Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine Science

First Ever Anti-Aging Gene Discovered In a Secluded Amish Community (newsweek.com) 159

"This is one of the first clear-cut genetic mutations in human beings that acts upon aging and aging-related disease," Dr. Douglas Vaughan, a medical researcher at Northwestern University, told Newsweek. schwit1 quotes Science Alert: As far as we know, it looks like the only community in the world known to harbour it is an Old Order Amish community living in Indiana... Vaughan's team tested 177 people from the Amish community of Berne, Indiana, and found 43 people with one mutated SERPINE1 gene copy. Compared to the general Amish population, these 43 people had a 10 percent longer lifespan, and 10 percent longer telomeres (the DNA-protecting structures at the ends of our chromosomes that unravel when the cells reach the end of their lifespans). They also showed lower incidence of diabetes and lower insulin fasting levels. On top of that, the study showed a small indication of lower blood pressure and potentially more flexible blood vessels.

"For the first time we are seeing a molecular marker of aging (telomere length), a metabolic marker of aging (fasting insulin levels) and a cardiovascular marker of aging (blood pressure and blood vessel stiffness) all tracking in the same direction in that these individuals were generally protected from age-related changes," said Vaughan. These people also had 50 percent lower PAI-1 levels than average. It's not known exactly how PAI-1 contributes to aging, but it does play a role in a process called cellular senescence. This is when cells are no longer able to replicate, so they just go dormant. This contributes to the effects of aging.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

First Ever Anti-Aging Gene Discovered In a Secluded Amish Community

Comments Filter:
  • I'll die earlier. kthxby
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It just seems longer :).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The Amish life is much easier. They have far less to worry about and stress over.

    • The good news though is that this has nothing to do with lifestyle and is a gene. No reason we can't just splice it in to others once we make sure it doesn't have any substantial side effects. Unfortunately, some bioethicists will claim that this is unacceptable and say crap about the "human condition" and "human dignity" while ignoring that there's no dignity in slowly falling apart and dying with every aspect of your body painfully shutting down. Leon Kass and his ilk are a real problem for human progress
  • Um diet? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 19, 2017 @07:45PM (#55583725)

    Its like we just discovered clean and healthy living....

  • by mveloso ( 325617 ) on Sunday November 19, 2017 @07:46PM (#55583737)

    The mutation also causes an aversion to technology and religious piety, so it's a non-starter for most.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      From what I've seen the Amish actually like technology, their religion just told them they can't use it. They happily accept lifts in cars driven by other people, for example.

      Reminds me of some Jews who won't turn electronics or cooking equipment on for one day a week. God said not to, but that's really inconvenient so they buy a 24 hour timer and set it the day before. The rule says don't light a fire, if one happens to start on your stove then apparently it's fine to cook with it.

      Which also reminds me of

      • >Reminds me of some Jews who won't turn electronics or cooking equipment on for one day a week.

        I believe that's because they're not allowed to make a spark. But as you said, they find workarounds. And then there's the eruv - where they put string around a neighborhood to turn the outside into inside so that God's restrictions aren't so onerous. That's right... you can lawyer your way around God's rules with technicalities, because obviously loopholes are consistent with edicts set by an infallible omn

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          I don't know what Jewish heaven is like, but if I believed in such a thing I wouldn't want to risk damnation because I couldn't lawyer my way past all the obvious bullshit I pulled to get around God's rules during my lifetime.

  • The highs and lows (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Sunday November 19, 2017 @07:54PM (#55583787)

    They've found a gene mutation that adds 10% to your lifespan. That's good!

    If you have two copies, you get a nasty blood disorder. That's bad.

    But maybe they can isolate the specific effect that slows ageing and give us a pill. That's good!

    It's not ready yet, and I'm middle aged already. That's bad.

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      They've found a gene mutation that adds 10% to your lifespan. That's good!

      Why exactly is this good, without begging the question?

      • Because people in general don't want to die
      • Why exactly is this good, without begging the question?

        Would you consider it bad if you lived 10% less? No? How about 25%? When does bad kick in for you?

        • by arth1 ( 260657 )

          Would you consider it bad if you lived 10% less? No? How about 25%? When does bad kick in for you?

          When the net contribution to survival of my genes becomes negative, I become a non-symbiotic parasite. Then it's time to die.

          And that's what evolution will select for too. Those who don't spend an ever-growing portion of their resources on keeping old people alive at all costs will easily win, long term. Fighting it is a battle that cannot be won, and is why we don't live to 300 years already. Nature selects against that.

          • Resource consumption of an older person is likely lower than the resource production lost when a prime aged individual has to devote time to child care. If you are alive and functional at 90 you are on to 3rd or 4th generation care depending on breeding age cycles.

