According tomedia reports, researchers recently found that cells tend to follow one of two ways of aging. The way each individual cell ages has been determined at an early stage, and scientists can predict how cells age based on early observations. Scientists hope their work will lead to treatments that may slow down human aging.
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, found two different pathways that they say cells can take as they age. The study, published in the journal Science, brings us a little closer to stopping or even stopping the cellular aging process one day.
The rate at which our bodies age depends on our cells. Over time, the cell’s DNA breaks down, causing problems that eventually end our lives in one way or another. The new study simulates yeast as human skin or stem cells and attempts to determine whether there is any leeway in cell aging. As a result, the researchers found that cells tended to follow one of two paths, and they seemed to follow them regardless of external stimuli or environmental conditions.
In the study of yeast cells, the team found that one of the two regions of any given cell showed the first signs of deterioration. “Using microfluidology, computer modeling, and other techniques, they found that about half of the cells age through the gradual decline in the stability of nuclear alcohol, a region of nuclear DNA where the ‘factory’ of the protein production is synthesized,” the researchers explained in a press release. “In contrast, the other half ages due to dysfunction in mitochondria( the cell’s energy production unit).
What is particularly interesting is that cells seem to have progressed along one of these two aging pathways almost from the beginning of their creation. Even before the cells deteriorate dramatically, their fate sits out, regardless of environmental factors. “To understand how cells make these decisions, we identified the molecular processes and connections of each aging route, revealing the molecular ‘circuits’ that control cell aging, similar to those that control household appliances,” Nan Hao, senior author of the study, said in a statement.
The researchers hope their work will lead to gene therapies that could slow the aging process, and by delaying aging at the cellular level, thus dramatically increasing human life expectancy.