Scientists Claim They've Found a Way to Reverse the Aging Process
We're going to live forever, like in Fame. Wait, that's not a sci-fi movie, like in- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone? Scientists from Harvard and the University of New South Wales are on their way to creating a real Elixir of Life, as they have found a way to reverse the aging process in mice, and early clinical trials with human subjects have yielded "promising results."
"We've discovered genes that control how the body fights against aging and these genes, if you turn them on just the right way, they can have very powerful effects, even reversing aging," said David Sinclair, genetics professor at Harvard and UNSW.
Their method involved injecting the mice with a naturally occuring protein called NMN in order to control gene expression, or to "turn off" genes that cause aging and "turn on" genes that fight against the aging process. "This [method] reversed aging completely within just a week of treatment in the muscle, and now we're looking to reverse all aspects of aging if possible," said Sinclair.
They expect to definitively determine within the next few years whether this process will work on humans, but Sinclair insists that early clinical results from human trials have been "promising."
"They show that the molecules that extend lifespan in mice are safe in people; they seem to be anti-inflammatory, so they might be useful against disease's inflammation, like skin redness or even inflammatory bowel disease," he said. "Eventually we want these molecules to be taken by many people to prevent diseases of aging and make them live longer, healthier lives."
Although the idea of reversing the aging process is undoubtedly attractive, there are arguments to be made that this development could actually be detrimental to society at large, especially since the world is already overpopulated. Sinclair disagrees, however, and argues that this development is simply the next progressive step in medicine. "Some people say it's like playing God, but if you ask somebody 100 years ago, what about antibiotics? They probably would have said the same thing," he said. "Some people worry about big advances in technology and medicine, but once it's adapted and it's natural for people to live until they're 90 in a healthy way ... we'll look back at today like we do at the times before antibiotics when people died from an infected splinter."