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18 May 2009

Scientists stumble upon age gene

Taiwan scientists said they have identified a gene linked to ageing in mammals that could have the potential to extend human life, a newspaper reported Saturday.

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Taiwan scientists said they have identified a gene linked to ageing in mammals that could have the potential to extend human life, a newspaper reported Saturday.

The researchers at Taipei's National Yang-Ming University stumbled upon the Cisd2 gene accidentally as they were trying to identify a gene linked to liver cancer in mice, the Taipei Times said.

Instead, they observed premature ageing in an 8-week-old mouse that had been deprived of the Cisd2 gene, including grey hair and the loss of weight as well as muscle and bone mass.

Half the lifespan
The mouse also had half the two-year lifespan of average mice, said the team of 12 researchers, led by Tsai Ting-fen, who heads the Mouse Genetics Laboratory in the university's Institute of Genome Sciences.

Tsai said research was continuing on how to revitalise the Cisd2 gene with a diet rich in antioxidants. "It could never be wrong to include a lot of fruit and vegetables in your diet," she was quoted as saying ahead of the findings of her team's further research. The results of its study were published in the journal Genes and Development. – (Sapa-dpa, May 2009)

Read more:
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The process of ageing

 
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