You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Trio of studies show young blood can revitalize old mice


So, there's good news and bad news coming out of the scientific community this week. The good news is biologists might have finally found the secret to fighting off aging, at least in mice. The bad news? That secret is literally the blood of the young. Spooky, right?

Three studies will be published this week in the journals Science and Nature, each exploring the regenerative properties of young blood. Two teams at Harvard, and one at Stanford, found that a shot of younger blood can produce dramatic improvements in older mice.

>> Read more trending stories  

The studies are based on decades-old research which infused old mice with the blood of younger mice by literally stitching the animals together. The process is called parabiosis. Please don't look up any videos of that.

Anyway,  parabiosis turned out to be beneficial for the older mice, and a Stanford team under Dr. Tony Wyss-Corey decided to investigate why. The team used direct injections of plasma to infuse old mice with young blood. 

The transfused mice were then run through a series of standard lab tests designed to measure brain functions. The researchers found old mice with younger blood did better than their peers on learning and memory tests. (Via YouTube / Robert RennerNeuroslicer)

Interestingly, the improvements seen in the transfused mice vanished if the plasma was heated first — suggesting proteins in the plasma might be responsible for the change. Wyss-Corey said he hopes to pin down what makes young blood so beneficial to old mice in future studies.

And before you get any funny ideas, he told NBC "You can’t drink the blood. ... If you wanted to try that in humans you’d have to get a transfusion. And you can’t just do that at home.”

Over at Harvard, two separate teams lead by Dr. Amy Wagers and Dr. Lee Rubin conducted similar blood-swapping experiments. The teams injected old mice with the protein GDF11, which is more prominent in young mouse blood and has been shown to reverse the signs of aging in the heart.

Turns out, GDF11 can also help out brain, skeleton, and muscle tissue as well. Wagers' team noted improved muscle function and repair, while Rubin's team found transfused mice had more activity and better blood flow in the brain. (Via The Guardian)

GDF11 is found in humans as well as mice. Wagers and Rubin say they expect to have human clinical trials of the protein's effects in three to five years.

One independent genetics scientist told National Geographic that taken together, the trio of studies is nothing short of game-changing. "The changes are astounding in terms of rejuvenating the mice. ... I'm kind of blown away, really, by the results."

And the head of an aging research non-profit group told USA Today the findings couldn't have come soon enough. "We need to get about funding this research for human use in time to meet the tsunami of age-related diseases that are headed our way."

The Stanford study was published in the journal Nature Sunday, and both Harvard studies will be published in the journal Science on Friday.

See more at newsy.com



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Health

Tuna, star of the Amazing Acro-Cats, dies of cancer
Tuna, star of the Amazing Acro-Cats, dies of cancer

The cowbell won't sound quite the same now that Tuna, the star of the Amazing Acro-Cats cat circus, has died.Happy Cats Haven posted the news Friday on its Facebook page: "To all our fans of Tuna and The Rock Cats and the Amazing Acro-Cats, it's with many tears that we let you know that Samantha Martin's star kitty Tuna crossed the Rainbow Bridge...
7 small changes that will have a big impact
7 small changes that will have a big impact

It’s only a few weeks into 2017, but you’ve already come to an uncomfortable and familiar realization. New Year’s resolutions result in more guilt and depression than achievement. Forget about the big aspirations for a transformational do-over. They don’t work. How about making some small changes today that eventually can have...
Let’s have a cheer for the Amherst Hamsters
Let’s have a cheer for the Amherst Hamsters

Amherst, a tiny college of 1,795 really smart scholars in Massachusetts, made news last year when the board of trustees voted to drop Lord Jeffs as its athletic teams’ unofficial mascot. Lord Jeffery Amherst, historians discovered, was not necessarily a nice person. The 18th century British general reportedly once suggested giving smallpox-infested...
Stark numbers show heroin’s local grip
Stark numbers show heroin’s local grip

An average of seven Montgomery County residents a day were treated for drug overdoses by emergency departments in 2016, and one person alone made eight trips to the ER. Eleven people were treated twice in the same day for overdoses. The stark figures — amassed largely due to a devastating heroin epidemic — are found in a new Public Health...
After a cesarean, some women can have a vaginal birth

Premier HealthNet is one of the largest groups of pediatrics, family medicine, internal medicine, and urgent care practices in southwest Ohio. For more information, go online to www.premierhealthnet.com/news. Birthing a baby can be a long, painful process, but for many women the experience fulfills a deep emotional longing as a new mom. A vaginal birth...
More Stories