Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Using Yamanaka Factor To Reverse Aging In Mice

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.


  1. This is very interesting and scary at the same time. It's neat how the Yamanaka factors were successful with reversing aging. However, I personally do not think it is something humans should get into. More specifically, in terms of population and sustaining said population, I think extending lives would throw everything off balance more than it is. It also makes me think about what happens when the treatment is stopped. Does aging occur from that point as normal? Are the effects of aging at a higher rate than normal?

  2. This is a really interesting article to read and although I don't think that humans should get too much into this because nothing should be able to live forever, I can see this leading to other discoveries being made. Maybe how to reverse the age of brain cells in Alzheimer patients?

  3. Im surprised that this discovery isn't more popular in the media, where on every website there is a claim to get rid of wrinkles in minutes. I could see how the Yamanaka factors could help those who are aging to alleviate pain in joints and live a better life for what they have left, but the fact that it makes people live longer is a scary thought. If this becomes open to the public, I could see how it could be considered as a "cosmetic treatment" and only be available to those who can afford it. This would allow only the rich to live longer, more youthful lives while the poor would not have access.