Programming Genes

Switching genes ‘off’ to extend life — ‘deleting’ genes could boost lifespan

genetic_code

The secret of extending life by decades may lie in switching off certain genes, scientists believe, after showing that small genetic tweaks can make organisms live 60 per cent longer.

According to Dr. Andrea Danese, “We are now at a point where we can quantify biological ageing in young people.”

Ten years of research by 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.

“This study looks at aging in the context of the whole genome and gives us a more complete picture of what aging is,” says lead author Dr Brian Kennedy.

“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 study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

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A Comprehensive Analysis of Replicative Lifespan in 4,698 Single-Gene Deletion Strains Uncovers Conserved Mechanisms of Aging

http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/abstract/S1550-4131(15)00465-9

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