To battle ageing, the human body holds a reservoir of non-specialised cells that can regenerate organs.
In a series of experiments at the University at Buffalo in New York, the gene kicked into action dormant cellular processes that are key to preventing weak bones, clogged arteries and other telltale signs of growing old.
The findings, published in the journal Stem Cells, also showed promise in counteracting premature ageing disorders such as Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome.
These cells are called adult stem cells, and they are located in every tissue of the body and respond rapidly when there is a need.
But as people age, fewer adult stem cells perform their job well, a scenario which leads to age-related disorders.
Reversing the effects of ageing on adult stem cells, essentially rebooting them, can help overcome this proble ..