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Biotech Science

Scientists Identify a Potentially Universal Mechanism of Aging 359

Posted by Soulskill
from the wonder-if-boosterspice-is-covered-by-health-care dept.
cybergenesis2008 points us to a summary of research out of Harvard Medical School in which a set of genes known to affect aging in yeast was found to affect aging in mice as well. The genes, called sirtuins, perform two particular tasks; regulating which genes are "on" and "off," and also helping to repair damaged DNA. As an organism ages, the frequency of damage to DNA increases, leaving less time for the sirtuins' regulatory tasks. The increasingly unregulated genes then become a significant factor in aging. Realizing this, the researchers "administered extra copies of the sirtuin gene [to the mice], or fed them the sirtuin activator resveratrol, which in turn extended their mean lifespan by 24 to 46 percent." We discussed the plans for this research a few years ago.
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Scientists Identify a Potentially Universal Mechanism of Aging

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  • by MillionthMonkey (240664) * on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:12PM (#25920217)
    But don't worry guys, they're going to come out with a new class of bailout drugs for you guys, like Paulsonex, and Philgramma, and Greenspanitol.
  • by PPH (736903) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:13PM (#25920225)
    My pet snake thanks you.
  • Well, at least people are waiting until more research comes in on the effects of this before trying to mass market this as some sort of magical age extender for humans.
    Oh... wait... [google.com]

    Though it will be interesting to see if this has any noticeable effects on the many people that I'm sure are taking this stuff regularly.
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:22PM (#25920301)

    I'm honestly scared of the day that they do figure out how to cure aging, because it will lead to an even greater stratification of social status and class. Most of the wealth in this country (and indeed most of the world) is concentrated with men who are over the age of 50-60 years. When they die, that wealth is then redistributed. Those people will be amongst the first to benefit from any such medical process; And if history has been any judge, that medical process will be expensive and there'll be little incentive to make it cheaper. The end result will be people who are born and work their entire lives, then die, never having had the opportunity to aquire wealth, because those who still have it aren't dying anymore.

    This won't be something for humanity to celebrate. If and when the day comes, then we'll have to answer the question of what happens when numbers increase but resources decrease? And the answer will be in what kind of life is possible in that world. It won't be as good as the one you have now, I assure you.

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:31PM (#25920379)

      If you can say younger for 50% longer that means there is 50% more time you can work. If they say raise retirement age from 60s to 80's and at 80 you feel like you are 60 then what can happen is there is more time you can contribute to social security thus more money in the system. Also longer time where the person is benefiting to the economy and less of taking what you deserve. You are under the impression that as people gain wealth most of them will horde it. While the truth is that they will try to spend it. So if the average joe can make more when they do retire with an exptected 20-30 years of their lives they will spend it more liberally, then if they had little.

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:58PM (#25920571)

        You are under the impression that as people gain wealth most of them will horde it. While the truth is that they will try to spend it.

        There are many economists, researchers, and liberal arts majors, along with about 200 million working poor, that very much disagree with you. But you can ignore the liberal arts majors.

        • by c6gunner (950153) on Friday November 28, 2008 @09:24PM (#25920769)

          There are many economists, researchers, and liberal arts majors, along with about 200 million working poor, that very much disagree with you. But you can ignore the liberal arts majors.

          You can ignore all of them. There are also 100 million Americans who believe that the Earth is being visited by little green men who have nothing better to do than shove metal objects in the anal cavities of dirt-poor yokels in Middle-Of-Nowhere, Idaho. Just because an idea is popular, that doesn't mean it's true.

          As for the original claim - he's absolutely right. Most people don't accumulate wealth, they spend it. That's part of the reason why the US is in such a hole right now - because people like living beyond their means.

          What you and the other numbnut are referring to is the infinitesimal percentage of people who actually know how to make large amounts of money, and use it wisely. Personally, I don't give a damn if those people manage to "hoard" ten times what they can accumulate today - they generally generate so much wealth and advancement in the process of acquiring their wealth that their personal fortunes pale in comparison. You and your buddy can bitch about Bill Gates and Richard Branson all you like, but each of them does more good for the human race in one day than you will in a lifetime.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *

            . There are also 100 million Americans who believe that the Earth is being visited by little green men who have nothing better to do than shove metal objects in the anal cavities of dirt-poor yokels in Middle-Of-Nowhere, Idaho. Just because an idea is popular, that doesn't mean it's true.

            I doubt 1/3 of all Americans even believe that there can be intelligence elsewhere in the universe, much less engaging in homoerotic xenosexual fantasies.

