Extending our lives has just become a step closer to reality. Scientists working at the MDI Biological Laboratory in California, with the help of Nanjin Universitty in China, have uncovered cellular pathways that allow for our lifespans to become significantly longer. In fact, we will be able to live five times what we can now. This means we may be living 400-500 years in the future! We now know how to extend lifespan by hundreds of years.

The scientists used a nematode worm to create a model that could be used to demonstrate the anti-aging properties of the special pathways.

nematode worm
Photo by Håkan Kvarnström

 

There are two main types of pathways involved when it comes to aging. They have been passed down to us from our ancestors. Today, there are new developments underway that act on these pathways to extend human lifespan. With the new eye-opening discovery, even more effective life extension therapies will be possible.

When the insulin signaling (IIS) pathways, along with the TOR pathways, get altered on a genetic level, there are significant increases in their longevity. In fact, altering the IIS pathways gets us a 100% increase in lifespan. Also, the TOR pathways getting altered give us a 30% increase. You would think that this means we would be able to live 130% longer, but the actual results are even wilder than that. Lifespan gets amplified by 500%!

Hermann Haller, M.D, who is the head of the MDI Biological Laboratoy, said that it isn’t exactly “clear how these pathways interact.” However, it’s hoped that this new discovery will lead to uncovering ways to increase lifespan.

Scientists are calling this a “synergistic extension” given that 100% + 30% = 500%. To effectively extend our lives, we need to look at longevity networks, not just singular pathways. Thanks to the synergistic interaction discovered, multiple therapies may work in tandem with one another, to extend our lifespans. This synergy is also the likely culprit behind why a single gene couldn’t be identified as being the reason some people live for an incredibly long time.

This new study piggybacks on previous research that suggests there is a causal link between mitochondrial dysregulation and aging.

While we may not be able to live for 500 years right now, it looks promising that most of us will get a chance to within our lifetimes. However, that will open up a whole can of worms, regarding how people living for 500 years will affect culture and society. Thankfully, we don’t need to wrap our heads around the implications just yet. However, there will soon come a day when we will.