One of the reasons we age is because a substance called TGF-beta1 increases in our bodies and makes it more difficult for stem cells to produce new tissues. Researchers have now found a chemical that reduces the ability of TGF-beta1 to interfere with stem cell functioning and, thereby, enables stem cells to more effectively do their jobs. Per the article:
The team then injected into the blood a chemical known to block the TGF-beta1 receptor and thus reduce the effect of TGF-beta1. This small molecule, an Alk5 kinase inhibitor already undergoing trials as an anticancer agent, successfully renewed stem cell function in both brain and muscle tissue of the same old animal, potentially making it stronger and more clever, Conboy said. "The key TGF-beta1 regulatory pathway became reset to its young signaling levels, which also reduced tissue inflammation, hence promoting a more favorable environment for stem cell signaling," she said. "You can simultaneously improve tissue repair and maintenance repair in completely different organs, muscle and brain."... This is really the first demonstration that we can find a drug that makes the key TGF-beta1 pathway, which is elevated by aging, behave younger, thereby rejuvenating multiple organ systems." The UC Berkeley team reported its results in the current issue of the journal Oncotarget.
Indeed, especially if it handles aging WITHOUT managing chronic diseases, and I'm thinking especially of Alzheimer's here.
Well, that's what we have coffee for.
Donald, I can easily see an exacerbation of an already existing problem. People living longer, and longer, and not dying out, thereby not making room for the young and newborns. Especially with groups (think religion and Catholicism) that frown on birth control.
Not only all of those problems, but think of it. We'd never get rid of the politicians. (Just a little humor.)
Imagine having to remember being old. What about the old age pension? Free TV licenses, bus passes, and spectacles. Not to mention Viagra tablets, and having to prove your young enough to drive.
If we were able to rebuild people so that we're functional again and can perform as well as any 20-something, screw pensions. We wouldn't need them, anymore.
Spectacles wouldn't be ruled out, though. Most people need them before they're 20, after all.
Free specs are only for the over 60's in the UK Joseph. I'm still trying to learn to grow old gracefully.
I wonder what philosophical conundrums this could raise in theological reasoning.
This research will obviously be opposed by the religious community.
If we can manage to create "Heaven On Earth", the afterlife fairytale will lose its appeal!