Can someone please tell me exactly what is so very wrong with mice that Scientists are determined to spend so much time supe-ing them up?!
Last week I wrote about scientists who created exercise-in-a-pill for mice. Well, this week, different lab-coat wearing mouse-botherers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York, have gone and genetically modified a lil’ mouse’s liver to stop the aging process in it. And it’s worked, apparently.
‘The proof is in the pudding’, as my mother always says, but in this case ‘the proof is in the rodent’, because the reason the researchers know the liver hasn’t gotten older is because the modified host’s liver functions just as well as one in a younger mouse.
Here’s the science bit:
As time ticks by, people (and mice) get old. The cells in our bodies slowly get knackered to the point where they just can’t keep getting rid of damaged protein anymore. This builds up into a small collection of toxic material, and the organ starts to shut down.
What the techies in New York did was enhance the protein clearance role of the cells and therefore prevent any collection of toxic badness, which ultimately leaves the organ nice and healthy and working.. and young.
Experiments on the old but genetically modified mice revealed that their livers were cleaning blood just as effectively as any younger mouse. In direct contrast, non-GM mice of the same age, showed livers that were seriously failing.
The scientists are now trying to achieve the same results in other organs. Which, yeaaahh, in theory, could mean we’re talking about GM mice that could live a lonnnnggg old time. Which is brilliant. Just what we need. Mice obviously don’t live long enough – in step scientists – problem solved.
But flippancy aside, the real deal, of course, is whether the GM-ing will work on us, because that’s really all we care about isn’t it? Well, i’m sorry to say, that once again, this is an unlikely eventuality. According to those doing the tests (and therefore the ones ‘in the know’) we shouldn’t hold out for the elixir of life just yet. Instead, we should just diet and take regular exercise to increase our chances of longevity. Great.
You know what? That just makes me so frickkin’ mad. I feel like a kid at Christmas being told how cool the Playstation 4 is, and then being told i can’t have it, cos i have a stick and some mud in the garden to play with.
You wanna be that way about ya discovery, ya techie-spods..? You don’t wanna share your goods? Fine. Well, take your freaky mice and shove ‘em where the test-tube don’t fit.[via Discovery]
By Ryan Weir | August 12th, 2008