Every year my interest in regenerative medicine deepens; not out of some sneaking admiration for the Timelords and their Baker's dozen of lifetimes (only two bakers, one cake, one smith and the real McCoy in a Doctor's dozen), but because I would like to live longer and remain healthy for all of this century if I can. Dying is a very troublesome event when we live in such interesting times.
Some good news on this front: Stem cells may be collected at any age, possibly.
As an alternative scientists can use a method of taking normal cells from adults and reversing them to an unspecialised state, known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), making them almost indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells.
But experts are divided over whether the technique can work efficiently in elderly patients, who have the most to gain from the potential treatments, because their cells have deteriorated further.
By adding two new ingredients, known as transcription factors, to the method of generating adult stem cells, they were able to overcome this hurdle and "reset" many of the key markers of ageing in cells.
Whilst it will be some time to move from this report to potential treatments, the astonishing development, as reported, that the cells rejuvenated were taken from the oldest of the old, including a centenarian. A strong kick in the teeth for cellular senescence.