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Longevity

  • Date Submitted: 11/17/2011 02:51 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.8 
  • Words: 2047
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What is one thing that all humans want in their lives? A few things that come to mind are money and fame. Sure, those are great desires for some people. Another common pursuit of the human person is happiness. Wouldn’t we all like to be eternally happy? Or even better, we would like to share that happiness with our kids, grand children, and great grand children. This is impossible for most; humans do not have the life span for everyone to live and play with their great grand children. Actually, life expectancy in the United States reached an all-time high level for Americans at 77.5 years (Shrestha). However this is still not long enough. Humans want to live longer. What if we discovered something that could help us live longer? A group of researchers have discovered substances that could create a gene. This is no ordinary gene that they are pursuing. This gene could lead to making drugs that enhance longevity. This research has sparked a debate between a couple different groups of researchers on whether or not this could truly work on humans. This dispute revolves around genes that produce sirtuins. Sirtuins are proteins that regulate biological pathways and control metabolism. But what does this have to do with increasing lifespan?
In a popular news article from the New York Times published by Nicholas Wade, “Longevity Gene Debate Opens Trans-Atlantic Rift”, he discusses both sides of the argument surrounding the longevity gene. He uses various sources to support his information, including the original research performed by the Department of Biology at MIT in 2001. He starts by discussing the role of sirtuins. “Because of their metabolic role, the sirtuins may mediate the 40-percent-longer life enjoyed by laboratory rats and mice put on a very low-calorie diet” (Wade). Obviously, human’s cant match the same diet as a laboratory rat. This is why we are looking for certain genes that could possibly stimulate sirtuin activity. This way, we would obtain a much less...

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