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 Death may soon no longer be a Fact of Life

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Andy
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PostSubject: Death may soon no longer be a Fact of Life   Thu Jan 11, 2007 6:15 pm

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Source: Scotsman News

While Methuselah's 969 years and an elixir of eternal life are still in the realms of religious belief and science fiction, researchers believe it is now theoretically possible at least to extend lifespan "significantly".

It was once thought the ageing process was pre-programmed, hardwired into the human condition, and that death was simply a fact of life. But life expectancies in developed countries have stubbornly continued their upwards rise, by about two years every decade or about five hours a day.

A paper made public yesterday by the journal Nature detailed a study of mice which grew old and died within three weeks because they lacked genes involved in repairing damage to DNA, and also the discovery of a new disease which results in premature ageing. Professor Laura Niedernhofer, of Pittsburgh University, said their findings showed that DNA damage and the ability to repair it were crucial in determining lifespan.
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