New Method to Detect Aging Cells

Researchers led by The University of Manchester’s Professor Paul Townsend in the UK have discovered a new way to look for aging cells across a wide range of biological materials. This method will boost the understanding of cellular development and aging as well as the causes of diverse diseases.

Frustrated by the limitations of commercially available biomarkers, Professor Townsend along with Honorary Professor at Manchester Vassilis Gorgoulis developed a universally applicable method to assess senescence across biomedicine, from cancer research to gerontology.

A release from the university explains that cellular senescence is a fundamental biological process involved in every day embryonic and adult life, both good – for normal human development – and, more importantly to researchers, dangerous by triggering disease conditions. Up to now available senescence detecting biomarkers have very limited and burdensome application. Therefore, a more effective, precise and easy-to-use biomarker would have considerable benefits for research and clinical practice.

The release quotes Professor Townsend as saying, “The method we have developed provides unprecedented advantages over any other available senescence detection products – it is straight-forward, sensitive, specific and widely applicable, even by non-experienced users.” said Professor Townsend.

“In addition to helping researchers make significant new breakthroughs into the causes of diseases – including cancer – through more effective understanding of senescence in cells, the new process will also aid the impact of emerging cellular rejuvenation therapies.

“By the better identification – and subsequently elimination of – senescent cells, tissues can be rejuvenated and the health span extended.”

The research on the new methodology was published in October 2016 in the journal Aging Cell and has led to two pending UK patents.

Image courtesy of the University of Manchester.

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