This is still a long way from reality, but in our latest experiment, we have reversed the ageing of human cells, which could provide the basis for future anti-degeneration drugs.
There are many reasons why our cells and tissues stop functioning, but a new focus in the biology of ageing is the accumulation of "senescent" cells in the tissues and organs.
Senescent cells are older deteriorated cells that do not function as they should, but also compromise the function of cells around them.
Removal of these old dysfunctional cells has been shown to improve many features of ageing in animals such as the delayed onset of cataracts.
This means that aged cells are less able to switch genes on and off to respond to changes in their environment.
We and others have shown that the levels of these important regulators decline in blood samples from elderly humans, and also in isolated human senescent cells of different tissue types.
Lorna Harries, Associate Professor in Molecular Genetics, University of Exeter and Matt Whiteman, Professor of Experimental Therapeutics, University of Exeter. »