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  #111  
Old 12-16-2014, 05:07 PM
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World’s Oldest Woman Just Pleased Every Other Human On Earth When She Was Born Now Dead:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/wor...r-human,37625/
That headline is incoherent. Comes from dangling modifiers, I guess. Story clarifies that she is glad that the others are dead. That's how she got to be the oldest, well, duh.
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:11 PM
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The Onion is not about clarity in headlines. Necessarily.
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  #113  
Old 12-16-2014, 05:22 PM
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ok, a serious piece

JAPAN

this is more about demographics in general -- longevity + low fertility rate

http://www.newgeography.com/content/...ne-procreation

Quote:
Aging is becoming a bigger issue, particularly due to the country’s average lifespan of 83 years, which is among the longest in the world. Perhaps if everyone would have the good sense, as one Japanese official put it, to “hurry up and die,” the shrinkage would be manageable.

But old Japanese don’t seem to be lining up to commit suicide. So by 2020, adult diapers are projected to outsell the infant kind. By 2040, the country will have more people over 80 than under 15, according to U.N. projections. By 2060, the number of Japanese is expected to fall from 127 million today to about 87 million, of whom almost 40% will be 65 or older.

The fiscal costs are obvious. Over the past few decades, aging has helped transform once thrifty Japan into the country with the high-income world’s highest level of government debt. The demands for more help for the elderly, notably medical care, combined with a shrinking, increasingly occasional workforce, is one reason why Abe was forced to push for a sales tax increase, one of the things that retarded Japan’s recovery.

......
In the longer run, one has to wonder what kind of country Japan may become over time, something hardly irrelevant not only due to the country’s importance, but also since other key Asian countries appear to be following the demographic path it is blazing, including including South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and China. In China, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the population will peak in 2026, and will then age faster than any country in the world besides Japan.

Of course, projecting population and fertility rates over the long run is difficult, and there remains a large margin for error. For example, the U.N. projects Japan’s 2100 population at 91 million, while Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research projects a population of 48 million, nearly one-half lower.

Japan’s grim demography is also leading to tragic ends for some elderly. With fewer children to take care of elderly parents, there has been a rising incidence of what the Japanese call kodokushi, or “lonely deaths” among the aged, unmarried, and childless. Given the current trends, this can only become more commonplace over time.

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  #114  
Old 12-16-2014, 06:47 PM
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The Onion is not about clarity in headlines. Necessarily.
I dunno how I missed that in the link.
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  #115  
Old 12-17-2014, 06:12 AM
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete..._campaign=1490

Quote:
Researchers at University College London has found that older people who feel three or more years younger than their chronological age have a lower death rate compared with those who felt their age or who felt more than one year older than their actual age.
Feeling older was a predictor of death even when the researchers accounted for things that could affect death rates, including illnesses, wealth, education, smoking, alcohol intake and physical activity.
Older-feeling adults were about 40 percent more likely to die than younger-feeling adults.
'This relationship has been shown before, but not in such a large scale study in which we were able to look at such a range of possible explanations,' said coauthor Andrew Steptoe of the epidemiology and public health department at University College London.
'We still don't understand what the explanation really is.'
Using data from a previous study on aging, Steptoe and his coauthor Isla Rippon analyzed more than 6,000 adults who were at least 52 years old.
In 2004 or 2005, researchers asked the participants how old they felt.
More than two-thirds felt at least three years younger than their real age, while a quarter felt their real age and less than five percent felt more than a year older, according to the research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Following the group through March 2013, the authors found that about 14 percent of those who felt younger had died, compared to about 19 percent of those who felt their age and about a quarter of those who felt older.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...#ixzz3M9Vkrx82
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.....I really hope they controlled for population differences in mortality. Because if it was mostly older folks in the group who felt older for their age....

