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Longevity Briefs: Scientists provide new insights into human skin aging

Posted on 30 November 2020

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Longevity briefs provides a short summary of novel research in biology, medicine, or biotechnology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: The US skincare market is estimated to be worth 184 billion dollars by the year 2025. We spend more on keeping our skin look young and healthy more than any other section of the market.

But how does our skin age? This is something we are still very much in the dark about.

What did the researchers do: A research team from Beijing, China, used single cell transcriptomics to delve deeper into how ageing affects the skin. Single-cell transcriptomics gives scientists the ability to look at the gene expression of a single cell, rather than a whole population of cells which is the usual method. This allows us to differentiate the effects of ageing between different cell types of the skin.

Single-Cell Transcriptomic Analysis of Human Skin Aging. Source:

Key takeaway(s) from this research: Using this technique, the team compiled a comprehensive roadmap of the effects of aging on the 11 different cell types that were identified in the study that make up human skin.

The researchers found that the skin of middle-aged individuals exhibited gene expression with greater similarity to the skin of an elderly person than to the skin of a young person, indicating that age-related transcriptional changes start to accumulate early in life.

The authors hope that this research will trigger the development of new therapeutic strategies to combat aging-related skin conditions.

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