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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, 18 Feb 2018 14:45:14 +0000


Fight Aging! Newsletter, February 19th 2018

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 14:45:14 +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 […]

HDAC3 Knockout Mice Exhibit Greatly Reduced Loss of Memory Function with Age

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 00:43:34 +0000

Work on the decline of memory formation with aging was presented at a recent conference and is doing the rounds in the press. The core of it was published and presented last year, so the overall topic isn't particularly new, but I didn't notice it at the time. The scientific group in question is interested in the role of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in memory. This is a long-running thread of research. Looking back in the Fight Aging! archives, inhibition of HDACs in the context of improved neural function was mentioned in 2012, and a trail of publications exists prior and since. The processes of acetylation and deacetylation of histones are important to gene regulation, a core part of the machinery that controls the packaged state […]

Further Investigation of the Role of Osteopontin in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Aging

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 11:24:37 +0000

The Hematopoietic stem cell population resident in bone marrow is responsible for generating blood cells and immune cells. Like all stem cell populations, their activity alters and declines with aging. This is one of the causes of the progressive disarray of the immune system in older individuals. If we want to rejuvenate the immune system, then restoring the youthful activity of hematopoietic stem cells is one of the items on the to-do list, alongside regrowth of the thymus, and clearing out the accumulation of exhausted, senescent, and misconfigured immune cells. The protein osteopontin appears to have a sizable role in maintaining the hematopoietic stem cell population, but levels fall in older individuals. Researchers have demonstrated, in mice, that restoring high levels osteopontin can also restore […]

Bacteria Engineered to Deliver CXCL12 Accelerate Wound Healing in Mice

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 11:09:59 +0000

Researchers here report on an interesting approach used to deliver a therapeutic molecule into wounds, and thereby accelerate regeneration. They engineered a common bacterial species to produce the molecule of interest, CXCL12, which is implicated in the processes of wound healing. Those processes are an intricate dance between various types of immune cell, stem cell, senescent cell and somatic cells in the injured tissue. In recent years researchers have gained an increased understanding of the scope of involvement of immune cells known as macrophages; the participation of the immune system has turned out to be much more important to the quality and pace of regeneration than was thought a few decades ago. Macrophages can adopt different states, or polarizations. Of the two commonly observed polarizations, […]

Development of Exosome Delivery as a Regenerative Therapy Continues Apace

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:33:38 +0000

If many stem cell therapies produce their benefits largely through the signaling generated by the transplanted cells, in a brief window of time before these cells die, unable to integrate into the local tissue, then why not skip the cells entirely and just deliver the signals? This is made an easier prospect by the fact that a great deal of cell to cell signaling takes the form of extracellular vesicles such as exosomes, tiny membrane-bound packages of various molecules. Thus researchers don't need to completely map and understand the entire set of signals used in order to recreate most of the signaling effects of stem cells. Given a cultured stem cell population, the exosomes that the cells produce can be harvested and then employed as […]

Macrophages Make a Significant Contribution to Heart Failure

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 11:31:12 +0000

Researchers here implicate the immune cells known as macrophages in the progression of a particularly problematic form of heart failure. Macrophages are very important to the processes of tissue maintenance and regeneration, but they have several different characteristic states, or polarizations: one is inflammatory and aggressive, hindering regeneration, while the other is actively beneficial for regeneration. Researchers are finding that adjusting the proportion of these two states can be beneficial. The situation in heart failure - and a number of other age-related conditions - may well be made worse due to the balance in macrophage populations tipping away from assisting regeneration and towards chronic inflammation. In support of that view, stem cell therapies that have the primary outcome of reducing inflammation have been shown to […]

BACE1 Deletion Eliminates Amyloid Deposits in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 10:53:45 +0000

BACE1 is one of the proteins involved in early stages of the production of amyloid-β, a form of metabolic waste that aggregates into solid deposits in the aging brain, and is characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. Inhibition of BACE1 so as to reduce levels of amyloid-β is a strategy pursued by a number of research groups, though it has to be said that disenchantment with the years of failure in the dominant strategy of clearing amyloid-β appears to be reaching a tipping point these days. While it is clear that amyloid-β is harmful, it may not be the most effective point of intervention. Or perhaps earlier efforts to remove amyloid-β were not going about it in the right way, and different approaches would work. It is […]

Greater Activity Slows the Progression of Age-Related Neurodegeneration

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 00:41:49 +0000

Here I'll point out two papers, one looking at exercise and the aging of grey matter in the brain, the other looking at exercise and the aging of white matter in the brain. It is well known that cardiovascular health is linked to cognitive health. An entire category of neurodegenerative disease is related to the age-related failure of the cardiovascular system to remain intact and supply adequate nutrients to the brain. A sizable portion of cognitive decline is linked to incidences of rupture of tiny blood vessels in the brain, each killing a comparatively small number of cells, but over the years that damage adds up. Further, the cellular biochemistry of the brain is kept separate from the body by the blood brain barrier, a […]

Liver Organoids Come Ever Closer to Natural Liver Tissue

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 13:20:33 +0000

Tissue engineers continue to improve the quality of their creations. The liver is one of the easier organs to work with, given the much greater regenerative capacity of liver cells. It is, nonetheless, an organ with a complex small-scale internal structure, and getting that right is a process of incremental advances. The tissues created via present state of the art approaches are usually still small, lacking the capillary networks needed to support tissue larger than a few millimeters in depth. The only way to provide those networks is to use decellularized donor organs, the cells destroyed, and the organ thus reduced to the scaffold of the extracellular matrix, complete with blood vessels and chemical cues. If the starting point is a cell sample without such […]

DNA Machinery that can Sabotage the Blood Supply of Tumors

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 11:10:48 +0000

Researchers have been building simple molecular machines out of DNA for some years now. This approach to molecular machinery is well suited to applications that involve conditional activation based on the proteins present in the surrounding environment; a lot of the necessary functional parts already exist in DNA and just have to be assembled in the right way. The Oisin Biotechnologies cell-killing technology is a smaller example of the type than the approach here, in which sizable DNA containers are constructed. They carry a cargo that will disrupt local blood flow, and are triggered into opening by cancerous cell surface proteins, thereby sabotaging the nutrient supply to tumors without harming other tissues. It is all quite clever and quite mechanical. DNA nanorobots that travel the […]