Israeli university researchers unveil their discovery of a gene that increases the lifespan of lab animals, and perhaps of humans too.
All the anti-aging potions, lotions and notions on the market and in development add up to a very pretty penny. Maybe some of them actually work. Yet the biology behind aging, and how to slow its effects, has never been well understood.
Now, seven years of Israeli research have revealed that it may all come down to a specific gene called Sirtuin 6, or SIRT6 for short. They described their study in the February 22 online issue of the popular science journal Nature.
SIRT6 is one of seven sirtuin genes that encode a class of proteins found in every species from single-celled yeast to complex humans. For years, scientists had zeroed in on SIRT1. When they removed SIRT1 from yeast, worms and flies, these creatures aged faster and died sooner. When they transplanted a copy of SIRT1 into the three species instead, their life expectancy increased.
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By: Abigail Klein Leichman