First Gene Therapy Successful Against Aging-Associated Decline: Mouse Lifespan Extended Up to 24% With a Single Treatment

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    Nov 30, 2012 12:23 AM GMT
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120514204050.htm
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    Nov 30, 2012 7:48 AM GMT
    Immortality here I come!
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    Nov 30, 2012 8:07 AM GMT
    Gene manipulation in the not too distant future, as well as the distant future, is absolutely fascinating.

    Humans will have the ability to not only reinvent themselves (introduce a whole new species, if desired), eliminate / detect genes for diseases, and a long list of other traits, and selectively engineer them. (Remember Kahn from Star Trek?).

    Now, I probably won't live to see it, but this truly fucks with all the false belief systems of The Religious Right Wing Nuts, because we will be able to reinvent the species, if we so desire.

    The possibilities, like so many things with basis in science and technology, are endless, empowering, and amazing.

    Scientists have been doing this in mice for a number of years. This isn't a new thing. Animals have been selectively bred in agriculture, and plants in horticulture for 100s and thousands of years, but...now...we posses the ability to turn genes on and off.

    Scientists have discovered a gene, that...when they turn it off, inhibits learning (on Smithsonian Channel the other day). That same gene appears in all mammals, including humans.

    It's important that The Religious Right not be allowed to drive this all underground because this science is here to stay, and...best that it's out in the open...where both and the good, and the bad, can be seen.
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    Nov 30, 2012 8:15 AM GMT
    Fascinating! There is so much to see in this world. The average human life time is very limiting. The only issues I see are the religious zealots and making sure these treatments do not compound our population which is spiraling out of control.
  • Medjai

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    Nov 30, 2012 8:15 AM GMT
    Am I the only one terrified by this?

    We are not ready for this. We do not understand the mechanisms of genetic transcription well enough to reliably use this treatment n humans, nor will we for a long time. There is so much more to this that could go wrong.

    Yes I see the immense value of gene therapy, but we simply are not ready for this leap yet.
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    Nov 30, 2012 9:10 AM GMT
    Sounds great but myself and my generation down here are already worried about how we are going to pay for our retirement. Superannuation doesn't go that far as it is, how the hell are all these old people going to support themselves in a youth obsessed world
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    Nov 30, 2012 9:19 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidThe tragic thing of it all is that there is so much on this planet now to improve the quality of our lives yet people don't do a damn thing to embrace it. Things such as eating well, acquiring sufficient rest, the avoidance of recreational drugs or excessive alcohol intake.

    What's the point of extending life when people will just fuck it all up and cause more strain on society than they already are?

    I probably sound cynical and I don't care but giving people longer lives will just allow them more time to dig themselves further into the ground than they already have.


    We will extend people's lives because technology will be able to cure all of society's problems. If we have the technology to extend lives then we will surely (eventually) have the technology to deal swiftly with problems such as depression, substance abuse, lack of motivation and other problems that plague society. The key is to find out exactly how the brain and body work. When these people are cured they will be a boon to society. Trust me many of us have no idea what the future holds for us it is going to be magnificent. The rate at which technological progress occurs further accelerates. Just think of all the stuff that has been done in the past decade. If you live beyond 2050 there will be a world we can not possibly imagine and it will be far better than the one we are in today. (as is the world today far better than in 1900).
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    Nov 30, 2012 9:40 AM GMT
    This gives a whole new meaning to the recent phrase "50 is the new 30." icon_lol.gif
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    Dec 01, 2012 3:58 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidThe tragic thing of it all is that there is so much on this planet now to improve the quality of our lives yet people don't do a damn thing to embrace it. Things such as eating well, acquiring sufficient rest, the avoidance of recreational drugs or excessive alcohol intake.

    What's the point of extending life when people will just fuck it all up and cause more strain on society than they already are?

    I probably sound cynical and I don't care but giving people longer lives will just allow them more time to dig themselves further into the ground than they already have.


    Folks do what they do. They're often lazy, undisciplined, and just as often, plain ass ignorant.

    Just a few minutes ago, I stopped at the gas station. There was a lady there at least 250...with...you guessed two arms full of chips and full octane Coke. Now, I gotta' this lady knows what is making her a fat tub...she's gotta' know...but...she does it anyway.
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    Dec 01, 2012 4:01 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    CALIKE said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidThe tragic thing of it all is that there is so much on this planet now to improve the quality of our lives yet people don't do a damn thing to embrace it. Things such as eating well, acquiring sufficient rest, the avoidance of recreational drugs or excessive alcohol intake.

    What's the point of extending life when people will just fuck it all up and cause more strain on society than they already are?

    I probably sound cynical and I don't care but giving people longer lives will just allow them more time to dig themselves further into the ground than they already have.