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To account for that, the authors measured pre-existing health conditions including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, arthritis and other illnesses, which explained some of the link.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...#ixzz3M9W7Lnis
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Sure, but there can just be feeling ill or pain, or feeling slow/lethargic. They go on about some frou-frou stuff with regards to positive attitudes, but it can be these people who feel older have unndiagnosed conditions or really physically feel like crap. Jeez.
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  #116  
Old 12-17-2014, 06:13 AM
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I'll have to check this later:
http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/arti...icleid=2020288

This is the article referred to in my immediate prior post
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Last edited by campbell; 12-17-2014 at 06:26 AM..
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  #117  
Old 01-21-2015, 04:35 PM
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...g-for-100.html

Quote:
Average life expectancy heading for 100
Previously unthinkable longevity milestone looms with average child born within next generation expected to live more than a century

Living beyond 100 will become the norm for children born within the next generation, official projections show.

According to estimates published by the Office for National Statistics the average life expectancy for newborn girls in the UK is on course to reach just under 97 years and four months within just over two decades.

Baby boys born in 2037 will expect to live until 94 years and four months on average – with many living much longer.

The projections, contained in a new report analysing the make-up of the British population, means that typical life expectancies would have increased by around a decade since the 1980s.

It is also now predicted that average life female expectancy will reach the once unimaginable milestone of 100 in 2057.
I'm looking around the ONS website, but don't see a recent project life expectancy release.

I see this:
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/taxonomy/i...ife+Expectancy

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lifeta...ng-to-100.html

That's from December 2013.
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  #118  
Old 01-27-2015, 07:05 PM
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http://www.latimes.com/science/scien...ampaign=buffer

Quote:
Dena Dubal and Jennifer Yokoyama have been plucking at the thread of fate. The researchers at UC San Francisco are fascinated with a longevity gene named for one of the Greek Fates, Klotho.

“She spins the thread of life and she is the daughter of Zeus,” said Dubal, a physician and neurologist at the university's Memory and Aging Center. “And we have expanded her duties to include boosting brain function.”

In a study of more than 400 aging people, the UC San Francisco researchers suggest that having a single copy of one variety of that gene seems to give people better executive function and more gray matter in an area prone to the ravages of time. The study was published online Tuesday in the journal Annals of Clinical And Translational Neurology.

Their findings may not help us live longer – yet – but could offer some insight into easing the effects of degenerative disorders of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Japanese scientists first discovered the Klotho gene in 1997, in a mouse, when they accidentally inserted some DNA code and gummed up its protein-making factory. The mouse suddenly aged, showing signs of hardened arteries, porous bones, atrophied muscles and other indignities of age. Enhancing that gene appeared to do the opposite: prolong the life of the rodent.

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Since then, researchers have linked the human equivalent of the gene with longevity and improved kidney and heart function. Last year, the UC San Francisco researchers showed that a protein produced by this gene variant correlated with higher cognitive function, both in mice and humans.

“Not only did they live longer, but they were smarter,” Dubal said. “And they were smarter across the life span, from the young to older ages.”

But the gene variant is no fountain of youth. How it works remains largely as inscrutable as the Fate for which it was named.

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  #119  
Old 05-10-2018, 07:35 AM
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https://www.technologyreview.com/s/6...could-be-next/

Quote:
A stealthy Harvard startup wants to reverse aging in dogs, and humans could be next

Biologist George Church says the idea is to live to 130 in the body of a 22-year-old.

Spoiler:
he world’s most influential synthetic biologist is behind a new company that plans to rejuvenate dogs using gene therapy. If it works, he plans to try the same approach in people, and he might be one of the first volunteers.

The stealth startup Rejuvenate Bio, cofounded by George Church of Harvard Medical School, thinks dogs aren’t just man’s best friend but also the best way to bring age-defeating treatments to market.

The company, which has carried out preliminary tests on beagles, claims it will make animals “younger" by adding new DNA instructions to their bodies.

Its age-reversal plans build on tantalizing clues seen in simple organisms like worms and flies. Tweaking their genes can increase their life spans by double or better. Other research has shown that giving old mice blood transfusions from young ones can restore some biomarkers to youthful levels.


