Girls, birds, network
Behold a stunning representation of transhumanism, rendered in watercolor, pencil, and stamp ink stencil on a 50x70 cm canvas.

This intricate work holds the key to unlocking the secrets of eternal youth, as it encapsulates the findings of thousands of studies on aging and longevity.

Every detail in the painting holds significance and meaning, and to fully understand it would require a scientific article.

The painting depicts young women catching birds amidst a background of clocks, symbolizing the human genes that have been shown to extend the life of mice. Unravelling the symbolism within the painting could lead to a deeper understanding of the genes that can be targeted in order to prolong human life.

At Open Longevity, we aim to create a series of "Encrypted Paintings" that will draw attention to the ongoing search for the code of immortality.

We welcome collaborations with scientists and artists to further this pursuit.

By analyzing the information within this painting, we can design experiments to extend life and bring them to fruition.
The eyes

The open eyes of the girls in the painting represent the enhancement of gene function, while closed eyes represent the suppression of gene function.

THE hairstyles
The hairstyles of the girls encode information about the origin and conservatism of the gene family. The length of the hair represents the age of the gene family, with purple indicating the oldest genes (over 1000 million years), crimson representing genes that are 900-500 million years old, and blue indicating genes that are 490-100 million years old. Orange hair represents the youngest genes (less than 100 million years old). If there is no data on the origin of the gene family, the length of the hair is hidden under the headdress, and if there is no data on the conservatism of the gene, the hair is colorless.
THE hairstyles
The hairstyles of the girls encode information about the origin and conservatism of the gene family. The length of the hair represents the age of the gene family, with purple indicating the oldest genes (over 1000 million years), crimson representing genes that are 900-500 million years old, and blue indicating genes that are 490-100 million years old. Orange hair represents the youngest genes (less than 100 million years old). If there is no data on the origin of the gene family, the length of the hair is hidden under the headdress, and if there is no data on the conservatism of the gene, the hair is colorless.
THE birds
The birds in the painting represent intermediary genes in a network of interactions. The color of the plumage on the head, wings, and tail indicate the age of the gene family, with purple being the oldest, crimson being younger, and blue being the youngest. If there is no data, the plumage is colorless. The physical interactions between the birds and girls, such as threads connecting them or direct physical contact, represent gene interactions. Girls touching each other represents direct interaction of genes in the network.
THE birds
The birds in the painting represent intermediary genes in a network of interactions. The color of the plumage on the head, wings, and tail indicate the age of the gene family, with purple being the oldest, crimson being younger, and blue being the youngest. If there is no data, the plumage is colorless. The physical interactions between the birds and girls, such as threads connecting them or direct physical contact, represent gene interactions. Girls touching each other represents direct interaction of genes in the network.

THE clocks

The clock next to each girl represents the time added to the mouse's life. Green sectors on the clock dials reflect the increase in life expectancy as a percentage.

THE clocks

The clock next to each girl represents the time added to the mouse's life. Green sectors on the clock dials reflect the increase in life expectancy as a percentage.

THE BODIES

The fully colored bodies of most of the girls indicate that the gene was expressed throughout the mouse's body, while the partially highlighted green areas on some girls suggest that the gene's activity was changed in specific tissues.

THE BODIES

The fully colored bodies of most of the girls indicate that the gene was expressed throughout the mouse's body, while the partially highlighted green areas on some girls suggest that the gene's activity was changed in specific tissues.

Additional details in the painting further help to understand the function of the gene.

1
The girl with long purple hair in the painting represents the Mtor gene, which plays a crucial role in regulating cell metabolism and growth in response to hormones, growth factors, and nutrients. This gene is present in all eukaryotes and its sequence is highly conserved. Its activity has been found to be suppressible in all eukaryotes in which such experiments were performed, including mice, flies, and worms, and this suppression has been observed to prolong life. This is reflected in the closed eyes of the girl in the painting. The Mtor gene can be suppressed not only through gene knockout but also through the use of the drug rapamycin, and the tattoo on the girl's thigh alludes to the history of the discovery of rapamycin on Easter Island (Rapa Nui).

2
Another gene depicted in the painting is the Fgf21 gene, which is the second most significant gene in the network in terms of percentage of mouse life extension. This gene, which is a fibroblast growth factor, regulates the uptake of glucose by cells and insulin sensitivity.

The gene is relatively young, as evidenced by the girl's short red hair. The Fgf family is found in metazoans and the Fgf21 gene itself arose as a result of duplication during vertebrate evolution. This gene was only suppressed in the liver, resulting in a one-third increase in the mouse's lifespan. This is reflected in the green highlights on the girl's body, specifically in the liver area.
Another gene depicted in the painting is the Fgf21 gene, which is the second most significant gene in the network in terms of percentage of mouse life extension. This gene, which is a fibroblast growth factor, regulates the uptake of glucose by cells and insulin sensitivity.

