Cell cycle speed is key to making aging cells young again

A fundamental axiom of biology used to be that cell fate is a one-way street — once a cell commits to becoming muscle, skin, or blood it always remains muscle, skin, or blood cell. That belief was upended in the past decade when a Japanese scientist introduced four simple factors into skin cells and returned them to an embryonic-like state, capable of becoming of almost any cell type in the body.
Once committed to becoming a specific tissue, cells generally cannot go back to more a youthful embryonic state and become other types of cells. However, the video shows what happens after Yale scientists added four genetic factors into blood cells. The cells eventually forms a colony of pluripotent cells, which are capable of becoming many different types of cells. This reprogramming process holds the promise of creating cell-based therapy for a host of serious diseases. A new Yale study identifies a mechanism that makes it easier for individual cells to become young again.
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Bill Hathaway: william.hathaway@yale.edu, 203-432-1322