Stanford University scientists have discovered the secret to creating an elixir of youth by finding how the body ages.
The discovery could pave the way for new treatments to stop the aging process.
The researchers believe that by influencing the chemical processes that regulate the lifespan of cells they can reduce organ and tissue degeneration and increase longevity.
The scientists at Stanford University in California discovered two connected triggers that determine a cell's lifespan.
In the study, researchers found two proteins that seem to affect ageing. One, known as SIRT6, protects against cell ageing and another, NF Kappa B, promotes it.
The study has been published in the journal Cell.
Dr Howard Chang, associate professor of dermatology at Stanford, said: "There is a genetic process that has to be on, and enforced, in order for ageing to happen.
"It's possible that those rare individuals who live beyond 100 years have a less-efficient version of this master pathway, just as children with progeria - a genetic ageing disease - may have components of this pathway that are more active."
The researchers looked at two sets of mice, one bred to be deficient in SIRT6, and a second set of elderly mice which had the activity of the NF Kappa B halted. The first set aged rapidly and died after just four weeks due to an increase of the NF Kappa B in the system. Suppressing it reversed the ageing process, reports the Daily Express.
The second set of mice was found to look and act younger when NF Kappa B was blocked.