Published on May 16th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria1
Gene Therapy Could Help Us All Live Longer, Study Finds
A new study found to increase lifespan in mice could lead to longer lifespans in their human counterparts, scientists theorize.
Studies like these are the kind that make you wonder if you will live long enough for benefits like the ones being studied with gene therapy will be able to affect you positively, and lament all the cool stuff that will happen when you are dead. But researchers working with mice have discovered that in the rodent test subjects, lifespan could be extended as much as 24%, benefits that could eventually be applied to humans.
(Which leads to the obvious question, where are we going to put all these people?) In the study carried out by scientists in Spain, researchers induced cells to express telomerase- which they say slows aging. In addition to “rejuvenating” the mice, they lived on average 24% longer if treated by the age of one, or 19% if treated when they were two. Which basically means if this ever comes to market, we are all going to be probably too old to reap the maximum benefits. *shakes fist*
Of the findings, researchers explained:
“This study shows that it is possible to develop a telomerase-based anti-aging gene therapy without increasing the incidence of cancer. Aged organisms accumulate damage in their DNA due to telomere shortening, (this study) finds that a gene therapy based on telomerase production can repair or delay this kind of damage.”
The study of gene therapy and lifespan was published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.