The secret of the naked mole rat: what will help a person live up to 500 years

Looking for a target

Petr Fedichev: The problem with modern medicine is not that it is difficult to find a molecule

against some kind of biological target. Doctors do not know which proteins, genes and targets they need to create drugs against in order to cure the disease.

We thought about how to apply the physical andmathematical knowledge to find “targets” - genes and gene regulators associated with disease. It turned out that the only "disease" that can be "cured" by the methods of physics and mathematics is aging. It is necessary to analyze large biomedical data in order to effectively search for markers of aging and regulators of aging. The point of longevity technology is to bring people back to the age of peak productivity so that they can continue to learn and at the same time use the experience they have already gained.

The idea of ​​developing a drug is againstaging and not against a specific disease is rather unusual in the pharmaceutical industry. Traditionally, you first need to get sick, and only then you will be treated. Aging must be treated well before the onset of the disease. Therefore, it was difficult to attract money for such projects until recently.

Our hypotheses are now being tested in laboratories foranimals. In 2021, Gero was the first in the world to rejuvenate mice with a single injection of a drug discovered by artificial intelligence. We will soon test our hypothesis on humans.

Maxim Kholin: Gero cooperates with a number of biobanks - repositoriesgenetic data of hundreds of thousands of people. In addition, we have our own data, for example, these are the results of blood tests taken throughout life, complete exome genetics (that is, all information about the characteristics of each cell in the body) of these people. A significant part of them have already died, and based on their analyzes, it is possible to identify the starting points for the development of new drugs. These analyzes were collected over 15 years.

With the help of this data and our technology, it wasdiscovered several proteins that have caused aging and death. We were able to block them in mice by injecting antibodies and achieve rejuvenation. Tests are also carried out on other animals, for example, we tested drugs on worms (this was the most popular article in the Nature Scientific Report for 2019). Our preparations were able to extend the life of worms by 30%. Moreover, it is important that they are all predicted by the machine based on our theoretical models.

Russian-Singaporean company Gerospecializes in the development of drugs in the field of aging, through and with the help of artificial intelligence. The company raised $ 2.2 million for the development of an anti-aging drug from the Belarusian venture capital fund Bulba Ventures Yuri Melnichek and other investors.

Aging cost

Petr Fedichev: Elderly people cannot work effectively due to a bunch of age-related diseases. An increase in their number will lead to an increase in the burden on pension systems and health care systems.

Aging is worth tens of trillions of dollars. Now an industry is being created that will slow down aging and allow people to earn for themselves as long as possible.

According to the World Health Organization, by 2050 the proportion of the world's population over 60 will be about 22%.

Baby Boomer Generation (born 1946 to 1964years), which is now leaving, is the richest generation in the history of civilization. They manage tens of trillions of dollars. Technological solutions that will help them improve their quality of life, will receive the most grateful audience and help them earn huge amounts of money. According to various estimates, if human health could be maintained at the age of 30–40, life expectancy would reach 300–500 years.

The secret of the naked mole rat

Petr Fedichev: Scientific fact:if you transfer the blood of young animals to old ones, then the old animals rejuvenate. You can combine the circulatory system of a young and an old mouse and find that the old mouse is getting younger, and the young mouse is getting old. There are molecules in the blood of old animals that prevent stem cells from participating in regeneration to repair damage.

Global giants are also investing in the new industry.Google created Calico in 2013. They started a colony of 6,000 naked mole rats of various ages. They are creatures the size of a mouse, but unlike mice, which die after two years, mole rats do not age within 30-40 years. In addition, wounds and injuries heal unusually quickly in mole rats.

Maxim Skulachev: Naked mole rats - burrowing animals, closehuman relatives, also mammals. Each colony has a queen capable of giving birth to 20 diggers in a single pregnancy. She oppresses other females to the point of losing sexual function. All inhabitants of one colony are descendants of one female. Any female can become a queen as a result of a “coup”. Sometimes revolutions occur within the digging community, a female can kill the queen and take her place.

The probability of a person dying doubles everyeight years, starting at 40. According to Calico research, mole rats do not experience a physiological decline as they age. In the coming years, we will see serious efforts to reproduce elements of the biology of ageless animals in human organisms.

Elevian - American company that deals withresearch to prolong youth. The investment amounted to $ 24 million. The company is studying the effects of the GDF11 protein, which plays a key role in organ rejuvenation. The difference between Elevian and Gero is that the first company adds “factors of youth” to the blood, and the second removes the “factors of old age”.

Stress, alcohol and smoking - do they affect aging?

Petr Fedichev: Any stress increases biological age.Here is a person who smokes - his biological age has increased, he quit smoking - he went down. A person is stressed at work, has survived an infectious disease - the markers of biological age are elevated. Another marker of aging is a hangover. At a young age, it is almost unimportant what to drink, it is almost unimportant in what order. But by the age of 50, people are switching to high-quality alcohol for a reason.

If you are 20 years old, you can do nothingspecial. After 35, you need to look for either a good doctor or a good gym. Sports tend to postpone chronic diseases. But 10 trips to the gym will not help: if you stop exercising, the effect disappears. Healthy lifestyle prolongs life by only 5-10 years, but these additional five years today can be strengthened exponentially due to the emergence of new medical technologies.

The dilemma arises for those who are now about 50 years old.People of this age can lose their health in the event of a serious chronic illness and will not have time to take advantage of the revolution in longevity. They need to think about how to make sure that a stroke or cancer, diabetes occurs as late as possible.

In developed countries today, in first place in terms ofmortality instead of heart disease, as it was before, comes oncology. An interesting fact is that if tomorrow there is a pill that will cure all types of cancer in one day, then at first the mortality rate will, of course, decrease, and life expectancy will increase by only 2-3 years. Because those people who are now dying of cancer will die in a few years from another chronic disease without it. For example, in 2021 there is no cure for dementia. Therefore, if we do not stop aging, then after curing cardiovascular diseases and oncology, we will be forgotten around 70 years old. This will lead to enormous costs for the treatment of these people.

I like to use the example of the former president of the United States.Jimmy Carter. At the age of 90, he got skin cancer with brain metastases. In the late 1990s or early 2000s, this would have been a death sentence. But Carter underwent experimental therapy and was completely cured of cancer in 2015. 90 years is a venerable age. The luck of not getting cancer earlier than this age gave Carter 10 years of life, during which cancer-fighting technologies emerged.

Predicting the future

Petr Fedichev: Within 20 years, with a probability of more than 80%, it will be possible toslow down the rate of human aging. The answer to the question of where this will lead is beyond the scope of the engineering debate. We may find ourselves in a digital concentration camp, in which we will live not for 50 years, but for 500. I would like to hope that we will live not only long, but also merrily.

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