Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine Science

Key Gene Found Responsible For Accelerated Aging and Cancer 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the giant-book-that's-hidden-inside-you dept.
First time accepted submitter gbrennan123 writes "Researchers at NYU School of Medicine have identified a single gene that simultaneously controls inflammation, accelerated aging and cancer. From the article: '"This was certainly an unexpected finding," said principal investigator Robert J. Schneider, PhD, the Albert Sabin Professor of Molecular Pathogenesis, associate director for translational research and co-director of the Breast Cancer Program at NYU Langone Medical Center. "It is rather uncommon for one gene to have two very different and very significant functions that tie together control of aging and inflammation. The two, if not regulated properly, can eventually lead to cancer development. It's an exciting scientific find."'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Key Gene Found Responsible For Accelerated Aging and Cancer

Comments Filter:
  • new finding (Score:5, Informative)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @06:42PM (#40130869) Journal
    Took me a while to parse the article, but there were two parts. We already knew the gene group AUF1 controlled inflammation.

    a gene called AUF1 controls inflammation by turning off the inflammatory response to stop the onset of septic shock.

    The new discovery, which they apparently discovered and will be shown when their paper is published, was that AUF1 also releases telomerase to repair telomeres.

    The current study reveals that AUF1....also maintains the integrity of chromosomes by activating the enzyme telomerase to repair the ends of chromosomes

  • I mean, this is a GREAT find, but we need drugs to be designed, tested and deployed.
    So, when is this usable? in say 30 years?
    I sure hope there is some way that cancer is gone in a couple of years, and then live slightly longer.
    • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @06:50PM (#40130899) Journal
      It's usable immediately, in the form of directing future research.
    • by GryMor (88799) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @07:08PM (#40130969)

      Depends on what you mean by usable. It immediately prompts a study of human populations to identify how certain defects can impair it's function which will likely lead to the development of gene therapies to correct those defects, and if beneficial variants can be identified, could later lead to general purpose gene therapies to slow the rate of aging. It may also lead to studies for the development of drugs to modify it's action, but thats probably farther out than basic gene therapies for those with defective instances of these genes.

    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      cancer is evolution. It's how DNA tries new stuff. If it works, survival. If it doesn't work, death.

      • by Guy Harris (3803)

        cancer is evolution. It's how DNA tries new stuff. If it works, survival. If it doesn't work, death.

        Most of that applies to mutation. Are you saying that all cancers are the result of mutation, all mutation causes cancer, or something else?

      • cancer is not evolution....it is caused, for most cancers, by a local mutation of somatic cells that produces cancer cells in a specific tissue. The mutation is due to environmental conditions (poor nutrition, poor habits, etc).

        • cancer is not evolution....it is caused, for most cancers, by a local mutation of somatic cells that produces cancer cells in a specific tissue. The mutation is due to environmental conditions (poor nutrition, poor habits, etc).

          I'm reading some fascinating stuff (Biology of Cancer - Weinberg) that says there are huge amounts of point mutations taking place throughout the body all the time from oxidants. Also with LOH and inherited loss of genetic viability, indications were that while there are certain effe

    • Inflammation and heart disease and (Type II) diabetes are all intimately tied together, too. One wonders...and hopes.

  • Would someone be kind enough to post a link to the paper or at least its name?
  • by GrahamCox (741991) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @09:10PM (#40131519) Homepage
    Obviously this sounds like an amazing and important discovery, perhaps the holy grail of cancer research.

    Imagine a world where you just pop a pill and keep living as long as you want. Without additionally having drastic population control, that's going to doom us to a totally unsustainable world, if we don't have that already. But even with that unlikely flip-side, imagine a population that is just fixed at some point with the people it has right now, never dying, never having offspring. How creepy would that be?

    Jut sayin' - food for thought (and maybe a sci-fi novel).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Have you seen child birth? Or an autopsy? Those things are creepy. Being able to watch Seinfeld reruns for a thousand years? Not so creepy.

    • Re:The flip side (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jd (1658) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Sunday May 27, 2012 @09:57PM (#40131741) Homepage Journal

      There are many, many genes involved in different forms of cancer, the most this will do is impact research in a few forms of the disease.

      Immortality would get tedious after a while. What you really want is a method to transcribe the contents of the brain plus the original genome of the body, altered to include a flesh-eating component that is normally inactive. When the body inevitably wears out, you make a few adjustments to the genome to prevent that cause of death killing you again. You then make the stem cell "carnivorous", using the raw material of your old body to create a new one, re-inserting "you" into the new brain in the process.

      I call this technique "regeneration" and think that, in the interests of population control, people should be limited to 12 of them.

      • by steveha (103154)

        I call this technique "regeneration" and think that, in the interests of population control, people should be limited to 12 of them.

        Okay, admit it: you didn't think of this yourself! Did you get this idea from some sort of Doctor? WHO?

        • by jd (1658)

          I am Rassilon! Besides, if prior art isn't a problem for patents.... :)

      • Immortality would get tedious after a while.

        Speak for yourself. I can think of things to do that would fill a loooooong time.

    • Without additionally having drastic population control, that's going to doom us to a totally unsustainable world

      Nah. We're already on the cusp of the dawn of the true space age, there's all the room in the universe out there. Even if there wasn't, people aren't gaping maws of resource consumption, they are overall producers. The real trick will be to bring developing countries up to western standards of living, that way population growth will even out. Look at that Indian kid that solved the physics problem in Germany lately, how many like him are languishing in slums across the globe? Wicked waste of human potential

    • And if immortality was achieved, would people start to be super careful about not dying for "non-natural causes"? I mean, wouldn't it suck to have lived 1000 years and then die in a car accident. Unless the immortality would somehow cover those cases too.
  • "To Live Forever" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bdwoolman (561635) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @09:34PM (#40131629) Homepage
    Jack Vance explored some of the social implications of selective immortality in his weird murder mystery. To Live Forever [wikipedia.org] As I read about possible life extension breakthroughs in the news and contemplate the implications -- we really do seem to be getting somewhere -- I often catch myself thinking about this insightful lesser known work of the reclusive and gifted Mr. Vance.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I'm a lot more worried about an engineered flu virus that flips these bits and makes you die early and inflamed. Guess now we know what Captain Trips will be made from.

  • by metalmaster (1005171) on Monday May 28, 2012 @12:24AM (#40132479)
    does this mean researchers know where to look in regards to a cure for accelerated aging diseases?
  • by epine (68316) on Monday May 28, 2012 @08:59AM (#40134423)

    Most wide-eyed researchers started off expecting 60,000 genes in the human genome yet we found something closer to 20,000 when the mist settled.

    By my early childhood instruction in improper fractions, it's not impossible that all 20,000 genes are holding down multiple jobs to make ends meet.

  • I am sure this gene activates and deactivates based on environmental conditions. If I had to wager, I will be anti-inflammatory subspances have a huge effect on this gene.

  • What a fucking bastard he is...

Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?

Working...