            • by arth1 ( 260657 )

              Statistics show otherwise.
              For 2010, the average personal expenses (out-of pocket + insurance) for healthcare for a 45-64 year old was $8,370, and the total expenses (including medicare/medicaid/other) $13,115.
              For an 85+ year old, the average personal expenses was $34,783, and the total expenses $131,164.
              (Source: www.cms.gov)
              That's not covering non-healthcare expenses. While the costs for consumables likely are lower, housing and electricity isn't going to be any lower just because an old person lives ther

              • So at what age are you planning on offing yourself to save society the ills of caring for you?

                You said you were reaching the end of your productive life, Will it be drugs? A rope? Bullet to the brainpan (messy, not recommended)?

                I think you're all talk. If you don't do it you're a hypocrite.
                • by arth1 ( 260657 )

                  You said you were reaching the end of your productive life, Will it be drugs? A rope? Bullet to the brainpan (messy, not recommended)?

                  It's quite frankly none of your business.
                  That said, there are non-messy ways to go too. Refusal of medical services past the age of productivity is common in some cultures. It works quite well on a larger scale, as it weeds out the worst cases first, and our genetic disposition for not living forever comes stronger into play. We haven't evolved to live long lives, because it's not a benefit for our genes, so most of us won't have long natural lives without medical intervention.

                  • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

                    In other words, you have no plan, and you're a lying piece of shit.

                    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

                      In other words, you have no plan, and you're a lying piece of shit.

                      Given that the only way to prove anything would be to become a burden and then either die or not, what exactly can anyone be expecting here? That I maim myself to become unproductive, and then see what happens? Are you stupid, insane or just an internet wanker?

                • Why the anger over this? Are you surprised that we spend a lot on healthcare for old people? This is not a secret.

                  These statistics are right, and they apply to everyone in the way that statistics generally do. That is, while there are plenty of people who work until they die and incur minimal health care costs, that's not the case for most people.

                  However, we have built our society so that more money is available to spend on the elderly. People save for their entire lives just to be able to pay for healt

          • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

            Evolution doesn't select for anything, you ignorant and stupid deadweight. You've already passed your prime and you're too stupid and/or hypocritical to admit it.

            • by arth1 ( 260657 )

              Evolution doesn't select for anything, you ignorant and stupid deadweight.

              The full name is "Evolution through natural selection", and is probably the most solid scientific theory, undisputed among pretty much anyone not afflicted by radical religion.

          • Evolution among humans is very near to being obsolete, and is already obsolete for many species most useful to humanity, like dogs. Through genetic editing, humanity will control what humanity is.
      • Good is a value judgement. I want to have more choice in when and how I die, so anything that reduces the effective limitations on my choice is good in my opinion.

      • Why would it not?
        I would prefer to live for ever ... no idea about you.

    • Reminds me of this exchange:

      Shopkeeper: Take this object, but beware it carries a terrible curse!
      Homer: Ooh, that's bad.
      Shopkeeper: But it comes with a free frogurt!
      Homer: That's good.
      Shopkeeper: The frogurt is also cursed.
      Homer: That's bad.
      Shopkeeper: But you get your choice of toppings.
      Homer: That's good!
      Shopkeeper: The toppings contain potassium benzoate.
      [Homer looks puzzled]
      Shopkeeper: ...That's bad.
      Homer: Can I go now?

    • The gene increases telomeres length by 10%, the age increase is a secondary effect of that. Perhaps the blood disease is as well and they can be separated.

      • Telemeres may only be one factor, and in fact other ageing research indicates that this is the case.

        Admittedly I am fairly ignorant on the subject (not being a medical researcher, biologist, or geneticist), but I believe telomeres are more or less analogous to a countdown timer, to let cells know when it's time to stop reproducing as the odds of critical errors have grown too high. If you extend the timer, you're still not fixing the underlying failures.

        Now, if you had some way of fixing deleterious mutati

  • Children of the Corn.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 19, 2017 @08:02PM (#55583841)

    ... they've been spending most their lives living in an Amish paradise?

    • Maybe it's because they never wear buttons but they've got cool hats and their homies agree they really look good in black.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Live long and prosper*

    *See "prosper" as defined by the Amish.

    I think I'll take "short and sweet," thank you very much.

  • They aren't older. They just LOOK way older than they really are.

    And they don't live longer. It just seems to them that way because, well, have you ever spent a few weeks without TV, computer or anything that a normal person would consider entertaining? Time REALLY gets long.

  • just hard work, no booze, no phone, no tv, no internet, no electricity, no coffee for a couple of hundred years.

  • This is basically a society of "You young whipper snappers, get off my lawn with your fancy 'wheel'. In our days...", so the older they get the more they prove their point.
  • Hammer me all you want, but, mixing of races, can have some impact in genetics. Same as marrying your sister/cousins...it screws up the DNA.
    • Mixing races and incest are at opposite ends of deleteriousness in terms of genetics... especially considering you can undo inbreeding with a good outcrossing.

How long does it take a DEC field service engineer to change a lightbulb? It depends on how many bad ones he brought with him.

Working...