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Longevity

Scientists on the Verge of Discovering the Fountain of Youth

16 years, 10 months ago

2034  0
Posted on Dec 28, 2002, 12 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Drugs that will enable us to live longer could be available within five years, according to Harvard researcher David Sinclair. He has already succeeded in increasing the life span of yeast by a staggering 40% by giving organisms an extra copy of the so-called longevity gene Sir2. The extra copy of the gene had the same effect on yeast as calorie restriction, a well-known way of increasing longevity, without the need to limit food intake.

Drugs that will enable us to live longer could be available within five years, according to Harvard researcher David Sinclair. He has already succeeded in increasing the life span of yeast by a staggering 40% by giving organisms an extra copy of the so-called longevity gene Sir2. The extra copy of the gene had the same effect on yeast as calorie restriction, a well-known way of increasing longevity, without the need to limit food intake. The Sir2 gene is thought to increase longevity by protecting DNA from mutations that would eventually result in cell death, however Sir2 is not the only anti-aging gene. Elixir Pharmaceuticals, which was co-founded by Leonard Guarente the man who discovered Sir2, holds patents on the Sir2 and INDY (I'm Not Dead Yet) genes and has patent applications for 15 more. The discovery of these genes is important as scientists believe that drugs designed to increase their activity will help to ward off aging and prolong life.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.chicagotribune.com on the 29th July 2002

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