Aging just doesn’t effect visible parts of the body – our cells also take a beating from Father Time. This fact is especially true of stem cells found within muscles. But suppose that it was possible to take years of wear and tear off of these biological building blocks?
A 2014 study successfully revitalized a heart in an old mouse. Issued by the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, this report achieved this goal using a rather unique tactic ‒ the cardiovascular systems of two mice were effectively fused together. The two mice used for this experiment differed wildly in age, with one being significantly younger than the other.
What happened next was quite remarkable – the blood from the younger mouse effectively rejuvenated the heart of its older counterpart, improving the condition of the heart’s muscles. The journal Cell featured this group’s work in a 2013 issue.
Turning Back the Clock
This isn’t the first study to document the anti-aging effects of stem cells; a 2014 study from Stanford University covered similar ground. That report’s lead researcher, Helen Blau, stated that “if we could isolate the stem cells from an elderly person, expose them in culture to the proper conditions to rejuvenate them and transfer them back into a site of muscle injury, we may be able to use the person’s own cells to aid recovery from trauma or to prevent localized muscle atrophy and weakness due to broken bones. “