Scientists looking to turn back time think they might’ve found a way: Clear away the harmful cells that build up as the body ages.

Researchers are focusing their attention on senescent cells — normal cells that lose their ability to divide with age — which have long been recognized as being closely tied to aging. Studies have implicated cellular senescence in a number of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and atherosclerosis. It’s also thought that as more senescent cells build up in the body with age, it becomes more difficult for the body to bounce back from hurdles such as a fall or chemotherapy.

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