Reverse-Aging Science Has Arrived

"Benjamin Button," anyone?

Welp, it might be time to trade in our stories of a magical, mystical fountain of youth in exchange for some hard science when it comes to understanding the key to staying young. 

That's because researchers at Harvard and the University of South Wales in Australia say they have found a way to successfully reverse the aging process -- in mice anyway. 

In their 2013 study published in science journal Cell, scientists describe their process of turning on youthful genes and turning off older genes with natural proteins and molecules, helping to restore communication between a cell's mitochondria and nucleus. 

The results? 

"Subsequent tissue samples showed key biological hallmarks that were comparable to those of much younger animals," explains Harvard Medical School director science communications David Cameron

In layman's terms, the aging process was not just slowed, it was reversed.  

In an interview today with ABC reporter Sue Lannin, Professor of genetics at Harvard and UNSW and lead reseacher David Sinclair says it only took one week of treatment to see the changes. 

"We fed them a molecule that's called NMN and this reversed aging completely within just a week of treatment in the muscle, and now we're looking to reverse all aspects of ageing if possible," says Sinclair. 

When Sinclair's reseach team published their findings last year, they projected human clinical trials would begin in 2014. 

Well folks, it's 2014 now, and scientists have indeed begun clinical studies around the world to see if the tests can translate to humans. And according to Sinclair, the trials look promising. 

Now, take a break and listen to this song: 




Sinclair explains that the anti-inflammatory molecules used to extend the lifespan are safe to use for humans. 

He hopes that eventually reverse aging treatment could help fight diseases and help people live longer, healthier lives. 

"Some people say it's like playing God, but if you ask somebody 100 years ago, what about antibiotics? They probably would have said the same thing," Sinclair told Lannin in his ABC interview. "Some people worry about big advances in technology and medicine, but once it's adapted and it's natural for people to live until they're 90 in a healthy way ... we'll look back at today like we do at the times before antibiotics when people died from an infected splinter."

Cover image via WeHeartIt 

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