Have We Finally Found the Elixir of Life?
Stem cells longevity since long, human beings have tried to look for a way to increase their average life span. This venture has not only been explored in the field of science but even in mysticisms, philosophy and history. The fountain of youth has been sought after by many, and it seems that researchers from the Institute of Regenerative Medicine in Pittsburgh might have found the key at last. It has already been discovered that degeneration of body due to age is primarily focused in the musculoskeletal system. Therefore researches have based their studies on this system for a solution to live a long life. Scientists at the Institute of Regenerative Medicine conducted experiments based on the musculoskeletal system. They experimented on mice that were genetically engineered to age at a very fast rate. They then injected these mice with muscle-derived stem / progenitor cells (MDSPCs). MDSPCs are cells that are multipotent in nature. They are taken from the postnatal skeletal muscle. They have a lot of characteristics which consequently promote longevity such as oxidation resistant, inflammation resistant, proliferation over a larger time period. The cells undergo cell renew constantly, not only this they are also the primary agents that lead to the regeneration of various muscles like the bones, skeletal and cardiac muscles. This research also points to the fact that the decrease or lack of such cells could be the main cause of osteoporosis and other age degenerative related issues. The results produced from this experiment were extraordinary. The normal age of these genetically modified mice was 21 days. Just four days before they were due to die they were injected with the MDSPC. The life span of the mice was observed very closely and it was seen that the mice went on to live for 71 days over their expected time of death. The mice lived for a total of three times their normal age. The implications of such a result for humans are overwhelming. This means that with such cells in their system, humans can go on to live for approximately 200 years. This research was then published in the year 2012 in the Nature Communication by Mitra Lavasani. One of the biggest needs of this hour though is that instead of trying to best other researchers in this field and looking for pits in other researches, scientists need to come together and find a solution to this paradox. Only with the collaborative efforts of all the researchers can global issues such as this one be resolved.