    We will extend people's lives because technology will be able to cure all of society's problems. If we have the technology to extend lives then we will surely (eventually) have the technology to deal swiftly with problems such as depression, substance abuse, lack of motivation and other problems that plague society. The key is to find out exactly how the brain and body work. When these people are cured they will be a boon to society. Trust me many of us have no idea what the future holds for us it is going to be magnificent. The rate at which technological progress occurs further accelerates. Just think of all the stuff that has been done in the past decade. If you live beyond 2050 there will be a world we can not possibly imagine and it will be far better than the one we are in today. (as is the world today far better than in 1900).


    I appreciate your optimism but I don't think it's realistic. Years ago a man I used to know said that he didn't see ourselves as evolving. We simply exchange our problems for new ones all the while fooling ourselves that technological advances are to account for our 'progress.' I vehemently disagreed with him at the time but after a few years and thinking it over now and then I eventually agreed with him.

    People abuse themselves and each other and it's simply within our nature. We're not happier than we were fifty or even 200 years ago. There's not even a cure for the common cold yet but let's focus on 'extending life.' The whole motivation for any medicinal breakthrough is to strike it rich and make some serious bank. And 'curing' all diseases will never happen unless we create some sort of globally unified economy and rid ourselves of the concept of money. Which, of course, will never happen.

    When social security/retirement began in 1935 the average life expectancy of Americans was between the ages of sixty-two to sixty-six years of age. So when a person retired at the age of sixty-five not too many people were receiving social security because they simply died off. But now that people are living well past eighty and the retirement age has only increased to sixty-seven, we are depleting ourselves and will continue to dig ourselves deeper in our own problems.

    That is why I strongly believe in quality versus quantity.


    Interestingly, you, of many people, can say that natural selectiion was short circuited by technology. As recently as the early 90's HIV was a painful, and fairly fast death sentence. The advent of modern anti-virals has affected many diseases, including the flu. Last time I got the flu (I had type A) the doctor pumped me full of Tamiflu and just a day later I was all better.

    I had a buddy here the other day that was asked to be in a study for HIV. It seems he has a natural immunity to HIV (he says it appears in about 1% of the general population). He's in the Army, out and gay, for whatever it's worth.

    With modern medicine the "weak" survive. If you are one of those folks...you're darn happy for medicine.
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    Dec 01, 2012 4:03 AM GMT
    Medjai saidAm I the only one terrified by this?

    We are not ready for this. We do not understand the mechanisms of genetic transcription well enough to reliably use this treatment n humans, nor will we for a long time. There is so much more to this that could go wrong.

    Yes I see the immense value of gene therapy, but we simply are not ready for this leap yet.



    It scares me too, but I don't think there's a damn thing we can do about it. Hell, we all know that our ways are causing climate change, and yet we're just letting that happen. I don't believe for a second they will stop this either.
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    Dec 01, 2012 1:56 PM GMT
    Interesting post! Thanks for bring it here.
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    Dec 01, 2012 2:10 PM GMT
    Imagine living in a world whitout new generations...
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    Dec 02, 2012 10:05 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    chuckystud said

    Interestingly, you, of many people, can say that natural selectiion was short circuited by technology. As recently as the early 90's HIV was a painful, and fairly fast death sentence. The advent of modern anti-virals has affected many diseases, including the flu. Last time I got the flu (I had type A) the doctor pumped me full of Tamiflu and just a day later I was all better.

    I had a buddy here the other day that was asked to be in a study for HIV. It seems he has a natural immunity to HIV (he says it appears in about 1% of the general population). He's in the Army, out and gay, for whatever it's worth.

    With modern medicine the "weak" survive. If you are one of those folks...you're darn happy for medicine.


    Chucky, how is any of this relevant to the discussion? Your Tamiflu miraculous recovery, some friend you know who seems to be immune to HIV who's in the army yet who's also 'out' of the closet? Enlighten me cuz at this moment I fail to see the relation that any of this has to do with life extension through genetic manipulation....

    Are you possibly taking things out of context by implying that because of my HIV infection that I can't have an unfavorable opinion regarding life extension through science? At this time the average life expectancy is roughly seventy-eight years of age. If you tack on a twenty-five percent increase people will roughly live until the age of ninety-seven give or take. Now take into consideration the billions of people who will require resources to continue to live for nearly two extra decades. With over seven billion people on this planet (and another two billion on the way in the next thirty-eight years) we should not be dabbling with life extension therapy unless we find a way to sharply decrease birthrates for overall equilibrium.

