Scientists may have found a longevity medicine

Scientists may have found a longevity medicine

Scientists have discovered that by opening and closing a particular gene, and then edit the apparent genome , may be able to achieve some degree of immortality .

According to MIT Technology Review reported, San Diego Sol grams Institute (Salk Institute for Biological Studies) Recent experimental use of ” rejuvenating panacea”, successfully treated progeria mice (progeria) – all premature aging mouse organs, all cells Return to normal levels.

This is currently an advanced genetic “reprogramming” technique: resetting the apparent signs of genes, ie, changing the chemical switches in the cell that determine which genes turn on and off. After erasing these marks, a cell seems to have forgotten that it should grow into a skin cell or a bone cell, and “regresses” back to a more primitive embryo state. Many laboratories use this technique to make stem cells .

However, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte of the Salk Institute for Biological Research experimented with this technique for living organisms and even humans. He believes that this may be the ” immortality medicine” of human beings .

Izpisua Belmonte believes that this technology is likely to be achieved by extending the lifespan of people for another 30 to 50 years. “I think people who can live to 130 are now born. I am sure.”

This technique was first discovered by the Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka who won the Nobel Prize. As early as 2006, he discovered that by adding four proteins to adult cells, he could “reprogram” the cells, allowing the cells to return to the embryonic state both in appearance and function. The combination of these proteins is called the “Yamanaka factors”.

Successful application example:

Many scientists believe that the discovery in the mountains will revolutionize organ transplant surgery. Japanese scientists treat an 80-year-old woman with eye disease with macular variations. They took a sample of the cells from her and used the “mountain elements” to return the cells to the embryonic state and then led them to grow into retinal cells. In 2014, the woman became the first patient in the world to use a laboratory-grown organ for transplantation. After the operation, her eyes felt “brighter” and her vision no longer deteriorated.

Prior to this, researchers at the National Cancer Research Center in Spain developed this technology in another direction – mice that obtained this “mountain element” copy in the genome could also reprogram the cells. The researchers found that this technique is not only available in culture dishes, but also as effective in adult animals.

Scientists believe that this will create a real “magic bullet” for human beings, and it is possible to achieve the rejuvenation of the entire human body.


However, scientists are aware of the potential risks. Excessive elimination of gene methylation markers will cause cells to lose “identity information.” Pradeep Reddy, a researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Research, said: “You have cleared their memories. These blank cells may grow into normal cells, may grow into cells that are incapable of performing their intended tasks, or may grow into cancer. cell.”

So in the experiment at the beginning of this article, when the researchers were excited about such results, the mice died within three or four days after receiving the treatment. The cause of death is that treatment triggers cell variability leading to tumors. Researchers estimate that it may be related to excessive use of rejuvenating drugs.

Improved version: Did you really find a longevity medicine?
In 2016, Izpisua Belmonte’s team improved the way to control the use of “mountain elements” in mice with premature aging. This time, through genetic editing, the mouse’s body produces “mountain elements”, but it is produced by the antibiotic doxycycline.

They grouped the mice, one group was able to drink water with doxycycline at any time; the other group had doxycycline in the water only two days a week. The results showed that mice that drank a lot of antibiotics soon died; rats with moderate antibiotics did not have long tumors, and the body was more robust, the kidneys and spleen functioned better, and the heart beat more vigorously.

Overall, these mice are 30% longer than normal mice.

The study by Izpisua Belmonte attracted the attention of peers after it was published in the authoritative journal Cell.

Most of the doubts are whether this drug can really prevent aging. It is suspected that this method only serves the apparent purpose of “eliminating wrinkles” and does not really touch the essence of aging. If so, then the drug is just a “beauty” role.

Jan Vijg, director of the Department of Genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, said, “Aging is the process of combining hundreds of changes.” Using simple drugs can reverse aging. He doesn’t think Most likely.

There are also doubts that Izpisua Belmonte’s experiment is only for mice with premature aging, and it is not effective for normal mice.

Izpisua Belmonte responded that he is working on a study to answer this question. But experiments with ordinary mice take longer to get results. Ordinary mice have a life span of 2 to 2.5 years. Unlike the mice with premature aging used in previous experiments, they have a life span of only about 3 months.

Recently foreseeable use:

Although it is not so easy to achieve rejuvenation of the entire human body, researchers have seen the enormous potential of this technology for a variety of specific diseases and are expected to be realized in the next few years.

AgeX and Turn Biotechnologies are two startups that are at the forefront. AgeX is investigating the use of this technology to treat heart disease, and is also applying for policy approvals for clinical trials of osteoarthritis and age-related muscle loss therapies.

GenuCure, another biotechnology company, is studying the use of this technology to rejuvenate the body’s cartilage. It is developing a drug that can be injected into the knee to rejuvenate the kneecap and replace expensive knee replacement surgery. 

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