A New Discovery That Could Reverse The Ageing Process

A research paper was published on the discovery that the COX7A1 gene is a switch that controls embryonic healing processes. These genes that control embryonic development are still present in adults. This is the basic idea: While we’re in the embryonic stage, our bodies deal with injuries by going back to the original genetic blueprint. Until humans transform from the embryonic state to the fetal or adult state—at about the eighth week following conception—we draw on our genetic blueprint to fix problems.

Once we’ve reached the adult or fetal stage, that changes. Cells then replicate by copying their existing genetic state. If there is an injury, surrounding cells adapt via processes like scarring, but defects can be passed on. As we age, those defects multiply.

Though embryonic healing powers are mostly dormant in adults, they still exist in our genomes. It they could be reactivated in adults, damaged organs and tissues could regenerate based on their original genetic blueprint. West refers to the process as induced tissue regeneration (iTR).

What does this means for the future of medicine? Well, there now exists the possibility that damaged and ageing tissue could be regenerated. In other words, rather than discovering a literal elixir of youth, scientists are potentially nearing a genetic breakthrough that may reverse the ageing process.