On Biomarkers of Aging

InfoAging interviews Richard Sprott of the Ellison Medical Foundation in connection with a conference on biomarkers of aging later this year: "The National Institute on Aging began its Biomarkers of Aging project in 1987. I headed up the program, which was looking to identify biomarkers of aging in mice with the ultimate goal of developing a panel of biomarkers that would be useful for humans. Over the course of 10 years, we invested thousands of research hours and millions of federal dollars, only to end up with some interesting possibilities but no clear winners. ... using new tools that weren't available 10 years ago, [there's] a feeling among a number of us that the time is right to have a new effort and that there's the real possibility that we can achieve what wasn't possible 10 or 15 years ago. ... a so-called 'anti-aging' medicine industry has promulgated the notion for a very long time that there are lots of biomarkers of aging out there when they're trying to sell certain kinds of products to the general public. Those biomarkers, in fact, don't exist. The biomarkers work we are doing will help provide information about what's real and what's not. So there's the sort of reality-testing aspect that's important."

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