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With February behind us and spring approaching, it is again time to look back at the highlights in the field of aging research and rejuvenation during the past month.

LEAF news

Team and activities

LEAF to host second webinar: Following our first very well-received webinar, which saw the participation of around 30 people, we’re going to host a second one—this time, on the topic of the human microbiome (gut bacteria) and its connection to aging. The webinar, announced in late February, will be held on April 8 and will feature Dr. Mike Lustgarten, Dr. Amy Proal, and Dr. Cosmo Mielke as guests. Our monthly patrons, the Lifespan Heroes, will have the opportunity to join the webinar live and ask questions during the Q&A session, and a recording of the show will also be made available for them some months prior to public release.

Update on our next conference: We are currently in the process of organizing our second conference in New York City, and we recently released an update about its speakers, which currently include Dr. Morgan Levine from Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Mike Bonkowski from Harvard Medical School, Dr. James Peyer from Apollo Ventures, and Ichor Therapeutics CEO Kelsey Moody. You can currently save money by taking advantage of our Early Bird ticket option up until March 31st and save $50 off the regular price for this exciting two-day event.

School of longevity journalism: Our outreach director Elena Milova continues to develop this method of educating reporters about aging research, and on February 26th, she co-chaired the second School of Longevity Journalism in partnership with the local Media Institute for Public Health. During the event, Dr. Vadim Gladyshev presented an overview of what we know about aging and what the most promising areas of research are, while Elena and Anna Dobryukha from Komsomolskaya Pravda shared the tips on how to write an article that would be understandable, accurate and interesting to the public. Elena is now planning to run a School in New York City—we’ll keep you updated.

Ryan O’Shea from Future Grind returns with the February Rejuvenation Roundup Podcast.

Lifespan.io interviews

Kelsey Moody: During his attendance at the Longevity Leaders Conference, LEAF board director Steve Hill had a chance to catch up with Ichor Therapeutics CSO Kelsey Moody and ask him about the current progress and future plans at Ichor, one of the companies that is pushing the rejuvenation biotech industry forward.

Sebastian Aguiar: Javier Noris, the coordinator of LEAF’s Longevity Investor Network (LIN), brought us an interview with a LIN investor, Sebastian Aguiar. In his interview, Sebastian explained where his interest in this field came from and talked about his experience in and views on the longevity investment sector.

Lifespan.io campaign updates

News from MouseAge: MouseAge, the photographic aging clock app that we successfully crowdfunded in late 2017, has now been around for a while, and the MouseAge team sent us an update on its latest milestones.

Advocacy on LEAF

The Life Extensionist’s Guide To Logical Fallacies: Advocacy is always a difficult job, but when advocating for life extension, discussions are bound to be ridden with all manner of logical fallacies often committed by rejuvenation opponents and sometimes even advocates themselves. This handy guide, which has republished after a thorough update and a graphical revamp, may be very useful for your own advocacy efforts.

Research Roundup

Cellular senescence

A Step Towards Developing Better Senescent Cell Biomarkers: A recent publication suggests that the protein p16INK4a might be a potential biomarker for senescent cells.

Removing Senescent Cells Improves Heart Health: Newcastle University scientists have shown that it is possible to reverse heart aging in mice by eliminating senescent cells from the heart.

Insight into tumor suppressive and tumor promoting effects of cellular senescence: A Wistar Institute study published in Nature Cell Biology suggests that increased NAD+ levels influence the secretory activity of senescent cells; increased SASP secretion may, in turn, promote tumor growth.

Epigenetic alterations

DNA Methylation GrimAge Strongly Predicts Lifespan and Healthspan: According to a recent study, the epigenetic clock GrimAge is an effective aging biomarker that predicts both healthspan and lifespan with significantly more accuracy than chronological age.

Older Biological Age Linked to Elevated Breast Cancer Risk. NIH scientists published a study showing a clear link between older biological age, measured via epigenetic clocks, and breast cancer risk in women.

Blood Cells Could Hold Master Clock Behind Aging: Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine published a study in Aging Cell showing that transplanted blood cells appear to maintain the same DNA methylation patterns, i.e. the same biological age; older blood cells implanted in younger bodies and younger blood cells implanted in older bodies seem to reflect their donors’ ages many years after being transplanted.

Other

RNA-binding Proteins and Aging: Scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne published a study on the link between RNA-binding proteins and aging. Ariah Mackie discussed the study on our website.

New Aging Clock Accurately Predicts Biological Age: According to a study by researchers at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, the ribosomal clock, a new type of aging clock, is a measure of biological age as accurate as the existing epigenetic clock.

