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Young blood

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Science  12 Sep 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6202, pp. 1234-1237
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6202.1234

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Summary

Harvard University stem cell scientist Amy Wagers was "pathologically shy" as a child, but she has found her voice as one of the protagonists in the hunt for rejuvenating factors in blood that reverse some of the effects of aging. Using an unusual lab tool known as parabiosis, in which a young and old mouse share the same circulation, Wagers and others have begun to identify factors prevalent in the blood of young animals that can reanimate stem cells in the tissues and organs of older animals, including the heart, brain, and skeletal muscle. Buoyed by these striking (albeit preliminary) results, clinicians are now gearing up to test the regenerative potential of "young blood" in humans.

  • * Stephen S. Hall is a science writer in Brooklyn, New York.