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Scientists get closer to fountain of youth

Harvard scientists make old mice young again.
Harvard scientists make old mice young again.

Harvard scientists took aged mice and made them young again. What was surprising is that they did not slow the aging process in the mice, but accomplished a totally unexpected outcome- they reversed it.

The researchers at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute were testing an experimental method in aged mice in order to see if their organs could be rejuvenated. The implications were that such a treatment could be applicable to humans and used to treat age related illnesses such as heart disease.

The researchers' methods focused on inhibiting the shortening of telomeres. When the mice were give enzymes that lengthened telomeres, all damaged tissues repaired themselves and functioning was restored to youthful levels.

But the catch is that lengthened telomeres increase cancer risk by allowing cells to grow out of control.

If researchers can control for the cancer risk, then perhaps an enzyme could be the key to an ageless future for everyone.


  • Paul Hamaker 4 years ago

    Telomer shortening - the ends of genes - could be more prblematic than getting old. Teleomers are where most of the genetic variations that are called disesae occur. Could be you get young and have a hump on your back or nose. Its just too new to make such a claim as successful.

  • Profile picture of Priscilla Hatcher
    Priscilla Hatcher 4 years ago

    Thanks for commenting! I didn't know that telomeres "contained diseases". I hope science/scientists get to the point where they can control for something like that. It will be an interesting decade ahead. :)

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