Jan 26, 2009 | 4
Scientists have long known that severely cutting food intake may lead to a longer life. But new research shows the phenom doesn't apply to everyone—or, should we say, to every mouse. A new study recently published in the online edition of The Journal of Nutrition found that reducing caloric intake only seems to prolong the lives of fat mice with low metabolisms.
"There has been this kind of settled paradigm that caloric restriction universally extends the life span of animals, [and] some have implied that it also applies to humans," says study lead author Rajindar Sohal, a pharmacologist at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. But he notes that he and his colleagues found that "extension of lifespan by food reduction will occur only if there is an energy imbalance [caused by a low metabolism]."
Dec 24, 2008 | 6
In The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the Brad Pitt movie that will be released tomorrow, a boy is born an old man. As he grows old in years, his body becomes younger.
If the film, based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald story, isn’t pretending to be realistic, it does strike at the oldest of human fantasies – one scientists and charlatans have tried to fulfill for all of recorded history: the ability to reverse the aging process.
“Aging results from the accumulation of dysfunctional molecules that, after reproductive maturation, exceed the capacity for their repair,” Len Hayflick, an anatomy professor at the University of California, San Francisco, tells ScientificAmerican.com. "If the protagonist is born with the molecular and cellular errors that define aging, then the repair processes are similarly dysfunctional. To assume that the aged individual is becoming younger the damaged repair processes must mysteriously become more efficient — which doesn't happen in reality."
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