Imagine you could turn back the clock on your skin by 30 years. It seems far-fetched. But scientists have just accomplished this with a new technique that could lead to major breakthroughs in anti-aging and regenerative medicine.
What is regenerative medicine? As we age, our cells break down and begin to lose their function. They develop markers of aging which in turn, could lead to disease. Regenerative medicine focuses on restoring cellular function.
Up until now, stem cells have been the primary focus. Normal cells have a specific function, while stem cells are non-specific and can become any type of cell. Stem cells are often created using normal cells through a complex process.
Using stem cell technology, scientists wanted to see if they could reprogram skin cells as younger, more rejuvenated skin cells.
And it worked. Using a modified technique, the researchers were able to turn back the biological clock on the skin cells by about 30 years. The cells were able to produce more collagen proteins compared to control cells that did not undergo the reprogramming process.
The rejuvenated cells were also tested on a “skin wound” simulated in a petri dish. By cutting a layer of artificial skin, the researchers observed that their rejuvenated skin cells were able to fill the gaps of the cut faster than older cells. In the future, this could lead to advances in wound healing.
Not only did the skin cells LOOK younger, but they also acted younger.
This research is still in the early phases but could lead to advances in medicine when it comes to age-related diseases too. The researchers observed that their technique also had a positive effect on genes related to Alzheimer’s disease and those associated with the development of cataracts. Both showed changes towards more youthful levels.
Also, can they figure out how to get this into a skin cream??
Maybe. The possibilities are endless with more study, time, and understanding. But for now, this technology holds a great deal of promise.
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