The gene is relatively young, as evidenced by the girl's short red hair. The Fgf family is found in metazoans and the Fgf21 gene itself arose as a result of duplication during vertebrate evolution. This gene was only suppressed in the liver, resulting in a one-third increase in the mouse's lifespan. This is reflected in the green highlights on the girl's body, specifically in the liver area.

3
The gene with the most significant impact on life extension depicted in the painting is the Vegfa gene, a vascular growth factor responsible for angiogenesis (the growth of blood vessels). This gene arose in metazoans and is conserved in bony vertebrates, as reflected in the girl's short blue hair. An increase in the activity of the Vegfa gene in the liver has been observed to extend the mouse's life by one and a half times, and this is reflected in the open eyes of the girl and the green highlights on her liver area. The numerous threads connecting the girl to the birds in the painting signify that the Vegfa gene is regulated by a large number of genes in the network. The girl is also depicted directly touching another girl in the center of the painting, representing a direct interaction with the Myc gene.
The gene with the most significant impact on life extension depicted in the painting is the Vegfa gene, a vascular growth factor responsible for angiogenesis (the growth of blood vessels). This gene arose in metazoans and is conserved in bony vertebrates, as reflected in the girl's short blue hair. An increase in the activity of the Vegfa gene in the liver has been observed to extend the mouse's life by one and a half times, and this is reflected in the open eyes of the girl and the green highlights on her liver area. The numerous threads connecting the girl to the birds in the painting signify that the Vegfa gene is regulated by a large number of genes in the network. The girl is also depicted directly touching another girl in the center of the painting, representing a direct interaction with the Myc gene.

4
The illustration of the girl with a hoop of beads around her waist represents the stages of the cell cycle. The gene being depicted is of ancient origin, but has been conserved in bony vertebrates. The girl's long blue hair symbolizes this ancient origin. Suppressing the Myc gene (represented by the closed eyes of the girl) has been shown to extend the life of mice. However, decreasing the activity of Vegfa may have an opposing effect and must be increased in order to prolong the mouse's life.
The illustration of the girl with a hoop of beads around her waist represents the stages of the cell cycle. The gene being depicted is of ancient origin, but has been conserved in bony vertebrates. The girl's long blue hair symbolizes this ancient origin. Suppressing the Myc gene (represented by the closed eyes of the girl) has been shown to extend the life of mice. However, decreasing the activity of Vegfa may have an opposing effect and must be increased in order to prolong the mouse's life.

5
Furthermore, Myc is also essential for the transcription of Tert. This interaction is depicted in the image as the hair of the Myc girl being braided with the hair of the Tert girl. Tert is responsible for telomere completion, represented by the girl lengthening her telomere braids with ribbons. Its activation has been shown to prolong life, as represented by the girl's open eyes. However, suppressing Myc also reduces the activity of Tert and Vegfa, which may explain why life extension is limited to only 18%. To overcome this limitation, we can try to increase the activity of Tert and Vegfa while partially inhibiting Myc.
Furthermore, Myc is also essential for the transcription of Tert. This interaction is depicted in the image as the hair of the Myc girl being braided with the hair of the Tert girl. Tert is responsible for telomere completion, represented by the girl lengthening her telomere braids with ribbons. Its activation has been shown to prolong life, as represented by the girl's open eyes. However, suppressing Myc also reduces the activity of Tert and Vegfa, which may explain why life extension is limited to only 18%. To overcome this limitation, we can try to increase the activity of Tert and Vegfa while partially inhibiting Myc.

6
Another example is the Pik3ca gene, depicted by a girl with closed eyes and long crimson hair at the bottom right of the picture. Suppressing this gene, which activates signaling cascades for cell growth, division, and survival, has been observed to only slightly extend life by 19%. As with the Myc and Vegfa genes, suppressing Pik3ca likely leads to a decrease in the activity of Vegfa, which could be compensated by activating Vegfa while suppressing Pik3ca. This hypothesis should be tested experimentally and we can also try simultaneously suppressing Pik3ca and Myc, and increasing Vegfa and Tert, to see which combination yields the best result.
Another example is the Pik3ca gene, depicted by a girl with closed eyes and long crimson hair at the bottom right of the picture. Suppressing this gene, which activates signaling cascades for cell growth, division, and survival, has been observed to only slightly extend life by 19%. As with the Myc and Vegfa genes, suppressing Pik3ca likely leads to a decrease in the activity of Vegfa, which could be compensated by activating Vegfa while suppressing Pik3ca. This hypothesis should be tested experimentally and we can also try simultaneously suppressing Pik3ca and Myc, and increasing Vegfa and Tert, to see which combination yields the best result.

