Why do stem cells - and thus our ability to heal - falter in effectiveness as we age? This Newswise release outlines the results that suggest "this behavior may be regulated by genetic mechanisms found in most human cells ... The current thinking is that there must be some unique 'stemness' gene that no other cell expresses, but what we found is that what makes stem cells special -- their ability to renew themselves and differentiate into other tissue types -- may be attributed to fundamental mechanisms of cell physiology common to all cells. ... The difference between those robust, self-replicating young [stem cells] and older cells appears to be the degree of expression of these two regulatory genes governing fundamental cell physiology." Might it be possible to restore old stem cells to youthful vigor?