What? Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have discovered that removing cells with damaged DNA extends life in rats by 25%. Cells with damaged DNA can fix themselves, self-destruct or simply retire and stay in the body. It is the retired cells that cause inflammation and destroy connective tissue, causing serious problems in organs. This finding could be a significant development in research on aging.
So what? Advancements in understanding the aging process and mechanisms of age-related disease may create a population with a higher proportion of “healthy” seniors than ever before. This development would have far-reaching implications for health systems, the economy, policy, politics and everyday family relationships. For example, would the lifecycle be significantly modified? Would 5-6 generations co-existing within a family have an impact on the path for the transference of wealth? Depending on the equity of access to “aging treatments”, there may be a polarized aging experience for those seniors with healthy, young cells and those without, creating a two-tiered aging system.
Source: The Atlantic - Clearing the Body’s Retired Cells Slows Aging and Extends Life