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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: Sun, 21 Jan 2018 03:35:57 +0000


Senescent Cells are Large, which Suggests a Few Simpler Paths to Assays for Senescence Level in Human Subjects

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 19:33:26 +0000

The rise in number of senescent cells with age is one of the root causes of degenerative aging. Somatic cells become senescent when they reach the Hayflick limit on replication, or become damaged, or encounter a toxic environment. They cease replication, and either self-destruct or are destroyed by the immune system. Some small fraction of the countless cells that become senescent each and every day manage to evade destruction, however. They linger, in ever greater numbers with each passing year, and the potent mix of signal molecules they secrete contributes to many forms of tissue dysfunction and organ failure, ranging from fibrosis and loss of regenerative capacity to increased inflammation and loss of tissue elasticity. Fortunately, we stand just a few years removed from of […]

The Prospect of Filtering Harmful Factors from Old Blood

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:33:36 +0000

The Life Extension Advocacy Foundation volunteers here interview Irina and Michael Conboy, two of the more influential scientists involved in parabiosis research. When the circulatory systems of an old mouse and a young mouse are connected, the older partner shows some reversal of measures of degenerative aging, while the younger partner shows some acceleration of similar measures of degenerative aging. The Conboys have of late produced evidence to show that this is based on the presence of harmful factors in old blood, where parabiosis dilutes harmful factors in the old mouse but also passes them over to the young mouse. There is similar evidence for beneficial factors in young blood passing in the opposite direction, however. All of this data raises the possibility of somehow […]

Suggesting that Only Minimal Loss of Synapses Occurs in Alzheimer's Disease

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:15:51 +0000

There are signs from past years to suggest that Alzheimer's disease is a reversible condition, at least in its earlier stages. In other words, that there is little loss of the structures holding the data of the mind, and the condition degrades the operation of the mind, not its underpinnings. The consensus, however, is that this stops being the case further into the progression of the disease, and significant losses do in fact occur. The researchers here disagree with that consensus, providing data to suggest that even in later stages the condition is not destroying significant numbers of synapses. This will definitely require further supporting evidence before it can be taken at face value, particularly since it is really only assessing the presence of key […]

Aubrey de Grey on Ending Aging and the Relative Merits of Various Approaches

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 21:03:57 +0000

Here is the transcript of an interview, published last week, with Aubrey de Grey, advocate and coordinator of rejuvenation research, originator of the Strategies for Negligible Senescence (SENS) scientific programs, and cofounder of the Methuselah Foundation and SENS Research Foundation. Over the past fifteen years, de Grey and his growing network of allies within and outside the scientific community have had an outsized influence on the culture of aging research, on public perception of the treatment of aging as a medical condition, and on meaningful progress towards therapies capable of rejuvenation. All of this has been achieved the old-fashioned way, ignored by mainstream funding institutions, and proceeding on the basis of a great deal of hard work and the pledges and philanthropic donations provided by […]

Evidence for mTOR to be Involved in Vascular Aging and thus Vascular Dementia

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 11:59:28 +0000

Research into mTOR and aging is becoming quite diverse. Researchers here present evidence for mTOR to be involved in the aging of the vasculature, and thus also in the development of vascular dementia. One of the noteworthy aspects of aging is the declining ability of the vascular system to deliver sufficient nutrients and oxygen to cells, and this is considered important in the decline of both brain and muscles, two of the more energy-hungry tissue types. The research here is a good example of the way in which most researchers restrict their scope to relationships between areas of protein machinery that are very close to the disease state, without looking back down the chain of cause and consequence towards any sort of root cause. Detailed […]

Torin1 as an Example of the Search for Better Rapalogs, with a Focus on Autophagy

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 11:56:57 +0000

A sizable portion of the research community interested in intervening in the aging process searches for ways to mimic naturally occurring stress responses, those linked to a slowing of aging in animals. Much of this research in some way involves TOR, the target of rapamycin, and attempts to improve upon rapamycin as a drug candidate to inhibit TOR. TOR is connected to the regulation of autophagy, a cellular housekeeping process known to influence the pace of aging, but also to many other areas of cellular biochemistry relevant to aging. The relevant mechanisms and networks of protein interactions are only partially mapped, and are very complex - progress on that front is slow and expensive. I point out the open access paper here as an illustrative […]

SENS Research Foundation Raises $5 Million, Largely in Cryptocurrency Donations

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:29:12 +0000

I'm pleased to note that the 2017 year end SENS Research Foundation fundraiser raised far more than anyone thought was likely - more than $5 million, in fact. This was due to the generosity of a number of high net worth individuals who committed sizable philanthropic donations from their cryptocurrency holdings. These are exciting times for the treatment of aging as a medical condition! Many thanks are due to those people, and to everyone else who supported the continued work of the SENS Research Foundation staff and associated scientific groups to reverse aging through damage repair. We stand upon the verge of a truly massive revolution in medicine, and it is the philanthropists who will get us there. SENS Research Foundation 2017 Year End Fundraiser […]

Delivering Microglia-Like Cells to the Brain to Break Down Amyloid-β

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:24:18 +0000

The future of cell therapies might prove to be one in which transplants are largely done away with. Cell engineers will instead issue a carefully controlled set of signals that cause the body to generate the desired additional population of cells, move those cells to where they are needed, and then put them to work in a specific way. We stand a long way removed from the full realization of this sort of treatment, not least because the signaling environment of most tissues is still largely terra incognita when it comes to the fine details, but the research noted here is certainly a start along that road. For brain microglia struggling to keep amyloid plaques under control, help could be on the way. Researchers have […]

An Example of the Need for Research and Development Investment in Cryonics

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:12:30 +0000

Cryonics is a field that requires commercial success of some form for further expansion, such as in the reversible vitrification of organs, not least because either that or wealthier patrons than presently exist will be needed as a source of significant funding to improve current methodologies of preservation. The recent report from Alcor noted here illustrates the well-understood need for this sort of technical improvement. Alcor presents comparatively unfiltered reports on cryopreservations, where patients agree to it, and the staff and patients should be commended for this. Such reports are important to the quality of an industry, and open organizations are certainly better than closed ones. It is arguably the case that the biggest hurdle today when it comes to obtaining an optimal cryopreservation is […]

Recent Papers on the Mitochondrial Contribution to Aging

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 20:14:49 +0000

Mitochondria are the power plants of the cell, a herd of self-replicating structures evolved from ancient symbiotic bacteria, now fully integrated into the cell. Their primary task is the production of chemical energy stores, an energetic process that produces damaging reactive molecules as a side-effect. Much of the original bacterial DNA of the distant ancestors of today's mitochondia has migrated to the cell nucleus, leaving only a tiny remnant genome in the mitochondria themselves. When looking across species with widely divergent life spans, researchers have found good correlations between species life span and some combination of mitochondrial activity (metabolic rate) and mitochondrial composition (how resilient mitochondria are to oxidative damage). This strongly suggests, independently of the copious other evidence, that mitochondria are important determinants of […]