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Scientists Discover Possible Anti-Aging Gene

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the old-people-getting-older dept.

Biotech 323

werelnon writes "The BBC is running an article about researchers who seem to have discovered a gene which controls aging. By stimulating this gene, which when malfunctioning causes premature aging, scientists have managed to prolong the average life span of lab mice from 2 to 3 years. Because a very similar gene is present in humans it is quite possible it will do the same thing for people." From the article: "But there may be downsides with Klotho. The long-lived mice in the new experiments tend to be less fertile. And the gene may also predispose people to diabetes. The trick for researchers will be to find ways of getting the life-enhancing results of Klotho while avoiding the drawbacks."

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323 comments

Geriatrics (5, Interesting)

silverkniveshotmail. (713965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413870)

Human life expectancy has been increasing overall for a long time now, and we have come to expect certain diseases and conditions including lack of fertility and diabetes along with many others (see Geriatrics [wikipedia.org] ).
Could the issues that these mice are having be similar to what we as humans are experiencing by exceeding the lifetimes that generations previous had?

Battlestar Galactica: Home, Part II (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13413981)

Where the hell is the torrent of this week's Battlestar Galactica? I've checked all the usual places. Is anyone else having trouble finding this episode?

Re:Battlestar Galactica: Home, Part II (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13414016)

was just posted on alt.binaries.multimedia ~ 3:20am

Re:Geriatrics (1)

Cash202 (854642) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413991)

I would assume that when they stated that lab mice increased life by 2-3 years, they specified it was those under the gene therapy. The others were still regular. And the increase in human lifespan isn't due to natural reasons, it is because of the medical advances and proper hygiene, through which we escape and avoid many diseases and bacteria.

Maybe (5, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414050)

I think the reason humans live longer is because they have enough money to buy medicine. The only way to actually live healthier is to change your consumption, and Americans are one of the least healthy countries in the developed world. Our quality of life is among the lowest, and we don't even live the longest. Basically we have enough money to buy life extensions.

Diabetes is common now, so is heart disease and cancer. The reason these diseases are so common is because many of the food companies and industries deliberately create products which in tests on mice are known to cause diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. If mice die from high fructose corn syrup, why are humans being given high fructose corn syrup in every product?

Food companies like to blame the problem instead of the cause. They will blame obesity for poor health instead of the quality of their products. If we want better health we need a more advanced food industry which actually designs foods to be as health as possible instead of food that is plain addictive. Otherwise our healthcare costs will continue to rise forever while food companies continue to put junk in foods to give us new diseases of the future.

Grow your own food, or buy organic. Buy supplements. Look out for your own health, be your own doctor, and help fund research for new supplements, help fund organic farmers and shop at the stores which sell quality.

Long sick lives are not as good as long health lives.

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13414124)

Long sick lives are not as good as long health lives.

Not exactly a controversial conclusion.

Quality of life is decreasing (2, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414033)

While we may be having increased life expectancy, life quality and our level of health is decreasing.

Most food people consume is no longer organic, most people know nothing at all about supplements and how to stay healthy.

We should be focused on life extention and not waiting for government or corporations to come in with the cure for diseases like cancer and diabetes.

If you want a cure, start a business to fund the search for it. The life extension foundation does this. Life extension foundation [lef.org]

Life expectancy is not important. Only quality is important. We are not as healthy as we once were, and every 10 years more of us are dying from heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other illnesses due to the foods we are consuming. It is time for us to take control of our own destiny, become our own doctors, create our own supplements and treatments, and finally start supporting the organic food industry.

We can complain about the results (obesity, diabetes, cancer) of consumption of low quality products, but the only way to improve our health is to stop consuming products designed to ruin our health. This means we need to both fund research for cures while also focus on prevention by offering alternatives to Coke, Pepsi, and high fructose corn syrup which are actually safe. We need to be consuming products like green tea, with natural organic sugar, not high fructose corn syrup and dextrose mixed with acid.

could it be... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13413873)

first post for the niggers?

klotho? (1)

FCAdcock (531678) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413877)

Isn't klotho the element from the Star Wars empire used to heal wounds? I see George Lucas suing over this gene's name...

