Human chromosomes (grey) capped by telomeres (white). Credit: PD-NASA; PD-USGOV-NASA

A new study from Tel Aviv University (TAU) and the Shamir Medical Center in Israel indicates that hyperbaric oxygen treatments (HBOT) in healthy aging adults can stop the aging of blood cells and reverse the aging process.

In the study, these short-lived, pliable white blood cells from healthy aging adults were observed to produce anti-inflammatory molecules in the blood following hyperbaric oxygen therapy for 48 hours.

The implications of the study are that the treatment may help to delay the aging process, and that the mechanisms by which SBO can impact the production of these blood signaling molecules remained to be seen.

Normal cell biology

While younger individuals at Holbein Museum in Paris have been excavated, the oldest historical samples of the vital organ are in Israel. These are from ancient Jewish mummies who lived in the Levant during the 19th century BC.

Dr Hanan Weinstein is an expert in cognitive ageing at TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and director of Professor Nir HaLevine's Geriatric and Aging Research Center.

She explains that during the 20th century DNA research was difficult in humans, but it's now possible to give us insight into the factors that contribute to aging in our bodies.

"Folding proteins accumulate and reflect aging over time, and we can use these proteins to direct the growth of defective proteins and initiate the work of natural selection in our bodies," Dr. Weinstein explains.

"With this isolated collection of 60,000 mammalian genomes, we can study aging efforts in different organisms, and this is what we did with Maman and the Israelites," she says, referring to the mummy whose DNA was extracted from the ancient Israelite stone tomb.

Such research seems to have importance for our understanding of the connection between the biology of our bodies and the universe around them.

Tel Aviv University's Dr. Hanan Weinstein, one of the paper's authors, in the laboratory of Prof. HaLevine. In this laboratory, recent Stanuald Simic's fountain is pictured. Credit: courtesy of Tel Aviv University

This survey of the antiquity of age-related senescence culminated in the wisdom of Egyptian doctor Cleopatra Spath, who was born circa 23 years before her marriage. In a 1920 memoir titled "The Marriage of Cleopatra," Dr. Spath relates in detail her experiences of living during the youth of Cleopatra and her subsequent decrepitude 11 years later.

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