Are you stressed out because of your job, school or personal life? Are you feeling older by the minute because of it? Wish you could tap into the fountain of youth?
If you answered "yes" to each of these questions, you may be in luck – or at least you could be in the near future, according to Science News. Scientists from the University of Buffalo, who recently published their findings in the journal Stem Cells, discovered a stem cell gene called Nanog that can reboot aging and poorly performing stem cells.
"Not only does Nanog have the capacity to delay aging, it has the potential in some cases to reverse it," Andreadis said.
"Adult stem cells actually slow down a person's aging process."
The reason this is important is because adult stem cells actually slow down a person's aging process. However, as we get older and wear down so do these cells. The end results, as you might have guessed, are wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Panagiotis Mistriotis, the study's first author and graduate student in Andreadis' lab, placed Nanog into aged stem cells. Mistriotis found that Nanog caused dormant proteins, called actin, to reconstruct cytoskeletons, a necessary process to reconstruct the adult stem cells that cause aging.
"Our research into Nanog is helping us to better understand the process of aging and ultimately how to reverse it," said Stelios Andreadis, Ph.D., the study's lead author and professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
There are millions of people currently 65 years or older (roughly 50 million), according to the Administration for Community Living, and that number is only going to grow as the baby boomer populations increases in age. What will be interesting to observe in the coming years is how genes like Nanog play a role not only in how we look and feel but also in the financial benefits awarded to those 65 years and older, such as Social Security. While those questions are still a long ways off, it's important to at least consider them well before they become a potential issue.
The researchers found that Nanog may also be able to perform additional responsibilities such as reversing the aging process in skelteal, cardiac and other muscles. And this type of stem cell therapy could even play a role in managing Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome and other disorders regarding age.
While more testing needs to be completed, the results produced by these researchers shows promise.