Fountain of youth discovered! - But only for mice
Scientists have found a way to stop aging in mice.
Researchers are announcing a genetic breakthrough that may someday allow people to enjoy much longer life spans. Preliminary research on mice has shown that cells which cause most of the effects of aging can be effectively detected and destroyed, at least in the bodies of mice.
The mouse on the right has been treated with drugs to prevent the signs of aging.
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Scientists have now found a way to eliminate these cells.
Researchers tested on genetically modified mice that had their senescent cells marked so that when given a drug, the cells would self-destruct. Those mice that were given the drug to destroy the cells did not show the typical signs of aging that other mice displayed.
Specifically, the mice did not develop cataracts, their muscle tissue did not waste, and they were able to exercise much longer on treadmills. They did not lose the layers of fat under their skin which typically happens in humans and causes wrinkling.
The tests show that eliminating the cells can have a beneficial effect on mice. The mice used in this study did not have their lifespans increased, but that was because they were of a special strain of fast-aging mice that typically die young and are commonly used in experiments.
A new round of tests on mice that age normally is currently being planned. Generally, laboratory mice can live up to three years. If those mice can be genetically modified so that there senescent cells can be destroyed with drugs, and their lifespans are increased, then researchers will have finally found a modern version of the fountain of youth.
At least for mice.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: aging, fountain of youth, mice, senescent cells
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