A CRISPR Gene Therapy for Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria: Researchers at the Salk Institute published a paper outlining a CRISPR-based method to reduce the buildup of progerin, a protein that drives progeria. The study may prove useful for a future treatment against progeria and sheds light on some mechanisms of aging.

Young bone marrow rejuvenate aging mouse brains, study finds: A study published on Communications Biology shows that transplanting bone marrow from young mice into old mice slows down cognitive decline in the animals, which could provide insights into the progression of neurodegenerative diseases in humans and how to slow them down.

Bacteria keep us healthy – but could they keep us young?: A study by scientists from the Pasteur Institute in France found that transferring gut microbiota from young mice into older mice resulted in a significant improvement of the elderly mice’s cognitive abilities; conversely, microbiota from old mice impaired the memory and learning skills of younger mice, hinting that the microbiome has a strong effect on at least some aspects of aging.

News Nuggets

A TEDx talk by Dr. Guilhem Velvé Casquillas: The CEO of Long Long Life, Dr. Guilhem Velvé Casquillas, recently gave a TEDx talk on the methods of measuring aging and why they are important in fighting against it. The talk is in French, but subtitles in English are available, and this page contains an English transcription of the talk.

What If Aging Could Be Slowed and Health Spans Extended?: In this interview, Dr. Nir Barzilai explains how most people look at aging in the wrong way—as individual diseases to cure rather than a more fundamental set of processes to interfere with. He also discusses metformin and the hot topic of senolytics.

New Academy to Boost the Image of Life Extension: The Academy for Health and Lifespan Research, a nonprofit set up by 16 leading scientists in the field of aging research, is now operative in Boston and will seek to speed up the rise of rejuvenation biotechnology; the Academy will organize research forums and lobby governments for more aging research funds and the introduction of new regulatory pathways to ease therapy development.

Hallmarks of Aging — Altered Intercellular Communication: LEAF writer Patrick Deane concluded our series on the Hallmarks of Aging with an article discussing the hallmark of altered intercellular communication. This integrative hallmark is a consequence of other hallmarks, and, as Patrick explained in his article, it may be partly addressed by addressing the hallmarks from which it derives.

A Report from the Longevity Therapeutics Summit: LEAF volunteer Tam Hunt attended the recent Longevity Therapeutics Summit held in San Francisco last January, and last month, he brought us a report on the talks of the experts who attended the event.

A Cell-Killing Strategy to Slow Aging Passed Its First Test This Year: In this MIT Technology Review article, Karen Weintraub reports on a small dasatinib–quercetin trial that was conducted on 14 volunteers suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The trial was successful in that the senolytic drugs appeared to have improved some measures of well-being in the patients, and it may open the way for larger trials.

How to Live This Life Better: Effective Altruism in the Context of Longevity: In a Forbes article, Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov—CEO of Insilico Medicine—discusses effective altruism and how, in his opinion, focusing on rejuvenation biotechnology is the most effective way to direct one’s altruistic efforts.

Coming up in March

Undoing Aging 2019

The great event of March is, of course, the Undoing Aging 2019 conference, which will be held in Berlin on March 28-30. UA2019 is a joint effort by SENS Research Foundation and Forever Healthy Foundation, and it will feature luminaries in aging from all over the world, such as Dr. Judy Campisi, Dr. Julie K. Andersen, Dr. Jerri Shay, Dr. Nir Barzilai, and many more. The LEAF team will also be attending in almost full force, so UA2019 is both an opportunity to learn about this nascent field and an occasion to meet with the engine room of rejuvenation advocacy! You can book your tickets here.

Thank you for spending another month with us; each month, there seems to be more and more to be said about the rejuvenation world, and we love sharing all of this with our readers. If you’d like to help us hasten the defeat of aging, you can support us by becoming a Lifespan Hero.

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About the author

Nicola Bagalà

Nicola is a bit of a jack of all trades—a holder of an M.Sc. in mathematics; an amateur programmer; a hobbyist at novel writing, piano and art; and, of course, a passionate life extensionist. After his interest in the science of undoing aging arose in 2011, he gradually shifted from quiet supporter to active advocate in 2015, first launching his advocacy blog Rejuvenaction before eventually joining LEAF. These years in the field sparked an interest in molecular biology, which he actively studies. Other subjects he loves to discuss to no end are cosmology, artificial intelligence, and many others—far too many for a currently normal lifespan, which is one of the reasons he’s into life extension.
  1. March 1, 2019

    Great summary! See you at Ending Aging.

    Some more recent papers that may be of interest:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-08555-w

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41556-019-0287-4

    Also check out my recent lecture on geroscience, feel free to share it:

    Geroscience: The Biology of Aging @ Oxford (Lord Florey Lecture by Sebastian Aguiar)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxQ5TzZW4cQ

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