Getting old may not be inevitable — scientists have found a way to turn back the clock on human and animal cells, making them look and behave like younger versions of themselves.
The researchers also used the method to treat mice with a rare disease that causes them to age prematurely and die early, and found that the method increased the animals’ lifespan by 30 percent. And, when normal mice received the treatment, they appeared to be rejuvenated, with some of their cells healing faster than normal in response to injury.
The researchers said that their findings may help scientists better understand the process of aging. One day, it may be possible to use a similar approach to ward off age-related diseases in humans, and thus improve people’s health and increase their lifespan, they said.
“Our study shows that aging may not have to proceed in one single direction,” study researcher Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in Salk Institute’s Gene Expression Laboratory in La Jolla, California, said in a statement.
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