Space aging

People have been talking about terraforming and colonizing Mars since the beginning of space travel, and in the past few years that ambition seems to have gone mainstream. But if we want to conquer the “final frontier” of space, we must first confront that other final frontier. Because, as it turns out, the problem with…

An ounce of prevention | Interview with Dr. Michael Ristow (part iii)

For the most part, we know how to mitigate the chronic diseases that plague people in their older years–eat healthily from early on, and get plenty of exercise. But this knowledge hasn’t translated into better health for society at large, and medical systems all around the world are straining increasingly under the weight of aging…

Using neurodegeneration to fight cancer safely and effectively

The researchers bound the kind of siRNA found in Huntington’s disease with a complementary strand from another degenerative disorder, myotonic dystrophy, to create a hybrid duplex, then put this inside nanoparticles that were quickly gobbled up by cancer cells in culture. All varieties of cancer tested–ovarian, lung, liver, melanoma, and several more–stopped growing within a…

The chaotic inner life of cancer

(Continued from part I) Most people who’ve meet cancer on the battlefield of treatment, doctors or patients, come away with the impression of a robust and formidable foe that can only be defeated with the most terrible weapons. But this impression is somewhat misleading. The cancers that come to our attention are selected for being…

Glucosamine: The new metformin? | Interview with Dr. Michael Ristow (part ii)

Last week when we heard from Dr. Ristow, he turned the outdated notion of the “free radical theory of aging” on its head, and demonstrated that antioxidants like vitamin A and vitamin C aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. But if those supplements can’t help us, what can? Perhaps, says Ristow, the answer can…

Free radicals are not your enemy | An interview with Dr. Michael Ristow (part i)

Dr. Michael Ristow, a professor of energy metabolism at ETH Zurich, bases much of his research into aging on a premise that many of us will find surprising: the free radicals that our cells produce while making energy are not only not harmful, but can even slow the body’s aging down. But while that might…

This chip can pluck the bad apples out of your blood

Many years from now, you’re reclining in one of the many gray-blue armchairs that line the walls of a clinic. Your arm is propped up on a collapsible plastic armrest, and two thin tubes lead from your wrist to the slender white machine next to you, one tube delivering your blood to the machine’s mysterious…

James Peyer: Where are stem cell therapies headed?

Someday soon we may be able to replace tissues or entire organs with those grown from a patients’ own stem cells… but just how soon? What challenges do stem cell therapies face on the path of development, as they progress from the lab to the commercial world? James Peyer, investor and former stem cell biologist, answers below…

Will this protein help speed up clinical trials?

Biomarkers are a big deal in the clinical world: if as a doctor you’re able to take one simple measurement that allows you to look into a patient’s future, you’ve potentially elevated your practice of medicine from imprecise art to exact science. The better the biomarkers in your arsenal, the more information you have to…

James Peyer: Why primary indications matter

“Aging” isn’t a disease as recognized by the FDA–not yet anyway. But then how will the companies trialing anti-aging drugs ever get regulatory approval? It’s simple: just choose a “primary indication” to test your drug with. Of course, that choice itself is rather difficult when you’re considering a geroprotector. Here’s how investors think about it…

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