Some people speculated that children from this generation could live as long as 150-years-old while skeptics called the idea impossible. It seems that science is advancing age-related technology even faster than optimists predicted now that researchers at the University of Exeter have discovered how to reverse aging in human cells.
Aging is associated with the passing of years and deterioration of the physical body that comes with those years, but could be aging not only be stopped but also reversed? Researchers say that there are many reasons why our cells and tissues stop working, but a shift in focus in biology when it comes to aging revealed the accumulation of "senescent" cells in both tissue and organs.
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Essentially, "Senescent cells" is a term for older deteriorated cells that don't quite work like they used to and even compromise the cells around them. Once these old cells are removed, a huge improvement ranging across many features of aging began to take place. The problem is, scientists still don't understand why cells become senescent as we age, but we do know the deterioration causes damage to DNA and the protective molecules at the end of the chromosomes, or as they are also known telomeres.
Some other recent studies have suggested that one cause of the cells changing to become senescent may be due to an inability to turn genes on and off at the correct time and place. Modern science does understand that as people age, they lose their ability to regulate genes. Each cell in the body contains all the information needed for life but gradually lose their ability to control how genes are regulated.
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The researchers were determined to find ways to stop the aging process and may have inadvertently discovered a way to reverse it as well by treating old cells with a chemical that releases small amounts of hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is a molecule that helps to rejuvenate old human cells. Hydrogen sulfide molecules have also been shown to improve several features of the age-related disease in animals.
The only problem is, hydrogen sulfide can be toxic in large amounts so researchers set out to find a way to deliver it directly to the part of the cell they wanted it to go. They achieved this by using a "molecular postcode" that is able to deliver the molecule directly to the mitochondria, where energy in cells is produced. This delivery method allows for tiny doses which are less likely to cause side effects. The scientists behind the research say they expect to use the molecular tools to eventually remove senescent cells in living people.
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