    Also, bringing the topic of modern medicine into the discussion isn't in the same ballpark as life extension. It's wonderful that your Tamiflu prescription halted your influenza infection. But unless medication actually provides a cure it's nothing more than a crutch. HIV medication may allow me to live a somewhat normal life expectancy but it's not going to tack on an additional two decades of borrowed time to my existence on Earth, nor would I want it to.

    And surviving isn't the same as thriving.



    I understand your pessimism with regards to the human race, but if we are like this it is it is due to natural selection. I would only like to leave you with a quote I found on the internet, you might have read it before but this is what I think technology has achieved in the last century (and could be an indication of what is to come). Of course it exagerrates in some point but I think that the overall message is clear.

    Consider the lifestyle of a minimal wage worker in 2012 vs a Billionaire Robber Baron one century ago in 1912:

    The worker has access to every single song, book or movie ever published by instant download. The world's best orchestra on command. The Robber baron had to build an opera house and wait for a touring chamber orchestra to arrive by steamship or cutter from around Cape Horn. Books were rare and shared by hand. Movies played only on Saturday night and were silent pictures. Medicine shows, tar and feathering and occasional lynching were town highlights.

    The worker has access to the whole world knowledge base. Any single question, journal or novel can be had instantly. The baron needed access to a large city with a large university with a full staff of librarians who would seek the information. It would take days or weeks of research to get the GDP data for Peru for the past decade. On an smart phone you can get the data with voice recognition software in under 30 seconds.

    The worker can eat steak every night and a pound of chocolate. Albeit a cheap steak cut. And Hershey's milk chocolate. The baron had to eat seasonal food or salted brined food since there was no refrigeration. Portions were small and frequently rotten requiring heavy sauces. Diarrhea and infectious disease were widespread. Chocolate was a once in a year treat at Christmas or Easter.

    The worker could drink an inexpensive bottle of wine, whiskey or vodka per night. Or the best craft beers. The Baron had to fight temperance and dry county laws to even get a sip of whiskey.

    A worker could eat a half gallon of quality, high fat, fudge ice cream per night. (And some people do!) A simple dish of ice cream was impossible for Victorians except at special occasions such as wedding feasts.

    The worker has indoor plumbing and can take a long shower or soak for an hour long bath. The Baron had to have servants bring water from the well and heat it teapot by teapot and poured into the bathtub. The outhouse was a good run from the backporch especially if you had diarrhea.

    The worker has automatic heat and air conditioning. The Baron had to deal with a cold creaky uninsulated home with big bay windows. They wore a wool suit indoors and usually a cloak. In the summer, they sweated profusely and retired from the mid-day heat by mid morning. They actually had heat strokes.

    The worker has electricity which provides the muscle, power and convienence. IT is worth a whole household of servants: clothes washer, clothes dryer, dish washer, vacuum cleaner, electric lamps and hair dryer. The baron needs a staff of 6 servants and even then his wife complains.

    The worker has floridated water and may live a long life with his teeth intact. The baron was toothless by age 50. He gummed his pickled beef.

    The worker had a gall bladder ultrasound which explained his chronic post prandial pain. The baron thinks he may have an ulcer but other than herbs, has to grin and bear it. He may just suddenly die of acute dyspepsia.

    The Baron had to deal with unknown diseases like Malaria, caused by unknown 'Swamp gas', polio and the Spanish Flu which killed 40% of young adults in 1917. Now all three have effective vaccines or treatments. All the swamps and mosquitoes have been dealt with in the the first world.

    The worker has an expected life expectancy of over 80 years if female. The Baron's first two wives died in childbirth. He is fortunate to live beyond 50. And even then at age 50, his health was worse than an 80 year old today.

    The worker could take a warm vacation to Greece or Italy if from Europe during the Summer. OR Mexico or Florida if from the States. Go scuba diving. The Baron never left his state but once to see the World's Fair in Chicago. He would go on one trip abroad to see the European Capitals but that would be a bucket list, once-in-a-lifetime trip.

    The worker has a beat up but serviceable automobile. He can take a 500 mile trip on weekends to go see his college football game. The Baron had to bundle up his horse and carriage. A trip over 20 miles is a an adventure and would likely require an overnight stay.

    Today, Minimal Workers have it great! Life has never been easier even for the poorest in society. They are fatter than any Rockefeller or Carnegie.

    Cold, poorly fed, and chronically sick, a Turn-of-the-Century Billionaire Baron would swap places in a heartbeat.

    We are soft and tend to complain. With a long view, we are quite pampered and privileged. And we are fat and lazy and alcoholic. And we like to protest and bang our bongo drums to anarchic punk at OWS. Drug addictions replaced ambition. And we look forward most and invest our hopes in our next tattoo.

    Happiness is all relative. Visit the Third World and live the culture. And you will be pleased to return to your adobe like Scrooge on Christmas Day.