A pill giving us a longer and healthier life is within reach, scientists have revealed this week.

Experts say they had extended the lifespan of mice by 35 per cent. Cancer, heart and kidney damage took longer to develop - and the animals remained more active, inquisitive and looked healthier, said the journal Nature.

The mice were given a drug to remove worn-out "senescent" cells, which had stopped making others to keep the mice youthful. It is thought our bodies find this harder to do naturally as we age.

US researchers from the Mayo Clinic injected male and female mice fortnightly from a year old, middle-aged for them, without side-effects.

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Dr Darren Baker said a drug could "have profound effects on healthspan and lifespan."

The one used on mice is not suitable for people but other medicines are "coming through the pipeline," he added.

- Daily Mail