Stem cells increase longevity in mice, according to a study in which older mice injected with the muscle stem cells of younger mice were found to live three times longer than expected. In human terms, it would be the equivalent of an 80-year-old receiving a stem cell injection and living to be 200. Stem cells are unspecialized cells, so they are able to recreate themselves as any other type of cells when they are injected into an organism. Researchers theorize that the young stem cells secrete some type of substance that repairs the defects in the older cells.
More about stem cells:
- Stem cells are responsible for regenerating various cells comprising parts of the body, including new gut linings every two to three days and 2 million red blood cells every couple of seconds.
- In 1981, the first embryonic stem cells were derived from mouse embryos by scientists, an achievement that laid the foundation for the discovery of a method to derive stem cells from human embryos, which occurred in 1998.
- Scientists are able to use stem cells to reproduce entire sheets of epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, but without hair or sweat glands. This skin can be used on burn victims, for example.