7
The Atg5 gene, which is related to autophagy, must be boosted in order to prolong life. It is depicted as a girl with open eyes and long colorless hair, as there is no data on the conservatism of this gene. The girl is depicted biting her finger, serving as a visual hint of the gene's association with autophagy.

The Atg5 gene, which is related to autophagy, must be boosted in order to prolong life. It is depicted as a girl with open eyes and long colorless hair, as there is no data on the conservatism of this gene. The girl is depicted biting her finger, serving as a visual hint of the gene's association with autophagy.


8

The Pck1 gene, which codes for an enzyme that regulates gluconeogenesis, must be amplified in skeletal muscles to prolong life. This is represented by a girl with open eyes and a highlighted calf muscle area in green. The girl is depicted with a crown of glucose molecules on her head, further emphasizing the gene's role in glucose regulation.

The Pck1 gene, which codes for an enzyme that regulates gluconeogenesis, must be amplified in skeletal muscles to prolong life. This is represented by a girl with open eyes and a highlighted calf muscle area in green. The girl is depicted with a crown of glucose molecules on her head, further emphasizing the gene's role in glucose regulation.


9
The Per2 gene, which plays a key role in regulating circadian rhythms, must be suppressed to prolong life. This gene does not have any data on the origin of the gene family or conservatism, so the girl with closed eyes is depicted in a headdress, hiding the length and color of her hair. The headdress is decorated with images of the sun and moon, to represent the gene's role in the regulation of circadian rhythms.

The Per2 gene, which plays a key role in regulating circadian rhythms, must be suppressed to prolong life. This gene does not have any data on the origin of the gene family or conservatism, so the girl with closed eyes is depicted in a headdress, hiding the length and color of her hair. The headdress is decorated with images of the sun and moon, to represent the gene's role in the regulation of circadian rhythms.


10
The Insr gene, which encodes the insulin receptor and plays an important role in maintaining glucose homeostasis, must be suppressed in adipocytes to prolong life. This is represented by a girl with closed eyes and highlighted areas of adipose tissue in green. The girl is depicted holding a sweet candy in her hands, further emphasizing the gene's role in glucose regulation.
The Insr gene, which encodes the insulin receptor and plays an important role in maintaining glucose homeostasis, must be suppressed in adipocytes to prolong life. This is represented by a girl with closed eyes and highlighted areas of adipose tissue in green. The girl is depicted holding a sweet candy in her hands, further emphasizing the gene's role in glucose regulation.

11
The Gsta4 gene, which is involved in reducing oxidative stress, is represented by a girl with a tattoo on her back depicting the disappearing symbols of reactive oxygen species.

The Gsta4 gene, which is involved in reducing oxidative stress, is represented by a girl with a tattoo on her back depicting the disappearing symbols of reactive oxygen species.


12
The Nfkbia gene, which encodes a protein that regulates the binding of the transcription factor Nf-kb to the Ikk complex, is represented by a bird enclosed in a cage tattoo on a girl's body. The activity of the Nfkbia gene should be increased in the mediobasal hypothalamus, as indicated by the highlighted green area on the girl's body.
The Nfkbia gene, which encodes a protein that regulates the binding of the transcription factor Nf-kb to the Ikk complex, is represented by a bird enclosed in a cage tattoo on a girl's body. The activity of the Nfkbia gene should be increased in the mediobasal hypothalamus, as indicated by the highlighted green area on the girl's body.

13
The Plau gene, which encodes a serine protease that converts plasminogen into plasmin, is depicted by a girl holding scissors in her hands and a strange plasminogen molecule floating nearby. To prolong life, the activity of the Plau gene should be increased in brain regions, specifically the amygdala and hypothalamus, as indicated by the highlighted green area on the girl's body.

The Plau gene, which encodes a serine protease that converts plasminogen into plasmin, is depicted by a girl holding scissors in her hands and a strange plasminogen molecule floating nearby. To prolong life, the activity of the Plau gene should be increased in brain regions, specifically the amygdala and hypothalamus, as indicated by the highlighted green area on the girl's body.


14
The Cebpb gene, which encodes a transcription factor that binds to DNA molecules, is represented by a girl with a long braid that wraps around her body, symbolizing the interaction between the gene and DNA.

The Cebpb gene, which encodes a transcription factor that binds to DNA molecules, is represented by a girl with a long braid that wraps around her body, symbolizing the interaction between the gene and DNA.

Gene networks can aid in predicting which combinations of genes can be more effective in prolonging life, rather than targeting a single gene. By building such networks for different groups of genes, formulating hypotheses, and testing them through experiments, we are getting closer to identifying effective combinatorial therapies for aging.

To view the results and detailed descriptions of life extension experiments, as well as the age of the genes, please visit the Open Genes database.

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