Study Reverses Aging in Mice – Can Humans Do the Same?

Study Reverses Aging in Mice – Can Humans Do the Same?
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A new study has managed to give old mice back their eyesight as well as help them develop younger brains, healthier kidney tissue and muscle.

On the other hand, young mice experienced the opposite process sped up in the same lab trials.

David Sinclair, the study’s coordinator and an anti-aging expert from the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School, explains that several lab rat experiments show that aging can be driven “forwards and backwards.”

This gives scientists hope that reversing the process of aging could be possible in humans as well at some point.

Sinclair claims that the body keeps a backup copy of youth that could be triggered to regenerate.

The results of the experiments were collectively published in the Cell journal and seem to prove wrong the previous scientific theory that aging is a result of DNA-undermining genetic mutations that create a sort of damaged cellular tissue junkyard that leads to diseases, deterioration and ultimately death.

Sinclair, who talked about his work at the health and wellness event ‘Life Itself’ claims that “It is not junk, it is not damage that causes us to get old. We believe it is a loss of information — a loss in a cell’s ability to read its initial DNA so it forgets how to function — in the same way an old computer can develop corrupted software. I call this the information theory of aging.”

Co-author of the paper, Jae-Hyun Yang, also talked about the findings, saying that they “will transform the way that we view the process of aging and the manner we approach the treatment of diseases associated with aging.”

Sinclair believes that, just like computers, the cellular process can get corrupted as more and more DNA gets damaged in time as a result of triggers such as smoking, pollution, environmental toxins, inflammatory diets or chronic lack of sleep, to name just a few causes.

“The cell panics, and proteins that usually would control the genes get distracted by needing to go and repair the DNA. Then they do not all find their way back to where they began, so over time it is like a Ping-Pong match, where the balls just end up all over the floor. The astonishing finding is that there is a backup copy of the software inside the body you can reset. We are showing why the software gets corrupted and how we can reboot it by tapping into a reset switch that restores the cell’s ability to read the genome correctly again, as if it was young,” Sinclair says.

Apparently, whether the body is 50 or 75 is of little importance.

Once the process gets triggered, “the body would then remember how to regenerate and be young once again, even if you are already old and have illness. What that software is, we do not know yet. At this point, we only know that we can flip the switch.”

After years of research involving lab mice, Sinclair and the rest of the team are hoping to find a way to deliver this genetic switch to all cells evenly, reversing the aging process for the entire body at once.

Despite the impressive lab results, clinical trials in humans followed by mass scaling and federal approval could be decades away.

However, the expert points out that we can slow down aging ourselves by simply installing healthier behaviors.

After all, damaging factors disrupt the epigenome so the opposite can repair it.

“We know that this is probably true due to the fact that people who have lived a healthy life have less biological age than those who have done the opposite,” he pointed out.


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Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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