A Popular Press Article on Longevity Science

The media and public at large have been trained to think of medicine, and especially longevity-related medicine, in terms of pills - things you can consume, colorful drug capsules produced in the old-style fashion by Big Pharma. This is somewhat ridiculous, and leads to a focus on the entirely the wrong branches of research, those unlikely to deliver meaningful healthy life extension. The future of rejuvenation biotechnology involves gene therapies, infusions of bacterial enzymes, and so forth; for the foreseeable future little of that will be stuff that you stick into your mouth. Calling these medicines drugs rather than procedures cheapens the complexity of what is being designed and developed. Nonetheless, the oral fixation in regard to public perceptions of medicine continues, fed by the lazy press and the self-interested supplement industry. Here is an example of that sort of headlining: "But imagine if there were a drug that would slow down the aging process itself, a drug that didn't just treat a single disease but instead targeted multiple diseases of old age at once? It may sound far-fetched, but that's precisely what longevity scientists are working hard to produce. ... It's not just that we're trying to make people live longer; we're trying to make people live healthier. This is an exciting time for research. ... Indeed, top-notch research labs are rolling out studies at a rapid rate, and a growing chorus of experts believe the advances being made will ultimately lead to a crop of drugs capable of extending healthy lifespans. Signs of progress are abundant in medical journals. ... [researchers] published results showing they could markedly delay the onset of age-related diseases in mice by killing off the rodents' senescent cells. Senescent cells have stopped dividing and accumulate as organisms age. Though seemingly dormant, they're not: Just as old cars in junkyards can leak oil for years, they emit harmful substances that appear to fuel many of the diseases that strike older people. ... And it's not just senescence research that is stoking excitement. Another team of scientists [has] managed to control the aging process by targeting specialized structures at the tips of chromosomes called telomeres. ... Other scientists have found that feeding aging mice rapamycin - an immunosuppressant that's used to prevent organ rejection after transplants - can extend the lifespan of mice significantly."

Link: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/05/14/the-hunt-for-an-anti-aging-pill-is-on


Hmmm... Both Intermittent Fasting & Caloric Restriction increase 'Autophagy' - cell recycling. Is this similar to the efforts of "Killing off senescent cells", described above?

Posted by: Joseph at May 23rd, 2012 12:11 PM

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.