Hyperpat\’s HyperDay

SF, science, and daily living

Living Longer, Part 2

Posted by hyperpat on January 10, 2007

I watched Nova last night, which serendipitously had a segment on current research into extending life-spans, the subject of my prior post. What was presented was the fact that there have been a couple of genes identified that have a significant effect on life span, one that increases the amount of Hdl available in the blood stream, another that seems to produce the same effects that the documented benefits of a (very) restricted diet has. Much of this research has been an outgrowth of studies of current super-seniors, people at the 90+ age level who have frequently not followed any of the advice about healthy living, who smoke, eat lots of red meat, etc.

What I found most intriguing about this, though, is the time estimate of when real treatments might become available that will utilize this information. The answer was an incredibly short five to ten years from now. Now I’m sure that in that time frame, such treatments would probably only become available to a very small segment of the population, but it probably wouldn’t be very much longer until they become more generally available – and given the average person’s strong desire to live a little longer, these treatments would be heavily subscribed to. Which means that the possibility of some of my nightmare scenarios coming true might happen a lot sooner than I’d have ever thought.

Perhaps I’d better up the amount I stick into my 401K – like tomorrow.

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