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The Download: Potential new covid treatments, and the crypto crash

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Covid-19 is far more likely to kill you if you’re old. One reason is that aged immune systems struggle to cope with infections and recover from them. So why not try drugs that make bodies young again? In a bid to treat the disease, scientists are now testing drugs that reverse the impacts of age on the body, rejuvenate the immune system and clear out aged, worn-out cells.

Some scientists avoid using the term “anti-aging” because of its snake oil connotations—but these drugs specifically target the biology of aging. It makes intuitive sense to use them to help older bodies fight back against any infection. However, covid is currently the most urgent given that it’s still hospitalizing and killing people—even in countries with high levels of immunity.

We badly need new ways to treat covid. Only a handful of effective treatments have been found, including antiviral, antibody, and steroid drugs—and these might not work as well against future variants. Anti-aging drugs could provide a solution. Read the full story .

—Jessica Hamzelou

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