Groundbreaking discovery in ageing reversal - Did scientists just unlock the fountain of youth?
This breakthrough discovery holds enormous potential. It could pave the way for new treatments that combat age-related diseases and even help repair injuries more effectively.
In an astonishing breakthrough, scientists have unveiled a groundbreaking new approach to turning back the clock on aging within the human body. This groundbreaking revelation, made just last month, promises to not only rejuvenate our cells but also provide a powerful tool in the fight against age-related afflictions like diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and cancer. This cutting-edge breakthrough may well be one of the most significant advances in ageing and longevity science today.
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It’s a discovery that not many in Australia are talking about, but one I think is significant and worth all more of our attention and understanding. So I’m taking a dive into it today.
A team of researchers from Harvard Medical School, collaborating with experts from the University of Maine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has introduced an entirely new approach to reawaken cells and roll back the effects of ageing. This achievement, previously achieved only through advanced gene therapy, marks a significant leap forward.
The scientists achieved this feat by developing a special mixture of chemicals, often referred to as a "cocktail," that has the power to rejuvenate aging cells. This cocktail of chemicals was carefully designed to have a positive impact on the cells' behaviour and function. Imagine it like giving cells a special treatment to help them feel younger and more energetic.
To understand how effective this chemical cocktail is, we need to delve into a couple of key concepts. First, the researchers used advanced techniques to study how cells change as they age. They identified specific markers and behaviours associated with ageing cells, sort of like identifying signs of wear and tear in an old machine. Then, they tested different combinations of chemicals to find the ones that could reverse these markers and behaviours.
Surprisingly, the researchers discovered not just one, but six unique chemical cocktails that were capable of rejuvenating ageing cells. These cocktails were so powerful that they could turn back the clock on cellular aging in a matter of days. Imagine it like pressing a reset button for the cells, allowing them to function more like they did when they were younger.
This breakthrough discovery holds enormous potential. It could pave the way for new treatments that combat age-related diseases and even help repair injuries more effectively. Think of it as a way to give our bodies a boost in fighting off the effects of ageing and staying healthier for longer.
Their research was published on July 12, 2023, in the journal Aging, in the study titled "Chemically Induced Reprogramming to Reverse Cellular Aging" which showcases the remarkable findings of the research team. It builds upon the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of Yamanaka factors—genes capable of transforming adult cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) or artificially generated cells known for their remarkable ability to transform into various cell types found in the human body — but in this study the scientists set out to explore the possibility of reversing cellular ageing without triggering excessive youthfulness or the risk of cancer.
Previous research by the same Harvard team had shown that reversing cellular ageing without uncontrolled cell growth was achievable by introducing specific Yamanaka genes into cells. Encouraging results were observed in various tissues, including the optic nerve, brain tissue, kidney, and muscle, leading to improved vision and extended lifespans in mice. Notably, a recent report even highlighted enhanced vision in monkeys.
"Recent breakthroughs have pushed the boundaries from merely slowing ageing to actually reversing it," said Dr. David Sinclair
This groundbreaking discovery holds extraordinary promise, paving the way for regenerative medicine and the potential of whole-body rejuvenation. By offering a chemical-based alternative to gene therapy, this research has the potential to reshape how we address ageing, injuries, and age-linked illnesses, potentially leading to more cost-effective and faster development timelines. Following successful strides in reversing blindness in monkeys earlier this year, preparations for human clinical trials of the age-reversal gene therapy are underway.
"Recent breakthroughs have pushed the boundaries from merely slowing ageing to actually reversing it," said Dr. David Sinclair, the distinguished Professor in the Department of Genetics and co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School. "Traditionally, this process necessitated gene therapy, limiting its accessibility."
The team has a vision for a future where age-related diseases can be effectively treated, injuries can be swiftly repaired, and the aspiration of complete bodily rejuvenation can become a reality. Dr. Sinclair remarked, "This revolutionary discovery opens the door to reversing ageing with a single treatment, offering potential benefits ranging from enhanced eyesight to the effective treatment of various age-related conditions."
In essence, this groundbreaking study heralds a new era in anti-ageing research, offering hope for longer, healthier, better quality lives for all.
Source: Yang, Jae-Hyun, et al. "Chemically induced reprogramming to reverse cellular aging." Aging 15.13 (Impact Journals, LLC), 2023: 5966-5989. DOI: 10.18632/aging.204896.
From Bec’s Desk: How to Have an Epic Retirement: now back in stock
This week I want you to better understand the exciting discovery made by scientists about age reversal. This is a big deal and it is from some of the most prominently recognised scientists in the field. Anyone interested in living longer should be across this terrific progress and I’ll keep watching this space for all of us and flag future progress.
It’s been an exciting week for me, with How to Have an Epic Retirement selling out last week in both Amazon Australia and Booktopia. It certainly was a solid achievement for the book in its first ten days. I’m pleased to report it is now back in stock at Booktopia and Amazon won’t be far behind!
