Fresh hope for anti-ageing drug as lifespans could be lengthened with technique used to extend the longevity of mice
- Humans may be tested with a technique used to extend the longevity of mice
- The study shows how cellular reprogramming could be turned into a therapy
- The aim would be to create a drug to boost resilience to diseases, such as cancer
Lifespans could be lengthened by an anti-ageing drug within five years, researchers believe.
Humans may soon be tested with a similar technique used to extend the longevity of mice.
The landmark study shows how cellular reprogramming, used to rejuvenate cells in Petri dishes, could be turned into a therapy.
Lifespans could be lengthened by an anti-ageing drug within five years, researchers believe (stock image)
Dr Noah Davidsohn, chief scientist for Rejuvenate Bio, the company behind the research, said: ‘We could easily see something in humans in the next five years with this technology.’
Associate professor in functional genomics at Birmingham University, Dr Ildem Akerman, added: ‘Reversal of ageing in an entire animal with the use of gene programming has not been achieved before.’
The researchers injected mice equivalent in age to humans in their late seventies with a modified virus that carries additional pieces of genetic code, The Times reported.
It allowed rodents’ cells to produce Yamanaka factors, a set of proteins, that have been used since the mid-2000s to coax cells to return to a ‘younger’ embryonic state.
Mice that received the treatment lived for another 18 weeks, compared with nine weeks for those who did not.
The treated group also regained epigenetic patterns typical of younger animals.
The study, released on the biorxiv.org website, has yet to be peer-reviewed.
The Office for National Statistics predicts the life expectancy of men born in 2070 in the UK will reach the age of 85 on average, while women will be nearly 88 when they die
Dr Andrew Steele, a British computational biologist and author of a new book on longevity, previously told MailOnline there is no biological reason humans can’t reach the age of 200.
He believes the big breakthrough will come in the form of drugs that remove ‘zombie cells’ in the body, which are thought to be one of the main culprits of tissue and organ decay as we age.
Pills that flush these cells out of the body are already in human trials in and could be on the market in as little as 10 years, according to Dr Steele, who believes someone reading this could make it to 150 with the help of the drugs.
Another field in particular that piques the interest of anti-ageing scientists is the study of DNA of reptiles and other cold-blooded animals.