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Harvard Scientists Reverse the Aging Process in Mice.
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Szechwan



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 587
Location: Vancouver Island
Harvard Scientists Reverse the Aging Process in Mice.  Reply with quote  

That exoplanet thread from a few months back took an interesting turn when someone brought up the the potential for indefinite extension of human life. Well, the ball just got rolling.

Still a lot of work to be done, but it definitely looks promising.


Quote:

Scientists claim to be a step closer to reversing the ageing process after rejuvenating worn out organs in elderly mice. The experimental treatment developed by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, turned weak and feeble old mice into healthy animals by regenerating their aged bodies.

....

"What we saw in these animals was not a slowing down or stabilisation of the ageing process. We saw a dramatic reversal – and that was unexpected," said Ronald DePinho, who led the study, which was published in the journal Nature.

The ageing process is poorly understood, but scientists know it is caused by many factors. Highly reactive particles called free radicals are made naturally in the body and cause damage to cells, while smoking, ultraviolet light and other environmental factors contribute to ageing.

The Harvard group focused on a process called telomere shortening. Most cells in the body contain 23 pairs of chromosomes, which carry our DNA. At the ends of each chromosome is a protective cap called a telomere. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres are snipped shorter, until eventually they stop working and the cell dies or goes into a suspended state called "senescence". The process is behind much of the wear and tear associated with ageing.

At Harvard, they bred genetically manipulated mice that lacked an enzyme called telomerase that stops telomeres getting shorter. Without the enzyme, the mice aged prematurely and suffered ailments, including a poor sense of smell, smaller brain size, infertility and damaged intestines and spleens. But when DePinho gave the mice injections to reactivate the enzyme, it repaired the damaged tissues and reversed the signs of ageing.

"These were severely aged animals, but after a month of treatment they showed a substantial restoration, including the growth of new neurons in their brains," said DePinho.




So. 20 years from now, you're offered the wonder drug: 50 years added to you life.

Do you take it? I imagine 50% will be down, and the 50% will be outraged anyone would even consider it.

I'd take it. I want to see more of what we're capable of, or maybe I just want to see the day humanity goes down the toilet. To be a spectator of that would be a pretty exclusive club.
Post Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:23 pm
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Dr Sagacious



Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 1843
Location: Redford
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I would take it. These next 150 years are going to be hella exciting, I think. I want to see what happens.

I think the physical limit for human aging is 180? I'd like to live to 180.
Post Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:39 pm
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jakethesnake
guy who cried about wrestling being real


Joined: 03 Feb 2006
Posts: 6311
Location: airstrip one
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There can't be any harmful side effects to this.
Post Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:40 pm
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breakreep
homophobic yet curious


Joined: 27 Sep 2004
Posts: 6627
Location: Fifth Jerusalem
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Dr Sagacious wrote:
I think the physical limit for human aging is 180? I'd like to live to 180.


Where in the world did you hear this figure? It sounds completely fake.
Post Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:49 pm
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mancabbage



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
Posts: 9263
Location: london
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if they got rid of the cancer risk i'd be bang on it, fuck dying
Post Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:05 pm
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 6871
Location: Northern New Jersey
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Here's the anti-aging argument as told by a guy with a crazy fucking beard.
Post Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:15 pm
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jakethesnake
guy who cried about wrestling being real


Joined: 03 Feb 2006
Posts: 6311
Location: airstrip one
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What if it does weird things like shrinks your wiener to the size it was when you were born? o.O

You guys aren't thinking this through.
Post Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:19 pm
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Szechwan



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 587
Location: Vancouver Island
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They'll have overnight penis growth kits by then anyways. No biggie. (hah)

mancabbage wrote:
if they got rid of the cancer risk i'd be bang on it, fuck dying

I don't have the biochemistry back round to refute this myself, so I'll just quote an interesting reply on the issue from Slashdot.


Quote:

Telomerase activation shouldn't give you cancer. First of all, your telomeres won't be a problem untill you are in the 700-800 year range (if I remember my undergrad genetics courses correctly). At least, outside of the white blood cell lineages, those will probably go for most people in the first 100 years - they could probably use some telomerase. OK, so lets say you would normally get cancer by the time you were 150, thankfully, your white blood cells stop functioning so well around age 90 and you die of pneumonia instead. Now, lets assume the other causes of aging are fixed, so, that's pretty much the standard.

Insert telomerase. You now live to 150, and die of cancer. Did the telomerase give you cancer? No, it just allowed you to live long enough for the factors that did give you cancer to take hold.

You do have cells in your body producing telomerase - the gamete producing lineage. You can trace telomerase back to the development of successful linear DNA from that lineage - without break. No cancer. Telomerase is a DNA stabilizing agent, not a mutagen.

Post Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:40 pm
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Plum Puddin'



Joined: 26 May 2008
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Location: Torture World, Rectal Feeding Unit.
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Post Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:25 pm
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DeadAwake



Joined: 17 Feb 2007
Posts: 577
Location: Aus.
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mancabbage wrote:
if they got rid of the cancer risk i'd be bang on it, fuck dying


http://www.phoenixtears.ca/
http://www.nowpublic.com/thc_marijuana_helps_cure_cancer_says_harvard_study
Post Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:03 am
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zagadka
DARK PAST HAVER


Joined: 30 Nov 2004
Posts: 4932
Location: Hous of Gaga
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Does this mean they can reverse the aging in my beloved, old, lumpy rabbit that I found on the side of the road when he could fit into the palm of my hand, Sweetpea? Because everyday I tell him he's not allowed to die because he's so awesome and funny...not to mention that he's a newborn and just started eating solids.

SP forever!







"Fuck you guys, I'm tired from digging in the mulch and I'ma sleep under the deck. STFU, would ya?"
Post Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:24 am
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Neuro
A champion of Kurtis SP


Joined: 19 Jul 2002
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Post Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:35 am
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phataccino



Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 4774
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White rabbits with red eyes are creepy as fuck.
Post Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:27 pm
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zagadka
DARK PAST HAVER


Joined: 30 Nov 2004
Posts: 4932
Location: Hous of Gaga
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phataccino wrote:
White rabbits with red eyes are creepy as fuck.


Hey. Hey, you know what? He can't help that he has no pigment, ok?

SP is not creepy. He is awesome. You watch your mouth!

SP rulez.
Post Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:50 pm
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phataccino



Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 4774
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Yeah, nothing at all creepy about that. And he's not sleeping under the porch, he's plotting. Watch your back.
Post Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:06 am
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