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Google hires high-profile biochemist Cynthia Kenyon in pursuit of lifespan extension in Project Calico

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April 21
6:50 AM 2014

Google has recruited high-profile biochemist and biophysicist Cynthia Kenyon to be part of its stealthy Project Calico. The said project aims to stop or at least postpone death for the longest time ever, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report cited by VentureBeat.

In the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), Kenyon had been focusing her research on C. elegans, a small roundworm. Her team discovered that altering the worm's daf-2 gene doubled their lifespan. Another gene called daf-16 maintained the worms' youthful look despite their already-doubled ages, the report detailed.

The UCSF lab commented on its site: "Seeing them is like being with someone that looks 40 and learning that they are really 80."

Other scientists also found out that the same genes control the lifespan and aging process of fruit flies and mice. This could also be possible for humans. Alteration of these genes slows down the aging process and makes the system more resistant to cancer, heart failure, and other age-related illnesses, the report explained.

The Calico team is composed of top genetic researchers who aim to achieve Google's anti-aging goals. The success of this project, however, is yet to be determined, VentureBeat reported.

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