Hoping Two Drugs Carry a Side Effect: Longer Life
Posted by invizweb on July 24, 2008
By NICHOLAS WADE, for the New York Times, July 22, 2008:
BOSTON, Mass. — One day last month, clad in white plastic garments from head to toe, Dr. David Sinclair showed a visitor around his germ-free mouse room here at Harvard Medical School.
The mice, subjects in studies of health and longevity, are kept in wire baskets under intensive nursing care. A mouse gym holds a miniature exercise machine that tests the rodents’ ability to balance on a rotating bar. In a nearby water maze, mice must recall visual cues to swim to safety on a hidden platform, a test of their powers of memory. Those that forget their lessons are rescued as they start to submerge and humanely dried out under a heat lamp, Dr. Sinclair assured his visitor.
Dr. Sinclair is a co-founder of Sirtris, a company that itself has been swimming in uncharted waters as it works to develop drugs that may extend the human life span. But it seemed to have found a safe platform last month when it was bought last month by the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline for $720 million.