Ask anyone above the age of 30 about aging, they’ll immediately say they’re not what they used to be. Maybe their knees ache. Maybe their gut is starting to growing bigger. By the time they hit 45, the wrinkles have sunken in and their hair is turning gray. What if this didn’t have to happen? What if you could get a type of ‘old age’ vaccination? Juan Carlos Belmonte at the Salk Institute in San Diego might have the syringe even an anti-vaxer will fight to get.
12 years ago Shinya Yamanaka discovered four specific genes that help control embryonic development. The Yamanaka Factors, OCT3/4, SOX2, KLF4, and c-MYC (OSKM), can also be used to push cells back into a state of youthful pluripotency. The Yamanaka Factors are packaged in an adeno-associated virus, a virus that carries no disease, and can be activated with antibiotics such as doxycycline.
When the Yamakana Factors were triggered in aged mice, even just twice a week, the mice began to regain their past youth. Pre-maturely old mice gain youthfulness faster and even lived 40% longer lives. Further testing must be done to fully understand the potential this treatment has on larger mammals, and potentiall humans.