Friday, November 14, 2008
Young to 120 years
Spanish investigators manage to create in laboratory mice live up to 40% more than average and that take longer to grow old Smaller size textoAumentar text size Poll: Would you like to live to 120 years? Would you like your children and grandchildren will live up to one hundred and twenty years? And they did, moreover, in good physical condition, then delayed until the aches own age? If the answer is yes, then you are in luck, because a team of Spanish researchers CNIO (Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas) has just taken the first step towards that goal. Under the leadership of Mary Blasco, scientists have succeeded in creating in laboratory mice that take longer to grow old in their congeners. And that also live up to 40 percent more time than them. The work, which involved several members of the team of Mary Blasco and who have collaborated in the Department of Physiology at the University of Valencia and the Group of Tumor Suppression of the CNIO, published today in the prestigious journal Cell. The method used to obtain this "superratón" is based on increasing levels of an enzyme, telomerase, which increases the reproductive capacity of the cells thanks to its ability to lengthen telomeres, the extreme end of chromosomes (which are 40 in the mouse and 46 in humans). Telomeres and aging It is known from the early nineties that there is a close relationship between telomeres and aging. Its length, in fact, is shrinking with each new cell replication. When telomeres eventually disappear, the cells lose their ability to reproduce and the body is aging without remedio.Los scientists in the mice increased the level of telomerase and tumor suppressor genes' It was known that telomerase extends the life of the cells in culture Laboratory says ABC María Blasco, but it was unknown whether the process would work well in a complex organism. This is the first time it shows that it works'. To make his experiment, the team was formed with CNIO not try flies or worms, but dared to do directly with a mouse, a mammal whose DNA has great similarities with humans. "This says the researcher, is the closest thing a human can be genetically modified." Prevent Cancer But the telomerase also has the property, coupled with the action of certain genes, to facilitate the development of cancer. "That is because its empowering role of cell growth, says Blasco-La telomerase, by itself, is neutral, although it is permissive, and cancer takes advantage of the advantages it gives to grow." Therefore, the researchers also increased in the mice, the number of genes resistant to cancer. The result was a mouse who lived a healthy 40 per cent more than the others, a record in the longevity of these rodents. "So far," says ABC-Maria Blasco was known that eating fewer calories can extend life, but our standard way of eating mice, without deprived of anything. And also knew that the life span by reducing the levels of growth hormone. With this method mice were long, but dwarves. Ours are normal in all, but are kept more young people in advanced ages, and also live longer. " To be sure of the outcome, María Blasco and his team have had to wait four long years, "which is the life cycle of a mouse. Has been to wait until the mouse live their whole lives to find out if we had been successful. " To the researcher's CNIO, "it is very 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. Not that only a few exceptional cases, to reach that age, but that was the average. That extra time of life would also healthy. This is not to prolong life by enlarge, but to delay the aging process. " The team of Mary Blasco now works with other proteins capable of increasing the telomeres. "What we have achieved" he says still room for improvement. And we are.