What the scientists found was that they could increase the activity of the genes that tell a cell when to kill off dud mitochondria, effectively restoring the balance between the good batteries and the bad ones.
When they applied their technique to the muscle cells of a fruit fly they found that they could reduce the amount of mtDNA from 76 per cent to a staggering 5 per cent, effectively halting the ageing process.
“Such a decrease would completely eliminate any metabolic defects in these cells, essentially restoring them to a more youthful, energy-producing state,” notes biological engineering in the laboratory of Professor of Biology Bruce Hay.
So how long before they can use it on you?
“Our goal is to create a future in which we can periodically undergo a cellular housecleaning to remove damaged mtDNA from the brain, muscle, and other tissues. This will help us maintain our intellectual abilities, mobility, and support healthy aging more generally.” concludes Hay.
So the simple answer is not yet, but sooner than you might think.