Nautilus

Does Aging Have a Reset Button?

Part of Vittorio Sebastiano’s job is to babysit a few million stem cells. The research professor of reproductive biology at Stanford University keeps the cells warm and moist deep inside the Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building, one of the nation’s largest stem cell facilities. He’s joined there by an army of researchers, each with their own goals. His own research program is nothing if not ambitious: He wants to reverse aging in humans.

Stem cells are the Gary Oldman of cell types. They can reprogram themselves to carry out the function of virtually any other type of cell, and play a vital role in early development. This functional reprogramming is usually accompanied by an age reset, down to zero. Sebastiano figures that if he can separate these different kinds of reprogramming, he can open up a whole new kind of aging therapy. Nautilus caught up with him last month.

What impact will your work have on aging research?

I’m studying whether we can

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