Scientific breakthrough may let humans live for hundreds of yearsPDFPrintE-mail
Written by Chris Perver  
Saturday, 26 January 2008 05:34

Scientists in Florida have genetically engineered a yeast fungus to enable it to live ten times longer than its natural life-span. By removing two genes which are responsible for the aging process in yeast, and by putting the organism on a calorie-restricted diet, scientists enabled the fungus to live for up to ten weeks rather than the usual one week. Scientists hope that this discovery will help mankind find a way to prolong the life of people.

Quote: "There is, of course, a huge difference between yeast cells and people, but that hasn't stopped Longo and his colleagues suggesting that the work is directly relevant to human ageing and longevity. "We're setting the foundation for reprogramming healthy life. If we can find out how the longevity mechanism works, it can be applied to every cell in every living organism," Longo says. "We're very, very far from making a person live to 800 years of age. I don't think it's going to be very complicated to get to 120 and remain healthy, but at a certain point I think it will be possible to get people to live to 800. I don't think there is an upper limit to the life of any organism."

Research into human longevity is also being carried out on the process of cell division. The strands of DNA in each of our cells are held together at the ends by a sequence of repetitive code called a Telomere. Because DNA replication can only work on a 5>3 basis, every time a cell divides, it loses a small part of its DNA sequence at each end of the strand. The Telomere sequence at each end of the DNA strand acts as a disposable buffer, ensuring no genetic code is lost in the replication process. Cells can divide only so many times before they run out of Telomere. Therefore it is thought that Telomere affects longevity in humans, and that we are genetically programmed to die after a certain length of time. Scientists think that if we could lengthen these strands of Telomere, we may be able to prolong human life.

There are many factors affecting the life-span of man. Telomeres and our genetic code are just two of these. It is also believed that the environment and diet play a significant part in the aging process. The Bible states that men and women once lived life-spans of hundreds of years. Methuselah was the oldest man who ever lived, reaching 969 years old (Genesis 5:27). At one time men ridiculed the Bible, saying people could never live that long. Not only has science proven the Bible to be 100% accurate, but men are now seeking ways in which they can live to see these great ages. So once again man is seeking for the "tree of life". But in Genesis chapter 3, God barred the way to the tree of life so that mankind could not live forever in his fallen state (Genesis 3:22-24). It seems to me that was an act of mercy, rather than of judgement. Following the destruction of the antediluvian world, the life-span of man continued to decline until it reached "threescore years and ten", Psalm 90:10. But the Bible says we can have eternal life, by looking to the One who hung upon the tree of Calvary. Jesus Christ came into this fallen world, and died upon the cross for you and me. He bore the punishment for our sins, so that we could have eternal life in heaven (John 3:16). And as Jesus Christ Himself said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends", John 15;13. And as John later writes, "these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name", John 20:31. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today.

Source Independent, Wikipedia