Posted on by Dr. Francis Collins
One possible route to a longer life is to cut calories drastically. Not much fun perhaps, but there’s evidence it works in yeast, worms, and mice—but probably not in monkeys . The potential life-extending strategy that I’d like to tell you about today focuses on the drug rapamycin, which blocks the activity of a protein called “target of rapamycin,” or TOR. Recently, a team here at NIH discovered that—at least in mice—reducing production of this protein through genetic engineering can add about 20% to the lifespan .