Sunday, December 15, 2013
Scientists believe genetic tweaks could significantly extend lifespans
If you are a worm. Since humans already live vastly longer than roundworms, this is a moronic extrapolation. We probably already have all the life-extending features that work
Living to the ripe old age of 500 might be a possibility if the science shown to extend worms' lives can be applied to humans, scientists have said.
U.S. researchers tweaked two genetic pathways in the tiny lab worm Caenorhabditis elegans and boosted the creature's lifespan by a factor of five.
The research raises the prospect of anti-ageing treatments based on genetic interactions, they said.
‘What we have here is a synergistic five-fold increase in lifespan,’ said lead scientist Dr Pankaj Kapahi, from the Buck Institute of Age Research, Novato, California.
‘The two mutations set off a positive feedback loop in specific tissues that amplified lifespan. ‘Basically these worms lived to the human equivalent of 400 to 500 years.’
Living to the age of 500 might be a possibility if the science shown to extend worms' lives can be applied to humans, scientists said. Two mutations set off a positive feedback loop in specific tissues that enabled worms to live to the human equivalent of 400 to 500 years
While it could take years of research to extend humans’ lives dramatically, the study raises the prospect of anti-ageing treatments informed by genetic interactions, according to Dr Kapahi.
‘In the early years, cancer researchers focused on mutations in single genes, but then it became apparent that different mutations in a class of genes were driving the disease process,’ he said.
While it could take years of research to extend humans' lives, the study raises the prospect of anti-ageing treatments informed by genetic interactions. ‘The same thing is likely happening in ageing,’ he added.
C. elegans, the first animal to have its whole genome (or genetic code) mapped, has been widely used in studies of ageing and lifespan.
The new research, reported in the journal Cell Reports, involved blocking key molecules that affect the action of insulin and a nutrient signalling pathway called Target of Rapamycin (TOR).
Single mutations in the TOR pathway were known to extend the lifespan of C. elegans by 30 per cent, while insulin-signalling mutations could double the amount of time they lived.
Adding the two together might have been expected to extend longevity by 130 per cent, but the combined impact turned out to be much greater.
The research may explain why it has proved so difficult to identify single genes responsible for the long lives enjoyed by human centenarians.
‘It's quite probable that interactions between genes are critical in those fortunate enough to live very long, healthy lives,’ said Dr Kapahi.
Future research is expected to use mice to see if the same effects occur in mammals.
‘The idea would be to use mice genetically engineered to have suppressed insulin signalling and then treat them with the drug rapamycin, which is well-known to suppress the TOR pathway,’ Dr Kapahi said.
Junk food and fizzy drinks cause children to be TWICE as unhappy as their healthier counterparts
This just means that middle class people were happier. Middle class people would be the "correct" eaters. The journal article is: "Well-Being in Adolescence—An Association With Health-Related Behaviors: Findings From Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study"
Fast food and fizzy drinks could be causing widespread depression among in children. A study of 10 to 15-year-olds found that children who played sports and ate healthy foods were twice as likely to be happy.
More than 85 per cent of the 5,000 children polled admitted they did not eat five portions of fruit and veg a day, but those that did doubled their chances of a feeling of well-being.
Gender and age were key factors, with older children largely the least satisfied and girls more likely to eat healthy food.
Teenagers were more prone to eating fatty foods and takeaways, and were less happy than their younger peers.
‘Older children had more control over what they ate, and consumed more junk food,’ said researcher Dr Cara Booker, from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Essex University.
During the study, happiness was graded through 20 questions including how well the children got on with their peers, whether they were kind and shared with others, and if they got restless or angry.
Children who ate their greens five times a day were happiest, while the ones that ate three to four a day were 20 per cent more likely to have a feeling of well-being.
The study by Essex University found that 37 per cent of boys took part in sport every day, compared with 22 per cent of girls
‘Teenagers were less likely to be happy than younger ones, but younger ones do have to deal with more socio-emotional problems as they are less developed emotionally,’ said Dr Booker.
Alcohol and smoking also played a role in the findings, with 25 per cent admitting to drinking in the previous four weeks, and seven per cent having smoked in the same period.
Children who smoked were five times less likely to be happy than non-smoking youngsters, and those that drunk alcohol were found to be about five times less cheery than their teetotal peers.
Of the younger children, eight per cent of 10 to 12 per cent had drunk alcohol.
'It goes along with what we expected to see, and when we put it together with previous findings it stands up and makes them more robust,’ said Dr Booker said.
‘In terms of eating junk food moderation is the key - we're not telling anyone they can't eat these foods, just that they shouldn't be consumed all the time.’
Posted by jonjayray at 12:08 AM