A compound used in humans to prevent rejection of organ transplants can significantly extend the lifespan of mice. Writing in the journal Nature, researchers describe their work with the compound rapamycin, a bacterial product originally found in a soil sample from Rapa Nui, or Easter Island. When the compound was administered to elderly mice, the lifespan of the treated mice was increased by 9-14 percent, the researchers say. The research is the first time that a drug has been found to extend the lifespan of normal, healthy mammals. Doctors cautioned that people should not attempt to use the compound in an attempt to extend their own lifespan, as it suppresses the immune system -- but said that the finding could open up new avenues of research in the field of longevity studies. We'll talk about it.
Produced by Christopher Intagliata, Associate Senior Producer