Harvard University’s Doctor Ronald DePinho has conducted a scientific study that has shown that aging can be reversed in mice. Will this result occur also in humans? And, if so, how will it change the process of aging? In addition to his work at Harvard University, DePinho is also a cancer geneticist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
DePinho’s anti-aging study was reported in the journal Nature. His study may prove to be the start of a worldwide ability to change how human beings age. Will he give the gift of longer, healthier lives to people? If so, he will gain fame and a place in history.
Telomerase: Anti-Aging Miracle?
The mice involved in the study were given an enzyme called telomerase, 4-OHT, to reactivate the telomeres in the body. The telomeres are found on the ends of chromosomes and serve to protect the chromosome from damage. As aging occurs, the telomeres get smaller and eventually die off.
The mice that showed signs of reversed aging had larger brains after receiving the enzyme. It also reversed loss of fertility. DePinho noted “It gives us a sense that there’s a point of return for age-associated disorders,” notes Nature.
Will telomerase eventually be a drug known to people worldwide? Is this enzyme the magic cure for aging? DePinho was surprised that this enzyme so completely reversed the aging process, rather than just slowing it down, notes the Daily Mail.
Will Humans Take a Pill to Prevent Aging?
He predicts that eventually a pill containing telomerase will be available for humans. It will reverse the signs of aging that have occurred and bring back a youthful vitality and appearance. The drug could be taken during the 40s or 50s to help impede the onset of serious illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases that occur most commonly in the elderly.
Is Telomerase Linked to Cancer?
However, there are risks to a pill of this type. Telomerase can accelerate tumor growth, so much more research on this enzyme will have to be done to ensure that it does not cause development of cancer. DePinho told Nature that “telomerase should prevent healthy cells from becoming cancerous in the first place by preventing DNA damage.”
Would you like to take a pill to stay forever young, or do you want to age naturally? Science may make major changes in the way humans age and evolve. The implications of that are both exciting and alarming.
Aging is Complex
It will be fascinating to see how further study either proves or disproves the findings of Dr. DePinho regarding the aging process. Many questions still need to be answered. Aging is a complex process with many factors. Many more studies are needed to give conclusive information about the effectiveness and safety of using telomerase to prevent aging.
How Would an Anti-Aging Pill Change Society?
If aging is reversed in the future, how will that change society? It could lower medical costs as people would stay healthier much longer. It could also allow people to have children at older ages and to enjoy stronger sexuality into an elderly age. It could also allow people to work at their careers for much longer.
To read the full article about Dr. DePinho’s study about aging in Nature, go HERE.