Vaccines are administered to protect us from viruses and disease. When we are vaccinated, our bodies become immune to whatever disease we were treated for. Common vaccines include the flu shot, HPV, polio, and the chicken pox, but soon you may add aging to your vaccine list.
Researchers at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School are working on defying and possibly reversing the biological aging process by developing a vaccine that would repair and regenerate cells.
The current life expectancy of the average American is 78.8 years. There are currently an estimated 46 million seniors over the age of 65, which is expected to double by 2060. With an aging population comes aging health problems.
Researcher Hua Zhu explained, “The proposed research has great implication for people and governments all over the world seeking a cost-effective preventive solution for all the major diseases of aging. If our project succeeds, it could lead to clinical trials to test the therapeutic potential of recombinant virus expressing multiple anti-aging factors.”
The researchers created a mouse to express several anti-aging and regenerative factors.
In the short-term, the goal of the vaccine is to extend life expectancy. The long-term goal is to establish clinical trials using human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) to develop a multi-gene therapeutic aging vaccine.
The primary goal is to not only have people live longer but live healthier for many more years. Hundreds of thousands of people die of age-related causes, and many more live with chronic disease. The vaccine has the potential to let people live with less suffering.
There is still a long way to go before we all start lining up to receive an aging vaccine, but with research like this currently underway, we could be much closer than we realize.
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