Scientists Develop Anti-Aging Compound Using MAGIC
Now keep in mind that we are not talking about organism wide aging. This is a reaction that happens on the cellular level. Actual aging, or senescence as it is called in biology, is a complicated process which includes many factors. Cellular senescence is just one small part of the process that changes people from young to old. But it is an integral part, and one not many scientists have been eager to challenge. Most biologists see aging and death as a natural part of life. But we are now starting to see it as one more thing that can be quantified, fought, and eventualy treated, like Polio, cancer or heart disease. CGK733 may just be the first shot fired in the war on aging.
CGK733 was developed using a revolutionary magnetic nanoprobe, magnetism-based interaction capture or MAGIC for short. This method is unique in that it permits researchers to actually view the molecular reactions occurring within a given cell. In all other techniques, scientists must observe the beginning and end of any cellular reaction, and guess at the inner workings of it. This is one of the many sources of dangerous side effects. As we know what a particular drug does, but not how it does it, complications can occur. With MAGIC, we get to see exactly what's happening within the cell, what molecules interact with what, and how. This leaves little room for debate or mistaken conjecture on the part of researchers.
MAGIC has already been used to discover a hand full of effective cancer drugs. This new technology alone is worth the price of admission. But CGK733 is Professor Kim and MAGIC's greatest achievement. CGK itself is a complex Thiourea derivative. Discovered while testing a battery of 20,000 drugs, CGK733 has been shown to increase or rejuvenate cellular lifespan in excess of 25 %. To date it is the only drug ever found that can reverse cellular senescence. Normal cells age by instigating a slowing or stop in division when they detect damage to their DNA. CGK733 blocks the protein that controls this process. Not only does this prevent the slowing process, but it also stops the cell from acquiring chromosomal damage.
Of course, we shouldn't start patting each other on the back just yet. CGK733 is a far cry from immortality in a bottle. It does not mean that grandma can pop a pill and live another 50 years. Cellular senescence is a great place to begin the battle against aging and "natural" death however. Researchers even predict that functional longevity drugs may be derived from CGK733 in as few as 10 years. And this is the very earliest of stages for both CGK733 and MAGIC. Anti-Senescence science is just now breaking out into the main stream. The sooner we start tackling the problem, the better chance we have for developing true life extension while those that are reading this are still around. Something like CGK733 is just the thing to make people stand up and take notice. Perhaps in 20 years we'll all be looking back on this discovery and saying "kamsa hamnida". [via the Korea Times]
"Julius Deane was one hundred and thirty-five years old, his metabolism assiduously warped by a weekly fortune in serums and hormones. His primary hedge against aging was a yearly pilgrimage to Tokyo, where genetic surgeons re-set the code of his DNA, a procedure unavailable in Chiba." - Neuromancer