Everyone who knows me knows that I fully plan on living forever and if for some reason death becomes me, I want to be cryogenically frozen — I have to stay alive long enough to see how dope the future is. And thanks to a new study released by the Mayo Clinic (doesn't reading that make you want a sandwich?), humans might be able to extend their lifespans, for real. Yes, as it turns out, a study they've been working on (with mice) has yielded some pretty positive and encouraging results leading researchers to believe that we might have a similar chance at achieving the same success in humans.
As a non-scientist (barely passed biology and never made it to chemistry), it took me a while to actually comprehend the material —it's got a lot of really long words that need looking up — so I'll save you the time and break it down real easy for you, too.
Essentially, there are cells in our body that (for a variety of reasons) stop dividing and become useless. These cells, also known as senescent cells, accumulate in the body and release chemical compounds and increase inflammation which can be harmful to organs and tissue, reducing health and lifespan by up to 25 or 35 percent. It's a natural and normal occurrence in the body that we've known about for some time, the body's immune system actually does routine sweeps to get rid of them. But after time, the immune system is less capable and the cells stack up. Without the cells present, the lab mice showed delayed formation of tumors, decreased frailty, increased organ health and an overall sense of greater well being — they had fewer cataracts, were more active, had stronger kidney function, and their hearts were strong enough to pass stress tests that lab mice their age (who had not had their senescent cells removed) were unable to pass.
But here's the really exiting part: by using lab mice, scientists have determined that the cells can be removed (via drugs) without any known negative side effects. So if we can live without these useless cells and they majorly crimp our lifespan, we can remove them and increase our lifespan and live forever!!!! Or, 25 to 35 percent longer ... depending on other existing health issues ... assuming we're otherwise healthy.
This study is particularly thrilling because of the lack of side effects. The chemical removal of senescent cells in addition to the many other studies that researchers believe might fight mortality might be just enough to actually see a difference in lifespan, over the course of our own lives. What an exciting time to be alive, yano?! I'm coming to find you, Edward.
Images: Giphy; The CW