Re:klotho? (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413903)

I thought it was bacta

Re:klotho? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13413907)

wasn't that Bacta Tanks?

[/Geek]

look here numbskull (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13413928)

This is why people should RTFA:

"The gene studied in the new research is called Klotho, named after a minor Greek goddess who spins life's thread."

ok numbnuts?

READ THE ARTICLE, there is no excuse with the bbc because they don't get slashdotted.

I hate you, and your kind.

(cue the ever so boring "you must be new here", no you don't have to be new to get pissed off at this BS)

Re:look here numbskull (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13413970)

This is why people should RTFA

Or just have a well-rounded education. The fates aren't that obscure...

Re:klotho? (3, Informative)

YeEntrancemperium (869619) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413929)

You mean Kolto, from Knights Of The Old Republic. Klotho is from Greek mythology: CLOTHO: Youngest of the three FATES. Known as The Spinner, she spins the Thread of Life that controls your destiny.

Re:klotho? (2, Funny)

yourexhalekiss (833943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413935)

In the 21st century, it's klotho nikto barrada.

Re:klotho? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13413939)

In the KoTOR games it's called Kolto, which comes from Manaan. In the Empire period they use Bacta instead.

Re:klotho? (1)

SargeantLobes (895906) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414137)

nope, that's kohlto.
I prefer klotho, is remarkably simillar to the dutch (slang) word for testicles.

First cubic polynomial post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13413879)

2 to 3 years
1 cubic polynomial post

2, 3 and 1 are the zeroes of

x^3 - 6x^2 + 11x - 6
--polynomial_zeroes [slashdot.org]

Cheating death (0, Troll)

Kawahee (901497) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413881)

You can get a life expectancy of 160+ years if you don't have any nutritional defeciencies. All you need to do is have the correct amount of Vitamin A, B, C, D etc and all other trace minerals, and you're fine. We shouldn't have to cheat death like this.

Re:Cheating death (2, Insightful)

silverkniveshotmail. (713965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413885)

which geocities site did you get this from?

Re:Cheating death (1)

Kawahee (901497) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413942)

That's funny.
I actually got that information from Dr. Joe Wallach's lecture series, "Dead Doctors Don't Lie". Site 1 [american-nutrition.com] and Site 2 [deaddoctors.com] . There's a Geocities site that dismisses these claims [geocities.com] . But the link is broken. Damn.

Re:Cheating death (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13413986)

I believe the actual genetic potential from "Dead Doctors Don't Lie" is 120 years. That of course has to do with how many times your cells divide (about 20) which in turn is based on the length of the telomeres on the ends of your chromosomes. Shorter temomeres = shorter life, period. The day you are conceived your days are already numbered one way or another. So unless you have a way of measuring your cells abilities to divide, you can't say for sure 120, 100 or even 80. Whenever cell death comes, it comes.

Re:Cheating death (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13413940)

"cheat death"?

It isn't a game. there is no cheating and no need to feel guilty about prolonging one's life.

Suuuure, you can live to 160 by taking Vitamins... (1)

savage1r (856578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413975)

But name anyone who has.

Re:Suuuure, you can live to 160 by taking Vitamins (1)

Kawahee (901497) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414018)

There are people who have lived to 170 odd years in third world countries. TIME Magazine covered it a while ago.

Re:Suuuure, you can live to 160 by taking Vitamins (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13414058)

They weren't people, they were tortoises

Re:Suuuure, you can live to 160 by taking Vitamins (1)

Jim_Callahan (831353) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414062)

I meet your unreferenced assertion and raise you a referenced BBC article. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4028137.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Sorry if my slashdotML is sloppy. Anyhow, I'm thinking you're wrong on this one.

Re:Suuuure, you can live to 160 by taking Vitamins (1)

Kawahee (901497) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414100)

I don't have a reference on the TIME Magazine article, but if you dig out National Geographic Magazine - January 1973, you'll find an article on longeivity by Dr. Alexander Leaf. He searched the world looking for the oldest living person, and they found Sharalla Mesmelov (167 years old) of a small Russian town. Remember, this is the National Geographic Society, not the National Enquirer. 167 years of age, and they had a half page picture of him actually harvesting tea leaves on a tea plantation. Still working 8 hours a day, six days a week at age 167. Five months later, May of 1973, he turns 168, goes out and hoes the garden for reporters to show how vigorous he is at age 168.

