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    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2009
    Scientists find path to fountain of youth

    by Jean-Louis Santini

    WASHINGTON (AFP) – The fountain of youth may exist after all, as a study showed that scientists have discovered means to extend the lifespan of mice and primates.

    The key to eternal -- or at least prolonged -- youth lies in genetic manipulation that mimics the health benefits of reducing calorie intake, suggesting that aging and age-related diseases can be treated.

    Scientists from the Institute of Healthy Ageing at University College London (UCL) extended the lifespan of mice by up to a fifth and reduced the number of age-related diseases affecting the animals after they genetically manipulated them to block production of the S6 Kinase 1 (S6K1) protein.

    • CommentAuthorPooka
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2009 edited
    i've always wondered about that. I've been really interested in the health benifits of caloric intake reduction...
    I have a lower calorie diet that most people. Not intentionally, but that's just the way it goes. i've got bad nerves,ulcers, and an arthritic jaw, so lighter, healthier foods seem to be easier to eat and keep down.
    Before I got sick though, I still ate relatively lightly, and would take long fasting periods during the day (mostly because classes kept me from having time to eat). I never suffered for it though, back then...I was the healthiest person I knew. People got pissed that I had more energy than them...and I'm nearly thirty and have passed for a teenager a few times.
    i'm just curious if my former awesomeness had anything to do with my lowered caloric intake.
    It's possible I was just a good corn fed country girl...i remember eating mostly farm food as a kid. salads, veggies and fresh wild caught meats...

    Ha! it says that male mice didn't respond as well...that's kinda messed up...
    If the started using this technology, women would live very much longer than men....what would that do to society?
    • CommentAuthorZeebo
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2009
    Actually, male mice didn't respond at all, which is interesting in and of itself.

    I think its interesting that many of these longevity-increasing knockout animals are related to the insulin pathway, which is obviously involved in metabolism. My hunch, however, is that there is a link between mitochondrial thermogenesis (body temperature maintenance), which occurs mostly in "brown fat," and insulin signaling, which is the major signaling pathway in fatty tissue. One test that I think might be telling would be to measure the body fat percentage/body temperature of these knockout animals.

    It could just be that caloric restriction or mucking with insulin pathway genes just make a body run hotter, which means burning more calories. Bodybuilders and athletes have used thermogenics for years to burn calories. So, if your molecular pathway for sensing hunger is normal while your pathway for actually utilizing calories is hyperactive, you end up smaller, and there is a well-documented correlation between weight and longevity regardless of fat/muscle composition. Skinny people simply live longer on average than big people do. Maybe all these studies are just proving the molecular control of that phenomenon without knowing it.