Anti-Aging Protein Extends Life Span in Mice, and Maybe Humans
Things areِ looking upِ forِ aging mice and, ifِ this research pays off, forِ aging humans, too.
Researchers haveِ foundِ that a long-suspected anti-aging protein called sirtuin canِ make male mice live aboutِ 16 percent longer thanِ average, theِ firstِ such advance forِ mammals inِ a field thatِ hasِ thus farِ only offered theِ blessings ofِ extended life span toِ yeast, nematodes andِ fruit flies.
The findings, byِ scientists atِ Bar-Ilan University inِ Israel, appearِ today (Feb.
Long road to SIRT6
Sirtuin wasِ hot news inِ 1999 whenِ researchers foundِ that a certainِ sirtuin called Sir2 couldِ extend life span inِ yeast byِ 30 percent.
The Israeli researchers, led byِ Yariv Kanfi, focused onِ SIRT6.
The team’s previous work revealed thatِ mice genetically bred toِ haveِ lots ofِ SIRT6 couldِ get fat onِ rich diets yetِ show noِ signs ofِ heart disease, fatty liver disease andِ other diseases associatedِ with obesity.
Got some time?
It couldِ beِ that SIRT6 isِ to mice (and humans) asِ Sir2 isِ to yeast, a regulator ofِ life span.
Given theِ title ofِ the Nature study, The sirtuin SIRT6 regulates lifespan inِ male mice, that’sِ what theِ researchers areِ hoping.
They note thatِ measuring life spans inِ longer-lived andِ more complex animals canِ beِ tricky, because, forِ example, life spans canِ vary byِ many months forِ genetically similar mice inِ similar environments withِ similar feed.
This could take years to unravel.
But better to be a human than a mouse.
Christopher Wanjek isِ the author ofِ the books Bad Medicine andِ Food At Work.
His column, Bad Medicine, appears regularly onِ LiveScience.