Taiwan scientists identify gene playing role in lifespan

May 16th, 2009 - 12:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Taipei, May 16 (DPA) Taiwan scientists said they have identified a gene linked to ageing in mammals that could have the potential to extend human life.
The researchers at Taipei’s National Yang-Ming University stumbled upon the Cisd2 gene accidentally as they were trying to identify a gene linked to liver cancer in mice, the Taipei Times reported Saturday.

Instead, they observed premature ageing in an eight-week-old mouse that had been deprived of the Cisd2 gene, including grey hair and the loss of weight as well as muscle and bone mass.

The mouse also had half the two-year lifespan of average mice, said the team of 12 researchers, led by Tsai Ting-fen, who heads the Mouse Genetics Laboratory in the university’s Institute of Genome Sciences.

Tsai said research was continuing on how to revitalise the Cisd2 gene with a diet rich in antioxidants.

“It could never be wrong to include a lot of fruit and vegetables in your diet,” she was quoted as saying ahead of the findings of her team’s further research.

The results of its study were published in the May edition of the journal Genes and Development.

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