DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — In Boston labs, old blind mice have regained their sight, developed smarter, younger brains, and built healthier muscle tissue and kidneys. In contrast, young mice age prematurely. This had devastating consequences for almost every tissue in his body.
“Experiments show that aging is a reversible process that can be delayed at will,” said anti-aging expert David Sinclair, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School’s Blavatnik Institute and director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Geriatric Research Biology. .
Sinclair, lead author of a new paper showcasing the work of his lab and international scientists, added that our bodies contain a backup copy of our youth, as they can be stimulated to regenerate.
The joint experiments, first published Thursday in the journal Cell, challenge the scientific belief that aging is caused by genetic mutations that damage our DNA, creating an arena of damaged cell tissue that can lead to deterioration, disease And the dead.
Jae Hyun Yang, a genetics researcher at Sinclair’s lab and co-author of the paper, predicts the findings “will change the way we view the aging process and our approach to treating age-related diseases.”
Changes in the epigenome control aging
While DNA can be thought of as the system of the body, the epigenome is the program.
Above the genes are proteins and chemicals that sit like freckles on top of each gene, waiting to tell the gene “what to do, where to do it, when to do it,” according to the National Institute for Humanitarian Research. the human genome.
And the genome literally turns genes on and off. This process can be caused by pollution, environmental toxins, and human behaviors, such as smoking.
“The panic cell and the proteins that normally control genes get distracted by the need to go and fix the DNA, and then they don’t all find their way back,” Sinclair explained.
In other words, the cellular pieces lose their way home, just like people with Alzheimer’s disease.
“The surprising result is that there is a backup copy of the software in the body that you can reset,” he said.
Sinclair continued: “We explain why this software is corrupted and how we can reboot the system by pressing the reset button, which restores the cell’s ability to read the genome correctly again, as if it were young. “
He explained that it doesn’t matter if the body is 50 or 75, healthy or sick. Once this process has begun, “the body will then remember how to rejuvenate itself and become young again”.
years of research
Sinclair began research as a graduate student, part of an MIT team that discovered genes to control aging in yeast.
He said that this gene is present in all creatures, so there must be a way to do the same thing in people.
Sinclair decided to test this theory and set out to try to accelerate the aging of mice without causing mutations.
With the help of other scientists, Sinclair and his team at Harvard University were able to determine the age of brain tissue, eyes, muscles, skin and kidneys in mice.
At the age of one year, the mice appeared to behave twice their age.
When you’ll be young again
It’s time to reverse the process now.
Yuansheng Lu, a geneticist in Sinclair’s lab, created a combination of 3 of the 4 “Yamanaka factors”, which are adult human skin cells that have been reprogrammed to behave like embryonic or pluripotent stem cells, and are able to develop into any cell in the body.
The mixture was injected into damaged retinal ganglion cells at the back of the eyes of blind mice and operated on by feeding the mice antibiotics.
And an antibiotic is just a tool. It could be any chemical, it’s just a way to make sure all three genes are turned on.
Finally, the mice regained most of their sight.
Next, the team processed brain, muscle and kidney cells, restoring them to much smaller levels, according to the study.
It should be noted that billions of dollars are poured into anti-aging, funding all sorts of methods to turn back the clock.
Sinclair said his team reset the mice’s cells multiple times, proving that aging can be reversed more than once.
However, it may be decades before any anti-aging clinical trials in humans begin.
If the trial is successful and effective, an application will be submitted for federal approval.
Leave a Reply