Science to living longer

May 31, 2010 3:13:36 PM PDT
Forty is the new 30, 60 the new 40 and 70 the new 50. What keeps some people young while others fail the test of time? Is it in our genes or in our head? Is there a magic pill that can keep your mind sharp and your muscles moving

One family, the Hurlburt family could teach all of us about living life to its fullest. Eleven siblings, four feeling fine in their nineties, and the rest are energetic in their eighties. All share several common denominators

"Our genes are what they are, but what we can do potentially is design drugs and health supplements that might alleviate some of the deficits of having a bad gene here or a bad gene there," said Lenny Guraente, PHD Biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Guarente believes the key could be in something called Srtuins.

"Srtuins are a family of genes that we discovered in yeast that can make the cells live longer," adds Gurente.

Scientists found a way to activate these anti-aging genes by resveratrol, which is found in grapes and red wine and already marketed as a wonder drug to the masses.

Dr. Tom Perls is fighting aging in another rather surprising way, by analyzing the menstrual cycle.

"They're relatively iron deficient for about 30, 40 years compared to men and it may be as simple as less iron in your system," said Dr. Perls

The Census Bureau forecasts the 65 and over population will increase from 38 to 88-million in 2050.