For hundreds of years people have heard the story of Ponce de León and his search for The Fountain of Youth. The story goes that he discovered a spring in 1513 in what is now St. Augustine Florida, America’s oldest city. The water was said to restore youth to anyone who drank of bathed in it. The only problem is that the entire story was a myth. There was no Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, or anywhere else.
But now scientists are discovering their own version of the Fountain of Youth through unique DNA research and other scientific methods. The new field of geroscience hopes to slow down the aging process while increasing our lifespan. Can aging be preventable – and even reversible? Some scientists seem to think so, and are working on ways to make it happen. And the newest research supports their claim!
Research takes major steps in anti-aging studies
Here’s what all the excitement is about: scientists at the University of New South Wales and Harvard Medical School have found a potential protein complex that helps the body guard against DNA damage to cells. Our body’s cells can repair themselves, but this ability declines as we get older. Imagine taking that discovery and developing anti-aging medicine that could potentially reverse aging – keeping us looking younger and living longer as well. The potential is staggering! Plus, these findings could even help astronauts because space travel exposes them to cosmic radiation, which can potentially speed up damage to the astronaut’s DNA.
While NASA and astronauts are excited about the findings at the University of New South Wales and Harvard Medical School, it’s also important to realize that the same discoveries could play a role in treating patients with childhood cancers. As they get older, these patients acquire chronic illnesses due to accelerated aging because of their initial childhood cancers.
This discovery is a major breakthrough, and it’s based on sound scientific research conducted at leading universities. It’s based on what is called NMN therapy, which boosts a cell’s ability to repair itself no matter how much aging or radiation exposure the cell has experienced. To date the research has been limited to experiments on mice, but within the next six months the researchers are expected to begin testing on humans.
Why anti-aging research is so important
The truth is, aging significantly impacts people who have had chronic illnesses and conditions. Anti-aging research is taking a new look at how science can extend a cell’s life in older adults beyond genetic or behavioral methods. Now, they’re using pharmacological methods to reverse the impacts of aging.
The new discoveries work at the molecular and cellular level of the body, and can decrease the rate of aging in animals. This is the key to decreasing and delaying the rate of aging, which could lower the level of severity of a medical condition or disease in humans – which could help us to enjoy a longer lifespan.