            • by c6gunner (950153)

              I doubt 1/3 of all Americans even believe that there can be intelligence elsewhere in the universe, much less engaging in homoerotic xenosexual fantasies.

              Most recent surveys put the number at 30%. In Canada it's even worse - around 50%.

              Granted, the reliability of many of these surveys is questionable, but no matter how you look at it, a large percentage of people believe in that crap.

              Of course, an even larger percentage believe in angels - a concept which is even more ridiculous - so the 30% figure shouldn

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by c6gunner (950153)

              I know it's bad form to post 2 responses in a row, but this was just to perfect to pass up:

              Out of the 3 people who respond to my original comment so far, one of them only did so in order to defend UFO's. So, 1/3 = 33.3% :)

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            What you and the other numbnut are referring to is the infinitesimal percentage of people who actually know how to make large amounts of money, and use it wisely.

            What little information [fairfield.edu] we have on the subject of wealth distribution states that infinitesimal percentage (5%) owns over 71% of all wealth in the country. Care to revise your statement, sir?

            • by c6gunner (950153)

              What little information [fairfield.edu] we have on the subject of wealth distribution states that infinitesimal percentage (5%) owns over 71% of all wealth in the country. Care to revise your statement, sir?

              Your link doesn't even address the statement you quoted, so I don't really see how you can expect me to revise anything.

              All you're doing is listing percentages. That tells me nothing about how long people at each percentage level have had their fortunes, how they acquired them, or how large their indivi

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                Your link doesn't even address the statement you quoted, so I don't really see how you can expect me to revise anything.

                At least I'm providing links, achem. You said earlier "What you and the other numbnut are referring to is the infinitesimal percentage of people who actually know how to make large amounts of money, and use it wisely." I was quoting statistics about how big that percentage is. These people don't make large amounts of money, they have large amounts of money. The numbers suggest that these people save a disproportionate amount of wealth; their overall flow, that is, how much money they are making over a given

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by drsmithy (35869)

              What little information [fairfield.edu] we have on the subject of wealth distribution states that infinitesimal percentage (5%) owns over 71% of all wealth in the country.

              It's worth pointing out that this is almost certainly the most generous distribution of wealth in tens of thousands of years.

          • by Bombula (670389)

            Most people don't accumulate wealth, they spend it. That's part of the reason why the US is in such a hole right now - because people like living beyond their means.

            It's virtually impossible to hoard money today, and certainly no one with any significant amount of wealth does so. The only way to actually hoard wealth is to withdraw it from the economy, and that means removing currency from circulation. Do you know anyone who keeps their savings at home in cash? I don't.

            When money is put in the bank i

            • by c6gunner (950153)

              The issue that the posters are alluding to is social justice and economic equity. Whether you hoard or not, when title to wealth accumulates with individuals while leaving other people to live hand-to-mouth, then your society has started to lose its claim to being civilized.

              The path to communism is paved with good intentions :)

              The phrase "social justice" is only slightly less silly than the ideas it represents. Basically, what you're arguing is that it's not the total amount of wealth in a society that mat

          • The parent has it 180 degrees backwards. We are in this crisis because people invested too aggressively, not because they spent too much.

            As for the original claim - he's absolutely right. Most people don't accumulate wealth, they spend it. That's part of the reason why the US is in such a hole right now - because people like living beyond their means.

            All the agents involved in this crisis, the Homebuyers, Lenders, Bankers, and Hedge Funds, all displayed a textbook propensity for extreme accumulation of

            • I'm sorry, but I fail to see how spending money on stocks is "not spending".

              I don't know how you define spending, but by my definition it would be something like "the exchange of currency in return for goods or services". It doesn't matter whether you buy a car, or buy some stocks - you're still spending. The only difference is that you expect your car to go down in value, while everyone always inexplicably expects stocks to go up.

              If instead of buying stocks they had blown their money in a casino, would y

              • I'm sorry, but I fail to see how spending money on stocks is "not spending".

                I know you don't see the difference. That's why I'm strongly recommending you stop spreading your ignorance and familiarize yourself with a little economic system we call "Capitalism" [wikipedia.org]

                I don't know how you define spending, but by my definition it would be something like "the exchange of currency in return for goods or services". It doesn't matter whether you buy a car, or buy some stocks - you're still spending. The only difference

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by peragrin (659227)

        Wow what an ignorant statement. I figured after 8 years of Reagan spouting that bullshit and the economy collapsing, and 8 more years of the same crap with Bush and again economy collapsing. that people would finally figure out that trickle down theory is so far wrong that it leads to economic collapse.