Re:Cheating death (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413980)

maybe L Ron Hubbard was right all along! of course you would have to buy the "special" vitamins which just happen to cost $1000 a hit.

Make your own vitamins (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414079)

Just fund the research yourself and then share the results.

Re:Cheating death (1)

prickeke (897832) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414028)

I don't think I've ever seen any records of anyone living past 120; or was it 119? I just don't think 160 years is possible for a human. You can take all the vitamins you want, and whoever wants to stimulate their genes can do so. I'm going to stick to eating healthy and exercising!

Re:Cheating death (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13414045)

Of course, there you're lightly skipping over the other issues like accidents (like... cars... not incontinence related), illnesses, genes, stress (perhaps related to certain other kinds of accidents), amount of sexual activity, minute temperature differences in the private microclimate of the individual, wind speed, amount of cars that travel along the nearest road, the price of cheese in Canberra, the price of sausage in Tokyo, and of course, the average effectiveness of the Slashdot dupe filter over the course of one's life.

Life cheats death by nature (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414064)

We should be trying to cheat death. Give me a better reason to go to work than to try and cheat death?

Vitamins like A, B , C and D arent the vitamins which increase lifespan, but theres chromium, alpha lipoic acid, green tea, cinnamon, red wine, and lots of other supplements and foods which are known to increase a persons health.

Ultimately however, unless you are rich you won't have the money to increase your health. You'd be best off buying a lot of land, having a farm, and farming your way to good health.

Stimulate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13413886)

How do you stimulate a gene?

Or, more importantly, will you still respect yourself in the morning?

the key... (3, Insightful)

ErichTheWebGuy (745925) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413888)

The trick for researchers will be to find ways of getting the life-enhancing results of Klotho while avoiding the drawbacks

Isn't that always the goal of a research scientist? To find the benefits, while mitigating or eliminating the drawbacks?

In reality: (1, Redundant)

Hartree (191324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414094)

Isn't that always the goal of a research scientist?

Yes, but there's a more fundamental one. To write the grant proposal so it gets funding and you keep getting paid.

Side effects? (4, Insightful)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413889)

If you're increasing life expectancy 50%, it seems like decreased fertility would be a benefit, not a drawback. You don't want to cause a population boom.

Re:Side effects? (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413908)


If you're increasing life expectancy 50%, it seems like decreased fertility would be a benefit, not a drawback. You don't want to cause a population boom.


And you also don't want to see 70 year olds becoming pregant or getting people pregnant.

Re:Side effects? (1)

caston (711568) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413947)

No but they can still take Viagra.

Re:Side effects? (1, Funny)

Hoch (603322) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414022)

Some people pay good money to see that today!

Re:Side effects? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13414051)

Doubtful, as is the nature of advanced medical care any treatment would likely only be available in rich countries which already have declining or negative population growth rates. Even if available in less developed nations chances are that other factors would mitigate its usefullness e.g. poor nutrition, disease and so on.

diabetes and infertility? (2, Insightful)

bprime (734645) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413891)

I'd say that's a very, very fair trade for a 50% increase in lifespan.

Re:diabetes and infertility? (1)

ErichTheWebGuy (745925) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413906)

Agreed. Diabetes can be managed, and if a human lives to like 120, would you even want to have kids at that point?

Re:diabetes and infertility? (1)

ase (39429) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413969)

Yep. I've had my kids. If I live long enough, diabetes will probably move from manageable to curable. Definitely willing to take the chance.

Good thing too... (2, Interesting)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413892)

But there may be downsides with Klotho. The long-lived mice in the new experiments tend to be less fertile.

