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Fight Aging!



Reports from the front line in the fight against aging. The science of healthy life extension. Activism and advocacy for longer, healthier lives.



Last Build Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:31:01 +0000

 



Cellular Senescence as a Failed Anti-Cancer Strategy

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:30:08 +0000

The evolution of multi-cellular life is in essence the story of a tooth and nail struggle with cancer, one that continues even now. Complex structure, regeneration, and growth are all required in higher forms of life, but that combination means that any sort of sustained breakdown in control over cell proliferation tends to be fatal because it disrupts necessary structures. Multiple layered systems, within cells and outside them, have evolved to try to block damaged cells from uncontrolled proliferation, ranging from tumor suppressor genes to the surveillance of the immune system and its destruction of potentially cancerous cells. Cellular senescence is one of these strategies, and like all of them, it is only somewhat successful. With only a few rare exceptions, evolution has curbed cancer […]



A Discussion of Cellular Senescence in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:29:34 +0000

Cellular senescence is one of the root causes of aging. A small fraction of the large number of cells that become senescent every day fail to self-destruct, and instead linger in tissues to secrete a mix of inflammatory and other harmful signals. This behavior is known as the senescence-associated secretory phenotype, or SASP. The sizable numbers of senescent cells in old tissues have been implicated as a contributing cause of numerous age-related conditions, from lung disease to cardiovascular issues to forms of arthritis. More causal links will be discovered: this is a newly energetic field of research. As an example of the sort of thinking presently taking place, researchers here discuss a potential role for cellular senescence in macular degeneration, a progressive blindness caused by […]



An Interview with Doug Ethell of Leucadia Therapeutics

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:20:56 +0000

Leucadia Therapeutics is a startup company focused on Alzheimer's disease, noteworthy for being one of the few ventures to depart from the orthodoxy of immunotherapy to clear amyloid and tau protein aggregates. The Leucadia staff are working on the establishment of a faster and cheaper path to an effective therapy for Alzheimer's that nonetheless still addresses the deeper causes of the condition. Leaving the mainstream is perhaps more of a challenge in the Alzheimer's research community than elsewhere; the US National Institute on Aging has for years been primarily an Alzheimer's concern, and the biggest of Big Pharma entities have made equally large investments in the field over that same period of time. As a result there is a great deal of institutional inertia to […]



Death Receptors as Biomarkers for Cardiovascular Mortality

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:10:22 +0000

Researchers here present evidence for the appropriately named death receptors to be biomarkers for cardiovascular disease risk, an indirect measure of the damage accumulating in the vascular system over the course of aging, and its effects on cellular biochemistry. The research community is very interested in establishing reliable, easily measured biomarkers that relate to age-related disease, mortality, and known mechanisms of aging. The more that exist, the more likely it is that these biomarkers can be combined in some algorithmic way to generate a more precise overall biomarker of biological age - something that can be used to rapidly assess the performance of the first rejuvenation therapies, as they arrive, and to steer their development. Death receptors are activated, for example, in the case of […]



Yet More Evidence for Impaired Drainage of Cerebrospinal Fluid in Aging

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:04:30 +0000

Leucadia Therapeutics is one of the young companies shepherded by the Methuselah Fund, in this case working on an Alzheimer's treatment predicated on a theory of the disease that views impaired drainage of cerebrospinal fluid as an important cause. Alzheimer's disease is a condition characterized by a build up of protein aggregates, and one of the ways in which the brain normally removes these aggregates is through drainage of cerebrospinal fluid out into the body. The passages for that drainage, like most other bodily systems, fail over time. An increasing amount of supporting evidence for this to contribute to age-related disease has emerged in recent years. In the example here, researchers arrive at the consideration of failing cerebrospinal fluid drainage from a quite different position, […]



Asking the Right Question: Do You Want to Live Longer, if Good Health is Guaranteed?

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:53:35 +0000

Historically, the public at large has shown themselves to be quite disinterested in living longer. Over the years I've been aware of the longevity science movement, it has always been a challenge to expand the community towards greater acceptance, support, and funding. As an example of attitudes we observe, you might look at the Pew survey of attitudes to life extension from a few years back, in which the people surveyed generally agreed that they wanted to live a few years longer than their peers - in the same sort of way as a house should be just a little bit larger than those of the neighbors, to make the point, but not so much so as to be gauche. Humanity is ever petty in […]



Young Plasma Improves Liver Function in Old Rats by Boosting Autophagy

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:06:32 +0000

In the research here, injections of blood plasma from young rats are shown to improve autophagy and liver function in old rats. This is interesting given the so far mixed evidence for young to old plasma transfer to be beneficial. There is, however, a history of research to show that increased levels of the cellular maintenance processes of autophagy can improve liver function in old rodents. Autophagy normally declines with age, and this appears to contribute to a variety of issues, such as loss of stem cell activity. You might recall that increasing the number of receptors on lysosomes in old rats can improve liver function; lysosomes are the portion of the autophagic infrastructure that break down damaged proteins and structures, and they function more […]



Mutational Damage in Long-Lived Brain Cells Correlates with Age

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:46:52 +0000

Is random mutational damage to nuclear DNA a sizable cause of aging? The consensus in the scientific community on that question is that it is an important cause, with the theory being that this results in sufficient change in protein production and cellular behavior to produce degraded function. That consensus is challenged, however, and at present there is a distinct lack of supporting evidence for either position, even given a few intriguing studies from recent years. It is well known that mutation level correlates with age, and methods of slowing aging also slow the increase of mutational damage. So every aspect of aging does in fact tend to correlate with mutation load, but that doesn't necessarily tell us anything about cause and effect - and […]



Fight Aging! Newsletter, December 11th 2017

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 15:22:24 +0000

Fight Aging! provides a weekly digest of news and commentary for thousands of subscribers interested in the latest longevity science: progress towards the medical control of aging in order to prevent age-related frailty, suffering, and disease, as well as improvements in the present understanding of what works and what doesn't work when it comes to extending healthy life. Expect to see summaries of recent advances in medical research, news from the scientific community, advocacy and fundraising initiatives to help speed work on the repair and reversal of aging, links to online resources, and much more. This content is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You are encouraged to republish and rewrite it in any way you see fit, the only requirements being […]



Highlights from Yesterday's /r/futurology AMA with Aubrey de Grey

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 00:26:34 +0000

Aubrey de Grey of the SENS Research Foundation took a few hours from his packed schedule yesterday to answer questions from the community at /r/futurology. It is a pity that we can't get a full day of his time at some point - clearly there are way too many interested folk with questions and not enough hours to answer more than half of them. It is a sign of progress, I hope, that ever more people recognize that the SENS approach to the development of rejuvenation therapies is promising, and understand enough of the science to ask intelligent questions about the details. SENS is simple enough to explain at the high level: identify the cell and tissue damage that (a) appears in old tissues but […]