We find out if banking our bone marrow early in life, and transplanting down the line, may help halt the aging process. Plus we ask, why are we so good at forgetting names?.....
A bone marrow transplant is effective for certain blood-related disease. But for repairing aged, 'broken' DNA a more complex approach is needed. I personally have absolutely no medical knowledge whatsoever, but I did once stay at a Holiday Inn. So my layman response is that it is feasible to reverse cellular DNA damage by delivering replacement/ undamaged genetically compatible DNA to the tens of trillion cells throughout the human body. So to start, yes, it would be helpful to set aside stem cells at a very early age, for example, to cryogenically preserve these cells taken from your own umbilical cord after birth. At later stages in life, this undamaged DNA could be harvested, replicated, then delivered to your body through some sort of vector, such as in viral-mediated gene therapy. I suppose there will eventually be non-viral gene delivery mechanisms developed in the future, such as chemical, mechanical or perhaps using nanotechnology....microscopic delivery bots. kckuhns, Mon, 24th Sep 2012
The most common cell in blood is red blood cells. These have no DNA, do not replicate, and have a very short lifetime in the body, so transfusing these will have minimal benefit. White blood cells are les frequent, and rather specialised, but have a full set of DNA. However, all the blood cells originate in the marrow, so treating the marrow could be a useful therapy for genetic diseases affecting the blood.
Cord Blood, of course, gives a "marrow transplant", rather than just replacing the blood.
I don't think you'd necessarily have to ablate your own bone marrow with radiation before a transplant, Clifford, assuming you were infusing your own cells. The new, youthful, cells would merely take up residence in bone marrow niches alongside their more elderly counterparts... chris, Tue, 2nd Oct 2012
Sorry for the slight change in subject:
If we took ethics aside, imagine the following: MAYBE your young clones could provide all the progenitor cells you need to live healthy ever after. However, the point is: we don't yet know all the pathways for tissue renewal. For instance, Neuroblasts injected to the blood stream would have possibly no effect at all in replacing ageing neurons in the brain or spinal chord. An interesting experimental model would be to promote bone marrow transplants from youngling syngenic mice to elder ones, to evaluate if there would be an immune response improvement to a major ageing related cause of death pathogen infection. Philip, Thu, 30th Apr 2015