One step closer to eternal youth: a group of scientists rejuvenate cells in mice

Although there is still a long way to go, today we are a little closer to the secret to eternal youth after a group of scientists found a method to reverse the aging of cells in mice.

As explained in new research published in the journal Nature Aging, a group of researchers has launched a gene therapy that reduces the effects of age in a group of healthy mice. By modifying a set of molecules known as the Yamanaka factors, these scientists discovered that they could “partially reprogram” cells to rejuvenate them. And best of all, they have achieved it without the subjects having suffered any kind of negative reactions.

“We want to restore full functionality to aging cells so that they are more resistant to disease and injury. Our results show that, at least in mice, there is a way to achieve this”, explained the Spanish biologist Juan Carlos Izpisua, one of the main authors of the study.

The technique used by these researchers not only manages to delay the epigenetic clock of cells —a biochemical indicator that can measure age based on DNA methylation levels— but it is also capable of implicitly improving its functions, as Izpisua explains: “In addition to addressing age-related diseases, this approach may provide the biomedical community with a new tool to restore tissue and body health by improving cell function and resilience in different disease states, such as neurodegenerative diseases” .

There is a long way to go from here to find the formula for eternal youth. To begin with, researchers still have several questions to answer, such as why it works better in some tissues than in others or from what point on this therapy proves incapable of helping cells. Also, we are still talking about clinical trials in mice. Needless to say, transferring this type of therapy to our bodies is still a much greater challenge. But although this process is still far from becoming our particular fountain of eternal youth, what this group of scientists has achieved is tremendously exciting.

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