Organs in the body could be revived using drugs which would dramatically improve life expectancy, according to new research.
Scientists from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston reversed tissue degeneration in mice by switching on a certain enzyme which prevents molecular aging.
The drugs, which are also being developed for human use, would keep individuals looking young, healthy and alert.
Lead researcher Dr Ronald DePinho said: "This unprecedented reversal of age-related decline in the central nervous system and other organs vital to adult mammalian health justifies exploration of telomere rejuvenation strategies for age-associated diseases."
Meanwhile, a rise in life expectancy, which could increase the number of older people wanting to find a care home, is sparking fears among pension companies.
Women currently aged 65 will live for a further 0.8 years, it is projected, until the average age of 90, whereas men of the same age will now live 0.4 extra years until 87.5.
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