In the US alone, approximately $11 billion is spent annually on cosmetic plastic surgery. But, masking the effects of aging with cosmetic procedures is only temporary. These procedures do not address the root cause of aging.
Medical advances and innovation in biotechnology and stem cell research in recent years show very positive results that are helping to reverse aging more effectively. Here´s just some of the most significant scientific breakthroughs:
1. Stem Cell Technology
By manipulating stem cells, scientists are looking to reprogram aging cells.
Stem cell researchers have been able to reprogram the cells of aging mice through pluripotent stem cells generated from adult cells. The result of this study was a 30% increase in the lifespan of mice.
The application of this research in humans may be a long way away, but the data is promising.
2. Anti-aging drugs
A drug type that could delay the aging process has recently been developed.
In a recent study, scientists injected mice with “quercetin”, a compound found in fruits and vegetables, and “dasatinib”, a drug used to treat some forms of blood cancer. The combination selectively targeted senescent cells.
Cell senescence is a phenomenon associated with aging that slows down the reproduction of cells.
Scientists confirm a significant increase in mobility and speed of aged mice. Furthermore, the aging mice injected with the drugs had a 36% increase in their lifespan.
3. Young blood
One of the effects of aging is deterioration of cognitive functions. Scientists think they can reverse aging by introducing young blood in older individuals.
In their research, scientists drew blood from younger mice and put it in aged mice. Apparently, the young blood stimulated neurons in the brain and increased the production of stem cells.
Researchers are hopeful that the same results can be replicated in humans in the near future.
4. Rapamycin bacteria
As we age, we become more susceptible to diseases and terminal conditions. A growing number of scientists believe that this aging effect can be reversed using Rapamycin.
Rapamycin is an immunosuppressant used in patients who have undergone organ transplant to decrease the chances of the body rejecting the organs. It also appears to suppress the effects of aging.
In lab experiments, scientists have been able to increase the lifespans of worms, yeast, and mice. Next, they will conduct trials on pet dogs, and based on successful results, they hope FDA will approve trials on humans.
5. Gene deletion
Gene deletion can be used to reverse aging.
This theory is backed by recent research; scientists have been able to identify cells whose removal could result in lifespan increase of up to 60%.
It has taken 10 years to identify and successfully remove genes that cause aging in yeast, a laborious and slow research process based on trial and error. So, it might take many more years before the research reaches the human trials stage. Still, the results are full of promise.