Advances in the study of stem cells have fueled hopes that someday, via regenerative medicine, doctors could restore aging people’s hearts, livers, brains and other organs and tissues to a more youthful state. A key to reaching this goal — to be able to provide stem cells that will differentiate into other types of cells a patient needs — appears to lie in understanding “epigenetics,” which involves chemical marks stapled onto DNA and its surrounding protein husk by specialized enzyme complexes inside a cell’s nucleus. These markings produce long-lasting changes in genes’ activity levels within the cell — locking genes into an “on” or “off” position. Epigenetic processes enable cells to remain true to type (a neuron, for instance, never suddenly morphs into a fat cell) even though all our cells, regardless of type, share the same genetic code. But epigenetic processes also appear to play a critical role in reducing cells’ vitality as they age.
http://randolab.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Rando-Lab-Logo-01-450x204.png 0 0 John Lytle http://randolab.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Rando-Lab-Logo-01-450x204.png John Lytle2012-01-20 18:57:322017-07-26 04:26:275 Questions: Rando on resetting the ‘aging clock,' cell by cell