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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: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:41:29 +0000


The California Life Company is Secretive, but Sadly Also Probably Irrelevant

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:33:27 +0000

It will not be news to this audience that the California Life Company, or Calico for short, Google's venture into aging research, is secretive. Outside of the staff, few people can do more than read the tea leaves regarding what exactly they are up to. The high level summary is that Google is channeling a large amount of funding into some sort of long-term development plan for therapeutics to treat aging as a medical condition. Over the past few years Calico has made sizable development deals with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and hired some of the most noteworthy names in the aging research community. It is usual for biotechnology and drug development companies to be fairly secretive in their early stages, for reasons that largely […]

Using CRISPR to Suppress Cytokine Receptors and Reduce Inflammation

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 11:24:41 +0000

Researchers believe they have established a method of reducing inflammation via epigenetic alterations that can in principle be broadly applied to a range of conditions in which inflammation is important. Inflammation is significant in aging, as the immune system falls into a malfunctioning state in which inflammatory mechanisms are inappropriately and consistently overactive. Unfortunately many age-related conditions are caused or accelerated by processes related to inflammation, and are age-related precisely because of this increase in inflammation over time. Dialing down inflammation thus has the potential to be broadly useful, if it can be accomplished in a suitably narrow and targeted way that minimizes any further negative impact on immune function. Researchers have discovered a way to curb chronic pain by modulating genes that reduce tissue- […]

Relations Between the Endoplasmic Reticulum and Mitochondria in Aging

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 11:15:12 +0000

This open access paper serves as a reminder that there is an enormous amount of complexity yet to be mapped and understood in cellular biochemistry, let alone in the way that this biochemistry changes over the course of aging. For example, there is still lot of room for discovery in, separately, the operation of mitochondria and the operation of the endoplasmic reticulum, both of which are of interest in the context of aging. Nothing in the cell is either static or stands alone, however, and so in addition to the internal operation of a specific type of cellular component, one has to also consider its relationships with other components, and how they interact in detail. It matters. This is one of the reasons why I […]

Further Investigations of Cellular Senescence in Muscle Aging and Frailty

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 23:49:59 +0000

As a topic for aging research, cellular senescence passed its tipping point a few years ago. Prior to that growth of interest and attention it was a struggle to raise funding for this area of work, and thus it didn't matter how compelling the evidence was for its involvement in the processes of aging. Researchers follow the course that ensures funding, not the course that ensures progress. Sometimes we are fortunate and those two streams overlap, but it is more often the case that great efforts of persuasion and philanthropy are required to shift the scientific mainstream onto the right track, such as that undertaken by the Methuselah Foundation and SENS Research Foundation over the past fifteen years. Never for one moment think that scientific […]

A Nanoparticle Cancer Vaccine Effective Against Multiple Varieties of Cancer

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:51:54 +0000

The most important projects in cancer research are those that might produce therapies effective against many different types of cancer. There are too many varieties of cancer and individual tumors can evolve too rapidly for the research community to achieve its goals by working on highly specific therapies. To defeat cancer within the next few decades, the aim must be to produce broadly effective therapies, targeting common mechanisms and vulnerabilities shared by many or all cancers. There projects cost the same as more narrowly applicable approaches, but are much more cost-effective for the results they might produce. The research noted here is among a number of lines of work that, collectively, are a step in the right direction, even if there is a way to […]

A Mechanism to Link Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:35:59 +0000

Air pollution is associated with increased mortality and risk of a variety of age-related diseases, but as is often the case in human epidemiological data it isn't all that clear as how much of this is due to direct versus indirect effects. Lesser degrees of air pollution are associated with wealthier regions of the world, for example, and wealth in turn correlates with lower mortality and less age-related disease. That said, there are range of direct mechanisms for air pollution to impact long-term health, some with better accompanying evidence than others, such as the one explored here: Tiny particles in air pollution have been associated with cardiovascular disease, which can lead to premature death. But how particles inhaled into the lungs can affect blood vessels […]

More Evidence for Senescent Cells as a Significant Cause of Osteoarthritis

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 23:45:51 +0000

UNITY Biotechnology has obtained a large amount of venture funding in order to work on senolytic therapies, treatments capable of removing significant numbers of the senescent cells that accumulate with advancing age. Cellular senescence is one of the root cases of aging, as these cells cause inflammation and disruption of tissue structure and function. Enough of them can and will kill you, though the usual mechanism of producing ultimately fatal age-related diseases, assuming that none of the other causes of aging get there first. The UNITY Biotechnology principals initially aim to push senolytics through the regulatory process as a treatment for degenerative joint conditions such as osteoarthritis, though in reality removal of senescent cells is a general purpose rejuvenation therapy that everyone should undergo every […]

An Approach to Deliver Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells to Solid Tumors

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:53:16 +0000

The approaches to cancer therapies that we should pay attention to are those capable of targeting many different types of cancer. The only practical way to meaningfully accelerate progress towards robust control of cancer as a whole is for the research community to prioritize treatments that have a much broader impact for a given investment in development. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) methods, in which T cells are engineered to direct their attention towards markers that identify cancer cells, can plausibly be adapted to many different cancers with minimal cost. Given that, they are a step in the right direction towards making cancer research cost-effective. So far CAR T cells have proven effective against various leukemias, but adapting this form of immunotherapy to the much larger […]

Exercise Improves Cognitive Function in Older Individuals

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:12:38 +0000

Researchers here analyze the results from dozens of papers in which exercise was shown to have a beneficial effect on cognitive function in older adults. The broad consensus is that the mechanisms for this effect primarily involve vascular health. There are numerous ways in which the cardiovascular system is linked to the function of the brain, ranging from the pace at which small blood vessels suffer structural failures and damage brain tissue to the capability to deliver sufficient nutrients to brain cells. Vascular dementia is the name given to the end stages of blood vessel failure and loss of sufficient blood supply to the brain, and it is quite common in patients found to be suffering any form of cognitive decline. A combination of aerobic […]

SENS Research Foundation Expands Collaboration with the Buck Institute to Work on Senescent Cells and Immune Aging

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:33:11 +0000

The SENS Research Foundation and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging are both based in the Bay Area, California, and collaborate on a small variety of projects relevant to the development of rejuvenation therapies. This includes clearance of the neurofibrillary tangles that appear in age-related tauopathies, to pick an example announced earlier this year. There is also some cross-pollination of researchers; the aging research field is still a comparatively small community, and people who are or have been involved in SENS rejuvenation research programs can be found scattered throughout. SENS research has been going on for long enough now to produce a fair number of alumni who have gone on to run their own labs or work in other parts of the field. Today […]