Reversing Aging?

Scientists claim to be a step closer to reversing the ageing process after rejuvenating worn out organs in elderly mice. The experimental treatment developed by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, turned weak and feeble old mice into healthy animals by regenerating their aged bodies.

The surprise recovery of the animals has raised hopes among scientists that it may be possible to achieve a similar feat in humans – or at least to slow down the ageing process.

This happened almost a year ago, but I just found out about it.

Granted, it was artificially induced aging that was reversed, not natural aging. But still. What do you think? Is it possible? What would be the implications for society? Will we all one day become “immortal tyrants”?

Strange, I was just looking at aging stuff on wikipedia. Anyway, it seems like there have been tons of things like this but not many have been promising in humans.

The idea that telomerase is related to aging is not new. Its said that telomerase gets inactivated in cells as people age and that makes for shorter and shorter chromosomes, to the point it causes the cell to not function properly. Cancer cells persist often because they reactivate telomerase.

That being said, its an interesting find, but a more pertinent experiment than the ones described in the research cited would be the effects of activating telomerase in a normal animal, not a mutant animal. The finding would be more generalizable and it would also have therapeutic value as we could imagine how this could be approached in people. It would also be interesting to see if activating telomerase exogenously predisposes people to developing cancer.

For now the world is a safer place for mice.

Cue a science fiction story where someone says “It’s so sad, how humans only live for a few short centuries …”

Immortality? Pfft, Jellyfish already got that shit.

You think its possible for humans at some distant point in the future?

Well, they did another experiment on this and it seems they may be able to at least delay aging:

In a potentially fundamental advance, researchers have opened up a novel approach to combating the effects of aging with the discovery that a special category of cells, known as senescent cells, are bad actors that promote the aging of the tissues. Cleansing the body of the cells, they hope, could postpone many of the diseases of aging.

If you read the research you find out that they did this by targeting cells in genetically modified animals. This allows people to use the genetic modification to ask a question. Humans don’t carry this mutation. Its purely artificial. Therefore no, this has no pertinent applicability.

Its all cute theoretical stuff to understand concepts.

So this guy:

“I am very excited by the results,” said Dr. Norman E. Sharpless, an expert on aging at the University of North Carolina. “It suggests therapies that might work in real patients,” he said.

Is just playing to the media?


Sure, white mice.