The Fountain Of Youth:
Since the time of the alchemists, the ancient Egyptians, and the epic of Gilgamesh, one of our main goals was to transcend the impermanence of existence.
And in that time, people have tried all kinds of nutty concoctions & medieval procedures to try. (leeches do kinda work, btw)
More recently, the advent of stem-cell science has been joined by another major discovery: the “rewritable” part of our DNA script.
Well, a Salk Institute team combined them with a Nobel-Prize-winning discovery to give Father Time a swift kick in the butt. -Or at least one that lasts a few decades…
Yamanaka’s Earth-Shattering Discovery:
But before we start our trip back in biological time, let’s take a trip back a little further in the history of research.
10 years ago, current Nobel-Laureate Shinya Yamanaka looked into the strange phenomenon of human-conception.
Every time a child is conceived, no matter how old its parents are, it somehow starts out with the most undeveloped, omnipotent cells in the body, that are above-all Brand. Spanking. New. Age=Zero.
They have none of the accumulated damage that the cells of their parents had.
Every Baby Gets A Reset:
And in there, Dr. Yamanaka discovered some incredibly-powerful genetic switches, 4 of them to be specific.
These “Reset Genes” are so powerful they are still what is used to turn adult cells back into stem-cells today.
So, researchers thought, The Reset Angle sounds like a good one.
But it wasn’t, the experiments all failed.
The Reset Genes were so powerful that they ended up turning back time -Too Far- and everything either stopped working or got sick.
If Too Much Of A Good Thing Is Lethal, How About Less?…:
And that’s where the Salk Team comes in at the present-day.
Their team-leader had reviewed the previous results and seen the obvious error.
Adult animals didn’t need to become embryos.
They just needed to shave a few decades off.
A better target would be 18 Years old; not 18 Minutes old!
And since Lead-researcher Dr. Belamonte is a fan of both lizards and The Amazing Spider-Man, he also remembered that when a lizard loses its tail the cells at the edge of the wound do a very interesting thing.
The Amazing Lizard-Man!:
-They don’t turn back to embryo-cells either. They go halfway. And that’s where he got his idea. Thank you, Dr. Curt Connors!
So by giving the test animals a much lower dose of the Yamanaka Factors, they were able to both keep the cells’ identities and achieve the results they were looking for:
–The typical extracted-cells in a petri-dish that looked noticeably younger.
And also Live. Freaking. Test. Animals! with greatly-improved cardio, muscle-tone, healing, and…
a 30% Increased Lifespan!
Life Is A Comedy Of Errors. So Is Your Genetics:
Now the way they think this works is the most changeable part of your DNA, called the Epigenome is what accumulates all the bad changes over the years.
The Belamonte Team’s solution just cleans up the errors.
No this does not reprogram your brain & remove your personality; -ok, probably not.
And the most important part of all of this is The Killer Diseases.
Dr. Belamonte’s opinion is that many of the big health problems we have in disease are overwhelmingly just a factor of Age. Too many bad changes accumulate in that “writable” DNA as time goes by.
The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Aging Itself:
And so even though the mice they experimented on were ones given a premature aging disease in their genes so results would be more obvious,
Hopes are high that this will Still work for normal old human-beings. -Especially because the results fixed not only the disease-markers, but the errors accrued from Normal Aging, too!
You May Not Have To Be Re-Engineered Like Aaron Cross:
And while the test-mice were also engineered to have extra drug-activated Yamanaka stuff in their genes,
-There is no reason a different way can’t be used for humans, like the recent Chinese editing of a live person’s DNA, infecting them with a virus, or giving them one of the new drugs Dr. Belamonte is testing.
That way the accumulated errors could be erased, one way or another.
And pretty-soon -and at any age of life-, you could just pop into a doctor’s office for one shot a week, and a few months later your body runs like its 20 years younger.
-Just like a tune-up for a car!
Check out the amazing details in the Links:
JUMP BONUS!: The Belamonte Team Explains Their Discovery:
Publicity photo of Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty from the movie, “Blade Runner” by Ridley Scott, Michael Deeley, Hampton Fancher, David Peoples, The Ladd Company, Shaw Brothers, Blade Runner Partnership, and Warner Bros., Based on, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, by Philip K. Dick
“Salk scientists reverse signs of aging in mice.” YouTube video by The Salk Insitute
• Source: Salk
• Source Study: Cell-In Vivo Amelioration of Age-Associated Hallmarks by Partial Reprogramming