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Aging May Be Reversed via Gene Therapy, Scientists Claim

Dec 19, 2016 06:49 AM EST
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A new form of gene therapy tested on mice has been proven to rejuvenate the cells. Scientists claim that there will come a time when this specific gene therapy can finally be tested on humans, and people are getting excited. Could this mean that the age-old search for the fountain of youth is within our grasp?

Not only could the cells in mice be rejuvenated, but it would also seem as if aging in cells could be reversed in this newly formulated gene therapy. According to a report from the Guardian, the findings have challenged the notion of aging not just in looks but also when it comes to health. They want to prove that people could be younger again and test if aging could be completely reversed instead of being set in a single direction.

The Scientific American explained that the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has tried an experiment where the cells of adult mice were tweaked to return to their embryonic-like state. Originally aimed to rehabilitate an injured mouse, the study's results were surprisingly outstanding. The mice that were treated with gene therapy not only looked younger but were also healthier. They had straighter spines, had better cardiovascular health, and lived a third of its average life longer.

The report from New Atlas suggested that another study from the University of Tsukuba has found that it only takes two genes to understand the cells' mitochondrion. The study suggests that any form of damage, wear, or tear in the mitochondrial DNA are strongly associated with symptoms of aging.

The gene therapy involves altering the physical structure of DNA without changing the DNA sequence, allowing for the gene to be turned "on" or "off." Just like how many devices run, a simple restart normally refreshes function. 

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