The authors estimated that using their method, they can put an age on human cells to within /- 2 years.
Turning to individual cell types rather than tissues, Spalding and colleagues set about to determine if cortical neurons are as old, or perhaps younger, than the individual.
Fumigant activity of plant essential oils and components from horseradish (Armoracia rusticana), anise (Pimpinella anisum) and garlic (Allium sativum) oils against Lycoriella ingenua (Diptera: Sciaridae).These two areas have been named “neurogenic” because they are now widely believed to support adult neurogenesis.However, similar evidence has been reported for “non-neurogenic” brain regions, including the neocortex, striatum, amygdala, hypothalamus, and substantia nigra (6,7,9,12,30,32).Analysis of growth rings from pine trees in Sweden shows that the proliferation of atomic tests in the 1950s and 1960s led to an explosion in levels of atmospheric carbon 14.
Now, Jonas Frisen and colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have taken advantage of this spike in C14 to devise a method to date the birth of human cells.
But the almost tenfold increase in atmospheric C14 that peaked around the mid-1960s has been followed by a rapid decline since the nuclear test ban treaties and the cessation of high-yield, above-ground nuclear tests.