Investigators rejuvenate stem cells in aging study

Research at UC Berkeley is pointing the way to new therapies that can blunt or even reverse the effects of aging on muscles. In a new study led by Irina Conboy, a team of scientists determined that a molecule called TGF-beta played a key role in the deterioration of muscles. Blocking that pathway in mice reversed the physical effect in older mice. The researchers used RNAi technology to silence the molecule and then used snake venom to damage their muscles in the experiment. Older mice were able to produce new stem cells to repair the muscles, much the way that young mice were able to.

"We are one step closer to having a point of intervention where we can rejuvenate the body's own stem cells so we don't have to suffer from some of the debilitating diseases associated with aging," said the study's lead author, Morgan Carlson, a recent Ph.D. graduate of Conboy's lab.

- read the report from MIT Technology Review

Suggested Articles

Antibiotics dubbed odilorhabdins (ODLs), inspired by soil-dwelling nematodes, hold promise for treating antibiotic-resistant infections.

A PureTech startup is developing an immune-responsive hydrogel that releases a corticosteroid into arthritic joints based on their level of inflammation.

A trial of a retinal implant built from embryonic stem cells produced encouraging results in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration.