What is the Mprize?
The Mprize competition is an exciting and viable mid-term strategy to deliver on the Methuselah Foundation's mission of extending healthy human life. It directly accelerates the development of revolutionary new life extension therapies by awarding two cash prizes: one to the research team that breaks the world record for the oldest-ever mouse; and one to the team that develops the most successful late-onset rejuvenation. Previous winners have already proven that healthy life can be extended; each new winner pushes the outer limits of healthy life back even further...and each new winner takes us even further.
A well-designed prize is the ONLY method that has shown to be 100% successful in turning the impossible into a near-term reality. Prizes make this kind of ground-breaking change achievable by:
By throwing out all previous assumptions about aging and offering scientists and researchers a huge (and ever-increasing!) cash prize incentive, the Mprize is guaranteed to create revolutionary solutions...quite possibly within our lifetimes.
Mice are genetically similar to humans. They are small and inexpensive to maintain so studying large quantities is feasible. Their short lifespan, about three years, makes it possible to see if interventions result in longer, healthier lives – all in time to be of benefit to our own lives.
Mice are widely considered to be the prime model of inherited human disease and studies have shown that mice share 99% of their genes with humans. The similarities between sections of human and mouse DNA allow researchers working with mouse genes to make incredibly accurate predictions about the location and function of their human counterparts. Mice have been the mainstay of laboratory research on human illness and longevity.
The species Mus musculus is used in the laboratory for experimental work, including the biology of aging. Their long history of captivity has resulted in strong selection for rapid growth and breeding and has resulted in a wide variation in lifespan between different (inbred) laboratory strains. Most useful studies of lifespan are done on strains with a relatively long lifespan. The one most often used is "C57Bl/6", which normally lives about three years without any life-extending intervention.
What You Can Do
What do the end of famine, the discovery of longitude, and private space travel have in common? Each of these world-changing innovations was created by an inventor seeking to win a prize. The Mprize is a multi-million dollar prize to end the diseases of aging. Right now, brilliant minds all around the world are competing for this prize. Your support will help them get there faster.
Competitor Christian Sell
A decline in tissue function and protein synthesis occurs with increasing age. This catabolic state is associated with a decrease in the serum levels of IGF-I and IGF-I supplementation has been proposed as a therapy for elderly individuals. Not only is there a decline in the levels of IGF-I in the serum but the response of cells to IGF-I decreases with increasing age.
In vitro, human cells that have reached the end of their lifespan do not proliferate in response to IGF-I or other growth factors that will induce proliferation in the cells early in their lifespan. The reason for this lack of response is not clear and may be tied to fundamental changes within the cell that are important to the loss of function seen in "old" cells. For example, the rate of protein synthesis is regulated in part by IGF-I and, as mentioned above, protein synthesis declines with age both in the body and in vitro. An understanding of the changes in IGF-I responses are regulated and their connection to the senescent growth arrest may provide novel therapeutic approaches to some of the problems associated with aging.