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Gene Found Could Be Key To Unlocking Immortality

Old Woman

A joint effort between Chinese and U.S. researches working on premature aging disorders concluded that changes in the heterochromatin, a tightly packed form of DNA, could be responsible for the aging process in humans.

The findings, published in Science Xpresscould lead to new methods in the prevention and treatment of age-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. The findings were made possible through a combination of cutting-edge stem cell and gene-editing technologies.

Guang-Hui Liu, a senor author of the paper and researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Biophysics in Beijing, told Xinhua“We proposed a new theory.”

We proposed a new theory that suggests the disorganization of heterochromatin is a key driver of human stem cell aging.

Researchers found the ‘aging gene’ while conducting research on the underlying genetic mutations of Werner Syndrome, a disorder that leads to premature aging, resulted in the degradation of heterochromatin.

Werner syndrome is a genetic disorder that is characterized by the sufferer developing age-related diseases early in life, including cataracts, type 2 diabetes, hardening of the arties, osteoporosis and cancer, most die in their late 40’s or early 50’s.

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, another senior author on the paper, in a public release picked up by Eureka Alert  said that the studies findings, “has implications beyond Werner syndrome”

Our findings show that the gene mutation that causes Werner syndrome results in the disorganization of heterochromatin, and that this disruption of normal DNA packaging is a key driver of aging (…) This has implications beyond Werner syndrome, as it identifies a central mechanism of aging–heterochromatin disorganization–which has been shown to be reversible.

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