There is one thing that I've always been sure about: everyone gets old.
Unfortunately, the worst part about aging isn't the wrinkles.
With old age comes a decline in bodily function. When this happens, many older folk are at risk of developing common chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and dementia.
Whether you're rich or poor, no one can actually escape aging.
Celebrities can mask their "imperfections" as much as they want, but they're never truly going to look the way they did when they were younger.
Many people see aging as a fact (even trees age), but maybe the concept of aging humans is not as set in stone as we thought it would be.
There are a handful of living things on this planet, like jellyfish, who can live forever, and perhaps one day humans can have the same fate...
A Step Towards Immortality?
New research published in the journal Aging revealed that reversing the signs of aging is possible.
For people who are at risk of developing a chronic disease later on in life, what this study has discovered could potentially save their life.
"In our latest experiment, we have reversed the aging of human cells, which could provide the basis for future anti-degeneration drugs," two of the authors of the study, Lorna Harries and Matt Whiteman, wrote in a post on The Conversation.
When we get older, our cells don't function the way they used to, which is why we develop "senescent" cells.
When these cells stop dividing, they start accumulating in our tissues and organs, and "compromise the function of cells around them."
What these researchers found is that removing these cells will delay aging.
"We still don't fully understand why cells become senescent as we age, but damage to DNA, exposure to inflammation and damage to the protective molecules at the end of the chromosomes ... have all been suggested."
There's Another Way...
Not only have these researchers found that removing senescent cells can affect the aging process, they're also looking for ways to rejuvenate old cells.
"We have been looking for ways to turn the splicing factors back on," the two authors wrote. "We showed that by treating old cells with a chemical that releases small amounts of hydrogen sulphide, we were able to increase levels of some splicing factors, and to rejuvenate old human cells."
If you're wondering, hydrogen sulphide is found naturally in our bodies and has been proven before to improve age-related diseases.
These researchers haven't found the fountain of youth yet, but this breakthrough may pave the way to some more exciting discoveries.
"We are hopeful that in using molecular tools such as this, we will be able to eventually remove senescent cells in living people, which may allow us to target multiple age-related diseases at once. This is some way in the future yet, but it's an exciting start."
[H/T: The Conversation]
Have you ever wished for immortality?
[H/T: The Conversation]