Aging is a crucial part of life. We all have to undergo this phase and we all know the signs such as wrinkles, graying of hair, getting diagnosed with diseases related to aging, etc.
Scientists have been researching and studying the process of aging for years. The process takes place at the cellular level – which the scientists have discovered – can be either reversed or stopped altogether. And the scientists from Salk Institute have found a way to reverse aging.
The research dwells into the possible ways of stem cell-like conditions and their replication via gene intermittent expressions. It is in the association with an embryonic state. Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte – the senior author and professor of Salk Gene Expression Laboratory – says the aging process does not have to move in one direction. It consists of plasticity. With cautious modulation, the aging process can be reversed.
The cellular rejuvenation was prompted by the researchers via the cell reprogramming – which causes expression activation of four genes – also called the Yamanaka factors.
The cell conversion process is induced pluripotent stem cells or iPSCs, and it enables them to replicate stem cell behavior – which allows them to become different cells and gain the capability of a division. The approach produced some amazing results – where the skin cells when placed in a dish, start to behaving like the young cells.
Alejandro Ocampo – co-author of the paper and a research associate at the Salk Gene Expression Laboratory – says that the induction of cellular reprogramming makes the cells appear young. But the real deal is to induce the process of rejuvenation in live animals.
iPSCs don’t always prove to be a good thing because non-stop cellular division can cause cancer-oriented behavior and lead to organ failure. The team tested the technique but on a genetic disease (rare) – progeria.
Originally published on The Power of Ideas.