Scientists closer to reversing aging

Jeff Hargarten

Scientists have been making significant strides in the reversal of aging, recent studies have shown.

Through genetic engineering, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. have reversed aging in mice by purging a type of cell that accumulates as living things age. The aging mice were dosed with a drug that caused these senescent cells to self-destruct, resulting in the reversal of wrinkles, muscle atrophy and cataracts.

Currently, the drugs are not effective for use on humans, though the scientists hope these experiments will provide a pathway to combat aging in the population.

Photo courtesy of The Telegraph

However, French scientists at the University of Montepellier have turned back the clock on 100-year-old cells by reverting them to stem cells similar to those found in human embryos. Embryonic stem cells can be used to grow any type of body tissue, though their use in medicine is controversial, as it requires the destruction of human embryos. 

This new method may provide an alternative to produce embryonic stem cells by revitalizing aging cells. The breakthrough could potentially lead to new treatments to combat the effects of aging in the elderly.