The human race has been trying to search for ways to extend life expectancy almost forever. Now we may have finally found the answer. Surprisingly, scientists have discovered that they might be able to do this by taking away something that’s already inside us – our genes.
For the last ten years, scientists have been busy identifying the genes that cause aging in humans. After carrying out recent tests on different strains of yeast, they have discovered that there are 238 genes that, when removed, significantly increase the lifespan of the yeast cells. In some instances, lifespan of the cells could be increased by as much as 60%.
They now seem confident that the same type of genetic deletion can be carried out on humans. Many of the genes found in yeast are similar to those found in humans.
We just need to identify the genes that can be altered or removed safely.
“This study looks at aging in the context of the whole genome and gives us a more complete picture of what aging is. It also sets up a framework to define the entire network that influences aging in this organism”, says Brian Kennedy, lead author of the study, president and CEO of the Buck Institute of Research on Aging in the US.
This study was carried out by the Buck Institute with help from the University of Washington. They monitored the development of 4,700 yeast cell strains. A single gene was taken out from each strain. They then monitored the time it took each strain to replicate. The researchers were trying to find out how many daughter cells the mother cells could make through cell division.
If these researchers from the US are right, then someday soon, all of us might easily live beyond 100 years. And some lucky people could live up to 150 years as well.