When we are young, our blood #stem cells produce an even and well-balanced number of red and white blood cells according to need. As we age, however, the capacity of the blood stem cells to produce the number of blood cells we need declines. Like it or not, your body gradually loses its capacity for producing blood as you age — that’s why immune deficiencies, leukemia and other blood conditions become more likely with time. Scientists may have found a way to turn back the clock, though. They’ve found a way to rejuvenate blood by reprogramming the stem cells that create it. The team effectively “resets” the stem cells by turning them into #iPS cells, which can generate any kind of cell. When they once again form blood stem cells, it’s as if they were brand new.
“This type of age-related change can have major consequences as it can lead to an imbalance in stem cell production. For example, a reduced production of immune cells or excessive production of other types of cells can be a precursor to leukaemia”, explains David Bryder, who headed the study at Lund University.