Can a rare immune cell offer the key to slowing down senescence? A Bay Area startup looks to find out
For years, scientists have looked to curb aging and chronic diseases by clearing defunct cells with irreparable damage, also known as senescent cells. Drugmakers like Bristol Myers Squibb and Unity Biotechnology have toiled over senolytics to kill the stubborn cells. So when Robin Mansukhani was told it could be done using reawakened immune cells, he was intrigued.
Senescence serves a protective function. It occurs when cells are too damaged to keep dividing — for example, if they develop a cancerous mutation. But senescent cells also contribute to aging and other diseases, emitting toxic molecules that cause inflammation and tissue damage.
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