (such as our retinas being installed "backwards" and thus being far less efficient than the independently evolved eyes of a squid), but generally speaking if a mutation manages to spread throughout a population it's because it provides a significant advantage. Now perhaps the advantage conferred by mortality is no longer relevant, or perhaps mortality was simply a side-effect of some other advantageous adaptation, but it behooves us to tread with caution if we choose to undo what evolution has bestowed upon us.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 6 months ago | (#46698087)

That'd be akin to calling genetic diseases that manifest later in life a "natural occurrence".

Genetic diseases later in life (i.e. after breeding age) *are* a natural occurrence. Natural isn't a synonym for either "inevitable" or "desirable". Appeal to Nature is actually considered a logical fallacy; saying "Death is natural" is true, but continuing by saying "therefore it is inherently good" is fallacious.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46694997)

I think for a lot of people the idea of an extended life is a pretty terrifying prospect even without religion. Even if you were kept in relatively good health you'd have to produce endlessly to stay alive. As a person gets older they also carry more emotional baggage that can make death seem like a normal solution to what life becomes in old age.
 
Who knows. But extended life is going to present its own problems and I'm guessing most aren't anticipated at this point. I'm sure there are those who'd do just fine living for thousands of years but I don't think Joe Sixpack is going to have the same outlook after a couple centuries of punching the clock and watching Survivor.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

Sarius64 (880298) | about 6 months ago | (#46695367)

As long as I wasn't crippled life would be great! I've suffered massive emotional wreckage through war, family deaths, financial failure and success, and even educational trials. Let me research communications sequencing over 100 years; I'll be just fine. Particularly when I know the damn biological pistol isn't pointed at my head.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46695387)

Fun a floating through space after the heat death of the universe sounds. I'm pretty sure this research does not make you indestructible. Someone always has the option of jumping off of a bridge.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (3, Interesting)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46695765)

And so perhaps we should pay more attention to the old Conservative viewpoint that both unrestrained capitalism and socialism are detrimental to the human soul, and that a society should strive to enable all it's citizens to acquire sufficient real estate and other capital to support their family without having to subject themselves to servitude to others or depend on government largess.

So socialism is detrimental, and we should strive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46696481)

So socialism is detrimental, and we should strive for... socialism?

Re:So socialism is detrimental, and we should stri (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46697779)

Can you truly see no difference in the idea that the government should provide tax-funded handouts to all, and the idea that the government should facilitate a system in which everyone has a realistic opportunity to acquire the assets necessary to provide for themselves? True, both must restrict the excesses of the robber-barons, but that's about all they have in common.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

plover (150551) | about 6 months ago | (#46699759)

a society should strive to enable all it's citizens to acquire sufficient real estate

That's a concept that once went by the name "lebensraum". The "good old days" generally failed to deliver that which most of us would consider "good", except from the point of view of the select beneficiaries.

When we can easily get off this rock and start acquiring real estate elsewhere in the galaxy, it'll be a great solution. Until then, it's only a recipe for war.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46700377)

The US is 3.8 million square miles, population 314 million. That's about 8 acres per person. Granted not all of it is productive land, but you also don't need anywhere near 8 acres to support one person. Or perhaps you meant class warfare? The elites have been waging that war throughout recorded history, yet somehow it's only derided as a bad thing when the masses fight back.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46707309)

I would so favor a negative income tax. Not a handout to give people like some people suggest.

Basically, for all legal residents (citizens and non-citizens), based on family size and poverty level...
Take federal AGI. If it is less than the poverty level, take half the difference and give a tax credit to that person. Capped at $5k.
So a single person being lazy and not working would get minimum($5k * 1,($11.5k - 0)/ 2)] = $5k.
A family of six earning $15k/year would get minimum($5k * 6, (($30k - $15k) / 2)) = $7.5k.
Five single adults living together would have a combined $25k.
I would restrict this negative income tax to those who are 22 and older. 18-21 must be living with non-relatives. 17 and under must be emancipated if living on own to qualify.
Assuming 20% are under poverty, this shouldn't cost more than roughly $300 billion per year.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46696187)

It's more that medical science only recently got to a point where attempts to treat aging as a disease resulted in better than negligible results.

Additionally "old age" much like "cancer" is not really a single condition that can be treated the same way in all instances. It's actually a class of many distinct issues that each require separate identification and treatment. So while a lot of research has been going into identifying, classifying, and treating those conditions by the time anything effective gets to the general public it's not "cure for aging" so much as "improved treatment for arterial hardening" (or something not made up).

