They say age is “just a number” — but it’d be nice if that number could be a little higher before people were expected to die. The aging process has been studied for a long time, but no one has found the silver bullet that stops people from getting older (unless there are some immortals hiding among us). Still, medicine is making some slow progress towards understanding how we age — and how we might prevent ourselves from aging.
- Researchers may have found a way to make mice live much longer — by removing certain cells (senescent cells) from their bodies. Take a healthy mouse, start removing these senescent cells twice a week, and that mouse will live about 25% longer and stay healthier compared to an untreated mouse with identical genetics and a controlled diet. There could be serious side effects for doing this in people, but maybe start taking scientific “cleanses” seriously…. [url]
- There’s a correlation with having more children and longer telomeres… for a sample of women from rural Guatemalan communities. Longer telomeres are associated with cell replication and longevity, but aging is a not a simple process. And obviously, there’s a limit to the effect or else mothers of a dozen or so kids would live a surprisingly long time (plus the data could look a bit better). [url]
- If longer telomeres really does the trick, though, for leading to longer, healthier lives, then there might be a way to lengthen them artificially. It’s too late for Roy Batty, but maybe not for us (or Rick Deckard). [url]
- There isn’t just one theory about how cells age, but there’s more doubt for the mitochondrial theory of aging that proposes that accumulated mutations in mitochondrial DNA lead to age-related mitochondrial defects. There may be other forms of genetic regulation, like epigenetic regulation, that lead to the effects of aging. [url]
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