Perhaps one day, living to 500 years old might be possible, according to the latest scientific findings. U.S. researchers succeeded to increase the lifetime of worms by five times with the help of combined genetic intervention.
The discovery is certainly far from its application to humans, but in the first phase, as scientists claim, it can be used at least for the development of anti-aging treatments.
The researchers led by Dr. Penkaj Kapahi of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in California chose worms Caenorhabditis elegans for the genetic interference.
Causing in C. elegans combined mutations in two genetic pathways that are associated with aging, the scientists saw that the worms lived much more than expected, in fact, four to five times longer on average.
“We observed a synergistic five-fold increase in life expectancy – both mutations triggered a positive feedback loop in specific tissues, which extended the lifespan,” said Dr. Kapahi. “Basically these worms lived for a period equivalent to 400 to 500 years for the humans.”
As described in their study published in the journal «Cell Reports», the scientists blocked key molecules related to labeling of insulin (IIS) and the rapamycin signaling pathway (Target of Rapamycin – TOR).
Until now, it was known that mutations in individual TOR pathway could increase the lifetime of C. elegans by 30%, while mutations in the labeling of insulin doubled their lifetime.
The new study showed that the combined intervention can give combined results. Also, it may explain why so far it has proven so difficult to identify genes associated with longevity in humans.
However, the scientists stress that it will require years of research to see something like that to apply to humans and intend to proceed to the next stage of their experiments (this time in mice) with the hope that soon, the discovery may lead to new anti-aging treatments.
Would you like to live to become 500 years old or is it too much for a human being? We would love to hear your thoughts on the topic.
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