Scientists say they have discovered a drug called rapamycin that could help people live up to 10 years longer.

It works by inhibiting a protein called TOR that plays a key role in cell growth.

Rapamycin is widely used to stop transplant patients from rejecting their new organs.

Tests on 600-day-old mice — equivalent to 60-year-old humans — have shown it also extends life expectancy by up to 14 percent.

"Rapamycin may extend lifespan by postponing death from cancer, by retarding mechanisms of aging, or both," said Dr. David Harrison, of the Jackson Laboratory in Maine, who carried out the research.

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