This scientist has finally discovered the fountain of Youth.
The black mouse is sprawled on its back, with its head hunched. It blinks, but does not move. Its organs fail. It seems to be just days away from dying. It is suffering from progeria, an accelerated ageing disease caused by genetic mutation. It’s only three months.
I’m in the lab of Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte. He is a Spaniard working at the Gene Expression Laboratory, at San Diego’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Next, he shows me something that I find hard to believe. The same mouse is now active and lively after a treatment with an anti-aging mixture. Izpisua tells me, with a mischievous smile: \”It rejuvenates.\” If you look inside, it’s obvious that all the organs and cells are younger.
Izpisua, a clever and soft-spoken researcher, has unimaginable power. It seems that these mice have drunk from a fountain. Izpisua can rejuvenate dying and aging animals. He can turn back time. Just as quickly as I am blown away by his abilities, he dampens the excitement. The rejuvenating treatment was so potent that the mice either died within three to four days due to cell malfunctions or developed tumors which killed them later. You could call it an overdose of youthfulness.