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How insight into muscle atrophy may improve ravages of certain diseases

This is Science Today. Muscle atrophy is a wasting away of muscle tissue and it can occur for a variety of reasons, including aging and disease.

Conboy:         Diabetes is actually one prime example, so people who have diabetic disease or diabetic conditions, many, many organ systems now start falling apart and muscle is one of them.

Narrator:       Bioengineer Irina Conboy of the University of California, Berkeley has discovered a biochemical pathway that's linked to the aging of human muscle can be manipulated and can essentially turn back the clock on old human muscle - restoring its ability to repair and rebuild itself.

Conboy:         Cells derived from a person who is 70 or older now behaved as if they came from a person who is 20 and they made beautiful, healthy muscle. So, if you look at aging as a disease, then you could imagine that there will be a combination of molecules which are delivered and then aging is managed, it does not progress as fast. So, therefore tissues are repaired, regenerated and remain healthy.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.