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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, 22 Sep 2017 22:28:10 +0000

 



Wolf has been Cried So Very Many Times When it Comes to Anti-Aging Therapies

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 22:25:28 +0000

If you look at the media coverage of work on senolytic therapies, treatments that can clear out senescent cells and thus remove the contribution of these cells to the aging process, it is usually the case that there isn't much to distinguish it from the coverage of any random claim of progress towards anti-aging effects from either within or outside the scientific community: supplements, vitamins, diets, pharmaceuticals, and so forth. None of these other items work in the sense of repairing some of the cell and tissue damage that causes aging. The few that do slow aging do so marginally and in many cases unreliably. The output of the press is not the place one should be looking for accuracy or enlightenment, and it is […]



Alternative Splicing and Cancer

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:56:45 +0000

Of late, there has been some discussion in the research community on the role of alternative splicing in aging. Is it a relevant mechanism, and where does it fit in the chain of cause and consequence that leads to age-related disease? In the line of research noted here, the relevance of alternative splicing to cancer is considered - and of course cancer is certainly an age-related condition in the sense that the risk rises considerably with the years. Alternative splicing refers to the fact that one stretch of DNA, one gene, can code for multiple different proteins. Just like epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, this is another way in which the balance of proteins produced from the genetic blueprint can change over time, in […]



Even Lower Levels of Activity are Associated with Improved Health

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:12:31 +0000

With the advent of low-cost accelerometers, epidemiological studies are beginning to show that even lower levels of sustained activity correlate with reduced mortality and improved health: walking, gardening, cleaning, and similar tasks that don't rise to the level of vigorous exercise. Animal studies of vigorous exercise show that this exercise causes gains in long-term health, and the consensus is that this is the direction of causation for correlations observed in human data. Should we expect the same to hold for lower levels of activity in humans, where there is no comparable animal data to support causation? This study does not make use of accelerometers, but does include populations that are not frequently assessed, and finds the same association between health and low levels of activity. […]



MicroRNA in Macrophage Exosomes Mediates Harms Done by Visceral Fat Tissue

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 23:28:00 +0000

Enough excess visceral fat tissue will kill you. It causes chronic inflammation that accelerates all of the common fatal age-related diseases, and further produces disarray in metabolism leading to metabolic syndrome and then type 2 diabetes. Considering that type 2 diabetes can, for the vast majority of patients, be turned back even in the later stages through a sustained low calorie diet, it is quite amazing the amount of funding present in the field chasing pharmaceutical solutions to this condition. A sizable fraction of medical researchers are working on this problem rather than others precisely because that is where the funding is. Like the rest of us, scientists need to earn a living. Looking at the situation from a glass half full perspective, this work […]



Adjusting Neutrophil Behavior to Enhance Stroke Recovery

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:37:26 +0000

An emerging theme in regenerative research is the importance of the innate immune system to the mechanisms of tissue maintenance, and researchers have so far found a number of ways in which the behavior of these immune cells might potentially be adjusted in order to enhance healing. The scientific community has made initial strides with macrophages and microglia, shifting the balance of pro-inflammatory versus pro-regenerative cells, and here some of the same high level themes are observed in the response to injury of the innate immune cells known as neutrophils. It matters greatly as to whether these immune cells turn up at the point of injury in the mode of defending against intruding pathogens, or in the mode of assisting with repair; they are capable […]



Frailty is Not Entirely Irreversible, Even Now

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:31:09 +0000

The research materials here fit nicely with a recent post in which the degree to which frailty is self-inflicted was discussed. In this age of comfort and technology, people eat too much and exercise too little. The latter point is demonstrated in the numerous studies that show benefits in older individuals arising from structured exercise programs, a turning back of some of the advance of age-related disability. Thus the progression of frailty is not inexorable for those who choose to exercise more frequently in later years, a small example of the point that our choices do make a difference. As we age, we may be less able to perform daily activities because we may feel frail, or weaker than we have in the past. Frailer […]



Evidence Accumulates for Macrophages to be Central to Exceptional Regeneration

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:30:07 +0000

The immune system participates in regeneration, particularly the innate immune cells called macrophages. The behavior of these cells also appears to be an important part of the differences between (a) proficient regeneration, exhibited by salamanders, zebrafish, and to a lesser degree by a few mammals such as spiny mice, and (b) the limited regenerative capacities of the rest of the vertebrate kingdom. Cut off a finger or an arm, and we do not regrow that limb. Our hearts do not regenerate well from damage. Our nerves do not restore themselves from injury. Salamanders accomplish all of these things, and a number of groups in the life science research community are working towards an explanation for that difference. The research results noted here represent the latest […]



RIPK1 as a Target to Reduce Microglial Dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:02:04 +0000

One component of most neurodegenerative diseases is that classes of immune cells resident in the brain adopt disruptive, inflammatory behaviors. This is a reaction in some way to growing levels of damage in the form of aggregated proteins, such as amyloid-β and tau in Alzheimer's disease, but it isn't a helpful reaction. It makes the overall situation worse, producing greater dysfunction in the necessary operations of brain cells. Reducing this immune failure should help to slow disease progression even in the absence of effective ways to remove the protein aggregates - though that will have to happen as well in order to produce some form of cure. The research here ties into SENS views of the causes of aging and age-related disease, in that failure […]



Encapsulated Stem Cells Improve Heart Regeneration

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:24:56 +0000

Researchers here report on a cheaper implementation of encapsulation for transplanted stem cells, preventing the recipient's immune system from attacking cells originating from a different individual or even different species. Since the stem cells produce improvement in regeneration in heart tissue via signaling, there is no need to expose the cells themselves to the local environment - the cells are only needed at all because the signaling environment is not yet fully mapped and understood. Encapsulating transplanted cells in a nanogel extends their lifetime and thus the therapeutic effect. As a promising approach to tissue repair, multiple types of stem cells have entered the stage of clinical testing. However, their efficacy is limited by low retention and engraftment of transplanted cells, together with the potential […]



An Introduction to DAF-16 and FOXO in the Context of Aging and Longevity

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 00:44:33 +0000

In the early 1990s Cynthia Kenyon and others produced the first C. elegans nematode worms to exhibit significantly extended longevity through a single gene mutation, in daf-2, the nematode version of the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) receptor, and went on to map the relevant nearby biochemical landscape of these mutants. It is perhaps overly simplistic to mark this as the dividing line between a research mainstream whose members believed aging to be an intractably complex process, and a research mainstream increasingly interested in slowing aging through adjustment of metabolism, but that is the story as it is commonly told these days. The mechanisms of longevity enhancement in daf-2 mutants depend on daf-16, a FOXO family transcription factor. The roles of these and other related […]