A Longer Life May Lie in Number of Anti-Inflammatory Genes

Apr 13, 2015

Credit: EKS/Shutterstock.com

By Christopher Wanjek

Why do some kinds of animals live longer than others? For mammals, part of the answer may lie in the number of anti-inflammatory genes.

From mouse to man — and across 12 other mammal species examined — researchers found that those with more copies of genes called CD33rSIGLEC, which is involved in fighting inflammation, have a longer life span.

Moreover, mice that researchers bred to have fewer copies of these genes experience premature aging and early death compared with normal mice, the study found.

“Though not quite definitive, this finding is provocative,” said Dr. Ajit Varki, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, who co-led the study. “As far as we know, it’s the first time life span has been correlated with simple gene copy number.”

Scientists report this finding today (April 7) in the online journal eLife.


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7 comments on “A Longer Life May Lie in Number of Anti-Inflammatory Genes

  • researchers found that those with more copies of genes called CD33rSIGLEC, which is involved in fighting inflammation,..

    How long will it take for this science to seep into some retail scam product so some fraudster can make a cheap buck. Maybe a tea bag with some animal CD33rSIGLEC, diluted to homeopathic strength, and some cloves for the definitive morning pick me up.



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  • Time magazine recently had a cover photo of a darling baby with the title caption, “This baby could live to 142!” Doubtlessly science will gradually increase human life span and human life expectancy. No one anticipates the demographic and economic horrors of such developments. Any increase in life expectancy within a stable population will affect a weighted increase in that population. For example if everyone on average lives 30% longer for a population of 1,000 then that population will “increase” effectively against the base to 1300. If a population is growing, rising longevity will also combine with population growth rates to propel the exponential rate into the stratosphere.

    Because we value longer, healthier lives as an absolute human “Good,” we do not consider the collective consequences – what will also happen to “me” as a consequence of everyone else around me living longer lives. Imagine if life expectancy increased 30% over today’s (developed country) average of 80years. The new average would be 104 with smaller cohorts living to between 117 to 130.

    If retirement ages fluctuate roughly between 55 and 65, how many people will younger workers 20 to 50 be supporting on their paychecks? If longer life extends fertility, women [and men] could be tempted to have “serial families” into their 40s and 50s a formula for infinite population growth. Living longer doesn’t just mean “ME” basking in the sun. It means someone else and the environmernt paying through the nose for it.



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  • 4
    Dionysius says:

    Funny how some, while denigrating others for their reverence to a spiritual existence, can do so while exhibiting a perverse respect for the environment.
    “It means someone else and the environment paying through the nose for it.”
    The environment is here to serve mans purpose. Man, in evolving himself, should do his best to keep all options open, as he moves toward ‘more perfect.’ In the interim, the environment, while begin husbanded as much as possible, is still here to suit mankind in his development.
    Anything else is uncomfortably, well, pagan, ya know?
    D



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  • 5
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    The environment is here to serve mans purpose.

    That sounds a lot like the Bible passage that says that “Man was given dominion over the earth” (paraphrasing here). I’m sorry but the environment is here to serve man’s purpose like your children’s reason for being is to make your dreams come true.

    Wrong! The environment is not “man’s oyster”. It is man’s responsibilty to protect it. As it’s our duty to protect our children’s well-being.



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  • 6
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Yes. A longer lifespan, although a desirable thing for individuals (including myself), would certainly exacerbate the world’s overpopulation problem by a huge margin. Too much of a good thing… Humanity is not ready for this so it’s probably a good thing that such a breakthrough is nowhere in sight in practical terms.



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  • Dionysius
    Apr 14, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    The environment is here to serve mans purpose.

    Nope! Any use it has for man is of human making or purely co-incidental

    Man, in evolving himself, should do his best to keep all options open, as he moves toward ‘more perfect.’

    Evolution produces adequacy and competitiveness. There is no such thing as perfection except in matching a result to a preconception.

    In the interim, the environment, while begin husbanded as much as possible, is still here to suit mankind in his development.

    Unless we mess up and go extinct.

    Anything else is uncomfortably, well, pagan, ya know?

    “Pagan” is just a bigot’s term for “Not my religion”!



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