TLDR: No it's not that religion has held back the idea of treating old age, it's that laypeople expect a "potion of youth" when the reality is more like a "12 point inspection".

Re:Alright, alright,alright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46694767)

Cue the "What will we do with all the people?" arguments.

Let's consult an expert [youtube.com]

Re:Alright, alright,alright (2)

Scottingham (2036128) | about 6 months ago | (#46694933)

It's a good question. The best solution I can come up with (conspicuously short on details) is nuke powered (in sub-basement) pre-fabricated highrises. Social interaction and fulfillment (since jobs availability for all shouldn't be assumed) will be computer game/mmo based for education and coordination of other 'meat space' social activities.

This obviously assumes a lot of post scarcity tropes. Indoor hydroponic farming, on-site fabrication, carbon based electronics, etc

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46695811)

Yeah, I'm putting my money on "die of starvation or war" until such time as as everyone on earth is convinced to stop reproducing. Hope you're in it for the long haul. Or rather I hope you're *not* - I've got me and mine to look out for, and you're consuming valuable resources.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46698195)

Well then. maybe you shouldn't have any kids?
Since war and starvation a less of an issue global every year.

" Hope you're in it for the long haul. Or rather I hope you're *not* - I've got me and mine to look out for, and you're consuming valuable resource"
him, hope for someones death, or hope to find a solution... and you chose to hope for someone s death.
Clearly you are short sighted and weak.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46699009)

>Since war and starvation a less of an issue global every year.

Really? Perhaps you haven't noticed that we're on the cusp of an environmental shift that will likely devastate agricultural yields for decades at least? And when people get hungry they very rarely quietly starve to death - they steal their neighbors food and/or farmland instead. On a national level that's known as war.

I'd love to hope for less unpleasant solution, but I don't see any other possibilities that aren't far more devastating to the human spirit in the long run.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#46699513)

Odd... to find you so critical, responding to a post with the darkest interpretation possible.

Settle down and enjoy the site. You are clever and a good poster... it wouldn't kill you to be a little more civil, at least every now and then to mix it up.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 6 months ago | (#46695027)

I would expect that we will also overcome the desire to procreate, once the future of the species is assured. As I read on /. some time ago, Humans really like to have sex, but aren't really keen on raising children, beyond what we feel is necessary to preserve the race. It is seen in every population study. As medicine advances, as our quality of life increases, birth rate drops.

When we start living forever, we won't have this great need to create offspring anymore. We'll still behave like rabbits, but we won't breed like them.

We'll become like almost every iteration of "elven/long lived" creatures in fantasy books, long lives but few offspring.

Re:Alright, alright,alright (1)

loonycyborg (1262242) | about 6 months ago | (#46696085)

You can deal with this problem proactively, by using condoms.

FOXN1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46694729)

FOX News 1. hmmm. will this turn you into a right wing zealot? even if you are currently a left wing zealot?

Perverts! (0)

norminator (784674) | about 6 months ago | (#46694791)

they have stimulated their animals' thymuses

Sickos!

FOXN1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46694881)

Oh sure, they start out working on FOXN1, but before you know it they're developing FOXDIE. And then the DARPA chief and ArmsTech President end up suffering "mysterious" heart attacks. I'm onto their game.

Re:FOXN1 (1)

Bardez (915334) | about 6 months ago | (#46695071)

We've been on to them since 1998.

Re:FOXN1 (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 6 months ago | (#46695919)

They'll never find Meryl's codec number.

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46694949)

So all we have to do now is breed all humans to do the same thing. No need to worry about all those pesky sick people we have now, they'll die off soon enough.

Give your lady pleasure! (3, Funny)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 6 months ago | (#46694965)

FOXN1 protien inreases organ size, return youthful vigor! No prescrpton needed! CLIKC HER NOW!!

.

Re:Give your lady pleasure! (1)

hodet (620484) | about 6 months ago | (#46696499)

Dammit, the link don't work

Read the Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46696925)

It said you have to stick it inside a living animal for it to regenerate.
Posted anonymous, cause umm, GROSS!

Re:Read the Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697799)

It said you have to stick it inside a living animal for it to regenerate.

That's what she said.

Can't Afford It (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 6 months ago | (#46694993)

At a certain point, after much testing and fussing, and deciding that such treatments are safe for humans we will be confronted with a simple fact. We can not afford the medical technology that we already have. How can we get these breakthrough treatments for the people that need them? Almost all seniors would need quite a few items repaired. Check out the price of testosterone gels for senior males. That stuff runs $1,400 per month and they would be on it for years, Imagine the price of getting some good stem cells customized for your heart or brain or kidneys. The multimillion dollar medical patient is about to become the norm.

