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Page last updated at 10:45 GMT, Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Is bio-yoghurt the elixir of life?

Researchers in Kazakhstan are reported to have spent two years and millions of pounds trying to come up with an elixir to prolong the life of their leader President Nazarbayev after he set them the challenge in 2010.

Rayhan Demetrie, the BBC's Kazakhstan correspondent, explained that scientists have come up with a bio-yoghurt which, while falling somewhat short of conferring immortality, reportedly promises to "improve the quality of life and prolong it".

Dr Jennifer Rampling, an expert on elixirs at Cambridge University, said: "He is the latest in a long line of rulers who have been approached… by scientist who claim to have found some kind of elixir capable of prolonging life."

"The Kazaks are on to something… there is a lot of interest in trying to tweak your microbial culture," Roger Highfield, former editor of New Scientist and now director of external affairs at the Science Museum Group, told Today presenter Justin Webb.

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