In a paper published in Science, the Harvard-led team identifies a critical step in the molecular process that allows cells to repair damaged DNA.
Their experiments in mice suggest a treatment is possible for DNA damage from aging and radiation. It is so promising it has attracted the attention of NASA, which believes the treatment can help its Mars mission.
The scientists identified that the metabolite NAD+, which is naturally present in every cell of our body, has a key role as a regulator in protein-to-protein interactions that control DNA repair.
Treating mice with a NAD+ precursor, or “booster,” called NMN improved their cells’ ability to repair DNA damage caused by radiation exposure or old age.
“The cells of the old mice were indistinguishable from the young mice, after just one week of treatment,” said lead author Professor David Sinclair of UNSW School of Medical Sciences and Harvard Medical School Boston.
The new work has a far wider effect. The particular dog model they are using has a heart disease issue. Rejuvenate Bio is still semi-stealth mode, incubator mode, but the trial is not a secret. Dogs are a market in and of themselves. It’s not just a big organism close to humans. It’s something people will pay for. And the FDA process is much faster for dogs than for humans — a little over a year versus nine years or so. We’ll do dog trials and that’ll be a product, and that’ll pay for scaling up in human trials.
Dog trials in the next year or two. If that works, human trials are another two years away, and eight years before they’re done.
The scientific work will likely need to develop several treatments to reverse all the different aspects of aging.
Slowing aging is actually tougher to develop and will take longer to prove in humans. It is tougher to develop because tests take longer to run than a post-doc can perform. Postdoctoral research needs to be completable in 4-5 years. Reversing aging experiments fit in that window. Slowing aging experiments on anything more than mice is problematic.
Movie examples of reversing aging
There is the movie example of Benjamin Button who is character who starts old and keeps getting younger.
There was also the movie example in Back to the Future 2.
Doc Brown went to a rejuvenation clinic and got an all-natural overhaul. They took some wrinkles out, did a hair repair, changed the blood — added a good thirty or forty years to his life. They also replaced his spleen and colon.
‘You look good, Doc,’ Marty answered slowly. ‘Real good.’
In the real world it could be 2030 or 2045 instead of 2015 but reversing aging could be how life extension happens.