And it is also available wherever books are sold, including: Big W, Collins, David Jones (some stores), Dymocks. QBD, Target, Newslink (Airports), Relay (Airports), WH Smith (Airports), Bookface (NSW), Harry Hartog (NSW, Qld, SA, ACT), and The Book Warehouse (NSW). There’s also a long list of regional booksellers which you can see on my website here.
In the news
The media coverage of the book has been sensational with TV, newspapers and talkback radio embracing it. In fact, the conversations about how to have an epic retirement have been heard all over the country on regional and metro talkback - something I love to do. You can listen to and watch some of the wonderful interviews about the book on my website here. Some recent clips I’ve added in recent days include these beauties, and I’m adding more almost daily:
An interview with Virginia Trioli on the ABC Melbourne Morning Show with callers, texts and load of community engagement;
An interview with ABC NSW Drive host Anna Moulder on her ‘Tuesday Book Club’ again, with callers and texts.
About the book
How to Have an Epic Retirement is filled with practical information, examples and questions covering the six key pillars of great modern retirement:
Building your financial confidence
Looking after your health
Understanding how happiness is created and finding fulfilment
Living out your travel dreams
Your home and how your needs change in all the different phases of retirement
It’s the first book of its kind to explain in detail how the systems that support a new age and modern retirement in Australia work, making what can be a complex topic seem easy to navigate.
Booktopia is currently offering a special 30% discount as one of their Fathers’ Day Top Picks!
Retiring in 10-15 years time? Here’s how to prepare now
I write a weekly column for Sunday’s Money Section in Nine Newspapers. This article appeared in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Brisbane Times and WA Today on Sunday 6th August 2023 in both print and digital. Read the full article here.
I’ve spent a lot of time on talkback radio this week talking about my new book, How to Have an Epic Retirement. The No.1 question people ask is: if you are preparing for retirement in 10-15 years’ time, when should you start thinking about it, and what would you do?
My answer? If you want to have the financial confidence to retire in 10-15 years’ time, you need to think about your goals and ambitions, about your budget, and get comfortable with how to shape a financial position to fit, ideally sooner rather than later.
One of the most powerful levers you have in growing your retirement savings before retirement is time and the power of compound investment. Superannuation, invested well, at an average return of 7-10 per cent a year, can double in value every seven to 10 years through passive compound interest alone.
Most people don’t realise this and take it seriously only with four to six years to go. While that’s still a reasonable amount of time to improve your financial situation, if you can motivate yourself 10-15 years earlier and take a few critical steps, you could put yourself in a far better position.
The list of things you can do 10-15 years out from retirement isn’t especially tricky, but it does require some dedicated effort on your part. So do it once, check in once a year and know that your strategy is off to a running start.
Build a vision
If you don’t start thinking about what your own part-time or full-time retirement might look like before you get there, you might find it hard to motivate yourself to do the financial work early enough.
Become a bit more alert to what you might like your retirement to look like. Start to talk about and picture the holiday destinations you might visit and some projects and activities you might pursue when you have a more passive income. Think about where you’d like to live and start incrementally piecing together a vision for this stage ahead of time.
Take advantage of superannuation concessional contributions
Take the time to learn about superannuation concessions and how to use them. I know – it’s not the most riveting subject. But learn the basics and you’ll find that you can contribute up to $27,500 a year to your superannuation at just 15 per cent tax (and your employer is already putting some of this in).
Article continues on Sydney Morning Herald website. Read the full article here.
Tip-offs about the industry of modern ageing
This newsletter is designed to bring together information on modern ageing trends. So I invite you to pitch me ideas and newsworthy topics we should cover with our occasional deep-dive into longevity, ageing industries and the ways we can live longer, better lives.
Truth Serum: The science behind each of the popular anti-ageing supplements
Marketing supplements and medicines to the middle-aged and older generations seems to be a well-played game, capitalising on our fears of ageing and physical decline. The vitamin and pharmaceutical companies have mastered the art of enticing us with promises of eternal youth and vitality, but is there any scientific truth behind these claims, or is it all just smoke and mirrors?
Today I feel compelled to take a deep dive into the scientific evidence behind some of the most well-marketed anti-ageing supplements. Many of them are targeting me directly on Facebook, and I sometimes feel myself wanting to write loud truthful remarks on their ads. I don’t. Instead, I’ll take my frustration out by telling you the truth about the science that sits behind each. Brace yourselves, as I separate fact from fiction and uncover the real story behind these wonder compounds.
We are now building pre-retirement education programs for companies large and small. If you are looking for a solution in this space, please reach out. Likewise, if you want to partner on content, or collaborate to create high quality, bespoke content to help people navigate the second half of life.
And that’s it for today. I hope you have a wonderful week or two ahead until our next Epically newsletter comes out. Don’t forget to sign up for our weekly Epic Retirement Newsletter for modern pre- and post retirees and hold your breath as we have big news coming soon.
Make it epic!
Bec Wilson Xx