Researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia have made a discovery that could lead to a revolutionary drug that actually reverses aging, improves DNA repair, and could even help NASA get its astronauts to Mars. In a paper published in Science on March 23, 2017, the team identifies a critical step in the molecular process that allows cells to repair damaged DNA. The article is titled “A Conserved NAD+ Binding Pocket That Regulates Protein-Protein Interactions During Aging.” The scientists’ experiments in mice suggest a treatment is possible for DNA damage from aging and radiation. It is so promising it has attracted the attention of NASA, which believes the treatment can help its Mars mission. While our cells have an innate capability to repair DNA damage - which happens every time we go out into the sun, for example - their ability to do this declines as we age. The scientists determined that the metabolite NAD+, which is naturally present in every cell of our body, has a key role as a regulator in protein-to-protein interactions that control DNA repair. Treating mice with a NAD+ precursor, or "booster," called NMN improved their cells' ability to repair DNA damage caused by radiation exposure or old age. "The cells of the old mice were indistinguishable from the young mice, after just one week of treatment," said lead author Professor David Sinclair of UNSW School of Medical Sciences and Harvard Medical School. Human trials of NMN therapy will begin within six months. "This is the closest we are to a safe and effective anti-aging drug that's perhaps only three to five years away from being on the market if the trials go well," says Dr. Sinclair, who maintains a lab at UNSW in Sydney.
Login Or Register To Read Full Story