Good thing, or we'd be overrun by mice! If you live longer, you better breed slower. Imagine if elephants bred as often as rabbits?

buttttt...... (1, Funny)

UniverseIsADoughnut (170909) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413894)

Scientist also reported that implementing this into a anti aging drug would involve the destruction of millions of kittens and 14 sea otters and one Great Dane puppy to derive enough of the compound to supply the worlds population.

Fortunately the Lead Scientist isn't a Cat person.

Attempt was made to contact PETA, but they apparently were in to much shock to respond, but we expect them to be happy with the idea.

Re:buttttt...... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13413924)

youre a fucking retard! get a fucking life!!!!!!!!!

Quote from research team... (3, Funny)

ScaryMonkey (886119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413913)

"The head of the research team developing the drug had this to say about the breakthrough: 'MWUHAHAHAHA! Soon I will be... IMMORTAL! HAHAHAHA!' The team expects the drug to be available to the general public 'At the whim of your new overlords.'"

Re:Quote from research team... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13414055)

Ray Kurzweil already believes he will live forever as in 20 years (apparently) nanobots will be able to repair damage. So this means that Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates will also live forever and continue to rule Microsoft...

Re:Quote from research team... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13414110)

...the head of the research team has lately been tipped to become the endgame boss of 'House of the Dead 4'. Sega has remarked about his experience as 'highly relevant to the field' and his attitude to be 'inspirational'.

Re:Quote from research team... (1)

murky_lurker (780235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414111)

Sir, you owe me a new cup of coffee.

Sounds familiar... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13413916)

Doctor: Take this pill, but beware it carries a terrible curse!
Homer: [worried] Ooooh, that's bad.
Doctor: But it slows aging!
Homer: [relieved] That's good.
Doctor: It will render you infertile and may make you vulnerable to diabetes.
Homer: [worried] That's bad.
Doctor: But you will live longer!
Homer: [relieved] That's good.
Doctor: [very fast] Side effects include headache, constipation, dry mouth, drowsiness, insomnia, nausea, vision problems, agitation, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, hypotension, rash or hives, seizures, and lightheadedness.
Homer: [stares]
Doctor: That's bad.

enhancing? (1)

igny (716218) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413918)

The trick for researchers will be to find ways of getting the life-enhancing results of Klotho while avoiding the drawbacks

I would not call "less fertile" and "predispose people to diabetes" life-enhancing. Life-extending may be, but enhancing?

Re:enhancing? (4, Funny)

Belgand (14099) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413984)

Frankly I think that just about anything out there to decrease my fertility vastly increases the quality of my life. Then again, I also hate children. So long as it doesn't affect my ability to have sex I thoroughly welcome it.

As well diabetes can generally be controlled, aging, however is a much more problematic disorder.

Re:enhancing? (1)

jIyajbe (662197) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414080)

That would be "vasectomy".

The bummer is, you still have to use either condoms or monogamy (AIDS, y'know?)

yep.... (1)

alexandreracine (859693) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413937)

Scientists Discover Possible Anti-Aging Gene

Again??

And how do you distribute this miracle? (3, Insightful)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413938)

You know, it's very likely the only way a beneficial artificial genetic variation like this would reach the masses is by a technology that modifies your genes very soon after conception. Because once you're born, or (worse) reach adulthood, it becomes very tricky and expensive to evade the body's built-in defenses against alien genetic material (e.g. viruses). So even if a life-extending genetic treatment became available, you'd very likely only be able to take advantage of it (1) before you're born or (2) after you become fabulously rich.

And doesn't that open an interesting can of worms? If, for example, it turns out that some people with decently well-off and very foresightful parents can live 50% longer than the rest of us? If you think we have nasty debates now about, say, equal opportunity in college education, just wait a few decades, when it's a question of equal opportunity for that extra 30 years of life...

Re:And how do you distribute this miracle? (2, Insightful)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414063)

That's not the way this sort of research usually works. Rather than "fixing the gene", their likely goal is to figure out what protein it codes for, then figure out the metabolic pathways that the protein is involved in, and then see what sort of drugs can be formulated to make those processes work the way they'd like.