        Do yourself a favor. draw a timeline of economic upswings and downswings. and layer on who was president and when. you should notice a trend. republicans crash or damage the economy. Now it isn't 100%

        • You give someone who is bad with money $1,000 and they buy a TV. You give someone who is good with money $1,000 and they'll buy treasury bonds.

          Personally I would wager the TV buyer is a better economy rejuvinator and better job creator. If I give a minimum wage earner $1,000 he's going to spend it largely at companies that employ other minimum wage workers. If I spend $1,000 on a millionaire he'll probably spend it in one place that employs a small handful of high wage employees.

          Giving money to lower inc

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by h2_plus_O (976551)
            The economy needs at least as much saving and investing as it does consumption. One without the others doesn't sustain itself so well. Balance, in all things. Including economics. Especially economics.
      • If they say raise retirement age from 60s to 80's and at 80 you feel like you are 60

        Why has the retirement age not already risen with the vast improvements in healthcare and life expectancy?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by DougF (1117261)
          Because Social Security is an entitlement program and to change it, may change votes for politicians who favor the change, or may cost votes for those who don't favor change. So, no action will be taken until absolutely necessary.
    • by thermian (1267986) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:35PM (#25920395)

      Before they cure aging, they have to cure arthritis. What use is living to be a thousand if for 940 of those years you are immobile.

      Arthritis is an interesting case, since it strikes humans after breeding age mostly, so evolution hasn't killed it off.

      • by Rayban (13436) * on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:53PM (#25920547) Homepage

        The answer is simple: anti-arthritis death sqauds. If you end up with arthritis, we kill you and your whole family.

        It's obvious- why hasn't anyone implemented it yet?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The longer we live, the more "stuff" we will get into that will prevent us from living forever. Arthritis severely degrades the quality of life, and increases risk of some other deadly conditions. Obesity, however, will be worse. Not only will it effect a much larger percentage of the population, but it increases multiple mortality factors that are not related to aging. And, it is nearly as effective as arthritis in ruining the QofL.

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          Obesity tends to kill people off BEFORE any anti-aging life extension would kick in.

    • by owlnation (858981) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:38PM (#25920419)

      This won't be something for humanity to celebrate. If and when the day comes, then we'll have to answer the question of what happens when numbers increase but resources decrease?

      What will happen? I can answer that in one word -- "rebellion"

      The rich may not age, but they will still bleed.

      • by n dot l (1099033) on Friday November 28, 2008 @09:28PM (#25920793)

        What will happen? I can answer that in one word -- "rebellion"

        Oh, please. We'd be too busy stabbing each other in the back, fighting for what little scraps they do leave us, to ever do them much harm. Much as it has always been.

        What kills them in the end (because nothing can last forever) will not be a rebellion of the poor. It will be their own stupidity as they will, inevitably, become bored, complacent, decadent and distracted - random misfortune will do the rest. It won't be till the very end, when their power is already good as gone, that angry mobs storm the palace and take credit for the people's great victory.

      • by c6gunner (950153)

        The rich may not age, but they will still bleed.

        Show us the way Comrade Stalin! Let us grind those bourgeoisie bastards under our boot heels!

        By the way, how did you want to organize the purges? I mean, it goes without saying that the academics must be hung at once, but how will we deal with the rest of the population? I think maybe we can base them around the income tax levels ... you know, those who pay 50% on income tax get 50% of their body-parts removed, those at 40% get slightly less removed, and so

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      > The end result will be people who are born and work their entire lives, then die, never having had the opportunity to aquire wealth, because those who still have it aren't dying anymore.

      You're making the assumption that the amount of wealth in the world is fixed, and that the only way to acquire it is to get it from someone else (via death or other means). I think most people will agree that that is a false assumption.
    • by anarxia (651289)
      Thanks to inflation by the time they are 400 they wont be rich any more.
    • You should read Altered Carbon. [wikipedia.org]
    • by miracle69 (34841)

      The difference between the wealthy, the middle class, and the poor lies in their behavior patterns around money, much like the difference in the obese, the overweight, and the normal weight lies in their behavior patterns around food and exercise.

      It is easy to understand how to become wealthy. It is hard to do - because you have to have decades of discipline.

      • by sqrt(2) (786011)

        Body type is mostly genetics. I eat a lot and barely exercise. I eat the same things every other stressed out, busy geek does (junk food, fast food, take out) and I'm barely at a healthy weight, close to being under weight. Strangely enough my parents were the same way, and their parents...

