“Studies have already shown that even a single gene mutation can lead to lifespan extension,” says Danica Chen. “The question is whether we can understand the process well enough so that we can actually develop a molecular fountain of youth. Can we actually reverse aging? This is something we’re hoping to understand and accomplish.” (Credit: “youth pill” via Shutterstock)

HEALTH & MEDICINE – Posted by Sarah Yang-Berkeley on Friday, February 1, 2013 13:47

Reverse aging: Can science turn back the clock?

UC BERKELEY (US) — Researchers report they’ve made a major advance in understanding the molecular mechanisms behind aging.

The team was able to turn back the molecular clock by infusing the blood stem cells of old mice with a longevity gene and rejuvenating the aged stem cells’ regenerative potential.

The biologists found that SIRT3, one among a class of proteins known as sirtuins, plays an important role in helping aged blood stem cells cope with stress. When they infused the blood stem cells of old mice with SIRT3, the treatment boosted the formation of new blood cells, evidence of a reversal in the age-related decline in the old stem cells’ function.

“We already know that sirtuins regulate aging, but our study is really the first one demonstrating that sirtuins can reverse aging-associated degeneration, and I think that’s very exciting,” says study principal investigator Danica Chen, an assistant professor of nutritional science and toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley.

“This opens the door to potential treatments for age-related degenerative diseases.”

Read more: Futurity.org – Reverse aging: Can science turn back the clock?.

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