Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nature: A pill for longer life?

Pretty amazing news in today's Nature: Rapamycin, a drug commonly used in humans to prevent transplanted organs from being rejected, has been found to extend the lives of mice by up to 14% — even when given to the mice late in life.

Randy Strong of the University of Texas and a member of the study team noted: "We believe this is the first convincing evidence that the ageing process can be slowed and lifespan can be extended by a drug therapy starting at an advanced age."

But the researchers caution that using this drug to extend the lifespan of humans might be problematic because it suppresses the immune system — potentially making people who take it more susceptible to infectious diseases.

Still, very encouraging.


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