Madrid: The human lifespan could be extended by up to 45 per cent if tests on mice can be replicated in people.
As well as a longer life the dicovery could also mean one where people suffer less serious diseases.
Scientists have made a genetic breakthrough which they claim could extend human life and and left them free from tumours.
The researchers, at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), carried out an experiment in which they inserted three genes, known for their longevity benefits into the stem cells of mice.
The extra copies of the genes – telomerase, P53 and p16, improves the body’s function and immunity to disease, including cell mutation which occurs more frequently in ageing adults.
The technique is a new breakthrough because the scientists managed to extra copies of both p53 and p16 into the mice, which has never been achieved before. It is also the first time that scientists have been able to extend the life of mice in this way while protecting them against cancer.
The modified mice were allowed to breed to strengthen their new DNA pattern, which created a group of supermice with longer lifespans and in-built cancer protection.
It is thought the researchers managed to create mice which lived to around four-and-a-half years. Normally, they live for an average of three years – the equivlent of a human living to 125.
Chief researcher Maria Blasco, one of Spains leading scientists, said that the elixir of eternal youth is now a Utopian dream.
“The discovery opens the door to the possibility that humans could live 125 years and without cancer.