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Biotech Science

Gene Therapy Extends Mouse Lifespan 182

Grond writes "ScienceDaily reports, 'Researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre have demonstrated that the mouse lifespan can be extended by the application in adult life of a single treatment acting directly on the animal's genes. Mice treated at the age of one lived longer by 24% on average (PDF), and those treated at the age of two, by 13%. The therapy, furthermore, produced an appreciable improvement in the animals' health, delaying the onset of age-related diseases — like osteoporosis and insulin resistance — and achieving improved readings on aging indicators like neuromuscular coordination.' Notably, the therapy did not cause an increase in the incidence of cancer."
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Gene Therapy Extends Mouse Lifespan

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  • by RedCard ( 302122 ) * on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @09:00PM (#40012185)

    Sure, people lose some mental faculty as they age, but in my estimation it's far more likely because of physical degradation of the brain than a hand-waving concept like "degradation of psyche". Stop the physical degradation of the brain, and the mind will remain fresh.

  • by Databass ( 254179 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @09:50PM (#40012459)

    I'd make an off-the-cuff guess that most people could extend their effective lifespans by 24% if they just got +20 minutes of moderate (heart rate up, light sweat) exercise each day. Cost? $0 and 20 minutes of time. Available to everyone, ready for mass implementation today. Compared to gene therapy, anyone could do the exercise today for nothing. And most won't even then.

  • by yndrd1984 ( 730475 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @10:01PM (#40012523)

    you're right, there's no point in it unless we can fuck hot young women until the end.

    If they don't age, why would we care if they're young?

    The looks and energy of an 18 year old combined with the fertility and experience of a 918 year old sounds like the perfect combination to me!

  • by LateArthurDent ( 1403947 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @10:08PM (#40012561)

    They report no statistical increase in cancer, but an absence of signal is not a signal of absence


    You took something you heard people legitimately saying about certain inferences and used in a way that is not legitimate.

    Here's an example that is legitimate. A cold will sometimes, but not always, be accompanied by a cough. Therefore a researcher could be trying to examine the incidence of colds by examining the incidence of coughs. Because it's entirely possible to have colds without coughs, you may then legitimately claim that the absence of the signal, the cough, is not a signal of the absence of colds. It's sufficiently correlated that it is a useful metric, but it is not a sufficient metric to draw strong conclusions. The absence of coughs are, however, most certainly indicative of the absence of coughs

    No statistical increase in cancer most certainly means no statistical increase in cancer (I'm a member of the tautology club!). It is possible that the the lack in statistical significance was an anomaly (and just how probable an anomaly that would be is quantifiable, and I'm sure is quantified in the paper in the form of a p-value), but it is certainly indicative of no increases in cancer. That is exactly what they were measuring.

  • by wurp ( 51446 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @10:17PM (#40012603) Homepage

    Do you want to die today?

    You won't tomorrow, either.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @12:09AM (#40013169)

    We keep trying to live longer, but I can't see a life past 90 being very comfortable or enjoyable. The older you get, the crazier you become in most peoples eyes.

    I look back on neighbors and family who lived well into their nineties --- at home, mentally alert and physically active until very near the end. It has me thinking that it is the contempt the young have for the old that is vain and mad.

  • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @12:46AM (#40013329)
    Not to mention...
    (20 Minutes * 365 days * 63 employable years) = 459900 minutes / 60 minutes per hour = 7665 hours of exercise.

    7665 hours * $8 (minimum wage) = $61320. If the treatment costs less than $61000, it is cheaper to have the treatment than it is to exercise.

    If you make even $25/hour, a $150000 procedure is cost effective.
  • by Intrepid imaginaut ( 1970940 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @02:31AM (#40013691)

    My theory on this is marketing. I mean think about it, the traditional attitude of the young towards the old in most cultures is of respect for their knowledge and experience, but the "MTV generation" run right up to their 30s with a sneer on their face for anyone older. I reckon its the product of an intense and massive focus on youth culture deliberately fostered by marketing executives who know full well that what they are selling is crap, and the only way they can sell it is if the young are seperated from the older, stronger, wiser population who would rightly advise them to keep their money in their pockets.

UNIX is many things to many people, but it's never been everything to anybody.