Re:And how do you distribute this miracle? (1)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414120)

Sometimes, yes. For example, for short-term therapy for an acute condition. But not, I think, in this case, with an attempt at permanent change. You want to cleanly fix the DNA once and for all, not screw around with designing very expensive drugs that your patient has to take the rest of his life, with all kinds of annoying side effects.

I suspect the best analogy is with CF, where I think gene therapy is still considered the best long-term hope, despite recent setbacks.

But I admit how this or really any biotech will translate to late 21st century medicine is still one of the great unknowns. If I knew how it would play out, why, I'd be selling that knowledge to VC firms for $1000/hour...

Re:And how do you distribute this miracle? (1)

Jim_Callahan (831353) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414067)

It depends on how much we come to rely on gene therapy in medicine. If a large portion of treatments require the formulation of gene therapy viruses, then we'll find a way to mass-produce them cheaply, like everything else. If this is the only thing anyone ever wants to do with it, yeah, it'll probably stay expensive a long time. As for modifying human genes before birth, it's going to be a long, long time before the various regulatory agencies let that one happen.

I, for one... (0, Redundant)

Mathiasdm (803983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413950)

... welcome our new life-prolonging overlords!

Re:I, for one... (1)

mikataur (910613) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414082)

If you lived to 160, you could clean up on compound interest, and become an overlord!

Related subjects (5, Informative)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413957)

There are related areas of interest:

The Hayflick Barrier [bioinfo.org.cn] , that suggests cells will replicate only a certain number of times.

Hela cells [wikipedia.org] having to do with cancerous "immortal cells" and the length of telomeres [wikipedia.org] and aging.

lysosomes [wikipedia.org] which as the "recycling bins" of cells may overtime become "clogged" with material the cells are unable to recycle and cause cell death.

No matter that there may be a genetic tweak for aging there are other things at play that may impact on the genetic tweak.

Age Limits (4, Informative)

nimblebrain (683478) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413962)

There are a few limitations to our lifespan. The Hayflick limit [senescence.info] may be a driving factor. Body cells, with very few exceptions, have a limit on the number of divisions they can make. This may be related to the way that every time a cell divides, one of the daughter cells has a slightly shorter copy. The ends of the chromosome are telomeres, the aglets [senescence.info] on our gene shoelaces.

Of course, many of our tissues divide more than others, and we're vulnerable to a weak point of failure, whether it be skin tissue (definitely a point of infection), blood supply, blood vessels or what have you.

There have been two major schools of thought about aging, and many points in-between. On one side, some think that aging is caused by an incredible number of small failures from separate causes, and to try to beat aging is doomed to fail on this alone. On the other side of the issue, there are those who believe one or perhaps two major items are at fault for aging, and that we can close to an Elixir of Youth. The truth probably lies somewhere in between.

I still highly recommend Michael D. West's book The Immortal Cell [amazon.com] for an inside account of one search for a cure for aging. (He's also one of the co-authors of the hefty tome Principles of Cloning [amazon.com] ). Fascinating stuff, and definitely not the stuff of 'fringe' science.

Re:Age Limits (1)

mikataur (910613) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414070)

An insightful post.

I'd like to add that the 2nd law of thermodynamics holds that entropy in a closed system always increases. That suggests the cells in our bodies are continually tending towards disorder.

"Curing" aging is inevitably going to be a matter of somehow getting in and adding energy to the system to reverse that entropy.

Deterioration and Drawbacks (1)

Cash202 (854642) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413968)

This seems to be playing out somewhat similar to the Gundam Seed anime.

The concept of gene alteration, which makes the people themselves more enhanced, whether metally, phycially, or in life span, receive negative effects, which in both this experience and the anime was infertilety over several generations and deteriaration of the gene.

It is interesting how sci-fi shows can trully have a random chance of predicting some aspects of future.

Although this can be viewed as progress, it is unnatural. However, most of our society is based around and functions on unnatural principles, beliefs, and technologies, however we view their possitive effects outweight the negatives. Maybe it is only in selfishness, which it most likely is, for example our necessity on automobiles and other gasoline based transportation, inspite the damage it causes to environment.

