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Senescent Cells

December 12, 2014

Researchers make new inroads into preventing age-related diseases.



Reducing age-related disease. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Many age-related ailments are at least partly caused by senescent, or non-dividing cells that accumulate in our body and cause inflammation, according to Buck Institute cell biologist Judith Campesi.

JUDITH CAMPESI (Buck Institute):

Chronic inflammation is probably the most common feature of virtually every major age related disease, from neurodegeneration to cancer.


Simply killing the cells could greatly reduce these illnesses, but Campesi says they also do something critically important: they produce a substance that allows wounds to heal. Now, in the journal Developmental Biology, she and colleague Marco Demaria report identifying this compound, and demonstrating that it allows lab animals to heal even after their senescent cells have been destroyed. The goal is to do the same thing in people, stopping age-related illnesses, without compromising healing.  I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.