Can Deleting Genes Make You Live Longer?

Can Deleting Genes Make You Live Longer?Scientists believe that life can be extended by decades, by simply switching off certain genes.

The Buck Institute for Research on Ageing and the University of Washington has identified 238 genes that, when silenced, increase the lifespan of yeast cells, making them live 60% longer. Many of these genes are present in mammals, including humans.

According to Dr. Brian Kennedy, “This study looks at aging in the context of the whole genome and gives us a more complete picture of what aging is. Almost half of the genes we found that affect aging are conserved in mammals. In theory, any of these factors could be therapeutic targets to extend healthspan. What we have to do now is figure out which ones are amenable to targeting.”

The researchers examined 4,698 strains of yeast, each with a single gene deletion to determine which genes were responsible for ageing. Then they monitored how long these cells lived for before they stopped dividing.

One of the genes they were able to confirm attributed to ageing was LOS1. It is linked to a genetic master switch which has long been associated with calorie restriction through fasting and increased lifespan. The scientists found that deleting LOS1 produced particularly impressive results, extending life by 60 per cent.

Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

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Katherine Baltazar

I am a media reporter writing for the Hair, Beauty and Spa Industry. I've been writing and covering salons, beauty products and hair treatments for the pace 5 years.