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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, 15 Jan 2017 16:54:15 +0000


Fight Aging! Newsletter, January 16th 2017

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 16:25:02 +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 3.0 license. You are encouraged to republish and rewrite it in any way you see fit, the only requirements being that […]

Will Senescent Cell Clearance Therapies Sink the Pensions and Annuities Industry?

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 01:07:43 +0000

The annuities and pensions industries, private and public, include some of the largest of all financial institutions. Collectively they are enormous, representing a staggering amount of money under management. To simplify a complex picture greatly, most of these programs take the form of a wager against longevity. The competing companies that issue annuities and manage pensions make offers of future payments to their customers based on the consensus predictions of life expectancy, and on their own private models that seek to improve on that consensus for specific demographics and thereby price the future more effectively than their competitors. Customers seek the greatest payout, while companies seek the payout that will maximize overall profit by some mix of attracting more customers from competitors and greater per […]

Quantifying the Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Exercise

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:57:02 +0000

Researchers here quantify the degree to which exercise has immediate anti-inflammatory effects. This is one of the many ways in which exercise is beneficial for health. Rising chronic inflammation is characteristic of aging and the failing immune system, and contributes meaningfully to the progression of all of the common age-related diseases. Less inflammation is a good thing when considering long-term health. It's well known that regular physical activity has health benefits, including weight control, strengthening the heart, bones and muscles and reducing the risk of certain diseases. Recently, researchers found how just one session of moderate exercise can also act as an anti-inflammatory. The findings have encouraging implications for chronic diseases like arthritis and for more pervasive conditions, such as obesity. The study found one […]

Hostility Towards Paid Trials Searching for Significant Effects

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:33:43 +0000

This popular science piece is characteristic of a prevalent and hostile view of the growing practice of patient-funded clinical trials. In this model the patient pays a sizable portion of the costs, which certainly makes it a lot easier to gather larger amounts of data, as the trial organizers don't have to seek the funding themselves. On the other hand, it tends to rule out the ability to carry out a blind trial in which not everyone actually gets the treatment, as well as other similar refinements. That is a problem if the goal is to search for and quantify marginal effects, but if the point is to discover or rule out large effects, I'd argue that control groups are not necessary. The control in […]

A Sizable Portion of the Damage of Chemotherapy may be due to Cellular Senescence

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 01:09:28 +0000

Now that much more attention and funding is turning to cellular senescence as a cause of aging, a fair number of new discoveries are being made regarding the specific links between age-related disease and the growing presence of senescent cells in old tissues. Some of them seem almost obvious in hindsight, connections that researchers should have long assumed to be likely, such as senescent foam cells accelerating the progression of atherosclerosis. Now that senescent cells can be cleared effectively in the laboratory, proof of these connections is comparatively simple to obtain, and so the evidence is piling up month after month. The open access paper I'll point out today provides evidence for another connection that has the look of something that should be self-evident in […]

The Fifty Year Anniversary of the First Cryopreservation

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 14:16:12 +0000

Fifty years ago, the first human was cryopreserved in the hopes of future revival. To this day, cryopreservation remains the only chance at a longer life in the future for all those who will age to death prior to the advent of effective rejuvenation therapies. James Bedford's preservation was a straight freezing with all the attendant tissue damage, unlike the vitrification techniques used today. It is certainly the case that future restoration would require exceptionally comprehensive control and manipulation of molecular biology, of the sort enabled by a mature molecular nanotechnology industry. The degree to which the data of his mind still exists despite ice crystal and fracture damage, or can be reconstructed, is an open question left to be answered by future generations. Cryonics […]

Telomere Length and Good Health Practices

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 13:32:30 +0000

One of the original researchers involved in telomere length studies is currently publishing a book on general health. It is in no way novel in the lineage of such things save for the relentless emphasis on telomeres, the repeating DNA sequences that cap the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres shorten with each cell division, and stem cells generate daughter cells with fresh, long telomeres, so the average length in a cell type is some function of cell division rates and stem cell activity. The thing is, telomere length as presently measured in immune cells from a blood sample is actually a terrible biomarker (of aging or health status) for individual purposes: the well-publicized erosion of average telomere length with age is a statistical phenomenon that only […]

Why Rejuvenation Research Startups Go Quiet Following Launch

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 00:23:01 +0000

There are a number of young startup biotechnology companies presently working on the basis for rejuvenation therapies. Many of the interesting ones are focused on senescent cell clearance, the class of therapy that is arguably closest to the clinic. Some of those, like Oisin Biotechnologies, are supported by our community: seed funding from non-profits like the Methuselah Foundation and SENS Research Foundation, and angel funding from some of the same folk as put up matching funds for the yearly SENS rejuvenation research fundraisers. Typically, however, after the initial declaration of intent these companies go silent. Unless you're an insider, the next thing you'll hear will be some way down the line, a declaration of either success or failure following the initial few years of research […]

Glial Cell Gene Expression Changes as a Potential Biomarker of Aging

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 13:55:13 +0000

The development of robust and reliable biomarkers that reflect biological age is a necessary step for the future development of rejuvenation therapies. The existence of such biomarkers will make it much less expensive and time-consuming to assess the effectiveness of potential new therapies at all stages of the research and development pipeline, which in turn will lead to more rapid progress in this field. Here, researchers assess changes in gene expression in neurons and their supporting cells in brain tissue, and find that the changes in glial cells are those that best correlate with age: The relationship between aging and neurodegeneration raises the possibility of shared transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulation programs; however, we still lack a comprehensive transcriptome-wide picture of the effects of aging […]

Transplant of Engineered Retinal Tissue Restores Light Sensitivity in Blind Mice

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 13:36:23 +0000

One of the challenges inherent in testing potential methods of restoring lost retinal function is that mice cannot readily explain the degree to which their sight is restored. So the researchers here can demonstrate restored light sensitivity and neural integration of transplanted retinal tissue, but they cannot say how the procedure will affect quality of vision without going on to trial the technique in human subjects. Retinal degeneration is mostly a hereditary disease that is characterized by the death of photoreceptors - the light-sensitive neurons in the eye - which eventually leads to blindness. While many have attempted to treat the disease through retinal transplants, and some have shown that transplanting graft photoreceptors to the host without substantial integration can rescue retinal function, until now, […]