Scientists Find the Real Fountain of Youth — Inside Our DNA

Researchers experiment with gene deletion.


We have a finite time on this Earth and we all want to make the most of it. However, sometimes the side effects of aging get in the way. Technology is helping in a big way to make aging a more graceful process, but some scientists are seeking something greater: the fountain of youth. Rather than looking for it in some ancient jungle, researchers are trying to find the key within our genome to “edit out” the bad stuff.

Longevity, living longer and maintaining independence has been always been on the minds of scientists. A new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism may have found a key to increasing the lifespan of humans.

Entrepreneur Peter H. Diamandis discusses his work with Human Longevity Inc., which seeks to extend the healthy human lifespan.

“This study looks at aging in the context of the whole genome and gives us a more complete picture of what aging is,” explained lead author Brian Kennedy in an interview with The Telegraph.

"Almost half of the genes we found that affect aging are conserved in mammals. In theory, any of these factors could be therapeutic targets to extend health span. What we have to do now is figure out which ones are amenable to targeting.”

The researchers used yeast, deleting a single gene among 4,698 strains and then waiting to see which one outlasted the others.

They found deleting a gene called LOS1 helped extend the lifespan of a strain of yeast by 60 percent. This gene is associated with calorie restriction, and a low-calorie diet has been shown to delay or offset certain aspects of aging.

The find is an interesting one, but there are still many secrets yet to unlock when it comes to understanding why and how we age.

***

Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker

Photo Credit: The Fountain

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