Harvard biologist George Church is working on technology to reverse aging in dogs and humans.
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“We have already done a bunch of trials in mice and we are doing some in dogs, and then we’ll move on to humans,” Church told the podcaster Rob Reid earlier this year. The company’s other founders, CEO Daniel Oliver and science lead Noah Davidsohn, a postdoc in Church’s sprawling Boston lab, declined to be interviewed for this article.

The company’s efforts to keep its activities out of the press make it unclear how many dogs it has treated so far. In a document provided by a West Coast veterinarian, dated last June, Rejuvenate said its gene therapy had been tested on four beagles with Tufts Veterinary School in Boston. It is unclear whether wider tests are under way.

However, from public documents, a patent application filed by Harvard, interviews with investors and dog breeders, and public comments made by the founders, MIT Technology Review assembled a portrait of a life-extension startup pursuing a longevity long shot through the $72-billion-a-year US pet industry.

“Dogs are a market in and of themselves,” Church said during an event in Boston last week. “It’s not just a big organism close to humans. It’s something people will pay for, and the FDA process is much faster. We’ll do dog trials, and that’ll be a product, and that’ll pay for scaling up in human trials.”


Noah Davidsohn (left) and Daniel Oliver (right)—seen here with the dog-show announcer David Frei—have appealed to dog owners to fund an anti-aging study in pets.
ACKCSC
It’s still unknown if the company’s treatments do anything for dogs. If they do work, however, it might not take long for people to clamor for similar nostrums, creating riches for inventors.

The effort draws on ongoing advances in biotechnology, including the ability to edit genes. To some scientists, this progress means that mastery over aging is inevitable, although no one can say exactly how soon it will happen. The prolongation of human lifespan is “the biggest thing that is going to happen in the 21st century,” says David Sinclair, a Harvard biologist who collaborates with the Church lab. “It’s going to make what Elon Musk is doing look fairly pedestrian.”

Dog years
Rejuvenate Bio has met with investors and won a grant from the US Special Operations Command to look into “enhancement” of military dogs while Harvard is seeking a broad patent on genetic means of aging control in species including the “cow, pig, horse, cat, dog, rat, etc.”

The team hit on the idea of treating pets because proving that it’s possible to increase longevity in humans would take too long. “You don’t want to go to the FDA and say we extend life by 20 years. They’d say, ‘Great, come back in 20 years with the data,’” Church said during the event in Boston.

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Instead, Rejuvenate will first try to stop fatal heart ailments common in spaniels and Doberman pinschers, amassing evidence that the concepts can work in humans too.

Lab research already provides hints that aging can be reversed. For instance, scientists can “reprogram” any cell to take on the type of youthful state seen in an embryo. But turning back the aging program in animals is not as easy because we’re made up of trillions of specialized cells acting in concert, not just one floating in a dish. “I don’t think we are even near to being able to reverse the aging process as a whole in mammals,” says J. Pedro de Magalhães, whose team at the University of Liverpool maintains a database of longevity-connected genes.

Starting around 2015, Church’s large Harvard lab, also known for attempting to genetically resurrect the woolly mammoth, decided to make a run at rejuvenating mice using gene therapy and newer tools like CRISPR.

Gene therapies work by inserting DNA instructions into a virus, which conveys them into an animal’s cells. In the Harvard lab, the technology has been used to modulate gene activity in old mice—either increasing or lowering it—in an effort to return certain molecules to levels seen in younger, healthy animals.


A flyer promoting a gene-therapy study in pet dogs says technology can make them “younger.”
REJUVENATE BIO
The lab started working through a pipeline of more than 60 different gene therapies, which it is testing on old mice, alone and in combinations. The Harvard group now plans to publish a scientific report on a technique that extends rodents’ lives by modifying two genes to act on four major diseases of aging: heart and kidney failure, obesity, and diabetes. According to Church, the results are “pretty eye-popping.”

Any age you want
In a January presentation about his project at Harvard, Davidsohn closed by displaying a picture of a white-bearded Church as he is now and another as he was decades ago, hair still auburn. Yet the second image was labelled 2117 AD—100 years in the future.

