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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: Sat, 18 Nov 2017 00:12:54 +0000

 



Defenestration and the Roots of Age-Related Insulin Resistance

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 00:10:44 +0000

Defenestration is apparently a word with two meanings. The second, a scientific term, is the removal or loss of fenestrations. Let it never be said that this is not a place of learning. What, one might ask, are fenestrations? This is another word adopted by the scientific community and given an additional meaning: it refers to a collection of small openings or pores in our biology. The particular small openings or pores that concern us today are those found in the blood vessels of the liver, one of the organs involved in the development and progression of type 2 diabetes. While we might tend to think of type 2 diabetes as a disease caused by excess fat tissue, and for more than 90% of patients […]



Towards Better Artificial Alternatives to Cartilage Tissue

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:16:59 +0000

It will be interesting to watch the accelerating development of biological versus non-biological replacements for damaged tissue over the next few decades. Both are improving at a fair pace, and there is a sizable area of overlap between the two sides of the field. If a nonbiological alternative gets the job done, then why not use it in place of engineered tissue? At the moment, new patient-matched engineered tissue would be a better long term alternative, considering the various challenges that result from introducing long-term implants into the body, but in near all cases that is not yet an option. Twenty years from now, however, many forms of replacement will have competing tissue engineered and wholly artificial alternatives available in the market, and the trade-offs […]



Stem Cell Therapy Partially, Unreliably Repairs Spinal Cord Injuries in Rats

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:47:43 +0000

Engineering regeneration of an injured spinal cord is one of the fields to watch as a marker of capabilities in stem cell medicine. There is a fair amount of funding and effort directed towards this goal, and it requires overcoming a number of issues that are relevant to other types of regenerative medicine. These include overcoming scarring, inducing healing in tissues that normally do not regenerate in adults, ensuring the reliability of the outcome, and so forth. As the study here indicates, reliability remains a challenge. In all stem cell therapies, the factors that affect patient outcomes are still poorly understood. Engineered tissue containing human stem cells has allowed paraplegic rats to walk independently and regain sensory perception. The implanted rats also show some degree […]



Mild Mitochondrial Stress Found to Prevent Some of the Age-Related Declines in Cellular Maintenance in Nematodes

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 02:52:16 +0000

Hormesis is a near ubiquitous phenomenon in living organisms and their component parts: a little damage, a short or mild exposure to damaging circumstances, can result in a net benefit to health and longevity. Cells respond to damage or stress by increasing their self-repair efforts for some period of time, maintaining their function more effectively than would otherwise have been the case. At the high level, the outcomes of hormesis have been measured for a wide variety of stresses and systems, from individual cells to entire organisms. At the low level of specific biochemical processes and interaction of components inside the cell, there is a lot more mapping and cataloging to be accomplished, however. The research noted below is an example of the this sort […]



The Results of Most Potential Biomarkers of Aging Vary Considerably

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:35:17 +0000

As expected, a study finds that the numerous candidate biomarkers of aging vary widely in their assessments of biological age. This makes complete sense, as (a) aging is caused by a number of distinct processes of damage accumulation, and (b) most of the assessments measure one or more metrics that are more influenced by some forms of damage than by others. To pick an easy example, when measuring aging by skin-related metrics such as wrinkles, appearance, and elasticity, what is seen is primarily the consequences of cross-linking. If measuring fibrosis in organs, then that is primarily cellular senescence and immune system dysfunction. If measuring grip strength, falling numbers here are caused by the contributions to sarcopenia, which so far appears to be caused primarily by […]



A Profile of James Clement's Supercentenarian Research

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 11:45:02 +0000

Should James Clement's name remain well-known in association any of the present day work on human longevity, one would hope it will be as one of the pioneers to first organize trials of senolytic therapies in humans, via his Betterhumans organization. This is far from the only research interest of this citizen scientist, however, and in past years he has put in a great deal of time and effort to expand what is known of the genetics and biochemistry of supercentenarians, rare individuals who survive past the age of 110. That is the focus of the article here. For my part I think that the genetics of supercentenarians are not the place to look for meaningful therapies to lengthen life. After all, these individuals are […]



Human PAI-1 Loss of Function Mutants Found to Live Seven Years Longer than Peers

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:40:31 +0000

Researchers have found a noteworthy effect on longevity in a small study population that includes the only known individuals with a loss of function mutation in plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). Individuals with the mutation live seven years longer on average than near relatives without it. Repeating the study with larger groups of people obviously isn't a practical option in the case of rare mutations - we're stuck with the family trees that the research community is fortunate enough to identify - but one nonetheless has to wish for more individuals, in order to obtain a more reliable confirmation, when an effect of this size is reported. It means taking a step back to revisit questions we've asked ourselves about the odds of finding significant longevity-enhancing […]



The Limits to Human Longevity, or Lack Thereof

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:36:29 +0000

This open access paper is a good resource if you happen to want a list of references to the mainstream scientific discussion of the past twenty years regarding trends in human life expectancy, and the predicted future of those trends. It is somewhat myopic beyond that in the sense that it gives little credit to the idea that the trend might continue or increase, as a result of future technological progress in medicine. The trend is an artifact of human efforts, and as such the size of the trend is entirely dependent on how well medicine can be made to address the causes of aging. In the past, no effort at all was directed towards treating the causes of aging, and the small degree of […]



Libella Gene Therapeutics Plans Human Telomerase Gene Therapy Trial

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 12:46:22 +0000

My attention was recently directed to another new group planning patient paid human trials of telomerase gene therapy. This is a company associated with Sierra Sciences and the RAAD Festival crowd, meaning the Life Extension Foundation principals. These folk have of late started to fund a number of interesting efforts, such as the Betterhumans senolytics trials. This is another in that series. Is telomerase gene therapy a useful treatment for aging? In mice it extends life span, most likely through effects such as greater immune activity and greater stem cell activity, but possibly also via other mechanisms. Telomerase acts to lengthen telomeres at the ends of chromosomes, but it also has a range of other functions, some of which might positively impact mitochondrial function. Average […]



A Review of the Recent History of Parabiosis Research

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 01:15:58 +0000

Today, a history of parabiosis studies, albeit one rather biased towards the idea that signals present in young blood might be used to produce benefits in the old. It is possibly a little early to be taking firm sides on that question given the contradictory research results to date. Parabiosis is the name given to linking the circulatory systems of two individuals in order to compare the effects on both sides. Of late it has been used in aging research, joining a young mouse and an old mouse in search of answers regarding the degree to which aging is influenced by a changing balance of signals in the bloodstream. This influence should be a secondary or later consequence in the chain of cause and effect […]