        What class you are born into has more to do with where you'll end up than how hard you try in life. It's possible to move between classes, but the so called upward mobility we pride ourselves on in America is largely fict

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It is hard to do - because you have to have decades of discipline.

        Yeah, because luck, genetics, connections, and plain old crime don't factor into it at all.
    • by FleaPlus (6935) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:58PM (#25920577) Journal

      If and when the day comes, then we'll have to answer the question of what happens when numbers increase but resources decrease?

      Or maybe people will finally start realizing that (especially with ever-increasing technology) economics isn't a zero-sum game.

    • You raise an interesting point about longer lifespans affecting the distribution of wealth. However, I've always understood that women control most of the wealth in the US. See Women actually control 51.3% of percent wealth in the United States. [pbs.org] for example.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      While your comment includes _some_ correct thoughts, what is correct is overwhelmed by your foolish notions. But you have been indoctrinated well. Your teachers should be pleased.

      First, wealth isn't a finite resource. It is more like bytes and wood (we make more), than gold or oil (short of transmutation, finite).
      We make wealth all the time. You add value to things by moving them from place to place, transforming them from one state to another (raw to finished, recycled, etc.), by performing services, in

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drsmithy (35869)

        What kills healthcare is (a) lawsuits, a necessary evil, and (b) nationalized medicine (e.g., where Canada's Supreme Court has ruled that "a right to healthcare" means only a right to be on a waiting list.

        Bullshit.

        You do realise that more countries in the world than Canada have "nationalised healthcare", right ? And that most of them have better $/result efficiencies, and healthier populations, than the US ?

        About the only times I can think of where it would be preferable - from a healthcare perspective

    • by tylerni7 (944579)
      I don't think that the economy will be affected too much because of wealth not being redistributed. After all, it's not like all the rich folk simply have their money go to charities when they die, it usually goes to their already rich families.

      But as for resources... we are already (sort of) feeling the strain of our energy resources being depleted. Having the same thing apply to food, land, and other resources will be devastating unless we can figure out some workaround for all of those.

      Even with that
    • There is so much wrong in your post that it actually makes me weep that you're really serious.

      Those people will be amongst the first to benefit from any such medical process; And if history has been any judge, that medical process will be expensive and there'll be little incentive to make it cheaper.

      If history is any judge, medical processes get consistently cheaper and more widely available.

      The end result will be people who are born and work their entire lives, then die, never having had the opportunity to aquire wealth, because those who still have it aren't dying anymore.

      Do you seriously believe the only way to acquire wealth is to sit and wait for someone to die and have it given to you? Sheesh.

      Let me tell you the easiest way to become wealthy: SAVE. That simple. Don't be a typical consumer idiot. Save 25% of your income. By the time you retire, you will be one of those rich people you think hoard all the wealth.

      If and when the day comes, then we'll have to answer the question of what happens when numbers increase but resources decrease?

      What makes you think immortality leads to population increases? Actually, I think it's far more likely that it will lead to a decreasing population. I doubt that immortal people will continue to crank out kids decade after decade. It's more likely that an older population of people who have "been there, done that" will be done making kids, and we'll actually have an human extinction crisis in 1,000 years.

      What that means is that immorality leads to a decreasing population leading to more resources for fewer people.

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday November 28, 2008 @10:07PM (#25921091)

        If history is any judge, medical processes get consistently cheaper and more widely available.

        I'm sorry but the facts [nchc.org] do not support this conclusion. The percentage of uninsured persons in the United States has been on the rise for some time and as of 2006 was at just over 20%. The percentage of people (workers and dependents) with employment-based health insurance has dropped from 70 percent in 1987 to 59 percent in 2006. Clearly, availability is going down. As to costs... You must not read the papers. Medicaid is about to go bankrupt due to skyrocketing health care costs.

        Do you seriously believe the only way to acquire wealth is to sit and wait for someone to die and have it given to you? Sheesh.

        I didn't say it was the only way. They could spend it. The majority of wealth (~70%) is owned by under 5% of the population, and given their spending habits, I just think it's far more practical to wait for them to die.

        Let me tell you the easiest way to become wealthy: SAVE. That simple. Don't be a typical consumer idiot. Save 25% of your income. By the time you retire, you will be one of those rich people you think hoard all the wealth.

        I thought the easiest way was being born into a rich family or winning the lottery. And as to "saving"... Honey, don't piss on my back and tell me it's raining; Most of us are living paycheck to paycheck, and we spend everything we get on basic necessities. We're not "consumer idiots" -- the technical term for people like us is fucking broke.

