A biological clock capable of determining how old different human tissues and cells are has been discovered by a team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles.
The findings, published in Genome Biology, show how the UCLA team created the internal clock using a naturally occurring process that alters DNA. The preliminary results may shed light on cancer and stem cell research. “To fight aging, we first need an objective way of measuring it. Pinpointing a set of biomarkers that keep time throughout the body has been a four-year challenge,” Steve Horvath, a professor of human genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and of biostatistics at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, said in a statement. “My goal in inventing this clock is to help scientists improve their understanding of what speeds up and slows down the human aging process.”
While the results are intriguing, they are still preliminary.