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Science & Technology

Anti-aging drug can clear out 'zombie' cells

By T.K. Randall
January 10, 2019 · Comment icon 6 comments



In the future, simple treatments could increase the human lifespan. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Jamiesrabbits
Promising trials in mice have opened up the possibility of improving health and extending life in humans.
Mankind has been obsessed with gaining immortality for thousands of years, but even despite the incredible advances in science and medicine achieved over the last few centuries, our species still remains just as vulnerable to the aging process as our ancestors were millions of years ago.

Now though, scientists have potentially found a way to extend the human lifespan via a cocktail of drugs designed to remove unwanted 'senescent' or 'zombie' cells from the body.

These undesirable cells are essentially alive, but have lost all function and are resistant to death. Their numbers increase as a person ages and they are associated with various chronic illnesses.

By removing these cells in mice using a mixture of the cancer drug dasatinib and the plant pigment quercetin however, scientists found that health and function could be dramatically improved.
"This study provides compelling evidence that targeting a fundamental aging process - in this case, cell senescence in mice - can delay age-related conditions, resulting in better health and longer life," said National Institute on Aging director Richard J. Hodes.

"This study also shows the value of investigating biological mechanisms which may lead to better understanding of the aging process."

While there is still some way to go before human trials can be carried out, if this or other treatments like it can improve a person's overall health and longevity, it could make a huge difference.

It could also help to keep various age-related diseases at bay for much longer.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by RabidMongoose 4 years ago
That is a few years old now but its also known that quercetin stops senescent cells (and only them) producing heat shock proteins. So, those age old myths of a fountain of youth may not be fake (although how to reproduce the affect wouldnt have been known at the time). Two days without animal protein in your diet (as that binds with quercetin removing most of it from your digestion tract) and on the second day eat plenty of red onions (and other plant foods high in quercetin) then have a red hot bath before you go to bed. Overnight those senescent cells of yours with heat damage to their prote... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by moonman 4 years ago
Sounds interesting, but also sounds like woo medicine. Easy enough to try once or twice though.
Comment icon #3 Posted by AllPossible 4 years ago
Wow very interesting. I definitely need this cocktail. I wake up, stretch and something goes wrong everytime mid stretch. Even a bad phone call which is insane, people must call me during my rise and shine moment on purpose
Comment icon #4 Posted by MySummerJob 4 years ago
Wonder what ill effect might possibly arise in the future? Surely unnatural chemicals like that would have to have some unhealthy side effects that the scientists aren't aware of right now. That being said, I wonder if there aren't possibly some natural remedies we don't know about?  By this, you mean hot enough that your skin turns red from the heat? Just double checking here.
Comment icon #5 Posted by jmccr8 4 years ago
I'd like to know what the mice thought about it, any discomfort, dizziness, how are you feeling now kinda stuff. jmccr8
Comment icon #6 Posted by RabidMongoose 4 years ago
You dont need to risk scolding yourself as human production of heat shock proteins starts at 41C-42C. The hotter you are the greater their production though. I think if you have gone bright red you are going a little too far. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/heat-shock-proteins  If worried you can do icy cold showers in winter instead as they produce cold shock proteins which work in the same way. What is crucial is getting that quercetin into your blood stream before doing either. Because it binds with animal protein you need to starve yourself ... [More]


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