Klotho, a gene in both mice and men, has a definite effect on aging, according to Dr. Makoto Kuro-o. Stimulating the Klotho gene seems to delay many of the effects of old age, like weakening of bones, clogging of the arteries and loss of muscle fitness.
The desire to live forever, and the belief that it will never quite work out, of course predates science fiction authors. The ancient Greeks wrote about the goddess Eos, who fell in live with a mortal man, Tithonus; she asked Zeus to grant him immortality. Zeus does so, but Eos forgets to ask for eternal youth; Tithonus lives on and on, eventually withering into a shrill grasshopper.
And, as it happens, the name "Klotho" is also derived from the Greek myths about the three Fates. Klotho combs and spun the thread one's life, Atropos wove the thread into the fabric of one's actions, and Lachesis snipped the thread at death.