Scientists may have worked out how to increase lifespans by 80 PERCENT — in lab study of cells
Scientists may have worked out how to rewire our biological clocks, in what could be a breakthrough.
A team from the University of California San Diego has, for the first time, shown that it is possible to hijack a genetic pathway involved in cellular aging.
They were able to increase the lifespan of yeast cells by more than 80 percent and see no reason the same could not be done on more complex human cells.
It comes amid a growing belief among some scientists that aging is a disease that can be treated.
Scientists from the University of California San Diego increased longevity in the single-celled organisms with a biosynthetic ‘clock’
An increasing number of high-profile people have come out in favor of certain biohacking measures to lengthen their lifespan, including 51-year-old actress Brooke Burke, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, football legend Tom Brady, and tech tycoon Bryan Johnson
The researchers wrote in the paper: ‘Our work represents a proof-of-concept, demonstrating the successful application of synthetic biology to reprogram the cellular aging process and may lay the foundation for designing synthetic gene circuits to effectively promote longevity in more complex organisms.’
Human cells work as mini-factories that carry out all of the important processes our bodies need to live.
The issue is that these chemical reactions can generate toxic waste products, which gradually accumulate and harm our DNA and other cellular components as we age.
Because of this, our bodies have come up with methods to close down these cells prior to them wreaking any havoc.
In the UC San Diego study, published in the journal Science on Thursday, the team used yeast cells as a model for the aging process.
This is because the natural genetic circuits in yeast cells causes them to commit to an age-associated state and age in a way that is similar to human cells.
Cellular aging in yeast is seen by a genetic switch that either causes the splintering of the cell’s protein-making properties or impairment of the cell’s energy production — the mitochondria.
One of these pathways will cause the cell’s death and it is random as to which one will occur.
In a normal cell, these pathways stop each other as the presence of one eliminates the presence of the other.
However, the UC San Diego researchers created a new genetic circuit which allowed these cells to regularly swap between two aging mechanisms, preventing them from aging at the normal pace.
These cells lived for 82 percent longer than those not tampered with.
While the study was performed using a tiny, single-celled fungus that is used to make bread, the team is looking to replicate their research on different human cell types like stem cells and neurons.
While it would not be possible to live forever, scientists may be able to elongate humans’ lives.
The concept of turning back the clock is growing in popularity. Biohacking is an umbrella term that encompasses many techniques — for some it could involve fasting, ice baths or a rigorous supplement routine.
For the more hardcore followers — especially those with deep pockets — it involves more invasive procedures, such as injecting modified DNA, using devices that alter brainwaves to get better sleep, and inserting microchips under the skin to store password information.
Read the full article here
Discussion about this post