Aging Is Reversible—at Least in Human Cells and Live Mice

New research suggests it is possible to slow or even reverse aging, at least in mice, by undoing changes in gene activity—the same kinds of changes that are caused by decades of life in humans. By tweaking genes that turn adult cells back into embryoniclike ones, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies reversed the aging of mouse and human cells in vitro, extended the life of a mouse with an accelerated-aging condition and successfully promoted recovery from an injury in a middle-aged mouse, according to a study published Thursday in Cell. Click here to see the story on The study adds weight to the scientific argument that aging is largely a process of

The Anti-Aging Pill

An anti-aging startup hopes to elude the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and death at the same time. The company, Elysium Health, says it will be turning chemicals that lengthen the lives of mice and worms in the laboratory into over-the-counter vitamin pills that people can take to combat aging. The startup is being founded by Leonard Guarente, an MIT biologist who is 62 (“unfortunately,” he says) and who’s convinced that the process of aging can be slowed by tweaking the body’s metabolism (see "Is There a Fountain of Youth in Our DNA?"). To see the original article on, click here. Everyone is getting older. Few are happy about it. The problem, Guarente says, is that

Rejuvenating the Chance of Motherhood?

Last April, Omar and Natasha Rajani rented a hall, invited 130 guests, and hired a magician to entertain the little ones. In Natasha’s family, first birthday parties are major celebrations. And the Rajanis, who live in Toronto, felt particularly enthusiastic because for a long time they weren’t sure they’d ever be able to throw one. Natasha, 35, struggled for four years to get pregnant. She and Omar, 40, tried naturally at first; then they used hormones, which led to an ectopic pregnancy, in which the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus—usually in the narrow fallopian tube—and must be removed. Then more hormones. Then in vitro fertilization (IVF). Nothing worked. Infertility affects m

“Three-Parent Baby” Procedure Faces New Hurdle

A promising technique to prevent mothers from passing on devastating mitochondrial diseases was thrown a biological curve ball this week: A paper published Wednesday in Nature shows that such diseases can come back to sicken a child, even when 99 percent of the mother’s own mitochondria are eliminated. Click here to see the story on Mitochondria are the tiny power plants that provide the energy every cell needs to function. When a large percentage of these organelles malfunction, cells cannot do their jobs—and everything from weakness to death can result. Mothers with certain conditions may have such low levels of faulty mitochondria that they have no symptoms, but the

About me

Cover COVID-19 

and patient safety

for USA Today.

Former long-time health/science

journalist, contributing to The

New York Times, The Washington Post, 

Scientific, and others. Journalism educator and book author.


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