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Fountain of youth? Texas scientists testing breakthrough aging drug
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The Fountain of Youth Breakthrough
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Continue Reading. Share this article. The groundbreaking study showing that gene therapy can reverse the aging process in mice, published Thursday in Cell , is not quite the same thing. After administering their new gene therapy to the mice for six weeks, the animals appeared visibly younger, had straighter spines, healed more quickly and, on the whole, lived 30 percent longer than their untreated counterparts.
Cell Research Taps into Fountain of Youth
But the fact that these genes exist — the scientists refer to them as OSKM, a handy acronym for Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc — calls into question the idea that aging is simply a result of our bodies literally existing for too long. It seems intuitive to think that we get old because our bodies just get beat up over time, but the findings suggest that aging might be programmed into our cells from birth.
In their experiment, the researchers genetically engineered the mice so that the OSKM were sensitive to a chemical that forced them to turn back their clocks.
The mice they used also had a disease known as progeria, which is associated with accelerated aging, so the results of the treatment were especially pronounced. What humans have long assumed was written in our stars, it seems, can actually be erased.