By tweaking enzymes that prevent chromosome tips from unraveling, researchers have shown age-related tissue degeneration can be reversed in some mice.
Medical breakthroughs involving mice must be taken with rock-sized grains of salt because, despite their genetic similarity, the rodents aren’t humans. The latest findings, published online by the journal Nature on November 28, are no exception. Nevertheless, they provide the first compelling evidence of aging’s reversal — not just delay — in a high-level organism.
The work represents an “unprecedented reversal of age-related decline in the central nervous system and other organs vital to adult mammalian health,” wrote the team led by Ronald DePinho, a cancer geneticist at Harvard Medical School.
Image: Fluorescent markers signify enzyme activation in the tips of telomeres./Nature.