The idea of immortality is interesting for most human beings. If given a choice to live forever, many might accept the offer so that they could invest more time with their loved ones or so that they can fulfill all their wishes. Although the concept of mortality is not something achievable as of now, scientists might be on the right path of producing a method for anti-aging, as a close second to immortality.
Researchers in Beijing have developed a novel gene therapy that can reverse the aging effects in mice. It has been noted that the method can successfully help extend their life spans. This development might turn out to be revolutionary for Gene Therapy Market. One day, scientists might be able to construct a technology based on similar foundations that could be used on human beings.
In the current method, researchers inactivated the gene referred to as kat7. As per research, scientists found this as the key contributor to cellular aging. The specific therapies to achieve this feat and the subsequently received results have been a world first in gene therapy. After therapy, the mice lifespan was increased by 25%, and after 6 to 8 months, their overall appearance and grip strength improved.
The team utilized CRISPR/Cas9 method to help screen thousands of genes that were the robust drivers of cellular senescence. Out of 10,000 genes, researchers were able to identify about 100 genes wherein kat7 was found to be the most efficient at contributing towards cellular aging.
Kat7 is of the thousands of genes present in the cells of mammals. Using a lentiviral vector, the team successfully inactivated this gene in the liver of the mice. They tested the gene's function between different cell types such as mouse liver cells, the mesenchymal progenitor cells in the human stem cell and liver cell. In the case of all these cell types, no cellular toxicity could be discovered. Similarly, in the case of mice, no side effects were reported either.
Even though this new study can be considered tremendous progress, the method is still has a long way to be used for human trials. Moreover, it is essential that the function of kat7 was tested with several different types of cells, other organs of mice, and other types of animals. Till that time, the strategy would not be safe for application on human beings or other health conditions.
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