Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have isolated a protein called SIRT3 that appears to reverse the aging process in mice. Other procedures that appear to do this have tended to increase the risk of developing cancer. However, not only does SIRT3 seem innocuous in this regard but it appears to have a tumor suppressing capability. It is hoped that the protein can be used to treat age related diseases. Per the article:
...From this flow now comes word that biologists from the University of California, Berkeley have tapped an influential longevity gene that can reverse cell degeneration associated with aging. That’s right, they’re not just offering a sip from the fountain, they’re turning back the clock at the molecular level. The new study, published in Cell Reports, represents a major discovery and offers new hope for development of targeted treatments for a long list of age-related degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, Alzheimer's and arthritis, just to name a few...
Wow - that is good news. Thanks for the article link.
Well, that would be fascinating. I wonder what will come of it.
Fascinating - but I also think of how many people Earth will suffer...
Well, time to freaking get on with the colonization of space, then, isn't it?
Recent studies have revealed that the mouse model isn't valid for some medical research.
Not that the study you refer to is effected by the findings. I hope the research pans out - I'm 72 so they had best put some speed on.
Yes, I'm 71 and would appreciate some alacrity also.
For every positive impact, there are numerous negative impacts to society that would result from the discovery of a substance that reverses aging. Retirement age would have to be significantly adjusted upwards, since most elderly couldn't afford to live much longer without an income. Jobs are hard enough to find as it is - so imagine if you were unemployed and had to compete with an additional 10%, or 20% of experienced applicants. Health insurance premiums should go down, but they would stay on the ever-increasing trend that the industry forces on us. Imagine the impacts from population growth, not from new births but from people who won't die. It a good subject for a novel, if it hasn't already been done.
I remember seeing some science fiction along those lines, where couples were allowed to have a child only when someone volunteered to die.
I hope some practical good comes out of this in time for all of us here to benefit!
It's interesting how many religious people I talk to see our mortality as "god-ordained", as opposed to my own attitude of "given current knowledge and technology... (also, if we extend our lifespan, and hopefully health span, we'll really have to deal with the population problem...)".
(I remember my mother, a religious humanist who believed God is a human creation, telling me that if offered an immortality pill, she wouldn't take it; "we need to leave room for future generations.")
Then again, we only have a few years to try to ensure that the Earth remains habitable for future generations! (Lots more at the group Climate Concerns.)
I wouldn't choose immortality either - putting up with myself would be increasingly difficult after about 300 years. However, life extension to around 200 years would be great - providing one had good health ( living for 90 of those years as a shuffling' drooling geezer, with pee stains on my underwear would be a deal killer)