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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: Fri, 24 Feb 2017 01:03:58 +0000


Induced Pluripotency as a Tool to Enable Rejuvenation of Blood Production

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 01:03:58 +0000

It has been a decade or so since the first induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells were produced. Researchers discovered a recipe by which ordinary, limited, adult somatic cells could be reprogrammed into a state near identical to that of embryonic stem cells, meaning they are pluripotent and can then in principle be used to produce any of the cell types in the body. Doing so in practice requires researchers to establish a suitable methodology to guide cellular differentiation in the right direction, only accomplished at this point for a fraction of all possible cell types. The early attempts at induced pluripotency worked, and were easy to set up, but were also comparatively inefficient. Since then researchers have produced considerable improvement in the methodologies used, and […]

Working on a Drug to Stimulate Regeneration of Lost Hair Cells in the Inner Ear

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:42:30 +0000

One class of the numerous forms of age-related deafness is caused by loss of hair cells in the inner ear. These cells are a necessary part of the chain of systems that leads from sound outside the body to signals passing along nerves into the brain for interpretation. As these hair cells are lost, so is hearing capacity. A range of efforts to reverse this loss are underway at various stages of development, such as reprogramming a cell sample into patient-matched hair cells, or, as in this case, finding ways to provoke regeneration in situ, changing cellular behavior so that they rebuild where they would normally not do so. Within the inner ear, thousands of hair cells detect sound waves and translate them into nerve […]

Senescent Cells Implicated as a Cause of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:15:02 +0000

The number of senescent cells in tissues grows with age, and these cells cause harm through forms of signaling that induce inflammation, destructively remodel the extracellular matrix, and alter the behavior of other cells for the worse. Now that clearance of senescent cells has been shown to robustly extend healthy life span in mice, there is a lot more interest in the research community in joining the dots between cellular senescence and specific age-related diseases. The past year has seen a range of publications that directly implicate senescent cells in various age-related diseases, or attempt to quantify exactly how much of the detrimental alterations in aged tissues are caused by these cells. In this particular case, researchers are looking at the lung condition known as […]

Towards Therapies Capable of Reversing the Progression of Fibrosis

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:32:30 +0000

Fibrosis is a significant component of many age-related conditions, a failure of the normal regenerative process that leads to the formation of increasing amounts of scar-like, fibrous connective tissue in organs. This disrupts normal tissue structure and degrades proper function. It features prominently in common forms of heart disease, kidney failure, and liver disease, among others. As is the case for many specific aspects of aging, there is no good treatment for fibrosis, if by this we mean a reliable way to turn back its progression and restore failing tissues to their former state. The causes of fibrosis lie somewhere downstream of the fundamental forms of cell and tissue damage outlined in the SENS view of aging. Insofar as it is cells that work to […]

Projecting out Current Life Expectancy Trends to 2030

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:54:31 +0000

I think it a given that trend projection at the present time is going to greatly underestimate gains in life expectancy over the next few decades. This present decade and the next encompass a transition from palliative and compensatory medicine that inadequately patches over the causes of aging, and a research community that has no interest in treating aging itself as a medical condition, to a field of rejuvenation treatments that do actually address the forms of cell and tissue damage that cause degenerative aging, and a research community that is now very interested in working towards therapies for aging. Past gains have occurred despite the fact that research and development efforts made no attempt to treat root causes in aging. Future gains, produced by […]

Is a Clone Born at Age Zero?

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:13:00 +0000

In the overlap between research into aging and research into regeneration there is some interest in what exactly it is that happens between fertilization and later development of a zygote that enables old reproductive cells to produce young children. Some form of reset takes place, a clearing out of damage. This is also seen in induced pluripotency, whereby ordinary somatic cells are reprogrammed into a state very similar to that of embryonic stem cells. It is an open question as to whether any part of this natural rejuvenation mechanism can be safely harnessed and turned into a therapy, though it is worth noting that induction of induced pluripotency in the tissues of adult mice has been tried recently. Animal cloning is another line of research […]

An Interview with Aschwin de Wolf on Cryonics at LongeCity

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:22:50 +0000

Aschwin de Wolf of Advanced Neural Biosciences and the Institute for Evidence-Based Cryonics (IEBC) is a noted advocate for cryonics as an industry and area of research. He was recently interviewed by the folk over at LongeCity, and as usual it makes for interesting reading. You might also look at a 2013 interview for more of the same, and in addition you'll find many articles at the IEBC site covering a mix of technical and non-technical topics in the the cryonics field. This is one slice of a great deal of technical writing and advocacy for cryonics published over the course of the past few decades, a fair portion of it by people who are now themselves cryopreserved at Alcor or the Cryonics Institute. The […]

The Risks of Current Approaches to Rebooting the Immune System

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:20:32 +0000

The present approaches to rebooting the immune system have shown considerable promise in treatment of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately the current methods of immune destruction involve chemotherapy, which is a damaging process in and of itself, and there is as yet too little attention being given to protection against infection in the period while the immune system is absent or near-completely suppressed. The risks are significant, and until addressed mean that this remains useful only for patients who will suffer worse absent the therapy. Both of the major risks noted above could be addressed in the near future, however. Firstly through the development of targeted cell destruction methods with minimal side-effects, such as that currently pioneered by Oisin Biotechnologies, and secondly through […]

Identification of a Potential Autophagy Enhancement Drug

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:55:24 +0000

Researchers here note the identification of a drug candidate to enhance autophagy, a process of cellular housekeeping responsible for removing damaged proteins and structures in the cell. Enhanced autophagy is associated with many of the interventions known to slow aging in laboratory species, and in at least some cases, such as for calorie restriction, the correct operation of autophagy has been shown to be necessary for extension of life span to take place. Consequently, the research community has for some time shown interest in the development of therapies based on the enhancement of autophagy, but there has been surprisingly little progress on this front to date. Autophagy functions as a main route for the degradation of superfluous and damaged constituents of the cytoplasm. Defects in […]

The Media Meanders on the Topic of Enhanced Longevity

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 23:49:20 +0000

For various reasons, such as people promoting their books, the mainstream media has been giving more attention than usual these past few weeks to the topic of healthy life extension. The quality of the resulting articles is fairly low, as is usually the case. When given marching orders to cover any particular topic, the average journalist grabs the first few specific items that show up in a search of recent articles, wraps them with some pretty words, and launches the result without any attempt at achieving or conveying real understanding of the subject. When it comes aging and efforts to treat aging as a medical condition, just like any other quite complex topic in science and medicine, that real understanding is absolutely vital in order […]