That is the question for this situation, would this gene alteration bring more posstive then negative aspects? (At least the way we view 'possitive' and 'negative')

The older we get the worse shape we are... (2, Insightful)

scruff323 (840369) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413972)

From a person who doesn't know much about this topic, it seems like the longer people live, the worse shape they become. As people start reaching their late 70s and 80s, they getting many health problems that, quite frankly, I would rather not live with. These problems can be mental and/or physical so that you could have a body that is fragile and brittle, but a working mind. This makes it so that you know that you are brittle and fragile, but you can't do anything about it. The reverse of that would be pretty bad too.

I know that I would not want live in that state. Just imagine yourself in the early stages of alzheimer's where you know that you are forgetting all that you used to know. I'm sure to incite a couple of fierce replies with this next comment but it is my opinion: I would want to be euthanized if I was in that state.

The article does state that in the mice, the typical effects of old age were delayed. But I would bet anything that in humans, infertility and diabetes would be only the start of the problems caused by this.

P.S. People who oppose my opinion, don't take offense to what I say for it is simply my opinion and it often changes as more information is taken into account.

Re:The older we get the worse shape we are... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413998)

i think you are quite right in your train of thought, there is no point to being able to live an extra 30 years if the quality of life can't be extended. we have definately been acheiving this, eg. 30 is now labeled the new 20's

Re:The older we get the worse shape we are... (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414101)

if we want to raise quality we should just do it. nothing is stopping us from raising the quality of life ourselves.

Re:The older we get the worse shape we are... (3, Insightful)

jIyajbe (662197) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414118)

My father (who passed away a few months ago) had a major stroke which put him in a wheelchair. He needed help with the most basic life functions. Later, Parkinson's disease starting taking away his mind--very, very slowly, over a period of 10 years. He *knew* he was losing his memories, his ability to read, and even to form a coherent sentence. He could still understand me, and until almost the very end of his life, I could understand him.

For all 15 years of this degenerative process, up until the last two months of his life, he maintained that life was still worth living, and that in spite of everything, he was still enjoying being alive. (Children, marriages, grandchildren...) Only in the last two months did he say he was ready to die. (He went peacefully.)

One anecdotal data point. My point? Us young folks really can't say what old folks want, or will want. Including ourselves.

These news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13413979)

Scientists Discover Possible Anti-Aging Gene

So we have to get old again?

Something tells me that I don't need to RTFM.

We should all thank Life Extention (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413983)

We should thank the Life Extension Foundation [lef.org] and the supplement industry for funding the anti anging initiative.

They offer a membership for anyone who wants to help fund the anti aging movement. We all should get involved with this and get memberships, its our lives we are protecting.

In other news... (3, Funny)

Sartak (589317) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413989)

Scientists discover that Klotho's evil twin brother, Cthulhu, can be used without the drawbacks of life-enhancing results.

Klotho vs. Indy longevity genes (2, Interesting)

Mortiss (812218) | more than 8 years ago | (#13413997)

Now, it will be interesting to compare this gene with previously covered longevity gene discovered in fruit flies - Indy. What proteins do they encode, what are their roles etc?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/12/00121 5082220.htm [sciencedaily.com]

Running a quick and dirty comparison analysis using Genebank BLAST shows no obvious similarities.

The diabetes thing sucks ass (0)

multiplexo (27356) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414000)

but the fertility thing isn't too bad. I don't care if I'm shooting blanks so long as the gun fires, if you know what I mean. Besides, the fertility thing might balance out, sure, you'll be less fertile, but you'll have more time to fuck, so it all comes out in the wash.

Long life, less fertile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13414004)

I think that being less fertile would be a GOOD thing with a longer life... we we just had longer life and were fully fertile for all that time, the earth would have even more trouble than it already is sustaining the population growth that would ensue. I'd say this is a perfect balance for longer lives.

Stem Cells= Anti Aging (1, Interesting)

zymano (581466) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414010)

Stem cells can cure aging like osteoperosis and arthritis.

Seems like antiaging to me without messing with genes .

Stem cells have cured nothing so far (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414117)

The supplement industry has a better track record than stem cells. Yes stem cells like nano technology have a lot of potential for 50 years into the future, right now its just not practical or useful.

