Today, a pair of papers that are representative of present interest in the deeper mechanisms of cellular senescence. Senescent cells have of late become a major focus in the aging research community, now that scientists are largely convinced that (a) accumulation of these cells is a significant cause of aging, and (b) removing them can reverse aging and age-related disease to a large enough degree to justify significant investment in further development. Better late than never! The evidence has been compelling for decades, but only in 2011 was sufficient funding raised by a sufficiently well-regard research group to build an animal study of senescent cell clearance that the rest of the scientific community found compelling. This could all have happened ten or twenty years earlier, given different people in charge of budgets and strategies.
Still, here we are now. There is presently something of a gold rush underway in the research and development communities when it comes to the biochemistry of cellular senescence. Even setting aside more direct approaches such as suicide gene therapies or immunotherapies capable of targeting senescent cells for destruction, researchers have discovered at least four plausible mechanisms and associated