Aging Research Focuses on the Epigenome
Researchers at Harvard Medical inserted rejuvenating genes into the retinal ganglion cells of mice - in essence, trying to reprogram the eye cells to mimic what they were like when they were younger. The intent was to discover if the eye could repair itself as well as it would have been able to when the mouse was younger.
The researchers were working under the hypothesis that the epigenome - the proteins and compounds that attach to DNA - hold a sort of cellular memory of younger cell behavior that can potentially be "reawakened" with gene therapy. Their results were promising - the mice displayed regenerative abilities of younger animals when they were subjected to conditions meant to mimic glaucoma.
Further research is needed, but studies of this kind can help further our understanding of aging and potential pathways to treating age-related diseases. Read more over at Science.