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Biotech Medicine

New Research Could Slow Human Aging 180

Posted by samzenpus
from the slowing-things-down dept.
schliz writes "A team of scientists from Japan and New Zealand have helped baker's yeast live 50% longer than usual by artificially stabilizing a genetic sequence called ribosomal DNA. The study's authors say that rDNA is a 'hot spot for production of the aging signal.' Because rDNA genes are very similar in yeast and humans, they say their experiment is a first step towards anti-aging drugs."
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New Research Could Slow Human Aging

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 09, 2013 @03:48PM (#44802457)

    So, by doing new research, I won't age as fast?

    • by Mitchell314 (1576581) on Monday September 09, 2013 @03:50PM (#44802481)
      Well, remaining mentally and physically active has been linked to prolonged life spans . . .
      • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Monday September 09, 2013 @04:03PM (#44802611)

        Well, remaining mentally and physically active has been linked to prolonged life spans . . .

        And vice versa, confirmed by a recent study on a large group of scientists with the control group being the local cemetery.

      • by kesuki (321456)

        over active people also wear out their body parts with the exertion. there is a happy medium though and i think that it just needed to be clarified. if you run several super marathons every year its going to kill you early... if you run a 5k it's all good.

        • by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday September 09, 2013 @04:21PM (#44802773) Homepage Journal

          over active people also wear out their body parts with the exertion. there is a happy medium though and i think that it just needed to be clarified. if you run several super marathons every year its going to kill you early... if you run a 5k it's all good.

          I think more studies are showing that intermittent interval sorts of exercise are the best.

          You do explosive runs for short bursts...and then do slow walking, lower activities in between, but these short intense explosions of activity mixed with low intensity activity seems to have the best effect on the human body.

          At least from what I'm reading these days...

          • by unapersson (38207)

            This was also the kind of excercise that lead to the BBC's Political Editor having a stroke so YMMV.

        • It goes without saying that taking something to extremes leads to different results.
      • Well, remaining mentally and physically active has been linked to prolonged life spans . . .

        Right. So if I work hard, exercise and deprive myself of good food, I might live long enough for them to slow down my aging process to 1/10th of normal. And I'll have a chipper 4 more years until death, instead of several weeks.

      • by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday September 09, 2013 @05:23PM (#44803313) Homepage Journal

        And as this study shows, genetics can play an even larger part. But try convincing my 84 year old mother that, she's convinced eating right and getting exercise was why she's old and healthy, despite the fact that she's the baby of the family and almost all of her siblings are still alive. One is 99 and owned a bar when she was middle aged, my guess from knowing bar owners she was far from a teetotaler.

        Now I understand what part of my DNA had the health screeners say my vitals showed a healthy forty year old and excellent for someone 61. They thought I must work out, but I get little exercise and eat a lot of junk food, drink a little beer and have smoked pot for four decades. Most people are amazed that I'm over 50. Of course, my rDNA won't keep me from staggering in front of a bus or something.

        If all your grandparents died of natural causes before age 60, no amount of diet or exercise will keep you alive past 70. But perhaps this research will come up with something that will.

        • I am a planarian and I -am- immortal you insensitive clod! I remember the Mesoproterozoic Era, the times we had. I guess I will be 1.7 billion years old this year, but it seems like yesterday. I have this AI to help me post on slashdot, and they relaxed the rules a bit because of my age. But I am the one that spawned the original line and I have my original brain which has been active for nigh on a billion years, so now get off my bacterial lawn. I attribute my great age to proper eating habits as I only
        • You are over simplifying things. I mean it is great if you are on track to a long and happy life of easy to maintain good health. But I can think of numerous scenarios right now where a person's grandparents die of natural causes before 60 and the genetic issues that person inherits are now treatable with modern medicine. Sure on an actuarial table, it doesn't look good. But it is probably better to say that if all your grandparents died of natural causes before age 60, make sure you have regular checku
          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            Yes, everything you say is so. If your grandparents all died of heart disease, we now have stents, transplants, etc.

            I had a great uncle like your relative. Started smoking at age 12, quit at 82 and died at 92. Might have lived to well over a hundred without the tobacco.

      • by bitt3n (941736) on Monday September 09, 2013 @10:26PM (#44804877)

        Well, remaining mentally and physically active has been linked to prolonged life spans . . .

        not just linked. there's a concrete relationship: 100% of dead people are neither mentally nor physically active.

