Prolonging life and slowing down the process of ageing can turn into a reality. Scientists have successfully made an experiment trough which they prolonged telomeres, which are involved in the decline of the body, due to getting older.
Ageing might no longer be an issue of the future, as science is making sure of that, by prolonging telomeres, a region at the end of our chromosomes.
The process of prolonging the telomeres was discovered by the lead author of the study, and professor of microbiology and immunology, Helen Blau, from the University Stanford, together with her colleague John Ramunas and Eduard Yakubov from the Houston Methodist Research Institute.Telomeres are protecting the chromosomes against deterioration, as the body cells keep dividing and growing. As the body ages, these regions found at the end of the chromosomes, become shorter and shorter and eventually they loose the ability of offering chromosomes protection.
When this process happens, chromosomes deteriorate, and this is one main cause that encourages the ageing process.
Researchers have discovered a way, with the help of which telomeres can be prolonged, succeeding practically to reverse the biological clock of the body and turning chromosomes younger along with the body of that certain person. Cells that have been treated according to the new procedure, had a behaviour as if they were much younger and were multiplying much faster, compared to the cells that haven’t been treated, who’s rate of multiplying is usually stagnating and eventually die.
The new technique could be useful for the future treatment of patients with genetic diseases which lead to a faster shortening of the telomeres than usual, like in the case of Duchenne, a disease which causes muscular dystrophy. It could also be used in treating general symptoms of ageing, like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, stated researchers.
Scientists are hoping that the new study will allow experts to generate a large number of cells which they would use for further studies or to use them for medical procedures.
Researchers have managed to prolong telomeres with up to 1.000 nucleotides, redressing the biological inner clock with many human years, explained professor Helen Blau.
If this discovery will be put in practice and used for the future, it would stand as one of the greatest medical break troughs and a huge step in to getting closer from drinking from the fountain of youth.
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