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Scientists extend the lifespan of mice by 15%

February 23, 2012

Using an enzyme called SIRT6, scientists at Bar-Ilan University in Israel have extended the life of male mice by 15%. It was found that they metabolised sugar faster than normal mice and females. Part of the reason the females were unaffected is because the basic mechanism of calorie restriction is already active in their bodies. In other words, the engineered males just caught up with the normal females.

This enzyme is found naturally in humans and has a very similar molecular structure. It is possible that drugs could one day be developed which activate genes in humans and provide a similar extension in lifespan.

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