Scientists may have just gone and done the unthinkable by identifying an anti-ageing drug.
Early research in mice found that the Alk5 kinase inhibitor (sciencey talk for protein which impacts growth control) simultaneously sprung back old muscle and brain tissue into a youthful state.
David Schaffer, of the University of California, Berkeley Stem Cell Centre in US, said: ‘We established that you can use a single small molecule to rescue essential function in not only aged brain tissue but aged muscle.
‘That is good news, because if every tissue had a different molecular mechanism for ageing, we wouldn’t be able to have a single intervention that rescues the function of multiple tissues.’
As we age our bodies gradually shut down because adult stem cells stop replacing damaged ones.
This new drug targets those failing stem cells and restores their ability to do their job.
Experts have praised the find, but voiced caution that the research is still in its very early stages and other stem cell pathways are continually explored.