Monthly Archives: July 2012

The First Geneticists Enters the Race to Sequence 100 Genomes of 100 Centenarians for Less than $1,000 Each

This is Dr. Johnathan Rothberg of Life Technologies who is the first researcher to oficciall register for participation in the Archon Genomics X Prize. The Archon Genomics Prize is an award given by the X Prize Foundation for the first man to sequence 100 whole genomes of centenarians in less than 30 day for $1,000 or less. BBS reports that Dr. Rothberg believes this may be a good start towards finding the “fountains of youth”.

I found it very interesting that Dr. Craig Venter is the originator of the prize. This may be an indication that he is pro-longevity in mind. We’ve already known that he is one of the greatest biologists, but this may serve as an indication that he is in favor of life extention technologies. It would be really great if he worked in this area himself, because ssynthetic biology holds a lot of promise for advancing the longevity technologies. Just imagine a bacteria that lives together with the cells and adds the “good” longevity proteins and suppresses the production of the “bad” aging ones. There’s a chance we can make the cells live longer. Of course, gene regulation is extremely complicated, but one can always start with a simple model and see if it works.

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We Created the Longevity Party

We made the first step towards the creation of the Longevity Party. On July, 19 the initiative group of 10 people gathered together in Moscow to establish the first political party aimed at extending human lifespan using technological advances. Among these 10 people were Mikhail Batin, Alexey Turchin, Leonid Kaganov and Elena Milova. This is the very first step in the long and hard process of legally registering a political party. I believe this is one of the most important things that happened in the past few years in fighting aging. Nowhere in the world never before people expressed their desire to life longer in a form of a political movement.

The main goal of the Longevity Party is to increase human lifespan so that people could live for as long as they would like to and remain young and healthy. We would like to achieve this goal by promoting scientific research and technological advances in regenerative medicine, genetics of aging and longevity, neuroscience, computer modeling of biological processes and other areas of life extension. Longevity Party is 100% transhumanist party.

There are so many things that we need to do in order to legally register the Party, and we have already started doing them. I will be posting the updates as frequently as possible. Next big thing we need to finalize is the Program of the Party. Then we have to have at least 2 people in 42 regions of Russia as representatives of the Party and have the founding meeting after which the Party can be registered and eventually appear in the voting ballots.

Our goal is to influence the authorities to support life extension technologies and increase funding for research aimed at improving people’s health and extending longevity.

Join us. Together we will win. Longevity Party must be a global initiative.

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Judy Campisi – Cancer and Aging: Rival Demons?

Enjoy Judy Campisi’s plenary talk about the relationship between aging and cancer.

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The Horror of Being in a Sect

This story touched me deeply. What a brave girl Astra Woodcraft is to escape the Sea Org, a very strict sect within the sect of Scientology. I believe this is one of the worst things that can happen to a person – being deceited into believing some meaningless stories that lead one to separation from one’s family and friends. There is no education within a sect and the lack of education, actually leads people into sects in the first place. The sect and religion in general give a person a false feeing of comfort and sense, but in fact they only feed on the people’s income, energy and other resources.

Several friends of my parents are in various sects right now and it’s so hard to be aquainted to such people, because you see how wrong they are, but often you don’t have enough influence and strength to drag them out of this abyss. However, you can fight sects and examples like Astra Woodcraft prove that to us.

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Jan Vijg – Aging of the genome

Watch Dr. Jan Vijg’s plenary talk about genetics and epigenetics of aging.

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Robert Shmookler Reis – Genetic and Lipid-Profile Predictors of Longevity

Enjoy the plenary lecture of Dr. Robert Shmookler Reis about the long-lives worms and biomarkers of aging.

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Video from the Genetics of Aging and Longevity Conference – Andrzej Bartke

This is the plenary lecture of Dr, Andrzej Bartke at the Genetics of Aging and Longevity conference that took place in Moscow on April 22-25. I will be posting the upcoming videos of the talks on the Youtube channel of our Foundation. Please, subscribe and enjoy the power of genetics of aging.

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Dale Bredesen: Alzheimer’s is a Problem of Imbalance, not Toxicity

This is Dale Bredesen. He is a big specialist in neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. I met Dr. Bredesen during the Buck Advisory Council meeting at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California on May 21. Advisory Council consists of influential individuals who can contribute to Buck Institute’s mission of advancing aging research. A very interesting crowd. I enjoyed the conversations a lot. Also there were several talks by the lab leaders at the Buck.

Dale Bredesen opened the mini conference with his report on Alzheimer’s research. The majority of scientists envision this horrible degenerative process as accumulation of toxic molecules, namely amyloid beta and tau proteins. Amyloid beta forms plaques between the cells and tau protein – tangles inside the cells. These toxic proteins disrupt the functions of our neurons. That’s in two words. So, Dr. Bredesen views Alzheimer’s disease differently – as an imbalance between synaptic maintenance and synaptic reorganization. The thing is that for our brain to function properly we need to form connections between our neurons, and also we need to break down those connections that we no longer need. According to Dale Bredesen, this balance disrupts, it shifts towards synaptic reorganization, we loose our memory, face the horrors of loosing our consciousness and eventually we die.

By the way, there are 5 million Alzheimer’s patients in the US now, 30 million in the world and there will be 160 million people suffering from Alzheimer’s in 2050. That’s more people than we have in Russia right now.

So how can we preserve this balance? Dr. Bredisen’s lab studies the underlying mechanisms of neurodegeneration. There were able to find out that one of the things that contributes to the balance shift is the change in APP cleavage. APP is amyloid precursor protein. It is concentrated in synapses of our neurons. APP can break down into either two, or four parts. When it breaks down into 2 parts those proteins are sAPP alfa and CTF alfa. This is a “good” combination. However, during aging amyloid precursor protein cleavage shifts towards the “bad” combination, which is sAPP beta, Amyloid beta, Jcasp and C31. This is the shift in balance that leads to the onset of disease.

The shift can be restored. The mouse strain that has one mutation that leads to not having APP to break down to Jcasp and C31 proteins leads to restoring memory in mice. But the most exciting thing is that Dr. Bredesen is testing a drug that shifts the APP cleavage balance back to normal. The drug has already shown some promising results. Mice suffering from Alzheimer’s that got this F03 drug with their food were able to distinguish old objects from new ones, but not without the drug.

I asked Professor Bredesen if we can detect the imbalance before we get the pathology, of there are some markers. He said that yes, this is possible, there are markers that can indicate the beginning of pathology development. Unfortunately at this moment they can only be measured in the spinal fluid, but there are labs that are developing blood tests. I believe this kind of research has to be the priority, because it can contribute to preventing disease and slowing down aging.

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