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.

More.

10 comments:

Go Democrats said...

That's a pretty big "but."

carlos said...

LOL you can live longer "BUT"!!

You may die from the common cold.

Viscid said...

I'll stick to my Resveratrol

siglo said...

mm why would i like to live so long? At times, going off looks like a good option...

Kazuo said...

What kind of sad life would a person be living if he or she could think of "going off" after an arbitrary length of time as a good option?

siglo said...

Its not about sadness, its about knowing when to live and when to die, like Nietzsche said in "Thus spoke Zarathustra" Let me look for the quote...i will have it later.

It is a concept much similar to the ones that the samurais had, about life and death.

Still, there is a time, if you are old enough when you just would like to rest from this unfair, crazy world, oy you will say this is a fair and sane land? i don´t think so. This life its a constant battle.

Kazuo said...

Rest/relaxation is an experience enjoyed only by living minds. That otherwise intelligent people cling to the notion of death as some kind of "rest" is absolutely appalling.

One may feel free to partake in all the gloomy existentialism he or she desires. I, along with many other readers of this blog, want to have interesting and worthwhile experiences right up until the heat death of the universe.

siglo said...

Kazuo, that is also a interesting option, and the possibilities are amazing just like the post decribe it, and of course that is one of the post-human premise (sorry if my english its not perfect i am not angloparlant) its very hopeful to feel that, but just to clear my point; the option of dying to give life meaning is what i mean, think about this: what is this unique moment of sharing ideas when you live 5000 years? its near to meaningless, instead, as i know I will die, this moment its so relevant and important, it means everything. It came to my mind a movie called "Man of the earth" its very interesting because the main character describes how is to live 14000 years and what will mean a relationship, a place or a moment for a person that old.

Kazuo said...

Yes, it's quite true that the existing human cognitive architecture doesn't have very good support for maintaining many thousands of years of memories.

So what? When thoughtful people are talking seriously about getting rid of our biological limitations, it's not a very far stretch to consider eliminating our cognitive limitations. I am aware of no information-theoretic reason why it would be impossible to maintain 20 million years of transhuman experience with acceptable memory-retrieval performance.

siglo said...

What i meant was not about the capacity to store the information for a long time, but for the meaning of the moments in a million year lifetime, you may call my argument a emotive argument, and probably it is, still there is the risk that existence may become repetitive.

On the other hand, its true also that there is a infinite (we presume) universe to explore, know, discover. But yet, the idea of a never ending life may turn every moment a little less significant.