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Gene Research on human genome project

The successful completion of the human genome project will be an unprecedentedly great science finding,and will bring about a great hope for eternal life. A parasitologist in US State Institute of Health, Michael Gotlib said: “We have always been path-finding under a street lamp. Now,we have seen all the problems clearly at last.”

The great breakthrough in gene research has enabled mankind to see through all the questions;As far as eternal life is concerned, the gene engineering has also brought about the most fundamental solution. The secret recipe for eternal life or eternal youth is not hidden in any mystic place in the world, nor can it be granted by “God”, but lies in everyone’s cell, or to be accurate, it lies in human genes. The reason is: for any individual, the influence of gene on life time is the most fundamental. Some species group has a surprising long life (more than ten thousand years), but some species group has an unthinkable short life (less than one day), and, the lifetime limitation of each species group is fixed, which shows that lifespan is determined by gene essentially. Why is the life of someone is long while that of another is short? Here, gene also plays a basic decisive role. Hence,by revealing the secrets of gene, we may find the golden key to longevity or eternal life.

Although scientists have not been able to do large-scale study on the “longevity gene” in an organized and planned way, the bit-by-bit study has led to many great discoveries. For example, we have found the gene “I have not died”, the “Methuselah gene” and so on.

A research group in European Tumor Research Institute announced in Milan: they have found a gene related to the lifespan of an organism. By restraining the effect of such a gene, we may prolong the life of an organism. The researchers have found,after getting rid of a gene called “P66SHC” in the body of the mouse for testing, or restraining its function, the mouse’s resistance to disease was strengthened, and its lifespan was prolonged greatly.

The scientist Simmer Bense in US Fornea Technical College found a drosophila that lives longer than other drosophilas, because there is a special gene functioning in it. Now, by utilizing this gene they can prolong the life of drosophilas by 35%. Bense named this gene “Methuselah Gene”. Methuselah is a figure in The Bible, and he lived to the age of 969. If such a gene in mankind can be found and made the best use of,we will be able to make man’s life time exceed Peng Zu (a Chinese figure who lived to the age of 800) or Methuselah.

Doctor Stephanian Helfand and his colleagues in Connecticut State University’s Medical Centre chanced on a new “longevity” gene in their research project on drosophilas. It is another discovery after the “Methuselah Gene”. The chief reason why such “longevity” gene can change the lifespan of the drosophila’s lifespan is that it can control the energy absorption of the drosophila’s cells, so that the drosophila’s cells may “diet”. Such a gene is distributed on the two chromosomes of the drosophila. If we only change the gene on one chromosome, the drosophila’s life will extend by one time or so; but if we change the genes on both chromosomes, the drosophila will die of too much “diet”. Helfand and his colleagues named this magical gene “I Have Not Died”.

The scientists in Massachusetts Institute of Technology reconstructed the gene of a nematode and prolonged its life by more than a half successfully. In the scientists’ reconstruction of the genes of the nematode, they remove this gene or added a like gene. The result showed: If it has two SIR2.1 genes, the nematode that can only live for two weeks originally can live three weeks.

The discovery of such longevity genes has brought about a fine prospect for mankind’s longevity. That is only research on animals, but scientists have also made breakthrough in the research on humans. The scientists in Scripps Academy of California did a research on the genes of some old people above 90, and they found, in more than 99% of the cases, the function of these old people’s gene was completely normal, and their genes functioned almost like the genes of neonates. Then,why do we still get old? The researchers in Illinois University at Chicago have basically found the answer. They say, the secret of aging might lie in a special gene called “p21”.The molecule gene science professor Igory Robinson started up the p21 gene in human cells and he said: “By starting up this gene,we can cause significant changes in uncountable other genes, and all these genes have something to do with aging and diseases relevant to aging.”

So, it is obvious that there must be genes in the human body that are closely related to longevity and anility, and by a full and deep-going understanding of such genes and by regulating and modifying them properly, it is hopeful to reach the purpose of longevity or living forever.

Besides,the gene engineering also has a very specially important function:It can combine human genes, animal genes, vegetal genes or any species’ genes into one individual life. It is an earthshaking change, which may trigger the most profound and most tremendous transformation,including extension of human life. As we know,in animals, there are long-living ones such as the tortoise that has a lifespan as long as a thousand years, and many unicellular animals can “live forever” so long as the environment is suitable; in plants, there are also long-living ones such as the ten-thousand-year-old ancient cypress, and even monarchs had to learn from them for keeping a long life. If we can find out the genes that help them live long or even live forever, and then transplant or duplicate them for human,or develop drugs with the same effect, then, we will open up a matchlessly fine prospect for prolonging people’s life.

The gene engineering may trigger a series of revolutions,such as the magical genetic forecast, genetic diagnosis, gene therapy, gene reconstruction and so on,all of which have displayed an extremely bright prospect for the realization of eternal life. Most “incurable diseases” such as cancer will be eradicated and AIDS will not be worth mentioning;The surgeon will “work by the mouth without using the hand”,as there will be advanced technology working instead of them from predication to treatment and everything;We may even be able to do cytothesis (cell repair) for the dead cells in the spinal cord or the brain, then, Zhang Haidi (a famous female writer in China who is suffering from paraparesis) will also be able to walk so fast as if flying… Gene research has also shown that the chief causes of aging may be related to the defects in the human body’s “maintenance” and “repair” systems, and such systems can also be controlled by genes ultimately, thus, by transforming or “closing” some genes, we may control the aging process of mankind. Mankind can also adjust their own life style according to the “gene map”, so as to be in the best life environment all the time. Owing to these reasons,Mr. Haris, the British scientist who is in charge of the genome project, asserts, it is not a hard thing for the average human lifetime to reach 1200 years or so.   

The continual breakthrough in gene research can not only prolong human life time, but also make people ageless. William Haseltine, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Human Genome Scientific Research Company, points out: “It is very likely for us to find out the headspring for keeping youth forever from our own genes. Cell replacement may be able to help people keep youth and health forever.”

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