Elixir of life drug found on Easter Island

New York: A drug has been discovered on one of the remotest places on earth andwhich scientists believe can reverse the effects of premature ageing and could extend human life by more than a decade.Researchers are looking at ways to market the drug. 

Rapamycin, which is being called the “forever young” drug, was created from a chemical found in the soil on Easter Island, 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile in the Pacific Ocean.

The drug is already used to supress the immune system, thereby assisting organ transplants. It was used in experiments on children suffering from Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS), a rare genetic condition in which ageing is hyper-accelerated and sufferers die at around 12 years.

HGPS causes a dangerous process whereby a protein called progerin builds up in every cell of the body, causing them to age prematurely, according to a report in the medical journalScience Translational Medicine.

Rapamycin cleaned the cells of progerin and left healthy cells.

Researchers in the US are expected to start looking at whether the drug could be used more widely, after similarities between HGPS and the normal ageing process were uncovered.

Dimitri Krainc, co-author of the study, said: “Even a small activation of this ‘debris removal’ system would extend the health and life-span of our cells and organs.”

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