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The mice began producing new neurons as well as sperm, and went on to have a typical life span, although they didn't live longer than a normal mouse.
The trick was using an estrogen-based drug to switch on a gene that produces telomerase, an enzyme known to safeguard DNA from the ravages of time. Telomerase produces telomeres, which the WSJ compares to plastic tips on the end of shoelaces, protecting DNA at the end of chromosomes and preventing it from being frayed. The researchers gave the mice this drug as a time-release pellet placed under the skin, and within a month the treated mice were the picture of health.
While this could bode well for treating age-related diseases in humans, it's not without risks. Telomerase is also key to cancer growth, since up to 90 percent of all human cancers need certain levels of the enzyme for their tumor cells to divide continuously, and deactivating telomerase is a major goal of current cancer research. But if it can be activated temporarily, under controlled conditions, DePinho thinks it may offer a viable fountain of youth for both mice and men.
Originally posted by leira7
reply to post by harrytuttle
hmmm... do you think they may have been testing out an aging product, and simply told the papers they were testing for anti-aging product? Do you think they will use the other AGING agent? I mean, it must have taken a lot of time and money to create.