It sounds like bad clickbait, but a team of British biologists has found a way to reverse the symptoms of aging in skin cells by about 30 years, according to their research published this month in the online journal eLife.
De-aging is old news; over the last decade, researchers have reprogrammed human and rodent cell types to revert to youth.
However, this is the first time it’s been done in a way that the cells maintain their specific type and function.
Reversing the aging process won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine for Shinya Yamanaka, who co-formulated a cocktail of biochemicals that turn adult cells into pluripotent stem cells, meaning the stem cells can be chemically guided to become any specific type of adult cell a researcher chooses.
The process of steeping adult cells in these “Yamanaka factors” takes about 50 days to revert adult cells back to an embryonic state.
The British researchers wanted to see what would happen if the adult cells marinated for less time.
Using cells from a 53-year-old woman, the scientists found that after just 13 days in the sauce, the cells had the properties of 23-year-old cells, including the ability to heal wounds quickly and to produce youthful amounts of collagen, the substance that keeps skin elastic and supple.
TRENDPOST: De-aged cells have been used experimentally in a range of therapies, from restoring vision in old eyes to repairing failing hearts to correcting biochemical deficiencies that cause Parkinson’s Disease.
The new breakthrough will shortcut the usual process of de-aging cells to their infancy, then nudging them to become eye or heart or brain cells, a process that can go awry and lead to cancers or other unintended maladies. 
The new process means speedier therapies with less risk.
Whether the breakthrough ever becomes a clinical cosmetic treatment for humans can’t be foretold. However, many researchers now have a new, and probably lucrative, field of endeavor to pursue.

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