‘Switching Off’ Certain Genes Could Boost Lifespan by 60 Percent, Say Scientists

By: | December 12th, 2015

Image courtesy Getty images

Most of us want our aging process to stop; we don’t want to get old and just want to stay young forever.

In a big breakthrough, scientists in Switzerland have unlocked the secret of extending life by decades.

A pioneering study by the team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) has concluded that if certain genes are altered in our body, our lifespan can be extended by as much as 60%.

In other words, the average life expectancy for men and women will extend from 81 to 149 years.

How Scientists Managed to Do This:

To recognize the genes responsible for physical aging, scientists examined 4,698 strains of yeast. They deleted a single gene from each and then checked how long cells lived for before they stopped dividing.

Scientists discovered more than 238 such genes, which, when silenced, increased the lifespan of yeast cells. Scientists also found that by altering these genes, the healthy lifespan of laboratory animals could be extended.

Many of the genes discovered are present in mammals, including humans, which suggest that if those genes are turned off, there is a possibility of achieving something similar in humans as well.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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