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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, 28 Jun 2017 00:24:44 +0000


Adjusting Microglia Proportions as a Basis for the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:23:20 +0000

The balance between different types of the immune cells known as macrophages is becoming a stronger theme these days, a line of research that falls somewhere into the broad overlap between regeneration, inflammation, and aging. I've seen quite a number of interesting papers on this topic in the past year, which seems to me a leap in the level of interest shown by the research community of late. While possibly oversimplifying a more complicated reality, we can think of macrophages as having a few different types, or polarizations. The M1 polarization tends towards aggressive destruction of problem cells, the creation of inflammation, and hindrance of regeneration. The M2 polarization tends towards suppression of inflammation and other behaviors that encourage regeneration. The cancer research community would […]

Evolutionary Trade-Offs in Stem Cell Populations: Repair Capacity versus Cancer Risk

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:04:55 +0000

This open access paper is an interesting companion piece to yesterday's discussion of the potential for expansion of mutations in stem cell populations to contribute to degenerative aging. What evolutionary constraints have led to the present state of stem cell populations in mammals: why are they not larger, with more capacity for tissue maintenance and regeneration in later life, for example? Multicellular organisms continually accumulate mutations within their somatic tissues, constituting a significant, but poorly quantified, burden on tissue maintenance. To investigate this burden in a specific, well-parameterized context, we model the mammalian intestine and quantify the expected impact of mutation accumulation in stem cell populations. Furthermore, we explore how the population size of the stem cell niche influences mutation accumulation and demonstrate the expected […]

Oisin Biotechnologies Launches New Website

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 12:31:04 +0000

Oisin Biotechnologies is a senescent cell clearance company founded by long-standing members of our community, seed funded by the Methuselah Foundation and SENS Research Foundation, and supported by the investment of a number of folk in the audience here. Targeted removal of senescent cells is a form of narrowly focused rejuvenation, shown to turn back numerous measures of aging in animal studies, and the Oisin team has made great strides in proving out their programmable gene therapy approach. This sort of commercialization project is exact what our community has been working towards all these years, and the faster that implementations reach the clinic, the better off we all are. Oisin Biotechnologies' ground-breaking research and technology is demonstrating that the solution to mitigating the effects of […]

Adjusting Macrophage Proportions as a Basis for the Treatment of Atherosclerosis

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 00:18:04 +0000

The immune cells known as macrophages are involved in debris cleanup and destruction of potentially harmful cells, among other tasks, but in recent years more attention has been drawn to the important role they play in the complex coordination of cellular activities relating to healing and tissue maintenance. It is even thought that a significant portion of the difference between limited human regeneration and proficient regeneration of the sort observed in salamanders might be explained by differences in macrophage behavior between these species. Further, and possibly a near-future basis for therapies, macrophages involved in regenerative processes appear split into a few different classes with distinct behaviors and protein signatures. Although this is a case of arbitrary dividing lines drawn on a continuous spectrum rather than […]

Gensight Continues to Forge Ahead with the First Implementation of Allotopic Expression of Mitochondrial Genes

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 12:51:47 +0000

Mitochondria, the power plants of the cell, bear their own DNA, a small remnant of their origin as symbiotic bacteria. Unfortunately, this DNA is more vulnerable than the DNA found in the cell nucleus, and can become damaged in ways that contribute significantly to the aging process. How to address this problem? Allotopic expression of a mitochondrial gene is a process by which an altered version of the gene is placed into the cell nucleus in order to provide a backup source of the protein encoded by the gene. In this age of genetic engineering, inserting the gene isn't really the challenge, instead the difficulty lies in figuring out how to alter the gene in order for the protein produced to be transported back to […]

Arguing a Role for Stochastic Mutation in Stem Cells in Cardiovascular Disease

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 12:19:12 +0000

To what degree does random mutation in nuclear DNA contribute to aging over the present human life span? The present consensus is that this is a cause of disarray in metabolic processes, and that it does reach a significant level of consequence for tissue function. Unfortunately there is little direct evidence for this view - it is hard to split out just nuclear DNA damage from the rest of aging in order to isolate its effects, though there a few lines of research showing promise in this direction. Researchers here take a different approach to the question; they suggest that some forms of random mutational damage that occurs in stem cells will expand throughout that population over time, because the damage in some way confers […]

Fight Aging! Newsletter, June 26th 2017

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 13:40:52 +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 […]

Healthy Life Span Increases, and the Age at which We Reach Old Age is Rising

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 23:28:49 +0000

Today I'll point out an interesting paper on the demographics of aging, one that I hope indicates the spread of more nuanced and useful views into forecasts of the future of aging and longevity. While a good read, and helpful for our cause in that it will further spread the message that increases in healthy life span are both realistic and currently taking place, it is nonetheless still the case that this and all of the other long-term projections arising from the demographic community are essentially fantasies. They are simple extrapolations of trends in adult life expectancy established over the past few decades, and are thus based on a model of the future in which methods of rejuvenation are never invented and commercialized. In this […]

Considering Epigenetic Clocks in Mice and Men

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:48:02 +0000

The development of a reliable and accurate biomarker of biological age is an important step for the longevity science field. Testing potential rejuvenation therapies is at present a drawn-out and expensive process, as the only truly effective way to determine outcomes is to wait and see. That requires years and millions of dollars in funding for mouse studies, a cost that greatly restricts the amount of experimentation and exploration it is possible to carry out, even for the better funded research groups. If instead a biomarker test could be applied shortly before and shortly after a treatment in order to assess its potential, that would greatly accelerate progress in the field. Epigenetic clocks based on assessment of patterns of DNA methylation are presently the most […]

Thoughts on Effective Advocacy for Rejuvenation Research

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:17:13 +0000

Following on from a recent post on the subject, here is another article from the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation (LEAF) on strategies and efforts to persuade the world to support work aimed at greatly lengthening healthy human life spans. For those of us to whom it is obvious that a very large amount of time and funding should be devoted to this goal, because aging is by far the greatest source of suffering and death, because the cost of bringing aging under medical control is small in comparison to what is spent on trying and failing to cope with it, and for a score of other equally good reasons, it can be frustrating to see that others do not presently think that way. They seem […]