Tag Archives | Anti-Aging

The World’s Only Immortal Animal

Bryan Nelson of the Mother Nature Network writes via Yahoo Green:

The turritopsis nutricula species of jellyfish may be the only animal in the world to have truly discovered the fountain of youth.

Since it is capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage and back again, there may be no natural limit to its life span. Scientists say the hydrozoan jellyfish is the only known animal that can repeatedly turn back the hands of time and revert to its polyp state (its first stage of life).

The key lies in a process called transdifferentiation, where one type of cell is transformed into another type of cell. Some animals can undergo limited transdifferentiation and regenerate organs, such as salamanders, which can regrow limbs. Turritopsi nutricula, on the other hand, can regenerate its entire body over and over again. Researchers are studying the jellyfish to discover how it is able to reverse its aging process.

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Scientists Discover The Secret Of Aging

From the Financial Times:

One of the biggest puzzles in biology – how and why living cells age – has been solved by an international team based at Newcastle University, in north-east England.

The answer is complex, and will not produce an elixir of eternal life in the foreseeable future.

But the scientists expect better drugs for age-related illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease, to emerge from their discovery of the biochemical pathway involved in ageing.

The Newcastle team, working with the University of Ulm in Germany, used a comprehensive “systems biology” approach, involving computer modelling and experiments with cell cultures and genetically modified mice, to investigate why cells become senescent. In this aged state, cells stop dividing and the tissues they make up show physical signs of deterioration, from wrinkling skin to a failing heart.

The research, published by the journal Molecular Systems Biology, shows that when an ageing cell detects serious damage to its DNA – caused by the wear and tear of life – it sends out specific internal signals.

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Hacking Humanity: The Do-It-Yourself Biology Movement

bioperl-logo“I wanted to make a dent in the suffering and death caused by aging…” says one “DIY biologist”. “Of course, there are also DIYers with no ambitions to save the world, who are content to ‘make yogurt glow’ in the basement for their own personal satisfaction!”

And meanwhile, Tyson Anderson, a U.S. Army specialist, is engineering bioluminescent yeast to construct sugar-powered lamps for his friends in Afghanistan!

This article profiles a growing movement – DIY biology – that bypasses the bureaucracies hobbling traditional research to write their own genetic code and even design their own biological systems. (In one lab, the on-site laser was modified from a tattoo-removal system.) But the article predicts that “We will probably see a rise in the number of hobbyists who treat their own bodies as machines to be worked on – like a radio or a car – branching out from personalized genomics to things like DIY stem cell extraction and manipulation, DIY prosthetics, DIY neural prosthetics and sensory enhancements (infrared vision, anyone?), immune system testing, and general tweaking of whatever system strikes the hobbyist’s fancy!”

Right now there’s even a kind of DIYbio Flash mob, where large-scale collaborations come together to investigate “distributed environmental sensing” of microbe patterns around the world!… Read the rest

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Can Scientists End Aging by 2029?

Via H+ magazine:

“For the past 9 years, many of the world’s leading researchers have been quietly collaborating on a scientific roadmap to reverse — yes, completely reverse — the human aging process,” explains David A. Kekich. He’s the founder of new California biotech project that hopes to end the 100,000 lives lost to aging every day — and within 20 years! And according to this article, “It’s serious enough that members of the Obama Administration consider it to be one of the major global destabilizing forces of the next 25 years.”

Many of the project’s researchers believe we’re approaching “longevity escape velocity” — where medical advances outpace aging itself, “potentially making death-by-aging a choice rather than a date with destiny.” Two University of California researchers shared their findings at a kick-off event in November, where the group’s colloboration was disclosed to the public.”

Can you stay healthy enough to make it to 2029?… Read the rest

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Scientists Predict the End of Aging By 2029

Spencer Kornhaber writes in OC Weekly:

Call it an anti-death panel. We just received a press release saying that the world’s top aging scientists will converge on Manhattan Beach from November 13 through 15 to figure out how to put off that whole getting-old-and-dying thing.

