Obviously based on what I read in Boston.com today or rather yesterday, it’s quite possible that in a very near future there will be a way to reverse the age with the help of the DNA rebuilding agent.
Harvard scientists have taken prematurely aged mice and reversed the toll of time – increasing the size of their shrunken brains, restoring their diminished sense of smell, and turning their graying fur to a healthy sheen.
The work is among a growing spate of efforts to understand the basic biology that underlies aging. Ultimately, scientists hope to find ways to tap into the body’s natural regenerative capacities to make people healthier and more productive in later life.
“These were animals that were really at the brink of kicking the bucket,” said Dr. Ronald DePinho, director of the Belfer Institute at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and senior author of the paper published in the journal Nature. “We were expecting to slow or perhaps stabilize the aging process. Instead, we saw a dramatic reversal in the symptoms of aging.”
DePinho and colleagues genetically manipulated mice so that an enzyme called telomerase that rebuilds the caps of chromosomes, called telomeres, could be toggled on or off.
The mice aged very quickly without telomerase. Just mid-way through the normal lifespan of a mouse, their organs had atrophied, their brains had shrunk, and they had lost the ability to detect noxious odors. But when scientists used a drug to switch the gene back on for a month, many hallmarks of aging seemed to reverse. The fertility of the mice increased, their sense of smell was restored, and their organs were rejuvenated.