On/off switch for aging cells discovered by scientists

20 septiembre 2014

An on-and-off “switch” has been discovered in cells that may hold the key to healthy aging. This switch points to a way to encourage healthy cells to keep dividing and generating, for example, new lung or liver tissue, even in old age. In our bodies, newly divided cells constantly. However, most human cells cannot divide indefinitely -– with each division, a cellular timekeeper at the ends of chromosomes shortens. When this timekeeper becomes too short, cells can no longer divide, causing organs and tissues to degenerate, as often happens in old age. But there is a way around this countdown, researchers have found.