Weekly reads: reprogramming aging, astrocytes, cartilage, ChatGPT

Let’s start with a couple of new pieces on in vivo reprogramming. The idea here is to do something like making iPS cells but doing it inside organisms and not quite pushing cells all the way back to pluripotency. Just younger, healthier cells.

reprogramming aging
Turning back the clock? Graphical representation of the goal of reprogramming aging in mice. Yang, et al. Cell 2023. Screenshot.

Why do that?

The goal is to achieve a kind of anti-aging via forcing expression of Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4. This has been done in mice and the new manuscripts are entirely in mice, but ultimately it would be done in people.

A new preprint and a Cell paper from David Sinclair and his team, from two different teams, have revisited this idea of in vivo reprogramming. 

I’m going to write an entire post on the new studies. I will say that I’m skeptical that this will work in people without triggering tumors. I’m also not so sure the teams systematically looked for the teratoma (even small ones) or other kinds of cancer or pre-cancerous kinds of cell changes that can come along with in vivo reprogramming as a side effect.

The new articles generated a fair amount of hype in the media. Antonio Regalado had a nice piece though including on potential commercialization.

More to come.

Recommended reads

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