        What makes you think immortality leads to population increases?

        People live longer and they're still going to want to fuck. Heeeere's your sign.

        I doubt that immortal people will continue to crank out kids decade after decade.

        Funny, since most people look at having kids as their best shot at immortality.

        • by Free the Cowards (1280296) on Friday November 28, 2008 @10:26PM (#25921211)

          Medicare is going bankrupt because aggregate costs are increasing. But that says nothing about individual procedures. If we wanted to provide 1950-level care today, it would cost less than it cost in 1950. But we expect better, and so we pay more, even though the cost of the individual pieces has gone down.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Albertosaurus (696135)

          I thought the easiest way was being born into a rich family or winning the lottery. And as to "saving"... Honey, don't piss on my back and tell me it's raining; Most of us are living paycheck to paycheck, and we spend everything we get on basic necessities. We're not "consumer idiots" -- the technical term for people like us is fucking broke.

          The technical term for people like you is "delusional". If you're living paycheck to paycheck, you're living the American Dream, a.k.a., you're living beyond your means. And guess what, you don't have the fucking right to live a lifestyle you can't support. Deal with it. You can start by spending the time you normally use to read Slashdot on doing something productive. It's not a basic necessity. Neither is your TV, DVD player, or going out to the pub. I'm sick to death of whiny bastards with an disp

      • by joshuac (53492)

        What that means is that immorality leads to a decreasing population leading to more resources for fewer people.

        Shucks, I already miss the good old days, when good old fashioned immorality would lead to population increase.

    • And the answer will be in what kind of life is possible in that world. It won't be as good as the one you have now, I assure you.

      Ah...Ahhh.. AAAhhhCHOOBullshit.

      It also means that researchers will be able to carry on their best work for more years, that you can spend years longer on that full sized carved-hardwood classic panhead Harley, and level your Orc hunter to 400. Travel to the nearest stars will be possible, craftsmen will perfect their crafts, and that $0.05 piece you invest will allow you a dinner table at Milliways.

      Life is too damn short. If you have longer you'll spend more time on the things you love and the entire worl

    • by jcgf (688310)
      Your assurance is based on a bunch of assertions that you pulled out of your ass. I'm still shooting for immortality.
    • by b4upoo (166390)

      You have it wrong. Old women accumulate wealth as they live longer than the husbands that drop dead working to make the money in the first place. It is the task of younger men to extract money from these old women either by marriage or at least owning the local bingo parlor.
      Secondly we need to put a harsh limit on reproduction despite any advances in health care for seniors.
      The story goes like this: I'll build you a

    • When they die, that wealth is then redistributed.

      Actually these days most of the wealth has been drained before death, by nursing home care and the like.

      This research just shows the size of the black hole known as The Great Society in the CBO projections 30 years out is a fraction of its actual size. When the Baby Boomers hit 120 the system completely unravels. It's already projected to raise tax rates beyond the point where it's more cost effective to be on welfare than to work, so I'm not sure this actu

    • by quixote9 (999874)
      The Cambrian explosion was some 560 million years ago. Around then life went from being pretty much just blobs or ferny-looking aggregates of single cells to the huge diversity of life we're used to these days.

      The difference between the pre- and post-Cambrian is that sexual reproduction and death were invented.

      Both of those will slow down together with increased life span. So the longer we live, the more boring we'll get. If the gods really decide to give us what we want, I guess we'll probably con
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Most of the wealth in this country (and indeed most of the world) is concentrated with men who are over the age of 50-60 years.

      That is absolutely untrue and verging on propaganda. The vast majority of the wealth in western society is controlled by women. Think about who dies first and who gets left the money in the will. And even when both spouses are alive it is usually the female half who performs the majority of the spending. Who is most advertising aimed at? It isn't men that's for sure.

  • Fun. No really, the older I get, the more fun life gets. My thirties rocked hard, and life in my forties is thus far great.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      I would rather have fun and NOT age.
      For one, I will have more fun.

      • You can only be young once,

        but you can be immature forever.
        • by thermian (1267986)

          You can only be young once,

          but you can be immature forever.

          Amen to that. I'm a parent, and I take parenthood very seriously, but that doesn't mean I need to be 'normal' and act like I'm not allowed to have fun anymore..

          Fortunately, my kid can cope with me. Well, most of the time he can...

        • by geekoid (135745)

          True, but I want that young once to go on for za really long time.

