An elixir of life could soon be a reality

An elixir of life could soon be a reality

Rapamycin, used to suppress the immune system in organ transplants, has been created from a bacterium found in the soil on Easter Island — which lies more than 2,000 miles off Chile, the Daily Mail reported.

Past research has hinted that the drug may have the power to extend human lifespan by more than a decade. In the latest research, the scientists, who included eminent genetic scientist Dr Francis Collins and collaborators from Harvard Medical School, studied the effect of the drug on skin cells from three children with HGPS.

The disease causes levels of a mutant protein called progerin to build up inside every cell of the body, producing defects and rapidly ageing the cells. Treating them with the drug, flushed the poisonous protein out of the cells and reversed the defects, effectively making them healthy again. The cells also lived longer.

“It is known that during ageing, our cells accumulate by-products of normal cell function,” said Dimitri Krainc, one of the co-authors of the study.

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