Living past 100 years may not be on everyone’s wish list, however slowing down the aging process and preventing age-related illnesses from developing, may be. In a study undertaken by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley which was part-funded by Google’s life extension company Calico, researchers infused older mice with young blood and observed that the young red blood cells accelerated muscle repair. The opposite held true in that mice that had older blood infused showed a decline in the growth of new liver and brain cells and a deterioration in their strength test.
This research might show some promising results for the search for eternal youth. The premise of the study is to determine whether abnormal levels of protein in the blood could have an affect on aging and diseases associated with old age. If so, then would removing these molecules have an impact on aging. These proteins occur in low numbers when you are young, but increase in older people and are believed to impede the growth of healthy tissue. The study therefore aims not to swap the blood of elderly individuals for younger blood, but to rather normalize the levels of these key molecules.
The researchers in California are planning to begin experimental human clinical trials within 6 months with results in about three years, whereby the blood of an older individual will pass through a machine that resets abnormal levels of proteins and pumps the filtered blood back into the body. The hope is that normalizing the proteins in the blood can prevent diseases such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons and Type 2 Diabetes from developing. In this way, the older generation will be given a longer lease on life.