A group of scientists from Stanford University managed to rejuvenate human cells for the first time in history. The corresponding article is published in the journal Nature.
To do this, they used a mechanism that is used in the creation of stem cells: using special RNA, they forced the cell to produce Yamanaka factors — special proteins that play an important role in the formation of embryonic cells.
If you continue this procedure with a normal cell for two weeks, you will get an induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC). Scientists tried to shorten this period to remove the negative factors caused by aging from the cell, and used this method for several days.
In the course of the experiment, it turned out that the cells were actually younger — they were indistinguishable from their younger counterparts in many ways.
First, the pattern of gene expression has changed — the most harmful parts of DNA are restrained by controlling systems in youth, but these systems weaken with age. The use of Yamanaka factors allowed us to reverse actually this process.