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Embryos reset biological age back to zero in early stage of development

Rejuvenation process in germline cells may help find new therapies for age-related disorders


Key points from article :

As people age, so do all of our cells, which accumulate damage over time.

But why our offspring don’t inherit those changes has been a mystery.

New study described that mouse and human germline cells reset their biological age in the early stages of an embryo’s development.

A rejuvenation period, after an embryo attached to the uterus, sets the growing embryo at its youngest age (ground zero).

“This period can be leveraged and hijacked somehow to promote similar processes of rejuvenation in normal cells,” - Vittorio Sebastiano, a developmental biologist at Stanford University.

Vadim Gladyshev, study co-author, used molecular clocks to predict the biological ages of mouse embryos.

Found that the age of the mouse embryos stayed constant during the first stages of cell division.

By around 6.5 to 7.5 days into development, the average biological age of embryos had dipped - a sign of rejuvenation event.

Research by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School published in Science Advances.

Mentioned in this article:

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Brigham and Women's Hospital

Teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Harvard Medical School

Graduate medical school of Harvard University

Science Advances

Journal that publishes original research and reviews in all disciplines of science

Vadim Gladyshev

Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Vittorio Sebastiano

Assistant Professor of Obstetric and Gynaecology at the Stanford University School of Medicine

Topics mentioned on this page:
Epigenetics, Ageing Research