Are you in the holiday spirit yet? Well, let's take you Cross Country, beginning in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You might now.
It’s pretty. Bob Cox loves to make the holiday light display a pretty big spectacle with 150,000 computer-animated lights. Now, it cost $300 to $400 extra each month on his power bill, but he says it's all worth it.
All right. Our next stop, off to the coast. St. Augustine, Florida, where the captain of a tow boat, who was assisting another ship, ended up having to be rescued himself. The St. Johns County Fire Rescue says that the tow boat was bringing in a disabled ship when the towline snapped, capsizing the tow boat and sending its captain into the water. Good thing he was wearing a life jacket. It took rescuers an hour to pull him from the water.
Another rescue with a happy ending. This one is out of Fruita, Colorado, where a 27-year-old horse named Pepsi somehow got stuck in a drainpipe yesterday. Neighbors, volunteer firefighters, and an area veterinarian armed with a backhoe were able to successfully pull Pepsi from his tight spot.
All right. The Fountain of Youth. Scientists might have finally found what Ponce de Leon was looking for. After all these years, researchers have found a way to actually turn old mice into younger mice. Our Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here to talk more about how it works. I was trying to look at this, you know, enzyme and all of the technical medical we're going to actually talk with the researchers coming up next hour.
Oh, that's great.
So, give us a preview.
That's great. All right, so, here's a preview. This is a really exciting day for mice. If I were a mouse, I would be on the next plane to Boston.
Because you can just, they can just instantly or almost instantly become young again. So, this is a big deal. I want to show you the before and after mice, All right?
OK, all right.
It's not, it's not like a lightning strike, but it is pretty amazing. So, the guy on the right, you see, he's kind of gray, he's kind of balding, the hair is a bit sparse.
He's, like, 80.
Yes, he's like 80, I guess. Or maybe 75. All right. The guy on the left, he is young. And that's what they did is that they made them old, and then they made them young again.
And so, it's not just the outer appearance, but it's their insides, too. Their hearts became old, and then they become young, became young. Their brains kind of shrunk down, neurons died. Neurons were reborn, and their brains got bigger again. They couldn't, they were infertile when they were older, and then, they became fertile again. So, it's really pretty amazing.
All right, let's talk about how exactly they did it, then.
All right. A short science lesson for my friend Kyra.
Ok? A very short one, I promise. You'll be fine, even if you…
I struggled in these classes.
OK, though, you'll do fine with this. It has to do with something called telomeres.
And those are the caps on the ends of chromosomes. And so, what happens is, is that, take a look at this. See those nice red caps? They're big, that you can see them, they're big and obvious. That's a young chromosome, with those nice telomere caps on the end.
Now, look what happens as we age. Those caps start to fray, and you just have these little sort of nubs on there. And that's not good. When you get those little ends like that, it tells the body to start aging. So they made the telomeres grow back again. And to do that, they had to go in and monkey around with their DNA.
Ok. So, now the question is, of course, how long could this take to work into humans? How do you do it on humans? And, obviously, there's risk involved, too.
We'll talk more about that next hour.
You can't do this on humans. Because you'd be messing around with their DNA. But, well, I'll let you ask the doctor, so, what you could possibly do with humans. You can talk to him about that.
OK. So there's much more research yet to be done, right?
I will tell you that I'm not booking a plane trip to Boston. If I was a mouse, I would be, but since I'm not a mouse, I'm here in Atlanta.
Oh, good, and I'm very glad. All right. Well, it's a Talker, nevertheless. All right, but before we let you go, some breaking news out today. We've heard about drunk driving, you know, texting in driving. Now drugged driving. Ok. Some of us would say, all right, that's a no-brainer. We know there are certain things that you shouldn't do behind the wheel.
But it's the number that's so interesting about this. What they found is that people who drive and are involved in a fatal accident, they looked to see if they had drugs in their system, and one out of three of them did. That is really a pretty high number. For some of them, it was an illegal drug, for some of them it was a prescribed drug, for some of them it was over-the-counter drugs. And so, we talked to the drug czar about this, and here's what he had to say.
I was very shocked by the number. It is a very high number. Clearly, getting this message out to the public about doing drugs and getting behind the wheel is critical.
Now, there is a caveat here. And the caveat is that just because they had a drug in their system didn't mean that that drug, you know, impaired their ability to drive. For example, maybe they were taking an anti-depressant. Doesn't necessarily mean that their ability to drive was impaired.
But this is the first study of its kind, and it sort of gives them a place to start and say, hey, if you're taking a Xanax, should you really be driving? And maybe it should be illegal to drive with certain drugs in your system. So, it's a starting point.
Got it. Elizabeth, thanks.
Well tonight, you won't want to miss a very special hour of "Larry King Live." Grammy-Award-winning performer Stevie Wonder drops by one final time, and among the high points of the hour, how and where Stevie finds the inspiration for his masterful compositions. Check this one out.