Newly discovered genes might be the key to longer lifespan

It’s been quite the obsession of humankind. Throughout history we’ve been searching high and low for the key to stopping aging processes. Will we ever find the key to eternal youth? It’s a grand concept, almost impossible to grasp. But for scientists from ETH Zurich in Switzerland and the Jena University Hospital in Germany, the concept became quite real. After years of research they found 30 genes which seem to slow down the aging process in some animals. They studied 40,000 genes that allow roundworms, zebrafish, and mice to stay healthier and live longer. They selectively blocked them and measured the effect of this by tracking the accumulation of aging pigments, how fast the animals moved, and how effectively they reproduced. One gene, BCAT-1, had a particularly pronounced effect, extending the life span of roundworms by 25%. The scientists are now planning a follow-up study to see if similar effects also occur in human beings.

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Newly discovered genes might be the key to longer lifespan

It’s been quite the obsession of humankind. Throughout history we’ve been searching high and low for the key to stopping aging processes. Will we ever find the key to eternal youth? It’s a grand concept, almost impossible to grasp. But for scientists from ETH Zurich in Switzerland and the Jena University Hospital in Germany, the concept became quite real. After years of research they found 30 genes which seem to slow down the aging process in some animals. They studied 40,000 genes that allow roundworms, zebrafish, and mice to stay healthier and live longer. They selectively blocked them and measured the effect of this by tracking the accumulation of aging pigments, how fast the animals moved, and how effectively they reproduced. One gene, BCAT-1, had a particularly pronounced effect, extending the life span of roundworms by 25%. The scientists are now planning a follow-up study to see if similar effects also occur in human beings.

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