          Experiencing the effects of age doesn't make you mature, time does. Just becasue I am 235 years old and look like I am 27 doesn't mean I'm immature.

    • That reminds me of a line from cheers.

      (something like)
      "They say that a man's sexual is 18."

      "You know who said that? An 18 year old."

      • Oops. That should have read

        (something like)
        "They say that a man's sexual peak is 18."

        "You know who said that? An 18 year old."

        Oops again.

  • Reservatol is a chemical extracted from grape skins when exposed to fungus (yeast), and present in red wine.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      In extremely small amounts.

      • Define "Extremely Small." I need about 40mg/day of Ritalin for it to have an effect on me; 1000mg acute of Ibuprofine to have an effect, up to 6 times a day; and 0.005mg/day of Risperdal for it to have an effect on me. In reproducing yeast, I need to dissolve a hell of a lot of oxygen into water for them to strip amino acids for a carbon source and make linoleic acid; but to reproduce a liter of yeast from a few mL, I need approximately .00036mL of olive oil, which is about 40% Oleic acid, which supplies

  • Hmmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101 ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Friday November 28, 2008 @09:00PM (#25920605) Homepage Journal

    There are two problems I see with the usual theory that aging is related to "accumulation of damage", as the article seems to imply:

    1) Humans live, barring accidents and disease, about 80-90 years, 120 at the outside. My dog lives 15-16 years, 22 on the outside. My dog gets all the normal signs of aging -- arthritis, gray hair, join and muscle pain, etc. But at an age that humans are not even entering their physical prime.

    2) From a certain point of view, there is only one organism on earth, and it's billions of years old. Pieces of the organism fall off now and then, but it constantly renews itself. Slightly different each, but going through a consistent cycle of "physical prime". How can it renew itself when, presumably, all cells are "accumulating damage"?

    • Not all cells accumulate damage at the same rate.
      Hence the role of sex. Reproduction occurs fast
      enough that the damage rate can not overwhelm the
      survival of a species.

    • by mikael (484)

      How can it renew itself when, presumably, all cells are "accumulating damage"?

      Because the cells in the reproductive parts of an organism are the first to be formed during cell division and are kept in 'suspended animation' until actually needed. Thus, "accumulated damage" isn't so bad for those cells as it is for other cells. Then there is the use of two genetic parents to reduce the risk of genetic defects affecting the offspring.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      1) I would think that's because your dog's aging repair just turns off a lot earlier than yours does. We are all, from the time we're very young, accumulating "damage," it's just that it gets repaired more efficiently and for a longer time for some living things than for others.

      2) From a certain point of view (through green colored glasses), the sky is green. That doesn't mean it actually is. I'm not sure you can say there's only one organism on earth except in the most metaphorical sense, and I'm too

  • There has truly never been a better time to be a mouse!

    I, for one, welcome our immortal rodent overlords!

  • by artson (728234) on Friday November 28, 2008 @09:25PM (#25920775) Homepage Journal
    It's the awful truth isn't it? The Baby Boomers really aren't ever going to go away are they?
    • by zappepcs (820751)

      Holy shit, that's funny! In an OMFG kind of way.

      Seriously, they have overlooked the obvious. Air is what ages us. If you want to stop getting older, stop BREATHING!

      This is especially useful information for Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.

      On a side note, breast augmentation is unnecessary. Look at women. All they need to do is rub toilet paper on their breasts... it works for their behinds. ba dum dum

      I'm here all week

    • by geekoid (135745)

      No, we aren't...now get to work. :)

  • Nirvana is where it's at!
  • inside Dick Clark's medicine cabinet!
  • which in turn extended their mean lifespan by 24 to 46 percent.

    WTF does it mean for there to be a range of means? It's not like they're sampling the population of all mice to which they gave this treatment, and have to estimate the mean.

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      There isn't. There's only one mean lifespan. The drug extends that mean lifespan by 24% to 46%. They give a range of extensions.

      They could have simply given the mean extension, but, provided they used a reasonable method to determine it, the range gives more information. If, say, it's +- 1 standard deviation then we know that the mean extension is 35% and the standard deviation is 11%.

  • In most red wines. I've been drinking an awful lot of reds lately. So if my lifespan were 72 years that means I'm pushing for 90 now. Yippee!
  • by monxrtr (1105563) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @12:42AM (#25922103)

    As an organism ages, the frequency of damage to DNA increases,

    Don't you just love scientific religion? 'Tis a mathematical certainty! /bow

Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him. - Fyodor Dostoevski

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