The scientists, supposedly, will “predict the end of aging by 2029.” Which sounds cool but … We’ll all be kinda old by then anyways. Couldn’t they get this thing done now?

The topics at the conference will include gene therapy, nanotechnology and, of course, “Organ Re-Growth and Transplantation.” Sound like science fiction? Well, yeah. They realize: “Technology has so rapidly caught up with us that what was once the domain of science fiction movies and novels is quickly becoming mainstream medicine. Medical scientists are rapidly perfecting techniques that will enable organs and tissues to be re-grown in a test tube and transplanted, without the need for powerful drugs that poison the immune system.”

The conference is being put on by Life Extension Foundation, which is “the largest non-profit organization dedicated to research on extending the healthy human life span.” We’d assumed/hoped the organization would be based in Laguna Woods, but it’s actually centered in the Laguna Woods of America: Ft.

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How The Internet Is Altering Our Brains

Fox News reports on a new UCLA study:

Adults with little Internet experience show changes in their brain activity after just one week online, a new study finds.

The results suggest Internet training can stimulate neural activation patterns and could potentially enhance brain function and cognition in older adults.

As the brain ages, a number of structural and functional changes occur, including atrophy, or decay, reductions in cell activity and increases in complex things like deposits of amyloid plaques and tau tangles, which can impact cognitive function.

Research has shown that mental stimulation similar to the stimulation that occurs in individuals who frequently use the Internet may affect the efficiency of cognitive processing and alter the way the brain encodes new information.

“We found that for older people with minimal experience, performing Internet searches for even a relatively short period of time can change brain activity patterns and enhance function,” Dr.

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Americans Win Nobel For Research On Aging

Jon Hamilton reports for NPR:

Three American scientists who made key discoveries about how living cells age have received the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

The winners are Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco; Carol W. Greider of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; and Jack Szostak of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

The scientists all study telomeres — structures that act like caps on the ends of chromosomes and protect them when cells divide. Chromosomes are the long strands of DNA that contain a living creature’s genetic code.

Working in different labs, the scientists figured out how telomeres allow genes to be copied without losing any information, a process that delays the aging of cells.

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Scientists Find Path to Fountain of Youth

By Jean-Louis Santini for AFP

The fountain of youth may exist after all, as a study showed that scientists have discovered means to extend the lifespan of mice and primates.

The key to eternal — or at least prolonged — youth lies in genetic manipulation that mimics the health benefits of reducing calorie intake, suggesting that aging and age-related diseases can be treated.

Scientists from the Institute of Healthy Ageing at University College London (UCL) extended the lifespan of mice by up to a fifth and reduced the number of age-related diseases affecting the animals after they genetically manipulated them to block production of the S6 Kinase 1 (S6K1) protein.

Scientists have shown since the 1930s that reducing the calorie intake by 30 percent for rats, mice and — in a more recent finding — primates can extend their lifespan by 40 percent and have health benefits.

By blocking S6K1, which is involved in the body’s response to changes in food intake, similar benefits were obtained without reducing food intake, according to the study published in the US journal Science.… Read the rest

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Quest for a Long Life Gains Scientific Respect

Lee Hoffman, our tech guru and CEO of the excellent content aggregator Veritocracy, alerted us to this New York Times article about anti-aging science becoming mainstream:

BOSTON — Who would have thought it? The quest for eternal life, or at least prolonged youthfulness, has now migrated from the outer fringes of alternative medicine to the halls of Harvard Medical School.

At a conference on aging held here last week, the medical school’s dean, Jeffrey Flier, was to be seen greeting participants who ranged from members of the 120 club (they intend to live at least that long) to devotees of very low calorie diets.

The heavyweight at the conference was Sirtris Pharmaceuticals. The company is developing drugs that mimic resveratrol, a chemical found in some red wines. Resveratrol has been found to activate proteins called sirtuins, from which the company derives its name. Activation of sirtuins is thought to help the body ride out famines.

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