In this open access paper, researchers report that compounds delivering hydrogen sulfide into cells slow the pace at which those cells become senescent in culture. The mechanisms involved are not fully explored but involve splicing factors, proteins that have a strong influence over gene expression. As the biochemistry of cellular senescence is explored, and researchers find ways to potentially hold back the transition of cells into the senescent state, we might ask whether or not this is a good idea. Lingering cellular senescence is a cause of aging, but most cells become senescent for a good reason – they are damaged, potentially cancerous, have replicated too many times for continued safety, or the surrounding environment is toxic. Most self-destruct rather than remaining to contribute to the aging process.
Will it be helpful rather than harmful to prevent senescence? Current approaches to senescent cells involve destroying them, which seems the better path forward. Cells that become senescent are not, on balance, the sort of cell that one would want to keep around. Better to remove them, I think. So how to interpret the evidence here regarding the influence of hydrogen sulfide on cellular senescence and
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