Can the ageing process be reversed?

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The health-related news tidbits that have piqued our interest today.

1. Scientists make mice age backward

Scientists from Harvard and the University of New South Wales have managed to reverse the ageing process in mice. Yes, you read that right – science can make mice age backwards. Professor David Sinclair, who led the research team has told the ABC: “We’ve discovered genes that control how the body fights against ageing and these genes, if you turn them on just the right way, they can have very powerful effects, even reversing ageing – at least in mice so far.”

There’s something in your fridge that’s just as ageing as smoking

Clinical trials are now taking place in humans, and the results have so far been promising. Sinclair believes the results of this research may one day be thought about in the same way we now view antibiotics.  Just don’t expect to see the backward ageing compounds in a face cream any time soon. It’s still early days.  (Get the full story here.)

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2. Fruit juice could increase risk of high blood pressure

Nothing washes brekky down like a glass of orange juice, but a small Australian study has added to the growing realisation that fruit juice isn't as healthy as we'd like to believe. (Damn it.)

The research suggests a correlation between regular fruit juice consumption and high blood pressure. Of the 160 adults examined in the study, those who drank juice daily were more likely to have higher central blood pressure than people who had it less often.

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“Despite a common perception that fruit juice is healthy, fruit juice contains high amounts of naturally occurring sugar without the fibre content of the whole fruit,” the report reads. "Frequent fruit juice consumption may be contributing to excessive sugar intake, typical of the Western population, exacerbating the prevalence of hypertension [high blood pressure] and cardiovascular disease," study author Dr Matthew Pase added in an interview with the Daily Express.


Their recommendation? Enjoy your fruit in its whole form, and maybe lay off the OJ. If the thought of dropping back to plain ol' water makes you sad, why not try a fruit-infused version? You can't tell us these aren't delicious to look at...

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3. Shift work may age your brain

Nobody really loves shift work, but in many industries it's a necessary evil. Unfortunately, the list of health issues linked to working "the graveyard shift" has just become even longer.

A study of more than 3000 people in France has found those who had past or present experience with night work - around half the study group - fared worse on a series of brain power tests than those who worked regular office hours. Their memory, processing speed and overall brain power scored lower in the tests, especially among people who had worked shifts for ten years or more.

This man played violin while surgeons operated on his brain

The scariest part is, the study authors figured the brains of these long-term shift workers had effectively 'aged' 6.5 years, as their cognitive deficits were so significant.

The study's co-author Dr Philip Tucker tells TIME the "strongest candidate" for the cause of these impacts is "destruction of circadian rhythms".

What's the most interesting health news you've heard today?