For many of us, the journey to successful anti-aging can be pricey and ultimately painful. With injectables, plastic surgery and expensive topical solutions all promising younger-looking skin, it can be hard not to get caught up in it all. But what if it was possible to toss all these procedures aside and fix the aging process on a cellular level—sans surgery?
Well, one group of scientists is trying to make this ideal a reality. In a new study published by the journal Cell, researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California were able to use four genes called Yamanaka factors to convert any skin cell into stem cells through cellular reprogramming. Once reprogrammed, the cells are able to divide indefinitely and transform into any cell present in the body, similarly to embryonic stem cells.
This process, which is called cellular rejuvenation, shows new skin cells replenishing themselves indefinitely and older ones being rejuvenated back into their pristine, younger state. So, when these cells were processed in the lab, they essentially aged in reverse to look and act younger (we’ll give you a minute to pick your jaw up off the floor).