Science & Technology
Deleting genes could extend human lifespan
October 12, 2015 | 10 comments
Our genes could hold the key to improved longevity. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 CSIRO
Scientists have identified a potential new way of extending human longevity by up to 60 percent.
The quest for immortality has been going on for centuries, but even with the advances of modern medicine we have still yet to find a way to halt or reverse the inevitable ageing process.
Now however scientists may have made a significant breakthrough in this area thanks to a 10-year research project by the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing
and the University of Washington
The team has succeeded in identifying a total of 238 genes that if switched off could provide a significant boost to a person's expected lifespan - even increasing it by as much as 60%.
"This study looks at aging in the context of the whole genome and gives us a more complete picture of what ageing is," said lead author Dr Brian Kennedy."
"What we have to do now is figure out which [genes] are amenable to targeting."
The discovery follows on from that of scientists at the University of Southern California who earlier this year found a way to slow down ageing through a special diet plan that mimics fasting.
The year before that they also found that fasting can regenerate the immune system and provide a number of other significant health benefits.
Whether these concepts can be adapted for use in the real world however remains to be seen.
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