Scientists reverse ageing in rats for first time ever – and humans could be next

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A team of scientists have successfully reversed the ageing of mice by resetting their cells to earlier versions of themselves.

The groundbreaking research led by Harvard biologist Dr David Sinclair is tipped to have a significant impact on the race to reverse ageing in human beings.

The team achieved the incredible results by using proteins that can turn an adult cell into a stem cell, effectively winding back the clock and resetting ageing cells to their younger selves.

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Dr Sinclair called described the cellular rejuvenation as a "permanent reset" and believes the same scientific principle could be applied to human cells.

"As far as we can tell, and we think it may be a universal process that could be applied across the body to reset our age," he told CNN.

Dr Sinclair and his team previously managed to repair damaged retinas in mice by transplanting blood plasma from younger ones.

Now, they claim to have succeeded in reversing the age of the mammal by a staggering 54%.

Dr Sinclair is convinced that reversing ageing is also the key to curing a number of deadly diseases and is confident that these new scientific techniques could enable humans living longer and healthier lives.

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"We have the technology today to be able to go into your hundreds without worrying about getting cancer in your 70s, heart disease in your 80s and Alzheimer’s in your 90s," he said.

There are a handful of researchers who have had success in reversing ageing in mice and rats. One of those leading the work is Japanese biomedical scientist Dr Shinya Yamanaka, who has successfully reprogrammed human adult skin cells to stem cells by effectively resetting them to their epigenetic marks to their original patterns.

Epigenetic changes are responsible for ageing and make us more vulnerable to disease as we get older.

The breakthrough earned Dr Yamanaka a Nobel Prize and the stem cells are now known as "Yamanaka factors".

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