New DNA Repair Process Discovery May Lead to Human Life Extension


A key component of aging is the accumulation of errors in cells genetic’ genetic code or DNA. Once enough errors accumulate, the cell makes faulty proteins leading to irreparable cell damage and death, or in some cases cancer.

In a new study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry researchers discovered that DNA acetylation governs DNA replication and repair. This process adds acetyl groups to DNA segments which then determines what path of DNA doubling that segment will take.

Cells are known to use a high fidelity yet high energy consuming path for DNA that encodes for proteins.  A low cost yet lower fidelity pathway is used for non protein encoding segments of DNA. The acetylation process just identified tells the cell which repair process the section of DNA should undergo.

Once the process of DNA acetylation can be exploited and applied at will it is possible to ensure cells have very low DNA error rates and thus live longer.

“Our research is in the very early stages, but there is great potential here, with the capacity to change the human experience,” said Robert Bambara, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Rochester Medical Center and leader of the research. “Just the very notion is inspiring.”

Though exciting it could take a while before this research leads to human lifespan extension.

“The translational rate is becoming better and better. Today, the course between initial discovery and drug development is intrinsically faster. I could see having some sort of therapeutic that helps us live longer and healthier lives in 25 years,” said Bambara.

Source (Eureka Alert)

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10 Comments

Filed under Article, Life Extension, Stem Cell Research

10 responses to “New DNA Repair Process Discovery May Lead to Human Life Extension

  1. Phaethon Rhadamanth

    Exciting news again. Without reading the paper the most obvious question is the relationship of acetylation to telomerase activation. It seems apparent to me that a process that activates telomerase must be an essential part of significant life extension. It is just as clear that repair and maintenance of the body of the DNA molecule is just as essential as telomere maintenance. I also grin at time forecasts for these developments. 25 years? Is this on linear time or exponential, Kurzweilian time? Methinks many of these exciting new therapies will be kicking in for real sometime within the next decade. My guesstimate for the Methusalrity being circa 2025! Live To See It!

  2. Well, there’s no information regarding the relationship of this particular process to telomerase activation. In general we know that telomerase is absent in normal cells, but present in stem cells and cancer cells. This means that in these types of cells the subunits of telomerase are expressed and in normal cells these genes are silent. My guess would be that this silencing may be stipulated partly by epigenetic mechanisms like acetylation.
    As for the time – it’s really hard to predict when various therapies may be brought to the clinic, because there are strict regulations and also quite a lot of money is needed for research. in order to accelerate scientific progress there should be much more money put into investigations.

  3. Phaethon Rhadamanth

    Part of my winning the largest lottery of all time fantasy is my acceptance of the big check in which I say that this is a great day for humanity since a large part of it, beyond the first 10 mill I need, will go to financing these projects and acceleration of the Methusalrity 🙂 if only one of these billionaires working to give away their fortunes would send it this way….

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  5. kenh

    This article is so vague that I can’t understand the basic idea of the two pathways. Introns and exons are not mentioned. I would have thought that introns and exons are too short to allow efficient switching between processes. That implies that there may be good evolutionary reasons for keeping worse replication and repair in the intron regions.

  6. Shaun Wilcox

    All of this is so exciting and still so new to me. I found out about so many possibilities for extending our lives in How To Live Forever and I can’t stop looking for more and more information. The craziest thing is thinking how much is actually being achieved in our lifetime.

    • I’ve seen this movie, it’s pretty good, although, it doesn’t highlight the need of more scientific discoveries that much. The person who watched the movie may get the wrong impression that a lot can be done already, like you are saying – “how much is actually being achieved in our lifetime” – I have to point out that this impression is wrong. There’s almost nothing that can be done today to live a longer life. Of course, healthy life style somewhat reduces the risks, but not significantly. Besides, in the end it all comes to the efficiency of your stress resistance systems (which is partly the reason why the centenarians can smoke and drink and live up to 100 years).

      So, I would say we need more scientific discoveries that would lead to actual therapies extending our longevity.

  7. Hello, I’m Elliot, glad to see all the friendly faces here.

  8. Shaun

    This is fanastic news. I wonder if it would slow down the physical appearance of the ageing process aswel as health longevity benefits?

    Contact me if you need a guinea pig test subject at the age of 33.

  9. Has anyone here heard of NAD? I read an article about its potential anti-aging properties and was curious if anyone had experience with it. I even found a company selling a supplement containing NAD (www.zaoreset.com) and I’m thinking of trying it… Does anyone else have experience with NAD?

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