I'm all for anti aging, and stem cell research has little if anything to do with the anti aging movement. When you want to mess with genetics it does not actually cure those who are already sick, it might prevent people of the future from getting sick but it could make cancer more popular as well. I'm not really looking forward to the genetic technologies because I don't trust the drug companies.

Instead if we are going to use stemcells we need to open up the technology, make it decentralized, once its open and everyone can access it and do research then I'll care more about it. Why arent there university courses on stem cell technology? Why should the general population support something that doctors don't know enough about to actually teach courses on it?

If stem cells are the next big thing after DNA, we need to actually be teaching it in school like we taught DNA. We need to teach stem cell courses like we teach courses about atoms and photons in highschool.

Dying early can be a drawback. (1)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414014)

The trick for researchers will be to find ways of getting the life-enhancing results of Klotho while avoiding the drawbacks.

Well let's see. You get diabetes, you are less fertile or you have 35 years less life? Well according to the FDA getting diabetes or becoming infertile makes the benefit of the drug, living 35 years longer, totally unacceptable. I think if people were allowed to make this choice themselves instead of the government they could live with the side effects.

Re:Dying early can be a drawback. (2, Insightful)

Jim_Callahan (831353) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414084)

Well, diabetes kills people too stupid to regulate it correctly. So you'll end up with a decrease in lifespan rather than an increase it in a majority of the human population...

Again? (1)

cente (785332) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414019)

Hey, aren't elves supposed to live *forever* and breed almost never? Arent vulcans too now that I'm thinking about it? Welcome, Lord of the Rings and/or Startrek!!

You can live longer, but will you feel/look young? (2, Interesting)

RootsLINUX (854452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414020)

The article fails to specify what is meant by "anti-aging". Is it keeping a very old living being alive longer? Or does it also have the added benefit of decreasing visible and physical signs of aging to the subject in question? If all that this drug can do is keep a very very old-looking person alive a bit longer, but not feel or look as old as they are, I say big deal. If I'm that old and weak, I'd probably want to die soon anyway.

Re:You can live longer, but will you feel/look you (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13414113)

With every single one of these extensions in average expected lifespan, the age-associated decline is also delayed.

So this would mean being healthier for longer. Everybody knows of the odd person who is 80, but looks like a 60-year old and acts like a 40 year-old (running marathons etc.). Possible treatments for ageing are aimed at prevented age-related decline and making sure most people can be like that 80 year-old.

Big deal you say. You'd rather die. Fine - but then you might miss out on the advances that come along 10 or 20 years down the track, which might reverse the decline which has already occurred.

More life is always better (unless you believe in an afterlife I guess).

Re:You can live longer, but will you feel/look you (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414140)

The article fails to specify what is meant by "anti-aging"

Well sure, if you don't read it. From TFA:

"Klotho seems to delay many of the effects of old age, like the weakening of bones, clogging of the arteries and loss of muscle fitness."

On a related idea... (1)

USSJoin (896766) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414027)

Orson Scott Card, in Ender's Shadow, raised the ethical question of what happens if we can flip an intelligence gene, with the opposite effect of klotho: extreme shortened life. I see various comments about acceptable side effects: what do we think is an acceptable tradeoff? And if this klotho dumbed down people (the corollary), would that be acceptable?

Re:On a related idea... (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414098)

I would give up some life expectancy for 10 IQ points, if I could have been born with it.

Several neurological and nerve diseases are associated with high IQ. I don't think I would be down with one of those, although some are milder than others.

We don't need this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13414041)

We're too many already.

whiners (2, Insightful)

Jippy T Flounder (819544) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414047)

the current average human life span is PLENTY for achieving dreams, enjoyment, and personal betterment. instead of trying to extend life, these guys should be out there LIVING.

and besides, as asimov said, our relatively short life-spans are a cause for collaboration, and you can't say that's not a good thing. a big part of human nature is the concept of legacy, evolving ourselves and passing down to the next generation. if we increase our life-spans, we just slow down the process.

not to mention overpopulation, poverty, blah blah blah etc. etc. ad nauseum.

if we're going to evolve, let's evolve along the lines of cybernetics, improving the quality of life for the here and now, instead of hanging around longer. those who dream of extended life are dreaming of more time to regret wasting the first bits.

and we're STILL not immune to large trucks. BUGGRIT.

