The news press (Wall Street Journal, New York Times) and blogs (WSJ’s Health Blog, Not Exactly Rocket Science) are all abuzz about Streptomyces hygroscopicus, a soil bacterium that secretes rapamycin. First discovered on Easter Island, rapamycin is an immune suppressant and an anticancer drug. But the reason people are talking about it today is because Nature published an article by David E. Harrison et al. that demonstrated lifespan extension in male and female mice treated with rapamycin. Acting on the TOR signalling pathway, rapamycin increased the lifespan of 600 day old mice 9-14%. The fact that this intervention showed an effect on older animals makes it more likely to be relevant to medical applications.