Researchers in Australia have made a discovery that could lead to a game-changing drug in the anti-ageing sector.
Experiments on mice have shown the treatment for damaged DNA and radiation is feasible, with the radiation aspect interesting Nasa as it could help humans settle on Mars.
Cells do have the ability to repair damaged DNA, but as we get older, but this declines as we get older, making the reparations more difficult, essentially leading to ageing.
Experts at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) found a metabolite known as NAD+, which is found in every cell, is something of a regulator in protein-to-protein interactions that control DNA repair.
Scientists have made a major anti-ageing breakthrough
By giving the mice a NAD+ booster, the experts noticed that the cells ability to repair DNA was much higher.
Lead author of the study published in the journal Science, Professor David Sinclair said: "The cells of the old mice were indistinguishable from the young mice, after just one week of treatment.
DNA is damaged over time
"This is the closest we are to a safe and effective anti-ageing drug that's perhaps only three to five years away from being on the market if the trials go well.”
The breakthrough has excited Nasa which is preparing to send people to Mars.
Mice were given NAD boosters
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The plan for the Red Planet is not without its risks, as astronauts experience accelerated ageing due to being exposed to higher levels of radiation, and scientists believe the chance of developing cancer on the mission to Mars is close to 100 per cent.
A competition ran by Nasa last year called iTech which was looking at the “most promising ideas to fill critical technology challenges of future space exploration,” according to the space agency.
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Dr Sinclair said: "We came in with a solution for a biological problem and it won the competition out of 300 entries.”
The anti-ageing drug could be on the market in just three years.