South Korean researchers have synthesized a molecule that seems to not only stop, but also reverse, the built-in aging functions of cells.
A team of South Korean scientists on Sunday claimed to have created a ``cellular fountain of youth,’’ or a small molecule, which enables human cells to avoid aging and dying.
The team, headed by Prof. Kim Tae-kook at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, argued the newly-synthesized molecule, named CGK733, can even make cells younger.
The findings were featured by the Britain-based Nature Chemical Biology online early today and will be printed as a cover story in the journal’s offline edition early next month.
``All cells face an inevitable death as they age. On this path, cells became lethargic and in the end stop dividing but we witnessed that CGK733 can block the process,’’ Kim said.
``We also found the synthetic compound can reverse aging, by revitalizing already-lethargic cells. Theoretically, this can give youth to the elderly via rejuvenating cells,’’ the 41-year-old said.
Kim expected that the CGK733-empowered drugs that keep cells youthful far beyond their normal life span would be commercialized in less than 10 years.