Re:Can't Afford It (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 6 months ago | (#46695303)

Well, we need something to redistribute the wealth from the old to the young, since the flow has been going in quite the opposite direction the last 35 years or so.

Re:Can't Afford It (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46695457)

"We can not afford the medical technology that we already have"
false.
" That stuff runs $1,400 per month and they would be on it for years, Imagine the price of getting some good stem cells customized for your heart or brain or kidneys. "
these are not comparable.

Re:Can't Afford It (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46696039)

Actually regenerative medicine is one of the few things we can afford. Current end-of-life medicine is phenomenally expensive, but initial signs are that it will be *far* cheaper to stimulate an organ to regenerate when it begins to weaken than waiting to replace or supplement it when it begins to fail. Certainly for the first twenty years or so it will be as ridiculously expensive, but after all there's probably nothing terribly expensive about producing that testosterone gel - once the patents expire I doubt it will cost more than a few bucks a month.

There's also the fact that a lot of the research done so far suggests that a lot of basic regenerative medicine won't dramatically extend lifespans, instead it will keep you young and healthy until everything starts to fail at once (basically your organs remain healthy until your cells start to die). And frankly that sounds like a pretty good deal to me. The last couple years might be pure misery, but we'll know there's nothing much more to be done, and hopefully that will let us get over this ridiculous aversion to voluntary death. Sure there will be those who still have unfinished business to attend to, or are so terrified of death that they'll subject themselves to years of misery just to put it off a little bit longer. But the rest of us can take the first signs of general system failure as a sign to wrap things up and check out with style.

The Rich just got Richer (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 6 months ago | (#46695069)

Can you imagine the tragedy if the likes of Michael Bloomberg and Koch Brothers could remain useful and continue accumulating wealth?

Re:The Rich just got Richer (2)

Virtucon (127420) | about 6 months ago | (#46695097)

I just threw up in my mouth. Think of Donald Trump too as well as Whoopi Goldberg... OMG Barbara Streisand too?!?

Nooooooooo.

Re:The Rich just got Richer (1)

non0score (890022) | about 6 months ago | (#46695347)

On the other hand, if we're all going to die just like them, then why does it matter? I'd rather have a fighting chance than to die.

kidney pill (1)

hagnat (752654) | about 6 months ago | (#46695145)

i want to see the day where the doctor give me a pill and i leave the hospital with a new kidney :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] star trek iv : the voyage home

just don't call it stem cell therapy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46695151)

thanks again mom(s) http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=stem+cell+therapy little miss dna cannot be wrong

Not following (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 6 months ago | (#46695857)

In one-year-olds, stimulating FOXN1 production in the thymus caused it to become 2.7 times bigger within a month. In two-year-olds the increase was 2.6 times.

I'm not sure what's the point of having larger organs than normal.

(Remembers Viagra) Oh, riiiiight.

As opposed to... (1)

slapout (93640) | about 6 months ago | (#46696167)

"For the First Time, Organ Regenerated Inside a Living Animal"

So, all the other times they were regenerated inside dead animals?

Re:As opposed to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697865)

"For the First Time, Organ Regenerated Inside a Living Animal"

So, all the other times they were regenerated inside dead animals?

"Ex vivo? What's that? Some brand of car?" Herp derp.

Bad Summary (1)

weeboo0104 (644849) | about 6 months ago | (#46696679)

This isn't the first time an organ has been regenerated inside an animal.
It's been documented for several years that after a partial liver removal, humans can regenerate livers.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu... [nih.gov]

It was so easy (1)

jpvlsmv (583001) | about 6 months ago | (#46696809)

Let me see if I understand the process they've found:

1. Genetically engineer a mouse to respond to a drug
2. Administer the drug
3. ???
4. Profit!^W Publish how you have discovered a cure for aging. (Non-GMO humans need not apply. Side effects may include premature death.)

Fully functional? Fully functional! (1)

zarmanto (884704) | about 6 months ago | (#46696823)

"Doctor gave me a pill, and I grew a new kidney!"

Can it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46696933)

Can it enlarge other *ahem* organs?

Human Skin? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 6 months ago | (#46698235)

A human's first line of defense is its skin.

Call me... (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#46700991)

Call me when an organ regenerates inside of a dead animal.

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