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Re-writing a Gene for Brainology


What is the prospect of getting some genes deleted?




It is now apparent that scientists, most notably, geneticists have discovered a new approach to deal with life expectancy. This can be assured by switching off certain genes which are inherently a part of long existing human attributes. Switching off certain gene may as well extend life by 60 percent.
In the ten years of experiment conducted by the Buck institute for research on aging and the University of Washington has identified 238 genes that, when silenced, increased the life span of Yeast cells.
This offer prospect to human health concerns as generalizations can be made about the attributes from animals which are found to be similar to humans. In this regard, there is much focus on the similar cells (yeast cells) present in humans so that one day scientists may manipulate or alter some functions in the human genome for the benefit of man as regarding life span.
According to doctor Brian Kennedy, "this study looks at aging from the concept of whole genome and gives us a complete picture of what aging is".

However, scientists may face challenges in this new discovery as to how it will work well as planned to benefit humans, what genes should be the next target for alteration. Any gene found appropriate for this alteration in order to enhance life would be a gene that have perfect correlate or share similar attribute with Yeast cells if compared. To get the exact gene that relates to life, again scientist studied 4,698 strains of yeast, each with a single gene deletion and then monitored how long cells lived for before they stopped dividing. By the deletion of the gene called LOSI, scientists were able to conclude that because the deletion of the gene leads to calorie restriction through fasting which can further enhance life span, this innovation can extend life by 60 percent.
This new study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.


Questions go thus:

- If genetic research can prove to offer such a tremendous benefit, how are we sure there are no cons?
- It may seem prospective or beneficial but I want to suppose that altering the function of the LOSI gene to enhance life does not strictly mean that LOSI is only concerned with life. How do we clarify this?

Source: telegraph.co.uk
Photo credit: www.cray.com

  

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