The images reflect Church’s aspirations for true age reversal. He says he’d sign up if a treatment proved safe, or even as a guinea pig in a study. Essentially, Church has said, the objective is to “have the body and mind of a 22-year-old but the experience of a 130-year-old.”

Such ideas are finding an audience in Silicon Valley, where billionaires like Peter Thiel look upon the defeat of aging as both a personal imperative and, potentially, a huge business that would transform society. Earlier this year, for example, Davidsohn told Thiel’s Founders Fund that because scientists can already modify life spans of simpler organisms, it should be possible to do so with humans as well. He told the investors that one day “we’ll be able to control the biological clock and keep you whatever age you want.”

Old dogs, new tricks
The new company has been contacting dog breeders, ethicists, and veterinarians with its ideas for restoring youth and extending “maximal life span,” according to its documents. The strategy is to gain a foothold in the pet market—where Americans already lavish $20 billion a year on vet bills—“before moving on to humans.”

Starting last year, Rejuvenate Bio began reaching out to owners of toy dogs called Cavalier King Charles spaniels after saying it planned a gene therapy to treat a heart ailment, mitral valve disease, that kills about half of these tiny dogs by age 10.

Rejuvenate hasn’t publicly disclosed what its dog therapy involves, but it may mirror one treatment Davidsohn has given mice to stop heart damage. That involved using gene therapy to block a protein, TGF-beta, termed a “master switch” in the process by which heart valves scar, thicken, and become misshapen, the same process that afflicts the dogs.

This spring, Davidsohn and Oliver traveled to Chicago to the breed’s national show, where they were feted at an auction dinner that raised several thousand dollars for the trial. Spaniel breeder Patty Kanan says the research is “seriously meaningful to the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club,” of which she is president.

In a flyer circulated to spaniel owners last year, Rejuvenate stated, without qualification, that the still untested treatment would make pets “healthier, happier, and younger.” But not all dog owners are impressed.

To Rod Russell, editor of the website CavalierHealth.org, the offer is “pure hype.” He says there is “absolutely no evidence” for a way to make dogs younger and that even for pets, experimental drugs can’t be said to work before a study is complete. “No one would be naïve enough to contribute money on a promise that this treatment will make their Cavaliers younger. Or would they?” he asks on his site.


A Cavalier King Charles spaniel. The adorable breed is plagued by a genetic heart condition that scientists are trying to reverse.
MATT CARD | GETTY
A further question: even if the treatment stops progressive heart disease, is it “age reversal” or merely a form of disease prevention? To Church, the answer lies in whether an old dog’s body can heal like that of a young one. In any case, he predicts, pet owners won’t worry about semantics “if the dog is jumping around wagging its tail.”

Dog ethics
One doesn’t have to wait for aging reversal in humans to see how life extension could create some ethical quandaries. Last September, Rejuvenate Bio’s founders traveled to New Haven for a roundtable discussion with philosophers and ethicists organized by Lisa Moses, a veterinarian affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

For instance, if dogs’ lives can be extended, more pets would outlive their owners and end up in shelters or euthanized. “I do worry about unintended consequences,” says Moses. “I would want to see that investigated before this goes much further.”

The pet dogs Rejuvenate wants to test gene therapy on also have fewer special ethical protections than those in research facilities. “Pets fall into a legal gray zone when it comes to experimenting on them,” she says. The power of life and death sits in their owner’s hands; people can choose to put an ailing animal out of its misery or, just as often, take extraordinary medical steps to save it, which Moses says “don’t always benefit the patient.”

Life-extension treatments based on genetic modification could also bring unexpected side effects, according to Matt Kaeberlein, a University of Washington researcher involved in a study called the Dog Aging Project, who has been testing whether a drug called rapamycin causes dogs to live longer.

“The idea that we can genetically engineer lab animals to have longer life span has been validated. But there are concerns about bringing it out of the lab,” Kaeberlein says. “There are trade-offs.” Changing a gene that damages the heart could have other effects on dogs, perhaps making them less healthy in other ways. “And when you do these genetic modifications, there are many cases where it doesn’t work as you intend,” he adds. “What do you do with the dogs in which the treatment fails?”

