PARIS (AFP) - Scientists said Tuesday they had transformed age-worn cells in people over 90 including a centenarian into rejuvenated stemcells that were indistinguishable from those found in embryos. The technical feat, reported in the peer-reviewed journal Genes & Development, opens a new path toward regenerative medicine, especially for the elderly, the researchers said. This is a new paradigm for cell rejuvenation, said Jean-Marc Lemaitre, a researcher at the Institute of Functional Genomics at the University of Montpellier and the main architect of the study. The age of cells is definitely not a barrier to reprogramming, he told AFP by phone. That human embryonic stem cells (ESC) can potentially become any type of cell in the body has long held out the tantalizing promise of diseased organs or tissue being repaired or replaced with healthy, lab-grown cells. But the leap from theory to practice has proven difficult, and fraught with ethical and moral concerns because any such procedure requires the destruction of a human embryo.