Saturday, November 15, 2008

Spanish oncologists created mice that live up to 40% more and in good health

A team of specialists from the National Research Center Oncológicas (CNIO) has taken a step that could be key to live longer and in good physical condition, delaying the aches own age. These experts have succeeded in creating laboratory mice live up to 40% more than their fellow, and it takes longer to grow old.

The method used by scientists at the CNIO, led by Maria Blasco, for these rodents is to increase levels of an enzyme, telomerase, which increases the reproductive capacity of the cells thanks to its ability to lengthen telomeres, the ends end the chromosomes (which are 40 in the mouse and 46 in humans).

Since the beginning of the 90s is known that there is a close relationship between telomeres and aging. Its length is shrinking with each new cell replication. When telomeres eventually disappear, the cells lose their ability to reproduce and the body is aging without remedy.

But the telomerase also has the property, coupled with the action of certain genes, to facilitate the development of cancer. Therefore, the researchers also increased in the mice, the number of genes resistant to cancer. The result was a mouse who lived a healthy and 40% more than the others.

Blasco considered "highly likely" that the results in mice are extrapolated to humans. "That would mean increasing the average life of humans to the 115 or 120 years. That extra time of life would also healthy," says the researcher.

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