Scientists from the Salk Institute say the safe and effective technique works by partially resetting cells that impact skin, eyesight, muscles, and the brain. The breakthrough may be able to extend life and help people gain the ability to become more resistant to stress, injury, and disease.
While it may appear to be the Holy Grail of anti-aging research, promising eternal youth, the team cautions that they've only successfully tested the treatment on mice so far. Animals at the late stage of their lives treated with cellular rejuvenation therapy started to show signs of getting younger after just seven months.
New tests are now underway to determine whether the treatment only "pauses" or actually reverses aging. In the study, the researchers note that all cells carry a molecular clock that records the passage of time. By adding a mixture of four reprogramming molecules, known as the Yamanaka factors, the cells reset the clock to their original patterns.
Turning back the clock in less than a year?
The scientists tested three groups of mice at varying ages equivalent to humans being 35, 50, and 80 years-old (12 months, 15 months, and 25 months in mice). There were no blood cell alterations or neurological changes in the mice that received the treatment. The team also found no cancers in any of the groups.