Researchers from Cambridge rejuvenated the skin cells of a 53-year-old woman so that they became similar to the cells of a 23-year-old. Scientists believe that this way you can rejuvenate other body tissues. As a result, they seek to develop treatments for age-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and neurological disorders.
Rejuvenation technology is based on the one used to create the cloned Dolly sheep more than 25 years ago. Team leader Professor Wolf Reik of the Babraham Institute in Cambridge hopes that rejuvenation can be used to keep people healthy longer as they age.
He emphasizes that the work is at a very early stage. By the time it can be used in clinics, several more scientific problems need to be addressed. The stem cell technology used for rejuvenation increases the risk of cancer, so the team will look for a safer way to achieve the result.
First, technology can be used to develop medicine to restore skin of the elderly where it has been cut or burned. This can speed healing. The next step is to test whether the technology will work on other tissues, such as muscles, liver and blood cells. If technology can rejuvenate immune cells, it could increase the response to vaccination and people’s ability to fight infections.