For decades, researchers have been looking for new ways to slow or stop aging in humans. Recently, a group of scientists moved closer to that goal by parsing the genetic codes related to one of the world’s most fascinating plants.
Mysterious and ancient, “the sacred lotus” (Nelumbo nucifera) has the amazing power to preserve itself for very long periods; in fact, the plant’s seeds can remain fertile for as long as 1,300 years. Recently, a group of researchers successfully unscrambled the plant’s genome. This big accomplishment now gives molecular biologists an opportunity to examine the plant’s genes in an attempt to determine how it is able to live so long.
Although they can’t say for sure, scientists believe they may someday be able to apply Nelumbo nucifera’s anti-aging powers to human subjects. Whether or not that ultimately occurs, it’s clear the plant’s genome sequence will give researchers deeper insight into the aging process.
An Intriguing Future
Each day, it seems as if researchers unveil new findings that hint toward an incredible future that may involve cures for aging. Unfortunately, most of us will have a tough time living long enough to enjoy these potential remedies.
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