Researchers have reversed some signs of aging in mice. But it had never been done in primates — until now.
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In what appears to be a major scientific breakthrough, Life Biosciences presented results showing the reversal of damage to the eye in non-human primates. From Life Bio’s press release:
Life Bio’s lead platform reprograms the epigenome of older animals to resemble that of younger animals via expression of three Yamanaka factors, Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4, collectively known as OSK. The approach partially reprograms cells to resemble a more youthful state while retaining their original cellular identity. Previous data from Life Bio and academic researchers, which were also presented at ARVO 2023, have shown that treatment with OSK reverses retinal aging and restores vision in old mice in a mouse model of glaucoma. Now, with the data presented today at ARVO, the company has demonstrated restoration of visual function and increased nerve axon survival in [a non-human primate] model that mimics human NAION deficits in retinal ganglion cells.
The researchers intentionally damaged the eyes of primates with lasers. Gruesome, I know.
Then, they gave a series of injections that used Yamanaka factors to reprogram the cells, reversing the damage.
Similar eye problems can occur in humans, often associated with age. If researchers can reverse them in non-human primates, perhaps humans are next.
Professor David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School co-founded Life Bio. Sinclair’s lab did something similar in mice, published in Nature in 2020.
The recent Life Bio results are a corporate press release, not a peer reviewed study. But given this team’s track record, I’d bet the publication is coming any day now.
Consider the path of this research. First it’s in a test tube, then a mouse, then a monkey.
We’re getting closer and closer to humans.
Of course, this result is only about eyes. But if a few injections can fix that, what else can they fix?
Moreover, we’re seeing rapid progress on two fronts: genetics and AI. Where might this lead?
Perhaps in the near future, humans will live to be 250 years old. Throughout our lifetimes, we’ll be 100X more capable, thanks to our AI assistants.
And when medicine can no longer keep us going, we upload our consciousness to our preferred cloud provider and, in a sense, live forever.
That’s a future I look forward to.
What do you think is the future of longevity? Leave a comment and let us know!
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More on tech:
Reversing the Aging Process in Mouse Eyes… and Maybe Someday, Us?
Let’s Double the Human Population
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Photo: “Close-Up of the Human Eye – Primer plano del ojo humano” by Hugo Quintero is licensed under CC BY 2.0.