The team hopes their discovery will make people more dignified and easier to age. “The long-term goal is not to prolong people’s lives, but to enable them to age healthier,” added Dr Dilgeet Gill. One of the first uses of the novelty may be skin rejuvenation drugs. These could also serve to speed the healing of burns or cuts. The researchers supported this goal with evidence from an experiment in which rejuvenated cells moved much faster in a simulated wound.
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Reik does not exclude the possibility that the technology could be used in the future for the regeneration of the whole body, that is, to produce a kind of elixir of youth. “We applied the technology to genetically modified mice and we are already seeing signs of rejuvenation. One case even showed signs of a rejuvenated pancreas, which could be used to treat diabetes,” he said.
The researcher pointed out that the study published in the journal eLife is still in its early stages. His team will need to overcome several issues before the research can move from the lab to the testing phase. “But proving that cellular rejuvenation is possible is a key step,” he added.
? Research by Institute researchers has developed a method to ‘jump back in time’ human skin cells 30 years old by rewinding the cell’s aging clock without losing their specialized function
– Babraham Institute (@BabrahamInst) April 8, 2022
The technology used by the scientists is based on techniques used twenty-five years ago by experts at the Roslin Institute to create a clone of Dolly the sheep. Researchers then figured out how to bring an adult sheep cell back to the embryonic stage.
In 2006, Shin’ja Yamanaka simplified this technique and called it IPS. The researchers hoped to be able to create different body parts and tissues. In the end, unfortunately, both techniques proved to be very difficult, and doctors have very limited options for using them in treatment.
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In their research, the team changed the duration of working with chemicals in IPS technology. Instead of fifty days, the woman’s cells were soaked in a chemical bath for only twelve days. The team was shocked to find out what they were doing. “I remember the day I got my results and I couldn’t believe some of the cells were thirty years younger than they should have been. It was a wonderful day!” Gill said.
Until now, their discovery will remain in the laboratory phase, because the IPS method increases the risk of cancer. “But once we know it’s possible to rejuvenate cells, we’ll definitely find other alternatives and safer ways,” Reik said confidently.
The Original Clone Trooper – Dolly the Sheep! pic.twitter.com/JysnRRuNoF
-Cavan Scott (@cavanscott) August 16, 2019
Experts say the next big step is to determine whether the technology will work on other tissues, such as muscle, kidney or blood cells. The dream of the experts at the Roslin Institute, the team of Jamanaka and Reik seems almost within reach.
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Melanie Welham, director of the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, told the BBC that the technology’s long-awaited clinical results may not be far off. “If similar approaches or therapies could rejuvenate immune cells, whose responsiveness declines with age, then in the future, people’s responses to vaccination or their ability to fight infection could be enhanced,” a- she added.
The cells also look functionally rejuvenated – they secrete more collagen and migrate faster when tested in wound healing assays, two important functions of fibroblasts! pic.twitter.com/VWjmQNOg6g
– ReikLab (@ReikLab) April 8, 2022
But not everyone is as optimistic as Welham. Professor Robin Lovell-Badge of the Crick Institute in London is convinced that the problems that Reik’s team has to solve in the laboratory phase are quite important. “If they find other chemicals that have the same results, that will be great. But it can be just as bad. It’s very ambitious to think that these chemicals will be easy to find,” he said. declared.
Another point he disagrees with is the belief that the process of applying the technology to other types of fabrics will be trivial. “It’s possible that other cell types require different conditions that can be difficult to control. And whether one could safely undergo it with the whole body is such a wild estimate that I wouldn’t call this is pure speculation,” he added.