The journal Nature is reporting that scientists have reversed the aging process in mice. Are you next?
There are several factors which contribute to aging, but science has been focusing lately on telomeres — the “bread-ties” on the ends of chromosomes — as the hypothetical Holy Grail. As cells divide, these ties become frayed and result in poorer copies, until eventually we encounter what we call the Hayflick Limit.
Scientists at Harvard have managed to repair telomeres, and as a result have rejuvinated old mice into younger versions of themselves. They have quite literally turned back the biological clock.
If this rejuvenation works with rodents, are primates so far off. The mechanics of cellular division are fundamentally the same.
According to Ronald DePinho, coauthor of the paper:
“What we saw in these animals was not a slowing down or stabilization of the aging process. We saw a dramatic reversal — and that was unexpected.”
Are we on the cusp of radically transforming ourselves and our civilization? I can’t say this news is unexpected; aging as a mechanical process surely has a mechanical solution.
The challenge at this point is, according to the scientists, the fact that fooling with telomeres also raises cancer risk.
Among other challenges: