UK researchers have developed a method to 'time jump' human skin cells by 30 years, turning back the ageing clock for cells without losing their specialised function.
The team from the Babraham Institute at University of Cambridge has been able to partly restore the function of older cells, as well as rejuvenating the molecular measures of biological age. Though the findings, published in the journal eLife, are at an early stage of exploration, it could revolutionise regenerative medicine.
The new method overcomes the problem of entirely erasing cell identity by halting reprogramming part of the way through the process. This allowed researchers to find the precise balance between reprogramming cells, making them biologically younger, while still being able to regain their specialised cell function.
In 2007, Shinya Yamanaka was the first scientist to turn normal cells, which have a specific function, into stem cells which have the special ability to develop into any cell type. The full process of stem cell reprogramming takes around 50 days using four key molecules called the Yamanaka factors.
The new method, called 'maturation phase transient reprogramming', exposes cells to Yamanaka factors for just 13 days. At this point, age-related changes are removed and the cells have temporarily lost their identity. The partly reprogrammed cells were given time to grow under normal conditions, to observe whether their specific skin cell function returned.
Genome analysis showed that cells had regained markers characteristic of skin cells (fibroblasts), and this was confirmed by observing collagen production in the reprogrammed cells.
"Our results represent a big step forward in our understanding of cell reprogramming. We have proved that cells can be rejuvenated without losing their function and that rejuvenation looks to restore some function to old cells," said Dr Diljeet Gill, a postdoc at the Institute.
"The fact that we also saw a reverse of ageing indicators in genes associated with diseases is particularly promising for the future of this work," Gill added. To show that the cells had been rejuvenated, the researchers looked for changes in the hallmarks of ageing.
Researchers looked at multiple measures of cellular age. The first is the epigenetic clock, where chemical tags present throughout the genome indicate age. The second is the transcriptome, all the gene readouts produced by the cell. By these two measures, the reprogrammed cells matched the profile of cells that were 30 years younger compared to reference data sets.
Further, the team tested the partially rejuvenated cells by creating an artificial cut in a layer of cells in a dish. They found that their treated fibroblasts moved into the gap faster than older cells. This is a promising sign that one day this research could eventually be used to create cells that are better at healing wounds.
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Everything in the twenty-first century is easy-access whether it's the next show tickets or a place to crash for a weekend getaway. However, with the ease of information comes something even scarier, radiation! which we had no idea we were inadvertently ingesting. But somehow, we know that blue light can cause damage to our eyes and weaken our retinas, so imagine the amount of damage it can do to our skin. It can be really frightening!
We are surrounded by electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, and laptops that emit radiation. But do we know what radiation is exactly? and what kind of damage it does do to the skin?
The cell phone you're using right now, or the laptop you're reading this article from, all have one thing in common, antennas. The antennas are chipped in to make a connection with the signal tower. These antennas as a form of connection emit radiation that harms our skin with time.
We all know, as informative as the digital world can be but there are times when it can be overwhelming us with misleading information. Namrata Bajaj, Co-founder, of Tatsa - Skincare made Simple helps us deep dive into the harms of radiation to our skin and how to protect it.
Skin Discolouration: All electronic devices have one thing in common, and that is the harmful radiation effect on the skin. Skin damage is a major phenomenon nowadays, radiation penetrating the skin causes itchiness, and dryness leading to skin discolouration by turning red or dark.
Premature Ageing: Given our current lifestyle of being around electronic devices all the time, our skin cycle is heading in the wrong direction. Radiations emitted from devices or the sun create tanning beds on our skin. Overexposure to UV rays harms the inner layer of tissues by making them lose their elasticity. Hence radiation leads us to premature ageing and such side effects.
The Breakouts: When our skin dislikes the environment around us, it showcases the same in different ways. Breakouts are one of the common problems noticed due to the environment. The skin loses its guards or becomes more sensitive, which eventually manifests itself in the form of breakouts.
Skin Pigmentation: Considering all of the skin damage caused by radiation and blue lights, skin pigmentation is one of the worst and possibly the most irritating skin conditions one adopts via radiation. As much as we want to avoid it, there is no escape, skin pigmentation is a condition where skin adopts darkening spots around the area.
Skin Sensitivity: As we age, skin sensitivity is one of the most significant factors that directly affect our skin and cause permanent damage to it, whether we get redness easily or dry skin all over it. Skin sensitivity weakens the strength of your skin, the more sensitive the skin, the less likely the skin is to fight against the harmful particles of the air. This is where the radiation enters the picture by weakening the skin to the point where it can no longer bear anything.
