In 2015, one of the most unusual and revolutionary experiments on human rejuvenation began. Volunteer and researcher Elizabeth Parrish agreed to change her own genome to stop the aging process of the body. The results of the experiments surprised scientists and the public a lot.
Elizabeth Parrish, a 50-year-old American researcher, the first woman on Earth to have her genes artificially altered. The experiment began in 2015, and a year later the first results were available to us … It sounds like the plot of a fantastic thriller, no less than Prometheus or Interstellar, but this is reality.
Elizabeth Parrish, July [email protected]
Research on aging processes is one of the most popular and promising today. And not only because we all dream of being forever young, but also because scientific progress finally allows us to look a little deeper into the topic than before.
A new brick in progress was laid by BioViva scientists, who in 2015 began their incredible experiment to change the human genome. A volunteer and part-time one of the leaders of the scientific and medical company that started this experiment, Elizabeth Parrish, was injected with genetic material that penetrated into the nucleus of each cell of her body, was supposed to trigger changes that stop aging and rejuvenate the body. The results of such an intervention could be the most incredible.
Firstly, no one has previously conducted such experiments on humans. Secondly, the developed drug itself is so innovative that it has not yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. So the injection itself was administered by Parrish in Colombia. Before that, she also had to record a video appeal in which she confirms that she understands all possible consequences, accepts the fact that anything can happen, and also removes from others all responsibility for what can happen to her and her body. The scientist also noted that even if the consequences turn out to be fatal, she still will not regret taking such a risk, because any results of this experiment are incredibly valuable for millions of lives.
In 2016, the first stage of the experiment was completed, which gave the first positive results, namely, the “rejuvenation” of Liz’s body for 20 years was recorded. No, the girl did not look like a university graduate, the main changes occurred, of course, inside her body, which is much more important than elastic skin and shiny hair. According to new data, white blood cells in Parrish’s blood have become younger, and telomeres have “lengthened” by 20 years. And this can be considered an incredible scientific breakthrough.
It is known that the aging process is formed at the DNA level. It begins with the reduction of telomeres, the end sections of chromosomes. The length of these DNA sections is directly related to the biological age of a person — the older we are, the shorter they are.
Cell division begins with the doubling of its chromosomes thanks to an enzyme called DNA polymerase. Moving along the DNA chain, it synthesizes another similar chain. The problem is that DNA polymerase does not begin its work from the very end of the chromosome, but slightly retreating from the beginning of the DNA chain. Accordingly, with each cell division, part of the DNA simply falls out of the process.
Telomeres are the very ends that are lost in the process of division. They do not contain valuable genetic information, so up to a certain point our body does not feel these “losses”. However, sooner or later there comes a time when the shortening of the chromosome ceases to occur due to these very telomeres, and then DNA polymerase, once again starting its work, notices that shortening begins “not from the empty end”, but from a segment with “data”. Then the enzyme can begin to connect different chromosomes to each other in order to “restore” the broken connection. When a certain number of such “compounds” accumulate, the mechanism of apoptosis is triggered in the cell, that is, the process of cell death. In a simple way, aging.
So: new data from the BioViva study suggests that the drug injected into Parrish’s vein allows you to “lengthen” telomeres for 20 years, that is, delay the process of apoptosis for almost a quarter of a century. And these are extremely rosy results that can really turn our whole idea of old age around and bring us closer to the dream of eternal youth.
It is also interesting to note that despite the revolutionary nature of the study in which Parrish participates, this is not the first experience of lengthening human telomeres. In 2014, scientists from Stanford University developed a technology that also allows you to lengthen the ends of DNA. The drug they developed gradually increases the activity of telomerase (an enzyme that adds new sites to the end of DNA) for a period of one to two days, during which telomeres are rapidly lengthened. This technology was used exclusively on cultured cells, which are used to test new drugs and simulate various diseases. Of course, there was no talk of experiments on humans at that time.
The data of researchers from Stanford University, as well as those obtained by BioViva scientists, are incredibly valuable, as they prove that a person is slowly getting closer to solving the mystery of the nature of aging. It seems that very soon we will learn, if not to program our genes, then at least to understand those processes that have seemed a mystery for many centuries.