        • Well, remaining mentally and physically active has been linked to prolonged life spans . . .

          not just linked. there's a concrete relationship: 100% of dead people are neither mentally nor physically active.

          Exceptions: zombies, vampires.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      So, by doing new research, I won't age as fast?

      Perhaps you may not age as fast, but if you enjoy living less (somewhat how I hear marriage goes) what's the point?

    • I was working on that megadose of natural reservatol.
  • But (Score:4, Funny)

    by nani popoki (594111) on Monday September 09, 2013 @03:50PM (#44802479) Homepage
    ...when 900 yeas old you be, look so good you will not!
  • by jasnw (1913892) on Monday September 09, 2013 @04:20PM (#44802761)
    Does this sort of thing cover both the aging of the body and the brain? What's the gain in living to be 150 if your brain stops functioning at any sort of useful level at age 70? Yeah, "lots of people" are still firing on all mental cylinders at age 70, but most are not. If everyone is alive up to age 150 but is a non-productive consumer of stuff starting at age 70 this whole "live long and prosper" thing will be a total nightmare. Even if brain aging is held in check, do we have the resources to support that many human beings on this planet?
    • TFS says they tested that in yeast, thus you either didn't care enough to read it, or is asking if the yeast mental activity was degraded.

    • by erice (13380)

      According to TFA, genetic damage during cell division is slowed. Brain aging would be affected little, at least directly. So few new neurons are produced during adulthood that for a long time, it was thought that all the neurons that a human would ever have were present at birth. Still, having a healthier support system for the brain should reduce cell death.

      Further, there is still the potential for other advances to add the ability to generate new neurons. There is no particular reason why aging needs

    • by ljw1004 (764174)

      Loss of brain function isn't a normal part of healthy ageing - it's the symptom of a DISEASE (usually alzheimers that affects 50%+ of 80 yr olds) and will eventually be cured through medicine like other diseases.

    • There have been some studies, and I'm sorry that I don't have a source on hand, that losing mental capacity is more a matter of not using it than natural degregation. Barring diseases (and a lot of diseases are pretty synonymous with your body falling apart) if you don't stop exercising your mind you'll stay mentally sharp. Too many people retire, get put in a home, and simply "kill time" all the while they rot. Look at cultures where the elderly are still needed and for lack of a better word, still work.

    • by mark-t (151149)
      The only reason most of the elderly are not "firing on all mental cylinders" by age 70 is because they haven't needed to... and their mental abilities are atrophying because they haven't had reason to push themselves beyond what they may already know and are comfortable with.
      • by 0111 1110 (518466)

        The only reason most of the elderly are not "firing on all mental cylinders" by age 70 is because they haven't needed to

        Do you need to and if so why? Does someone have a gun to your head making you solve tensor calculus equations or something?

    • by rsborg (111459)

      What's the gain in living to be 150 if your brain stops functioning at any sort of useful level at age 70?

      Who cares? (devil's advocate) Massive market potential for the pharma industry - esp if the 100+ crowd are relatively weathly or government is willing to pay medicare costs for them... easy to think like a post-human "health" industry CxO.

    • I think you totally missed the point, it is to prolong the life of yeast so that it can make twice as much beer because who wants to live when the beer is gone anyway? :)
    • Does this sort of thing cover both the aging of the body and the brain?

      Does it cover both the aging of the body and the heart? Both the aging of the body and the liver? Both the aging of the body and the third toe on the left foot?

      I know what you meant, but I get really tired of people acting like the brain and the body are something separate. The brain is part of the body; a complex and unique part, to be sure, but essentially it's just another organ. So if we can slow down aging generally, most likely our brains will benefit just as much as the rest of our bodies will.

  • Yes (Score:5, Funny)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday September 09, 2013 @04:30PM (#44802857)

    .... because people's brains are just like baker's yeast.

    Or is it that most people's brains seem to function like they are made up of baker's yeast?

    Anyway 50% more of that doesn't sound particularly wonderful.

  • ...more time on the planet with Honey Boo Boo & family.
  • much faster

    Like .99999 c

  • by t0qer (230538) on Monday September 09, 2013 @05:01PM (#44803161) Homepage Journal

    Forget vanity, we need to stop aging for one simple reason...

    Space Travel

    We still haven't created engines that can go 1/10th light speed. So even at best, a 40 light year trip to Alpha Centari will take 400 years even at that speed. OK forget other solar systems, just colonizing mars is going to require us to get the most out of the humans lifetimes we send there.

  • I promise that I really am 18!

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