Dark Circles: Imagine the entire face is flawless and the red bags around the eyes sit rent-free! If you ask us, it's time to act upon the skin damage. No amount of good skin can cover the weightage of the heavy dark circles.
Namrata also suggests solution to protect our skin from radiation:
Allow your skin to absorb more than just radiation by getting out in the fresh air and allowing it to heal in nature.
There is nothing like drinking too much water; the more you drink, the more your skin will thank you. So, drink water and shield yourself from radiation with water.
Wash your face on a regular basis, and make sure your eyes are getting enough water so the harmful radiation is washed away with each splash.
Use a radiation protection face cream as your daily moisturiser to protect you from all types of radiation.
Lower down your screen timings. And don't use your phone during bedtime. (N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
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Want to keep healthy and avoid the scorching summer heat, which is a common concern at this time of year?
The summer heat is not only physically exhausting and uncomfortable, but it also puts us at risk for ailments like skin irritation, rashes, fever, dehydration, and food poisoning. While the summer heat is enjoyable, it is vital that we do not disregard our health. Extra care must be made to battle the heat and stay fit and healthy during this season.
Consume Plenty of Water: Summer heat and sweat can dehydrate your body, resulting in unfavourable health outcomes such as fever and chills. Drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water per day to keep yourself hydrated.
Take Precautions to Avoid Heatstroke: Another major issue that older adults face during the hot summer months is heatstroke. The main reason that older adults are more vulnerable to this is that their bodies do not adjust to temperature changes as quickly. High fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness are all common symptoms of heatstroke.
Light and Comfortable Attires: In the summer, it is best to dress in breathable and lightweight clothing to keep your body temperature regulated in the hot sun. Instead of heavy clothing, choose natural fabrics such as cotton and linen.
Indoor Stays Are Best: Outdoor activities should be limited to the cooler parts of the day, such as early mornings before 11 a.m. or late evenings after 5 p.m.
Eat Healthy And Light: Consume small, frequent meals. Heavy meals with high carbohydrate and fat content generate a lot of heat in the body. Concentrate on fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as oranges, watermelon, tomatoes, and so on.
Protect Your Eyes: Wear protective eyewear to protect your eyes from the harsh sunlight at work and at play. When going outside, wear sunglasses that block at least 99 per cent of UV rays.
Avoid Alcohol And Caffeine: Alcohol, fizzy drinks, and coffee can all dehydrate you quickly. If at all possible, try to limit your intake of these popular beverages, especially during hot weather. A good substitute is a plain or flavoured water.(Olivia Sarkar)
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On the eve of Holi, doctors here have warned that dry colours may cause more harm to the eye as compared to liquid colours.
According to Shantanu Mukherji, a senior consultant with the Sharp Sight Eye Hospitals, "Synthetic colours contain harmful agents like industrial dyes and alkalis, which are incredibly toxic for the human skin, especially the eyes.
Their use can also cause symptoms like irritation, redness, allergies and even permanent loss of vision in case of severe chemical injury to the eye."
"The other thing that causes eye problems is poor hygiene. If one tries to remove colour by rubbing the eye with dirty fingers, it may expose one to the risk of infective conjunctivitis," he added.
Talking about skin problems after Holi, dermatologist Amit Bangia advised applying oil on exposed skin before playing Holi.
"Use colours made from natural ingredients as much as possible like rose petal, marigold flowers, turmeric, beet root etc. Remove colour with mild face wash and moisturise the skin after cleaning the color," he said.
Bangia also said that the festival of Holi involves close proximity in large gatherings, which is a perfect recipe for the spread of Covid.
Children who are not vaccinated and the elderly who are susceptible to complications should avoid playing Holi, he added.
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Women across the country are aware of how nutrition is closely associated with skin health. The food we eat is as important as the products for our skin, as healthy glowing skin is hard to achieve on a poor diet even with the strictest skincare regime.
It is evident in the survey that highlights a shift in consumers' preferences towards a healthy lifestyle and natural alternatives for daily diet.
According to a recent survey conducted between 7th to 22nd December by YouGov, a research consulting firm, 72 per cent of women in India find healthy dietary changes as an important step for beautiful looking skin.
Overall, the results indicate that majority of the females prefer to snack on healthy and nutritious food items such as almonds and fruits as they recognize the beauty benefits of fruits and almonds in particular.
Talking specifically in terms of maintaining a healthy diet, most women see a consequent benefit of achieving beautiful looking skin with home meals, a fibre-rich diet and snacking on nuts like almonds.
