Groundbreaking study claims aging can be reversed

Scientists believe that aging is a loss in the ability of human cells to read their body's DNA.
Kavita Verma
death of neurons 3D image
Death of neurons

Ozgu Arslan/iStock  

Aging cannot be reversed, a common 'fact' that most people believe worldwide. However, a recent study by scientists at Boston Labs revealed that blind mice have had their eyesight and health restored. Through the research, the mice also developed healthier muscles and younger brains. In contrast, the study also showed that young mice aged prematurely with devastating health results. 

Scientists have achieved groundbreaking results in a new study on aging and anti-aging. In a recent study published for the first time in the journal Cell, scientists described an aging clock that can reverse or speed up the aging of cells in the body. 

Recent experiments on mice have shown that aging is reversible and can be moved forward and backward in time. According to David Sinclair, the senior author of the study, human bodies have a backup copy of their youth that can be triggered to regenerate the cells in the body. 

David Sinclair is a professor of genetics at the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research. Sinclair said that it's not the damage that causes aging but a loss of information and loss in the ability of cells to read their original DNA that makes them unable to function properly. 

Changing the concept of aging

The study's results challenge the common belief that aging results from genetic mutations that weaken our DNA. Also, the belief is that damaged cells cause the human body to deteriorate with time. Scientists now believe that aging is simply a loss of information. A loss in the ability of human cells to read their body's DNA. The inability makes the cells forget how to function the same way an old computer develops corrupted software that impedes its functionality. Sinclair told CNN that he calls it the 'information theory of aging.' 

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Groundbreaking study claims aging can be reversed
Loss of epigenetic information as a cause of mammalian aging

This essentially means that aging is a reversible process regardless of age. Scientists still need to discover how aging can be moved forward or backward at one's convenience. In the experiment with mice, Sinclair managed to fast-forward aging without any mutations. Many mice regained their eyesight when scientists injected a cocktail of human skin cells into the eyes of blind mice. In addition to restoring eyesight, scientists also successfully restored mice's brains, muscle tissue, and kidneys to much younger levels. 

Scientists are conducting deeper research to understand whether aging may be reversed in cells more than once. In another experiment, scientists successfully restored the mice's memory using the medicine for asthma treatment.  

And recent news has also shown how scientists reprogrammed the genes in mice to improve their life.

Epigenetic changes affect aging 

Epigenomes are proteins and chemicals that inform the genes what to do – where and when to do it. According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, epigenomes can turn genes on and off. 

Sinclair says once the human cell's ability to read the genome correctly is triggered, the body can regenerate its youth, even if it is already aged or suffering from an illness. The process is affected by pollution, and human behaviors like smoking, consuming an inflammatory diet, or chronic lack of sleep.   

Sinclair said that his team has successfully reset the mice cells multiple times, showing that the aging process can be reversed even more than once. His team is currently testing the genetic reset in primates. However, more research is required in human anti-aging trials, and if found successful, it needs to be scaled to mass for federal approval.