Back To lab:
What are the yamanaka factors?
The true nature of the cells keeps changing over time with epigenetic modifications/noise. Can we reprogram the cell to move back in time or reset the age or slow the aging?
Can we reverse the aging? A big unsolved puzzle to answer. Time always moves forward, and so as the age. While answering the aging question, researchers curious to study the subject at cellular levels.
These days, Yamanaka factors (OSKM) are synonym to “Reprogramming of cells.” Transcription of four genes (OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and MYC) could reprogram liver cell into a stem cell, which differentiates into.. may be bone or pancreas. Dr. Shinya Yamanaka awarded Noble Prize in 2012 for identifying the switch (Yamanaka factors) to go back on time.
Dr. David A. Sinclair and the team used the same Yamanaka Factors in various combinations to regenerate the damaged retinal ganglion cells in mice. The team ensured the retinal ganglion cells did not lose their identity but turned young to do their normal pre-determined function. This study gave critical implications in treating blindness caused by aging (Glaucoma) and other neurological diseases. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2975-4
This article makes some sense and very much relatable to the current scenario of COVID. But the question is, can we go back to Pre-COVID times to resume our lab work. What sort of Yamanaka factors we should employ to get back to our daily routine. We hear about “Back to Lab Factors”:
Factor O: Opening phase-wise – It is exactly opposite to the traffic we see at the busiest metro station. Phase reopening is like the peristaltic movement of food into our digestive system. Instead of rushing in at one go, it is more of a controlled motion into the facility.
Factor S: Social Distancing – We got to move back to school days, standing one arm length during the drill. We should get used to the alternate workstations to make a couple of steps to pass on the electrophoresis buffer you prepared today.
Factor H: Personal Hygiene – I asked the most popular question at the year-end to my friend, “What have you done in 2020?”. He said, “Washing hands.” This may be a pun, but it should be followed both outsides and inside the lab judiciously. It is a routine for cell culture researchers, but the good part is to teach others and maintain aseptic conditions outside the workstation.
Factor C: Face Covering: It is a fact that the mouth house a diverse microbial community with 700 bacterial species sticking on our teeth and soft tissue. Why make the situation more complicated by taking in complex microbiome from our environment. So, better cover our face and be secure from aerosols which may have viruses.