Almonds have emerged as a top choice amongst Indian women as they associate Vitamin E with better skin health. Besides, the survey highlights the fact that 59 percent of women consume almonds on a daily basis, mostly soaked or raw. This makes almonds the most regularly consumed nut.
Females of the age group 30-39 and Millennials rate almonds highly on aspects such as wrinkle reduction, skin glow and skin protection. Whereas Gen X highly associates the consumption of almonds with the reduction of wrinkles.
This assessment is reinforced by their personal experience as they report having observed positive effects on skin after eating almonds.
In fact, those who have been consuming almonds for over 6 months report positive impacts such as skin glow and younger-looking skin more than those who started consuming almonds lately.
Commenting on the results of the survey, Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, said, "It is great to see survey results indicating stronger adoption of the idea that a healthy lifestyle, including healthy snacking, can elevate one's skin health.
For years now, I have been recommending almonds as a natural healthy snack for better skin health. Almonds are known to be a rich source of antioxidant vitamin E and deliver essential fatty acids and polyphenols, which make them a great choice.
A recent study suggests that almonds can help improve facial wrinkles and skin tone, a finding that supports the belief that almonds promote skin health among survey participants. I urge women to include them into their daily diet, to support healthier skin."
The quantitative survey by YouGov aimed to assess the correlation between beauty and snacking, and understand women's snacking patterns for beauty benefits.
The survey was conducted amongst a sample size of 3,959 women in cities like Delhi, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Indore, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and Chennai. (N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
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Besides being the largest organ, our skin is also quite adaptable-when seasons gradually roll on from one to another, it acclimatises to the prevalent one. But even something as adaptable can react adversely when faced with sudden, brutal climate changes.
Blame It On Climate Change
As a rule, a sizable variety of skin conditions and diseases are aggravated by climate change. Inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis or eczema are likely to flare up when air pollution or stress is on the rise, as is the case with skin allergies. So, how do you know if it's dehydration that's ailing your skin or dryness?
Dehydration or Dryness?
Dehydrated skin is completely different from dry skin. The former only lacks water and is a condition, while the latter needs additional natural oils or sebum to restore it to health and is a skin type.
While dry skin is something you are usually born with, the prevailing season, hormones or the skin's age may also play spoilsport and cause sebaceous glands to produce less than enough oils to keep it lubricated. Dry skin can also be a result of some health issues.
If your skin is dehydrated, it can co-exist with symptoms such as dullness, under-eye dark circles, itchiness, patchy skin along with the increased incidence of fine wrinkles. And if you are battling general dehydration characterised by dry mouth, light-headedness, etc., then your skin is also bound to suffer from the same.
Dry skin can show signs such as irritated red skin that is scaly with white flakes and is regularly associated with skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, etc.
How to Treat Dehydrated and Dry Skin?
Dehydrated: Dehydrated skin is in dire need of water; so increasing water intake always helps, as will reduction in consumption of diuretics such as caffeine that drains water from the body. In addition, if you add an external barrier in the form of an emollient or cream to the outer layer of your skin, you're making additional preparation to protect it from moisture loss.
Dry: Dry skin type, on the other hand, needs intense care from within as well as on the outside and usually all year round. While during in-between climates, it fares more poorly, the skin type in general needs additional care.
So, in the present climate, ensure that you keep your skin moisturised at all times and keep it away from too much water and definitely hot water. Absolutely nothing dries the skin out more than these factors and harsh chemicals. So choose only the heaviest emollients that are chemical-free.
You may also consider adding a humidifier to the house during the winter months and this sometimes hot, sometimes cold climate. If you still feel the need for something extra, after the daily nighttime CTM regime, consider adding a gel mask to the bed. This will keep your skin cocooned in moisture all the hours you're asleep and on waking you will find plump happy skin waiting to be revealed,
In this weather, you will find plant, seed or nut oils such as shea, almond and coconut nourishing for dry skin care while lactic and citric acids work great for the dehydrated condition.
Products that work for both conditions: Then there are those multitasking ingredients that work great for both, such as the ultra-nourishing hyaluronic acid and ceramide. Both seal in the oils into the skin barrier thus boosting its performance and preventing moisture loss.
You can achieve healthy and glowing skin by adding a skin booster treatment or bio-remodeler to your regime, such as Profhilo, which is an ultra-pure hydrating hyaluronic acid in a rich dose delivered directly to your skin and lasts long.
It is because Profhilo is a bio-remodeler, it stimulates collagen production, which improves skin tone, radiance, hydration, and suppleness, making your skin looks firm and moisturised. And your damaged skin will be replaced by a healthy sheen. (Dr. Chiranjiv Chabra, Cosmetic Dermatologist, Director Alive Wellness Clinics)
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