Boffins have come up with a breakthrough and managed to reverse the ageing process in mice.
The secret of eternal youth has been unlocked by scientists in remarkable research that paves the way for a ‘forever young’ drug.
According to the boffin’s journal, Nature, which we get for the diagnose the Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis competition, cancer doctor Ronald DePinho of Harvard University has completely reversed the effects of ageing in animals for the first time in experiments on mice.
Aged mice with skin, brains, guts and other organs resembled those of an 80-year-old person and a tendency to vote Tory were totally transformed by two months on a drug which switches on a key enzyme. The creatures had grown so many new cells that they had almost completely rejuvenated.
Not surprisingly the male mice went from being infertile to shagging any thing that moved and fathering large litters.
Dr DePinho it was a bit like having a 40-year-old person who looked 80-plus and reversing the effects to the levels of a 50-year-old. And of course Spinola will have his life extended by another 1,000 years.
DePinho sees it as a drug that will sort out a crisis that will hit Blighty in 2025 when there will be 1.2 billion people aged over 60, which is when you start to see cancer, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease.
The study shows that there is a point of return for ageing organs that we had not previously appreciated.’
The breakthrough centres on structures called telomeres. These are tiny biological clocks that cap the ends of chromosomes, protecting them from damage.
With time, the telomeres get shorter and shorter, raising the odds of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Eventually they become so short that the cells die. An enzyme called telomerase can rebuild the telomere caps but is normally switched off in the body.
Dr DePinho expected the technique to halt or slow the ageing process and so was stunned to find it reversed it.
If you take it in middle age, you could delay the development of Alzheimer’s, heart disease and diabetes. It might even extend life.
The downside is that high levels of telomerase can fuel the growth of cancers, still you will have a youngish looking corpse.
There are other illnesses that will not go away with telomerase. DePinho told the Daily Wail that there are multiple mechanisms that conspire to lead to ageing.
A drug could be 10 years away, so in the meantime we could be out evolved by aged mice invading night clubs and kicking young kids off the dance floor.