New research by scientists at the Novato-based Buck Institute has shown that it may be possible to extend human life span by hundreds of years, the Marin Independent Journal is reporting.
Researchers found that inhibiting an insulin-like growth factor, resulted in extended longevity in roundworms. Although it’s still not clear how and in which tissues the molecules interact with each other, the implications are that these findings can be applied to extending longevity in people, reducing the likelihood of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
One of the life extension methods used in the experiment was the drug rapamycin, which is already licensed for use in people, according to the story.
Scientists discovered rapamycin's life-extension capability while searching for a drug that mimics the effects of caloric restriction, which had previously been identified as a means of extending life in laboratory studies.
Scientists found that the worms’ life span could be expanded nearly five-fold, much greater than in single mutations. They also determined that the germline, a term to refers to cells that pass genetic material on to an offspring, allowing the organism to reproduce, are the key tissue for this synergistic longevity.