The Biological Age of the Embryos of Mice and Humans

When people age, we can find specific changes in traits such as whitening of hair, weakening of one’s muscles, and decrease in the ability to hear or see. These developments in your body are caused by the aging of your cells. This aging of your cells accumulates damage over time. But if it is of cells that are aging, then why do our offsprings or our children not inherit those changes made to our body when we age? This is a question that is often not thought of thoroughly enough and also is a question whose answers have stayed a mystery for a very long time. Like what Yukiko Yamashita, a developmental biologist at MIT who studies the immorality of germline cells, said, “when you are born, you don’t inherit your parent’s age”. You inherited other traits such as hair color or height, but your age or the traits they gained from again starts from “zero” when it is inherited. As an attempt to answer this question, experts in the past have claimed that the germline cells are “ageless,” but many studies after the claim has shown signs of aging in the eggs and sperms of people disproving the claim or the proposal made. When their initial idea got proven wrong, they hypothesized that the germline cells are resetting their age instead of not again. In a new study, scientists found evidence to support the new hypothesis. Both the germline cells from much and human inherit everything to their offsprings but early on in its embryo’s development, it “resets.” This “resetting” phase takes place after the source has “attached to the uterus.” The scientist saw that the offspring’s age stayed the same through the first stage of cell division after the fertilization, which shows that the resetting of the age happens sometime after this phase. This new discovery is significant because later on in the future, this study could potentially help figure out a way to fix age-related diseases. Age-related diseases are usually caused by the damage that the age of the cell. If we study more about this new discovery, these age-related illnesses will be easier to treat, saving much more lives.

Categories: Society