Turning back the clock on ageing cells

Researchers at Stanford University report that they can rejuvenate human cells by reprogramming them back to a youthful state. They hope the technique will help in the treatment of diseases, such as osteoarthritis and muscle wasting, caused by the ageing of tissue cells.

A major cause of ageing is thought to be the errors that accumulate in the epigenome, the system of proteins that packages the DNA and controls access to its genes. The Stanford team, led by researchers Tapash Jay Sarkar, Vittorio Sebastiano and Dr Thomas Rando, said their method, designed to reverse these errors and walk back the cells to their youthful state, does indeed restore the cells' vigour and eliminate signs of ageing.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2020, with the headline 'Turning back the clock on ageing cells'. Print Edition | Subscribe