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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, 10 Dec 2016 00:48:15 +0000


An Interview with Mantas Matjusaitis of CellAge, Crowdfunding New Senescent Cell Markers and Removal Methodologies

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 00:43:56 +0000

I mentioned CellAge some weeks ago; a new entry to the collection of companies and research groups interested in developing the means to safely identify and remove senescent cells from old tissues. A few days later one of those companies, UNITY Biotechnology, announced a sizable $116 million venture round, which certainly put the field on the map for anyone who wasn't paying attention up until that point. In contrast, CellAge are determinedly taking the non-profit route, and intend to make the progress they create freely available to the field. Why are senescent cells important? Because they are a cause of aging, and removing them is a narrowly focused form of rejuvenation, shown to restore function and extend healthy life in animal studies. An increasing number […]

Applying More Rigor to the Search for Drug Candidates to Modestly Slow Aging

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 14:14:44 +0000

The majority of researchers interested in treating aging as a medical condition are involved in work that will, at best, only modestly slow the progression of age-related disease and dysfunction. They do not follow the SENS view of damage repair to produce rejuvenation, but rather the idea that one must alter the operation of metabolism in order to slow down the pace at which damage occurs. The scope of the possible benefits is much smaller via this approach, and further it is probably more expensive to achieve those lesser results. Altering metabolism safely requires a greater level of understanding than repairing the existing and well-understood forms of damage that produce aging, and generating that understanding is slow and expensive. You might look back at the […]

Exercise Improves Arterial Resilience to Age-Related Increases in Oxidative Stress

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 13:54:27 +0000

Researchers digging deeper into the mechanisms by which exercise produces benefits have found that it improves the resistance of blood vessels to oxidative stress. With age the presence of oxidizing molecules and oxidative modification of proteins, preventing correct function, increases for reasons that include damage to mitochondria, the power plants of the cell. Oxidative damage to molecular machinery is somewhere in the middle of the chain of cause and effect that starts with fundamental forms of damage to cells and tissues and spirals down into age-related diseases. Near all of this oxidation is repaired very quickly, the damaged molecules dismantled and recycled, but in most contexts more of it over the long term is worse than less of it. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading […]

Recent Research on Modulating Muscle Stem Cell Decline with Aging

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:41:36 +0000

Today I'll point out a couple of recent papers that are illustrative of present research into muscle stem cells and the changes that take place in these cell populations with age. Note the interest in finding ways to modulate those changes, slow them down, or somewhat reverse them. Muscle stem cells are one of the most studied of stem cell populations, a state of affairs that is partly historical accident and partly because it is easier to obtain cells to work with that is the case for many other tissues. There are hundreds of cell types in the body, and every different form of tissue is supported by its own populations of stem cells and progenitor cells at various stages of differentiation. They are all […]

Age-Related Inflammation and its Effects on the Generation of Immune Cells

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 14:24:44 +0000

With age, the immune system falls into a state of ever increasing chronic inflammation, a process known as inflammaging: the immune system is overactive, but nonetheless declines in effectiveness at the same time. Researchers here consider how inflammaging can damage the bone marrow stem cell populations responsible for generating immune cells, possibly the basis for a vicious cycle in which the failures of the immune system feed upon themselves to accelerate age-related damage and dysfunction. Hematopoiesis is an active, continuous process involving the production and consumption of mature blood cells that constitute the hemato-lymphoid system. All blood cells arise from a small population of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the bone marrow (BM) that have two unique properties: self-renewing capacity, the ability to generate themselves, […]

Immune Function as a Biomarker of Age and Predictor of Remaining Life Expectancy

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 13:36:47 +0000

The immune system declines with age, as the proportion of its cells capable of responding to new threats falls, autoimmunity increases, and the system as a whole enters a state of constant, rising inflammation. The failure of the immune system speeds other forms of damage and dysfunction in aging, as immune cells are responsible for killing potentially harmful cells, such as those that become senescent or precancerous. The immune system also plays important roles in a variety of essential processes, such as wound healing and maintenance of brain tissues. Clearing out the causes of immune system decline will be a necessary part of any future toolkit of rejuvenation therapies. The open access paper linked here is an illustration of the importance of immune function in […]

ErythroMer as a Step Forward in Artificial Blood

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:51:56 +0000

A recent conference presentation on the artificial blood product ErythroMer has been doing the rounds in the press in the past few days. It sounds like the researchers involved have made meaningful progress towards overcoming many of the practical hurdles that have halted similar lines of work. You might take a look back in the Fight Aging! archives for a good open access review that covers many of the attempts to create nanoparticles and cell-like entities that can usefully

Evaluating the Effects of Calorie Restriction on Biomarkers of Human Health and Aging

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:53:57 +0000

This very readable open access paper is illustrative of the sort of work presently taking place to try to put some numbers to the effects of calorie restriction in humans, though note that these researchers are very focused on the harms caused by excess visceral fat tissue rather than other possible mechanisms. When it comes to the practice of calorie restriction there is plenty of data for the short term benefits to health, and via existing epidemiological studies that can be extrapolated the longer term reduced risk of age-related disease, but there is very little data that sheds light on the degree to which calorie restriction should be expected to extend human life expectancy. We know it won't do as much for human life span […]

Fewer Defects in RNA Splicing Linked to Multiple Ways of Slowing Aging

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:15:19 +0000

Researchers have found a common underlying mechanism that appears necessary for the modest slowing of aging achieved via a variety of methods, including calorie restriction and mechanisms related to the mTOR pathway. Since most aspects of cellular biochemistry influence one another, and most methods of slowing aging have (a) a very similar range of effects and (b) don't appear to stack with one another, it shouldn't be surprising that researchers continue to find shared underlying molecular machinery. Researchers have linked the function of a core component of cells' machinery - which cuts and rejoins RNA molecules in a process known as "RNA splicing" - with longevity in the roundworm. The finding sheds light on the biological role of splicing in lifespan and suggests that manipulating […]

Angiotensin Receptor Autoimmunity Correlates with Age-Related Frailty and Hypertension

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 00:23:44 +0000

Autoimmunity is the name given to a very large class of conditions in which the immune system malfunctions and attacks the body's own cells and machinery. Each different inappropriate target produces a different autoimmune condition, ranging from demyelination diseases like multiple sclerosis, in which the immune system attacks processes and molecules necessary for maintenance of the sheath of myelin that coats nerves, to inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, in which the most obvious damage occurs at the joints. In between lie autoimmune conditions for near every important aspect of our biochemistry. While it is true that the best known autoimmune conditions are not all that age-related - rheumatoid arthritis is noted as "a disease of young women" by some sources, for example - autoimmunity […]