ABC News story, reversing aging?

Wow!  This story is fascinating.  Rather than tell you a snapshot review of the video, I have transcribed it word for word.  Here you go.  Video to follow.

This is a transcription of the actual news story for those of you who can’t view the video.

Diane Sawyer: And now, eternal youth. Is it in a cage around the corner? News tonight of a breakthrough for some pioneering mice. But we always wonder. What does a fountain of youth for rodents reveal for humans? Here’s Sharon Alfonsi reporting.

<Reporter, Sharyn Alfonsi:>

In the movie Cocoon, it’s a swimming pool that turns back the clock for a group of senior citizens. But now, researchers have found, not just a way to stop, but to reverse the aging process. The key is something called a telomere. We all have them. They’re the tips or caps of the chromosome seen here in yellow. This is what it looks like in a young adult. But as you grow older, the telomeres become damaged and frayed. As they stop working, we start aging. Experiencing things like hearing and memory loss. Scientist tooks mice who were prematurely aged, added an enzyme and essentially, turned their telomeres back on. You can see it. Before the enzymen and after.

<speaker, Dr. Ron DePinho, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute:>

Their brain function improved. Their fertility was restored. It was a remarkable reversal of the aging process.

<Reporter, Sharyn Alfonsi:>

Look at this picture. The mouse on the right has bad skin, gray hair and is balding. The one on the left had it’s telomeres flipped back on.

<speaker, Dr. Ron DePinho, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute:>

And you can see that essentially you now have a dark coat color, uh that the hair is restored, that the coat has a nice healthy sheen to it.

<Reporter, Sharyn Alfonsi:>

Even more dramatic, the change in brain size. This is before. The mice had 75% of a normal brain. Like a patient with severe Alzhiemers. But after the telomeres were reactivated, the brain returns to normal size. As for humans, while it is just one factor, scientists now say, by looking at our blood cells and measuring those telomeres, you can get a better idea of how well you’ll age. The longer the telomere, the better the chances for a more graceful aging. But as for tinkering with them and turning back our aging process, researchers say, we still have a long way to go.

Sharyn Alfonsi, ABC News. New York.

 

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