You can boost anti-aging treatment by adding a protein found in fruit flies.
Neves assumed, based on the importance of tissue healing to all organisms that the mechanisms of repair would be similar in all animals. She began by looking at the proteins produced in immune cells of the well-known fruit fly animal model.
She found that a protein called MANF (mesencephalic astrocyte derived neurotrophic) played a vital role in reducing the inflammation in fruit flies. She also found that humans and mice produce the protein, and its levels decrease as people age. This suggests it is a crucial factor in limiting age related inflammation.
This prompted her investigate whether introducing MANF could boost the effectiveness stem cell treatments for older animals. She combined the protein with a stem cell procedure to replace the degenerating photoreceptors of the retina in older mice.