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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 TheInternetGuy ( 2006682 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @09:22PM (#40012303)
    Long Live our new cheese eating over lords!
  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @09:58PM (#40012511)

    They report no statistical increase in cancer, but an absence of signal is not a signal of absence, and the methods alone should clue you in.

    I guess my tolerance for cute sayings as explanations has declined as my crotchetiness has increased. The phrase you are looking for is "small sample size". Glancing at the rear of the article:

    Separate groups of mice were tail-vein injected with 2*10^12 (viral genomes)/animal of either AAV9-GFP, AAV9-mTERT or AAV9-mTERTDN, a catalytically inactive form of mTERT (Sachsinger et al, 2001), at 420 days (AAV9-GFP, n=14 [50% males and 50% females]; AAV9- mTERT, n=21 [52% males and 48% females]; AAV9-mTERT-DN, n=17 [53% males and 47% females]) or either AAV9-GFP and AAV9- mTERT 720 days (AAV9-GFP, n=14 [58% males and 42% females]; AAV9-mTERT, n=23 [52% males and 48% females] of age. All mice are of a >95% C57BL6 background. Longevity comparisons were always made within the same mouse cohort to avoid minimal possible differences in genetic background between the groups.

    They had five samples from 14 to 23 in size. That's a bit slim for some of the claims they make such as the bit about cancer.

  • by catmistake ( 814204 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @10:16PM (#40012601) Journal

    no cancer is a pretty good side effect, tho

    It's not widely known that everyone has cancer. Shocking at first, but its not really that big of a deal. When we're young, we slough off cancer cells easily (I think they are digested... but I'm not an oncologist or anything) and they are replaced by healthy cells. As we get older, the ability to slough off cancer cells decreases, and when too many cells are cancerous, that's generally considered "having cancer." I think if people realized this fact of biology, there wouldn't be as much fear involved when cancer is diagnosed. I think by now the evidence is more than anacdotal that the right, positive frame of mind goes a long way in healing the body.

  • Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @11:08PM (#40012889)
    Here is a link to an article in Scientific American [] about the guys I mentioned just above.

    The exact formula they make from astragalus (and possibly other sources?) they claim is made from several ingredients that they claim to have a synergistic effect. However, it is also astronomically expensive. But the main "active ingredient" is available on the open market at much more reasonable rates.
  • by longk ( 2637033 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @12:33AM (#40013277)

    Why not? My grandma is 90+ and still happily alive. She lives alone and spends lots of time online Facebook-ing and Skype-ing the many people she's got to know during her long life and meets up with some of them every now and then. The only help she receives is a maid doing some of the heavier cleaning tasks two times a week.

    My only fear at that age would be outliving all my close friends and family, but if my grandma is anything like I can expect for myself I'm certainly not worried about physical or mental issues.

  • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @01:50AM (#40013589)
    Either way, you are doing work. You can either do the work for money, and pay cash for your results, or you can do the manual labor yourself. It becomes a question of whether it is more profitable to be employed by someone else, or be self employed for the task of extending life. Depending on the cost of the procedure and the earning capabilities of the individual, the implication that exercise is the better choice is misguided.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton