According to the Daily Mail, a University of New South Wales (UNSW) team of scientists researching the aging process discovered a way to repair DNA damage in mice. The experiment was so successful that the aged mice grew new hair in areas where it had stopped growing. The physical changes were startling. The mice grew agile within one week of treatment (1).
The UNSW published its findings in March 2013 in the publication Science. This miraculous change in the mice was the result of the research team discovering the signaling process that is responsible for repairing the aged DNA and cells. They hope the same signaling process can be trigger in humans (2).
Plans to Test Anti-Aging Drug for NASA Astronauts
In the plans to send the first humans to Mars, NASA is interested in the drug possibly being able to not just repair damaged DNA, but also to protect its astronauts from the solar radiation exposure during their four-year mission.
The human body cells have a natural process (signaling of molecule NAD+) that repairs DNA damage, but the body’s ability to maintain such repair process diminishes as we grow older.
Astronauts suffer many side-effects from the exposure to cosmic radiation, such as the aging process being accelerated, memory loss, loss of muscle strength and many other symptoms.
According to Science Daily, the mission to Mars would mean the astronauts could expect to lose five percent of their cells. This would endanger them to developing cancer. In fact, their chances of contracting cancer would accelerate to 100% probability as a direct result of traveling to and from Mars.
How Scientists Reversed Aging in Mice
The UNSW team of scientists used a “NAD+ booster, NMN” signaling that aided cells in the natural repairing process.
Science Daily quoted lead author UNSW School of Medical Sciences and Harvard Medical School Boston Professor David Sinclair saying, “The cells of the old mice were indistinguishable from the young mice, after just one week of treatment.”
The scientist believe that their drug therapy could benefit childhood cancer survivors. Sadly 96% of these survivors suffer from some kind of chronic illness by the time they reach 45. Their aging process is accelerated. Some of the typical diseases childhood cancer survivors develop include Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other unrelated forms of cancers.
Another group that could benefit from the drug are frequent flyers who are exposed to higher doses of solar radiation.
Human Trials to Begin Testing Anti-Aging Drug
Human drug trails are expected to start in early fall of 2017 and will be held at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. According to Sinclair, if the human trails are successful, the drug could go on the market within three to five years. Could this drug be the next step in human evolution that defies old age?(3)
References & Image Credits:
(1) Daily Mail
(2) Science Daily
(3) Top Secret Writers
(4) photo credit: mattk1979 Astronaut, Kennedy Space Center via photopin (license)
(5) photo credit: Mycroyance Your life or My PhD? via photopin (license)
(6) photo credit: byronv2 time for a wee seat in the spring sunshine via photopin (license)