Two American teams claim to have discovered a way to reverse the aging process. IA Red Spring writes about it, referring to the journal Science.
Biotechnologists in San Diego, California, used gene therapy to provide aging mice with a combination of proteins known as Yamanaka factors, thereby extending the lives of experimental animals. A Harvard Medical School team led by David Sinclair did the same, but used mice with specially modified genes.
Yamanaka factor is a set of proteins capable of transforming adult cells into universal stem cells. Both groups of scientists found that mice that start expressing Yamanaka factors as adults reverse some signs of aging, such as graying.
Both studies have been criticized. According to molecular biologist Wolf Reik, the results of the Harvard team are mixed. Jan Wiig, a geneticist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, joined the criticism. He and many others point out that aging is a complex process and not all factors are taken into account in experiments. Additionally, in both cases, the effects of rejuvenation were very moderate.
Although the results of the experiments are mixed according to critics, both groups intend to start clinical trials. In particular, Sinclair’s team is already testing their method on monkeys. If the trials are successful, Harvard Group will apply to the FDA for human trials.