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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: Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:44:30 +0000

 



Newton was an Alchemist

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:39:36 +0000

As I'm sure many people are aware these days, with the greater availability of historical materials and their analysis, Isaac Newton was as much alchemist as scientist. His worldview encompassed mysticism, mathematics, and cosmology in equal parts, a function of his time. You can't really pick apart Newton the scientist from Newton the mystic, Newton of the equations and proofs from Newton of the search for the philosopher's stone. A person is a fusion, not a collection of parts. You also can't paint Newton as somehow distinct from his peers in this - he was an outlier in his intelligence, his vision, and his work ethic, not in his views on alchemy. Keep this in mind as a framing device; I point it out because […]



Visceral Fat Harms Cardiovascular Health and Increases Risk of Disease

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:44:30 +0000

Visceral fat is the fat tissue packed around the abdominal organs, as opposed to the more visible subcutaneous fat under the skin. It is much more harmful and metabolically active. The more visceral fat tissue you have, and the longer you carry it, the shorter your life expectancy, the higher your lifetime medical costs, and the greater your risk of suffering all of the common age-related diseases. At present the research community consensus is that chronic inflammation is the major mechanism connecting these items; visceral fat tissue acts to increase inflammation through a number of processes, and inflammation is a major contributing factor to the pace at which age-related disease and dysfunction emerges. Studies have shown that people who carry excess abdominal fat around their […]



ERK Inhibition Proposed as a Target for Muscle Regeneration

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:42:01 +0000

Many researchers are investigating potential means to spur greater muscle growth and regeneration in older people, ways to at least partially compensate for the characteristic loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs with age, a condition known as sarcopenia. Physical weakness is a sizable component of the frailty of aging, and restoring the ability of the elderly to move and act with confidence would be a tremendous gain. The current range of candidate therapies tend not to address root causes, the underlying molecular damage that causes aging, and vary from the debatable amino acid supplementation to the very promising myostatin blockade. Here researchers propose another possible target and present initial results in mice: Sarcopenia, age-related loss of muscle quantity and quality, is a crucial […]



Calorie Restriction Reduces Age-Related Weakening of Blood Vessels

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 23:31:21 +0000

Since calorie restriction is the topic for the day so far, I thought I'd finish up by pointing out a recent paper that examines just one of the many concrete benefits that are produced through the practice of calorie restriction. In this case the focus is on blood vessel integrity, and the researchers demonstrate that a low calorie diet in mice reduces the risk of suffering an aneurysm, a localized weakening and consequent distortion of blood vessel walls. Aneurysms in major blood vessels ultimately lead to rupture and bleeding that is far more often fatal than survivable. Larger aneurysms in the brain can cause significant issues even without rupturing because they displace neural tissue, possibly disrupting vital functions as a result. It isn't too difficult […]



Calorie Restriction and Protection Against Age-Related Neurological Disorders

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 13:16:04 +0000

The practice of calorie restriction is demonstrated to slow near every aspect of aging in laboratory species, and in humans it greatly improves measures of health related to risk of age-related disease. Here researchers look specifically at effects on the molecular biochemistry of cells in the brain, protective mechanisms that slow the progression and impact of age-related neurological disorders: Mechanisms that increase longevity and, perhaps most importantly, promote longer health spans (lower or delayed incidence of age-related diseases) have always attracted attention. The most effective intervention known to date to prevent age-related decline and promote better health spans in a wide variety of organisms, ranging from yeast to primates, is caloric restriction (CR). This dietary intervention typically consists of a 20-40% reduction in caloric intake […]



A Discussion of the Effects of Calorie Restriction

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12:47:08 +0000

Calorie restriction, reducing calorie intake while maintaining optimal levels of micronutrients, produces beneficial alterations in near all aspects of metabolism. It extends healthy life spans in near all species investigated to date, through this effect is much larger in short-lived species that have evolved a greater plasticity of life span in response to circumstances. In humans the consensus is that it might make a difference of a few years to overall life span, but it certainly greatly improves measures of health and lowers risk of age-related disease, suggesting the effect on healthspan is probably larger. Here, researchers discuss the effects of calorie restriction and some of the candidate calorie restriction mimetic drugs. It is a lengthy paper, but worth reading if you'd like a comprehensive […]



Fight Aging! Newsletter, September 26th 2016

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 11:00:44 +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 […]



A Selection of Views on Cryonics from the Cryonics Community

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 00:57:05 +0000

Here I'll point out a good article on cryonics and its nuances in the online press; it includes thoughts from people working at cryonics providers, people signed up for cryopreservation, and advocates with various viewpoints. Like any community there are a range of opinions on what constitutes progress and the best strategy for moving ahead, and just as many motivations as there are individuals involved. What is cryonics? It is the low-temperature preservation of at least the brain as closely following death as possible. Early preservations in the 1960s and 1970s were a matter of straight freezing, and thus the preserved individuals are most likely characterized by extensive tissue damage due to ice crystal formation. Later preservations have used increasingly better forms of vitrification, in […]



Mitochondria in Muscle Aging and Sarcopenia

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 11:27:46 +0000

This review paper takes a look at some of what is known of the contribution of mitochondrial dysfunction to age-related loss of muscle mass and strength, progressing towards the condition known as sarcopenia. The hundreds of mitochondria packed into every cell act as power plants; these evolved descendants of symbiotic bacteria are responsible for, among many other things, generating chemical energy stores to power cellular operations. This process also produces potentially disruptive reactive oxygen species as a byproduct, but the structures most likely to take the brunt of that disruption are the mitochondria themselves. Mitochondrial damage is important in the aging process, producing a growing population of dysfunctional cells that export harmful reactive molecules into surrounding tissues, giving rise to damaged proteins that contribute to […]



Rejuvenation Research should be the Highest of Priorities

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:15:44 +0000

In this op-ed, Aubrey de Grey of the SENS Research Foundation argues that finding effective ways to treat the causes of the aging process should be the highest priority for our societies. No other single thing causes anywhere near as much suffering, loss, and death, and yet few resources are devoted to bringing an end to aging. Few people seem to realize just how plausible it is to build rejuvenation therapies in the near future given the present advanced state of biotechnology and medical research. Some of those therapies are under development in startup companies even today, but much more work remains ahead, at present supported only by a low level of funding. So much more could be achieved, and far more rapidly, given sufficient […]