Re:whiners (2, Insightful)

Jugurtha (802448) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414068)

All of those issues are rediculous. They are not an issue when you take into account birth control, decrease in poverty due to future technologies, etc... Why have 10 kids if you are going to live for 1000+ years? The current human life span is way too short. A person would need 1000 lifetimes to really start to experience everything that life has to offer. The entire idea that people should accept death is nothing more than a rationalization in the face of the lack of ability to halt the aging process and death. If we have the technology to end aging, which we seem to be working towards even if it isn't supported outwardly by most people, then I say we must do it. Life is good death is bad, it doesn't get any simpler than that. All it is going to take is one research group making a mouse live double its normal lifespan for people to take a serious look at the possibility of extending the human lifespan indefinitely. The sooner we do this the better off humanity will be. Imagine if people actually lived for 1000 years. Instead of dying off they would have to live with the effects of their lifestyle choices on the world. I like to think that people would become far less likely to allow pollution to occure, far less likely to go to war, far less likely to be ignoran given the centuries of experience they would have. I can only see positives in terms of extending peoples lives. Any negatives are problems that we will solve in the future. Overpopulation? Move off the planet, engineer better crops. Grow meat rather than raise it on farms, the list goes on. Anyone who is against this technology is not thinking of the future, they are stuck in the past in a dogma of death and ignorance.

Re:whiners (1)

Mikey-San (582838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414116)

The current human life span is way too short.

You know, I think nature would disagree with you there, and she's got far more experience with the subject than you.

Re:whiners (1)

Jugurtha (802448) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414139)

I'm sorry but nature isn't some intelligent being, it's random chance. Humans left behind nature in terms of evolution a long time ago. We are in charge of our own evolution now and we need to start acting that way, otherwise we might as well go back to living in caves and using rocks and sticks to survive with.

The sensation you are feeling is the quickening. (1)

coopaq (601975) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414054)

Back in my day...

"There can be only one!"

"If your head comes away from your neck, it's over!"

Well that's just great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13414066)

Great. Now everytime some jackass dies I have to hear more stupid ass statements.

"Only 67!? They were so young..."

How about comparisons of this gene (4, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414073)

between humans? Esp. humans of different races? It seems to me that Asians(esp. East Asians) actually tend to age much less than caucasians. Japan especially tends to have a lot of very old people, I remember in 2003 the oldest person in the world was Japanese, they died, and then again the oldest person in the world was Japanese. In China, esp. rural China, you buy your own casket at age 60 or 70, but it's not uncommon for one to use it as a piece of furniture for 20 or 30 years!
Even in very poor parts of Asia, such as Pakistan, centarians(sp?) are not nearly as rare as they are in the US and Europe. Is this due to the same gene? Is it due to diet/exercise? Or is it a combination of factors?

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13414083)

In Korea only old people...

oh wait...

the last thing we need (1)

Polysics (837417) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414105)

greeaaattt.... so not only is the population expanding at an exponential rate, we're gonna live longer than we are now.

we're about to run out of room on this rock QUICK.

Gene Therapy Right Here Please (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414109)

The long-lived mice in the new experiments tend to be less fertile. And the gene may also predispose people to diabetes. The trick for researchers will be to find ways of getting the life-enhancing results of Klotho while avoiding the drawbacks

You know, I don't see being less fertile as a drawback. If people want to get pregnant these days, they will. Another poster already mentioned a possible population boom.

Don't even think along those lines. What you're saying is "this gene can make you live longer, at as a mild birth control, and help prevent teen pregnancy."

Now, just for a cure for diabetes.

Yin Yang (1)

Maxhrk (680390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13414112)

Law of Balance, Yin Yang, etc.. you know the rest...

you extend age of certain person, there are bound to be a drawback somewhere.

funny... to think our Human life expectancy extend longer, but there always drawback like AIDS, etc that came along.

Law of balance of it just one of my stupid theory.
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