New York, February 1: Everyone wants to stay young forever, don’t they? After all ageing makes you look pale and weak too. Soon that could be a reality… Yes humans could live longer for more than 100 years. Science has immense capability to mould every aspect of origin and hence scientists from Salk Institute carried out a research where they made older looking mice more youthful.The technology traces the processing of stem cells which takes adult cells back to an embryonic stage. This allows animals not only look younger but make them live for 30% longer.
How it is done?
The technique involves stimulating four genes which are particularly active during development in the womb. It was also found to work to turn the clock back on human skin cells in the lab, making them look and behave younger. Scientists hope to eventually create a drug which can mimic the effect of the found genes which could be taken to slow down, and even reverse the ageing process. They say it will take around 10 years to get to human trials. Scientists have known for some time that the four genes, which are known collectively as the Yamanaka factors, could turn adult cells back to their stem cell state, where they can grow into any part of the body.
Dr Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in Salk's Gene Expression Laboratory said that “our study shows that ageing may not have to proceed in one single direction. With careful modulation, aging might be reversed. Obviously, mice are not humans and we know it will be much more complex to rejuvenate a person. But this study shows that ageing is a very dynamic and plastic process, and therefore will be more amenable to therapeutic interventions than what we previously thought."
It was feared that doing this may trigger cancer or may damage organs due to processing of adult stem cells in the body. But it was discovered that stimulating the genes intermittently reversed ageing, without causing any damaging side effects.
After treating mice it was observed that the treatment countered signs of ageing and increased their lifespan by 30 per cent. In healthy mice it also helped damaged organs to heal faster. The researchers also tested their hypothesis on healthy mice, which showed both rejuvenation and improved muscle generation. If this works for humans then it will extend the lifespan of humans to at least 100 years.
Pradeep Reddy, author of Salk Institute said that "In other studies scientists have completely reprogrammed cells all the way back to a stem-cell-like state. But we show, for the first time, that by expressing these factors for a short duration you can maintain the cell's identity while reversing age-associated hallmarks."
This treatment if it proves successful for humans then it will also help them to heal faster and may prevent from diseases. This will help humans to live longer and younger.