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Mar 27, 2017 11:19 AM EDT

Harvard Breakthrough Achieves DNA Repair In Cellular Aging ; Find Out How Study will Send People to Mars

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Harvard scientists reached a breakthrough in DNA repair. For years, it has perplexed mankind why DNA repair declines as people reach a certain age. Harvard scientists just cracked the mystery and may be able to help NASA get people to Mars.

A series of experiments on mice finally found a way that could thwart the effects of radiation or aging, which is critical in the study of the human DNA, Harvard Gazette reported. The scientists from Harvard Medical School recently revealed the critical step in molecular chain of events so that DNA damage can be repaired. This breakthrough experiment also offers an insight into how the human body's ability to repair DNA damage dwindles over time.

The study reveals that the molecule NAD+, which is the key regulator in DNA repair protein interaction, mitigates the age-related DNA damage and is responsible for warding off the damage especially when exposed to radiation. This revelation is a big deal not only to reverse aging or to cure cancer, but will also help NASA in its quest of sending people to Mars, ABC reported.

David Sinclair, the professor from Harvard and UNSW said, mankind's DNA damage has been the reason why some get cancer and Harvard scientists along with Sinclair found out the reason why it is so. In the study, the scientists gave the mice NAD+ booster called NMN and they found out that it reversed the effects of aging.

Sinclair said they took 20 months old mice, which are 60 to 70 years old in man's years, and gave them NMN. The scientists found out that the cells of the mice were better at repairing damaged DNA from aging and radiation. Moreover, the DNA repair activities reflect those that are youthful and more resistant from damages caused by radiation.

Human trials will be conducted in the next six months. Sinclair said the study will then proceed to Australia and said that they're excited to get this molecule in the market as a cancer drug.

More and more people are now very interested in the study. One of those who are watching closely is NASA especially because they're working on getting people to Mars. NASA knows that their astronauts will be exposed o significant amounts of radiation.

According to UNWS an astronaut's cells would die by five percent once he or she is exposed to cosmic radiation. It means that he or she has 100 percent chance of getting the dreaded cancer. UNSW says they managed to get this DNA repair therapy to NASA.

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