Scientists Find Path to Fountain of Youth

By Jean-Louis Santini for 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.

Scientists have shown since the 1930s that reducing the calorie intake by 30 percent for rats, mice and — in a more recent finding — primates can extend their lifespan by 40 percent and have health benefits.

By blocking S6K1, which is involved in the body’s response to changes in food intake, similar benefits were obtained without reducing food intake, according to the study published in the US journal Science.

[article continues at AFP]

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