(PCM) There have been plenty of mysteries surround Easter Island over the years and now researchers are adding even more fuel to the fire with the discovery of a strong anti-aging compound located around the statues that rest upon the island.
The compound is called rapamycin and it happens to be a naturally occurring by product of bacteria that is found native to the region. Researchers have been studying the effects of rapamycin for quite some time as the first sample of the compound was collected back in 1964.
Further research on the compound revealed that it could fight fungus, act as an immunosuppressant and prevent cells from dividing. It also increased the life expectancy for certain animals such as fruit flies, yeast, and worms when they were exposed to the rapamycin. The increased lifespan has been attributed to the suppression of a protein called mTOR.
Another study was conduct on mice and when they were given the rapamycin their life expectancy increased by nearly 14 percent. Rapamycin has not yet been tested on human subjects and researchers are still trying to determine if there are any adverse or hazardous effects due to long-term exposure to the compound, but the results are certainly promising.