From the Technology Review: "The drug rapamycin has been found to reverse the effects of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, a fatal genetic disease that resembles rapid aging, in cells taken from patients with the disease. Rapamycin, an immunosuppressant drug used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, has already been shown to extend life span in healthy mice. Researchers hope the findings will provide new insight into treating progeria as well as other age-related diseases. Skin cells from patients with progeria show a slew of defects: deformities in their membranes, decreased growth, and early death. [Researchers] found that rapamycin could reverse these defects by enhancing the cells' ability to degrade the protein progerin, which accumulates in abnormal amounts in progeria patients. It's not yet clear whether the drug will have similar effects on animals or patients. But progeria researchers are planning a clinical trial of rapamycin. ... Researchers say the findings could be relevant beyond this rare genetic disease. Although accumulation of progerin is associated with progeria, the protein also accumulates in small amounts in normal cells, and may be partially responsible for the aging process."