A View from Emily Singer
Research on Rejuvenating Effect of Young Blood Retracted
Were the vampiric benefits of blood from young mice too good to be true?
Amy Wagers, a researcher at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, has retracted a high-profile paper published earlier this year in the journal Nature. According to my Technology Review story on the study,
Researchers surgically connected the circulatory systems of two mice, allowing older animals to be exposed to blood–and all the molecules and cells it carries– from young animals. They found that the procedure made the blood-forming stem cells in older animals act young again; the overall number of these cells decreased, and the cells generated different varieties of blood cells in more appropriate ratios. “In aged animals, many of the changes we see normally that are associated with age were reversed,” said Wagers.
But the retraction, signed by Wagers and two co-authors but not the lead author, says that reexamination of the data led to questions about the role of certain cells in the rejuvenation of in blood-forming stem cells in old mice. The Boston Globe reported that Wagers is now working with colleagues to replicate the experiments.