Scientists at the Salk Institute For Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, have discovered a key element in the aging process.
Studying Werner Syndrome, a disease that prematurely ages its victims, researchers discovered defects in a protein that stabilizes heterochromatin, a bundle of closely organized DNA that controls factors in the aging process. The discovery hints that heterochromatin’s gradual disorganization may be a key to aging.
TRENDPOST: Heterochromatin acts like a control panel, regulating DNA replication and repair and genes’ expression. Focusing additional research on the “WRN protein” that controls it could be a quick route to developing treatments that delay aging.
In the macro view, however, this is another example of how science is controlling the narrative on how we age. As the institute has forecast, the next wave in addressing the needs of aging will see a holistic focus on the individual emerge as profit center. As the institute’s Artful Aging trends matures, body, mind and spirit approaches will emerge side-by-side with drugs, surgeries and coping products as the path to aging with grace and dignity.