How Scientists Are Working Towards Making The Ageing, Youthful

As life expectancy goes higher and higher so do the risks of developing age related diseases. Since we humans cannot regenerate ourselves, enter the scientists. What are the latest success stories that science has to offer and are these attempts original or do some of them mimic age old and even primitive beliefs? Read to find out.

First of all, how do scientists define aging? They succently put it as an accumulation of damage to macromolecules, cells, tissues and organs. Some of their research is directed towards the repair of individual organs while there’s more research towards the repair and rejuvenation of the entire body.

Obvious conclusions and also published data, for many years have shown that the greatest risk for many of the major diseases is degeneration of organs due to aging, including the skin which is the largest organ in a human body.

The scientists at the Salk institute of Biological Studies reversed aging in a mouse and human cells. Not only that, they extended the life of the mouse and published the study.

A significant amount of research is therefore focused on regeneration of the cells. The only creature that I know of that can regenerate it’s body parts, including its limbs and eyes is the Salamander.

The search for the fountain of youth goes back to time

At Stanford university, exchange of blood from the young to the old has has been going forward from just the concept stage, with some success, after the researchers observed increase in the brain activity of of older mice when they were infused with young blood. Based on this study they took it steps further to infuse young blood into those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This is not something new and unique. Similar research was carried on even in the 16th century, the results of which are not known. I can only speculate this mystery behind the results not being known, might have been on account of religion.

Before we dwell more on scientists and researchers, a quick look into the vampires who are from European folklore and are said to have survived, feeding on human blood. So was there some truth in these stories? In many countries they drink the blood of animals and reptiles that are ‘sacrificed’ for reasons of good health. Black pudding in some countries, known as blood sausage in others, is considered as an important super food

Cosmetic surgery planning

Cosmetic surgery is an old practice going back a couple of generations. It does have its merits from some people’s view point, unless it goes wrong. Cosmetic surgery per se does not reverse aging but surely creates a likeness of youth on the surface and as a consequence it has been found that it has a positive effect on some due to the happiness created by enhancement in the mood of a person. On account of its obvious appeal it has grown into a multibillion dollar industry. A costly affair, and one must be able to afford and go whole hog with getting a younger face along with younger other things or the effect in privacy, I imagine, would be disastarous.

There have also been some ludicrous attempts and endeavors. Similar to reversing aging the search for aphrodisiacs has been ongoing for ages. Serge Abrahamovitch Voronoff was a French surgeon who became famous in the 1920’s and1930’s. He came up with the unique concept of grafting tissue from the testicles of young monkeys into the testicles of men. Not only that, this method became a practice that gained medical approval for some years. By the 1930’s over 500 men in France alone and many times more in the rest of the world, most of them rich, had got themselves the tissues of monkey‘s testicles into their own in the hope and expectation of, rejuvenation. But alas, all of this came to an end when it was found the method did not work. Poor monkeys and also I suppose sympathies for Dr. Voronoff who, though he made a serious amount of money, went on to be ridiculed. One would expect it had a psychological effect on many men for a while since the practice went on for a significant number of years.

Women have been a major target for anti ageing throughout modern history. Until recently many of the producers sold hormones to women. These hormones extracted from vegetables such as yam and soya beans were claimed to not only have anti ageing effects but would also help menopausal women from ill effects. One of the major pharmaceutical companies also went on to sell hormones extracted from the urine of the mare.

Concept of blood replacement therapy

In any case, two of the most serious areas being researched for anti ageing are blood replacement therapy or replacing some constituents of blood and the other, as scientists would call it, is tweaking the genes in our bodies. Many billions of dollars are being spent on discovering the ultimate fountain of youth and some of the researchers may achieve results towards turning back time.

Scientific and medical research will go on and on meanwhile there are always going to be those who depend upon and will continue to depend upon, good old exercise, diet, positive thinking and positive approach and keep themselves young, naturally.

Photos: Shutterstock

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