Genetics & DNA: Scientists Are Moving Closer to New Anti-Aging Techniques

Anti-Aging Techniques

Aging is simply defined as the set of processes that take place in the body when the tissues start to deteriorate. This process however is totally natural and our body is thought to be capable of reversing the effects of aging. It is when the process becomes slower that people start to worry about how to slow down the process of aging. Because of this concern, many scientists have spent years trying to come up with ways of slowing down this inevitable process. Science is advancing techniques in the anti-aging arena and are currently being tested in numerous labs all over the world.

Recently, scientists found that DNA damage is responsible for most, if not all, facets of aging. This finding hints at the possibility of a unifying cause behind the way time wears our cells down. This new study was recently published in the journal Nature.

DNA damage is mostly responsibly for phenotypes 

You, me, or any living organism is the consequence of both genetic makeup and prevailing environmental influences. Genotypes are unique genetic patterns inherited from your biological parents, where as phenotypes can change. Phenotypes can be influenced by factors such as: environmental, lifestyle, stress, trauma, diet, socializations, and numerous other factors. For example, our inherited genes determine the amount and kind of melanin within our skin cells, this creates skin color. But ultraviolent (UV) light exposure can react with existing melanin which can lead to the production of more melanin, and this darker and darker shades of skin.

Aging is linked to a variety of factors at the molecular, cellular, and physiological level, which involves genetic and epigenome (a record of the chemical changes to the DNA and histone proteins of an organism) alterations. But until now, the relative roles of each aforementioned factor over one another had not been clearly ordered into a hierarchy of causal significance.  The evidence collected in the new study suggests that DNA damage is most responsible for aging phenotypes.

However, it is one thing to understand how aging works, and it is certainly another thing to engineer new methods focused on slowing or even reserving the aging processes. In May of 2020, a reverse aging procedure involving giving young rat plasma to aged rats successfully reversed epigenetic changes in the animals — which resulted in improved organ functions and cleared senescent cells. That study — initially posted on a preprint biology server — effectively reverse-aged the rats by 54%.

Efforts to Slow or Reverse Age ( Anti-Aging Techniques ): Focus on repairing DNA damage

In early 2020, MIT neuroscientists found an enzyme, known as HDAC1, that might be a vital ingredient in repairing age-related DNA damage to cognitive and memory linked genes. HDAC1 levels are lower in people suffering from cognitive degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and the elderly in general. The MIT researchers and neuroscientists suggested we may able to reverse the effects of aging or cognitive decline in their study, which was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Within the MIT study, the scientists and researchers observed how DNA damage in mice was correlated with lowered levels of HDAC1 enzyme, but then cognitive ability improved after injection with a drug that reactivates the enzyme.

“It seems that HDAC1 is really an anti-aging molecule,” said the Director of MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory Li-Huaei Tsai, who was also senior author of the study, in a Science Daily report. “I think this is a very broadly applicable basic biology finding, because nearly all of the human neurodegenerative diseases only happen during aging.” “I would speculate that activating HDAC1 is beneficial in many conditions,” added LiHuaei Tsai.

With more research into the newer study — which suggests that DNA damage is responsible for most (if not all) aging symptoms in humans, efforts can be made to focus the development of the HDAC1 enzyme-activating drug and the finding that reversed aging in mice by 54%. This work could lead to new and more effective ways to restore DNA and give ordinary people a chance to overcome the effects of aging.

Interested in what your genetics can tell you? 

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