Kaeberlein says he’d like to see stronger evidence of rejuvenation in mice before anyone tries it in a dog. Until then, he thinks, claims for youth-restoring medicine should be kept on a leash.

“They can talk about it all they want, but it hasn’t been done yet,” he says. “I think it’s good for getting people’s attention. But I am not sure it’s the most rigorous language in the world.”
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  #120  
Old 05-21-2018, 09:54 AM
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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/20/s...m_medium=email

Quote:
The Thing Inside Your Cells That Might Determine How Long You Live
You may have forgotten about the nucleolus since you took biology class, but scientists think this structure inside every cell in your body may play an important role in aging.
Spoiler:
Once there was a mutant worm in an experiment. It lived for 46 days. This was much longer than the oldest normal worm, which lived just 22.

Researchers identified the mutated gene that had lengthened the worm’s life, which led to a breakthrough in the study of aging — it seemed to be controlled by metabolic processes. Later, as researchers studied these processes, all signs seemed to point to the nucleolus.
Under a microscope, it’s hard to miss. Take just about any cell, find the nucleus, then look inside it for a dark, little blob. That’s the nucleolus. If the cell were an eyeball, you’d be looking at its pupil.

You’ve got one in every nucleus of every cell in your body, too. All animals do. So do plants, and yeast — and anything with a cell with a nucleus. And they’ve become much more important in our understanding of how cells work.


“We think the nucleolus plays an important role in regulating the life span of animals,” said Adam Antebi, a cellular biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Germany. He’s an author of a new review published last week in Trends in Cell Biology that examines all the new ways that researchers have fallen in love with the nucleolus — especially its role in aging.

[Like the Science Times page on Facebook.| Sign up for the Science Times newsletter.]

You may have forgotten this from biology class, but the nucleolus is the cell’s ribosome factory. Ribosomes are like micro-machines that make proteins that cells then use for purposes like building walls, forming hairs, making memories, communicating and starting, stopping and slowing down reactions that help a cell stay functioning. It uses about 80 percent of a cell’s energy for this work.

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But there’s more to the nucleolus than just making ribosomes.

If building a cell were like building a building, and the DNA contained the blueprint, the nucleolus would be the construction manager or engineer. “It knows the supply chain, coordinates all the jobs of building, does quality control checks and makes sure things continue to work well,” said Dr. Antebi.

How well it balances these tasks influences a cell’s health and life span. And in certain cells, its size has something to do with it.

The nucleolus can wax and wane in response to a body’s available nutrients and growth signals.

The more growth signals it intercepts, the more machines, or ribosomes, it makes. It gets bigger to contain them, but mysteriously this also shortens a cell’s or organism’s life. When food is restricted, or a metabolic pathway is silenced or slowed down, nucleoli shrink, making fewer ribosomes, and cells live longer.

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Dr. Antebi thinks that as the nucleolus gets smaller, it also starts remodeling the things it would create to make the best of available supplies.

This is a highly coordinated process, he said. And life span can be thought of as how well the nucleolus balances the need to grow with the need to repair, correct mistakes and make sure everything works.

A drug called rapamycin, that blocks the signals of one metabolic pathway, extends life in different species from yeast, worms and fruit flies to mice. Centenarians tend to have cells in which there is reduced signaling in another pathway that involves insulin.

Researchers have found that modest dietary restriction and exercise shrank nucleoli in muscle cells of some people over age 60. People with diseases like cancer or progeria, a kind of accelerated aging, tend have enlarged nucleoli.

You can see these kinds of effects in many different species. “It’s amazing — even if genetically identical, some live a short life and some live a long life,” said Dr. Antebi.

“We think that the smaller nucleoli may be a cellular hallmark of longevity” in certain cells under certain conditions, he added.

More research is needed to see if the size of these structures are just markers for longevity or aging or if they actually cause it.

“We’ve spent lots of money on trying to find biomarkers of longevity or aging, and maybe it’s just sitting under the microscope for us to see,” said Dr. Antebi.


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