A discovery about the aging process in mice might one day help efforts to develop treatments for age-related diseases in humans. That’s the word from biologists say they turned back the “molecular clock” in old mice by placing a “longevity” gene into their blood stem cells.
The gene, called SIRT3, belongs to a class of proteins called sirtuins, which help aged blood stem cells handle stress. The investigators found that placing SIRT3 into the blood stem cells of old mice increased the formation of new blood cells. They say this study is the first to demonstrate that sirtuins can reverse aging-associated degeneration and it “opens the door to potential treatments for age-related degenerative diseases.” The researchers say it’s a matter of understanding the process well enough to actually reverse aging. Other experts caution that results from animal research can’t always be replicated in humans.