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Lifespan of Mice Increased With Experimental Drug, Prepare for Your Immortal Rodent Overlords

Nicodemus would be pleased.

Lab Mouse

A new experimental drug has shown to increase the lifespan of mice. The drug could have positive implications for humans as well, but let’s focus on the real goal here: mice immortality.

The drug acts on a protein that has been recently discovered to affect aging by Northwestern Medicine researchers. Together with a team from Tohoku University in Japan, the Northwestern researchers developed a drug that hindered the protein’s effects. They tested the drug on mice against a control group, and both groups of mice were bred with a gene to accelerate their aging.

While the control group aged at their usual gene-accelerated pace, the mice who took the drug lived four times as long. As well as the increased lifespan, the drug-fed mice showed signs that their lungs and vascular systems were not affected by the rapid aging.

Immortal, unstoppable mice would be cool and all, but the drug may also someday help humans who suffer from conditions that cause rapid aging like HIV, diabetes, and kidney disease. Senior author of the study about the drug published last month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Douglas Vaughn M.D. said, “It makes sense that this might be one component of a cocktail of drugs or supplements that a person might take in the future to extend their healthy life.”

(via EurekAlert, image via Global Panorama)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.