While it’s more or less universally accepted that we will all die someday, there has always been hope, even amongst the science community, that the process of aging can somehow be stopped. (Although this guy has decided to apparently “speed up” his aging process—and it seems to be working for him.) One theory is that this could be done by figuring out how to slow down, or even eliminate, the “sluggish” cells attributed to aging.Joanna Masel, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, and Paul Nelson, postdoctoral researcher, recently conducted a study looking into the possibility of eliminating these poor-functioning cells. Let’s just say their findings don’t look too good for the man hoping to stay wrinkle-free well into his 100s.
“Aging is mathematically inevitable—like, seriously inevitable. There’s logically, theoretically, mathematically no way out,” Masel said, according to phys.org.
The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that while it would be possible to eliminate the cells that cause aging symptoms like loss of hair pigmentation and wrinkles, another problem cell would rise up to take their place: cancer cells.
“If you get rid of those poorly functioning, sluggish cells, then that allows cancer cells to proliferate, and if you get rid of, or slow down, those cancer cells, then that allows sluggish cells to accumulate,” Nelson said. “So you’re stuck between allowing these sluggish cells to accumulate or allowing cancer cells to proliferate, and if you do one you can’t do the other. You can’t do them both at the same time.”
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