Mighty Mouse Has One Less Gene, Lives 20% Longer

Sorry, Apple. Researchers have already created a mightier mouse: By deleting a single gene from a mouse's genetic makeup, they've enabled it to suffer fewer age related ailments and live 20% longer. On humans, that'd be about 16 bonus years.

So what exactly did those crazy scientists do? They bred mice with the "gene that produces the protein S6 kinase 1 (S6K1)" disabled. The effects of this are a bit extreme:

The change mimicked the effect of keeping the mice on a calorie-restricted diet. Severely restricting the diets of yeast, bacteria, mice and primates have granted these animals unnaturally long lives. For humans, however, maintaining a diet of near starvation would be difficult at best

That last part's the bad news so far, but researchers are conducting further studies particularly targeting the S6K1 protein as it seems to have a direct link to longevity in mice. There are hopes that the benefits will one day be reproduced with drugs so that we don't have to starve ourselves for longer lives and prettier looks.

I do hope that the boys reading aren't too obsessed about anti-aging though, because the last bit of bad news is that "only the female mice benefited" in the study. Sorry, guys. [Discover]

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