Scientists believe they may have discovered the fountain of youth after successfully reversing the ageing process in mammals.
Researchers at Harvard University have managed to turn back the biological clock in mice by helping their cellular DNA communicate more efficiently. After only one week of restoring this communication, scientists found the two year old mice now had the body tissue of a mouse only six months old.
“In human years, this would be like a 60-year-old converting to a 20-year-old in these specific areas,” said Professor David Sinclair, an expert in genetics at Harvard Medical School.
Researchers have found that nuclear DNA – which is found in the nucleus of a cell, and the Mitochondrial DNA – found in other parts of the cell, stop communicating as we age. Over time, the loss of communication reduces the ability of the cell to make energy, and afterward signs of ageing and disease start appearing.
“This particular component of the aging process had never before been described,” said Dr Ana Gomes, a scientist in Sinclair’s lab.
The team found the problem was caused by a depletion in a certain protein known as NAD. When they upped the levels of NAD in the mice, the process started to reverse.
Prof Sinclair added: “The ageing process we discovered is like a married couple – when they are young, they communicate well, but over time, living in close quarters for many years, communication breaks down.
“And just like with a couple, restoring communication solved the problem.
“There’s clearly much more work to be done here, but if these results stand, then many aspects of ageing may be reversible if caught early.”
Read the entire article here at The Telegraph.