None of us are getting any younger, but now a pill that reverses ageing could be on the shelves as soon as 2020 as researchers make a ?revolutionary? step forward in anti-ageing technology.
The revolutionary drug has caught the attention of NASA as they hope to defend Mars-bound astronauts against the effects of radiation.
After successfully being used on mice the researchers believe it could be tested on humans within six months.
All cells in the human body have an innate capability to repair DNA damage, but this ability to do so declines as we age, meaning we become more susceptible to dangerous mutations that cause disease.
But the team at the University of New South Wales has identified a critical step in the molecular process and a key metabolite, NAD+, which has a central role as a regulator in protein-to-protein interactions that control repair to our DNA.
Treating mice with a NAD+ booster called NMN improved their cell?s ability to repair DNA damage caused by radiation exposure or old age in just one week of treatment.
Lead scientist Professor David Sinclair said: ?This is the closest we are to a safe and effective anti-ageing drug that?s perhaps only three to five years away from being on the market if the trials go well.
?The cells of the old mice were indistinguishable from the young mice, after just one week of treatment.?
NASA are interested in this development because of it?s potential in protecting astronauts against radiation. Even on short missions, astronauts experience accelerated ageing from cosmic radiation, suffering from muscle weakness, memory loss and other symptoms when they return.
On a trip to Mars, the situation would be far worse, as 5% of the astronauts? cells would die and their chances of cancer would approach 100%.
Cosmic radiation is not only an issue for astronauts. We?re all exposed to it when we fly. It is estimated that a London-Singapore-Melbourne flight has roughly the radiation equivalent to a chest X-ray.