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Scientists Restore Virility, Mental Might in Aged Mice in Study

Scientists have reversed signs of aging in mice by manipulating a gene crucial to the health of chromosomes that wither over time, suggesting new routes to treatments for age-related conditions.

Researchers started by breeding mice with tissue damage and signs of advanced age, including dysfunctional telomeres that sit on the ends of chromosomes and protect them from degeneration. The mice had shriveled testes, atrophied spleens, damaged intestines and shrunken brains. The scientists then activated the rodents’ dormant telomerase gene, which makes the enzyme needed for healthy telomeres, and monitored the animals, according to the study published today in the journal Nature.