Some people think we’re getting closer, and new research is sure to bolster that belief: Scientists say they’ve managed to reverse aging in human cells.
“We can make aged cells younger,” said Dr. John Cooke, department chair of cardiovascular sciences at Houston Methodist Research Institute, who is lead author of the paper published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
In the new study, Cooke’s team took cells from children with progeria, a rare genetic condition that causes them to rapidly age. Cooke said their cells can tell us something valuable about the aging process in healthy humans, too. Cooke’s team used a technology called RNA therapeutics, which delivers RNA directly into cells, to spur cells to produce telomerase, a protein that lengthens telomeres. Our cells stop dividing and die when telomeres become too short.
If it was possible to elongate the telomere length in blood forming stem cells, such cells could possibly be used for new therapies of selected patients,” he said.