Invest your Cells; Save your Life.

Banked stem cells may be a way to repair the genome after genetic damage and mutation has occurred.

Most of us in the life extension community know the basics. There are seven deadly damages that occur in the body that cause age-related decline. Number one, genetic mutations. These mutations are brought about by environmental factors both outside the body and inside the body. It is the genome’s reaction to these external factors that cause it to change and adapt to the environment in which it has been thrust into, a survival mechanism. Sometimes the genome’s repair mechanism overcompensates for this damage and cancer occurs. This is the worst case scenario, and the most feared among our species. Number two, extracellular garbage. Largely this consists of senescent cells. Again, a big problem when these non-dividing cells hang around and signal bad things to the other cells. This cell signalling can lead to DNA methylation, and down regulation of healthful gene expression. This is a simplified explanation, but again a consequence of being alive for a long time. Numbers three through seven are as follows; intercellular garbage, cell loss/atrophy, glycation or cross links which are a result of carbohydrate metabolism, lysosomal junk, and finally DNA mutation/methylation.

So how do we defend against all of these damages? The answer may be found in the banking of stem cells present in the bone marrow. An undamaged store of these essential cells offers the most hope. After damage, there may be no way to go back however stem cell banking would allow an answer. This method may cover several of these damages, at least for future therapies. By preserving one’s cells in their youthful, untainted condition and cryopreserving them, we may be archiving a template for future synthetic gene therapies to repair us when DNA editing protocols such as CRISPRcas9 reach their maturity. Cell atrophy may also be addressed with stem cell banking. To be able to clone and reseed, stem cell reserves may be a critical step in repopulating a waning stem cell supply. Any DNA mutations that occur could also be corrected, with being able to replicate the pristine cryopreserved version of the genome with synthetic biology.

Doctors have been using umbilical cord blood for years. As an infant you may have had this precious cord blood stored for you for it’s stem cell value, but what if you didn’t? This is where a new procedure was developed, for all of those who did not save it when they were infants. Findings have shown that even as younger adults, say under the age of 55 or less, there are many benefits to storing these precious cells.

Great hopes have been placed on human pluripotent stem (hPS) cells for therapy. Tissues or organs derived from hPS cells could be the best solution to cure many different human diseases, especially those who do not respond to standard medication or drugs, such as neurodegenerative diseases, heart failure, or diabetes. The origin of hPS is critical and the idea of creating a bank of well-characterized hPS cells has emerged, like the one that already exists for cord blood. However, the main obstacle in transplantation is the rejection of tissues or organ by the receiver, due to the three main immunological barriers: the human leukocyte antigen (HLA), the ABO blood group, and minor antigens. The problem could be circumvented by using autologous stem cells, like induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, derived directly from the patient”.*

Many of these future technologies are coming to fruition, but a roadmap to the promised land is needed. Banked stem cells may be the road to this end. To learn more go to :

*De Rham, C., & Villard, J. (2014). Potential and Limitation of HLA-Based Banking of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells for Cell Therapy. Journal of Immunology Research, 2014, 518135.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *