Monthly Archives: April 2015

Fighting Death

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The most significant event in a person’s life is death. It changes everything. More precisely, it takes everything that a person had. If he was in love, he no longer is. If he was aspiring to pleasures, there will be none any longer. The world will be gone for the person. Every single neuron will disappear that was responsible for the wishes, desires, and feelings. We don’t realize this, but everything single thing we accomplish, we do so looking in the face of inevitable death. Death takes away the sense of a person’s life.

That little human being that you were once, who looked at the world with eyes wide open, got surprised, laughed, sometimes cried, this human being will cease to exist. Will disappear. Forever.

Death is the triumph of unfairness. It is bloodcurdling that everybody will die. Kids, olds people, adults, women, men. Every person’s life is a tragedy, because it ends bad every time.

Death is so horrible that a man denies the very fact of its existence to protect himself. He simply doesn’t think he is mortal or comes up with a unproven theory that there is no death whatsoever.

The inevitability of death is defined by the fact people age. Therefore, the most rational behavior will be to study aging, and to try to slow it down and stop.

In this picture I am standing in the middle of the hall in the institute where aging will be defeated. When? When there is enough funding. When there are large-scale scientific projects. When a lot of people understand that aging has to be eliminated without proposing any additional requirements. For now the majority of wealthy people approach developing a cure for aging as another investment project.

The desire to make money on defeating death is laughable. It’s the same as when death comes to beg it to come later, and when it asks: “On what conditions?” to answer: “I’d like to make money on it”.

My whole like is devoted to fighting death. I have a very good plan. I only have to implement it.


Filed under Life

Do Model Animals Tell Us Anything about Human Aging?

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I wrote a tiny report on the pluses and minuses of using model  animals in aging research.

Using model animals in gerontological studies has yielded an enormous wealth of useful information about the mechanisms of human aging and longevity. Animal models were crucial in identifying the conserved pathways that regulate human aging. Model organisms are fundamental for aging research, because there are serious limitations of using human subjects, such as the length of lifespan, genetic heterogeneity and vast differences in environmental influences. The shape of survival curves represents the health of the organism over time. Model organisms display significantly different lifespans, however the survival curves resemble those of humans quite remarkably. Despite this general similarity in the way we describe aging between humans and model animals, there are some distinct differences (Mitchell, Scheibye-Knudsen, Longo, & de Cabo, 2015). For instance, increasing Sir2 gene expression in yeast (Kaeberlein, McVey, & Guarente, 1999), nematodes (Tissenbaum & Guarente, 2001), and flies (Rogina & Helfand, 2004) boosts animal longevity. A small molecule called resveratrol was found to activate Sir2 and its mammalian ortholog SIRT1 (Howitz et al., 2003). Resveratrol extends lifespan of mice fed a high-fat diet (Baur et al., 2006), however it failed to have a beneficial longevity effect in mice on a standard diet (Pearson et al., 2008). This example highlights the fact that we cannot simply transfer the results of longevity interventions to humans and expect the same efficacy as in invertebrate models.

Everyday the researchers are broadening the understanding of human biology of aging with the help of various model systems. Each of them has its advantages and drawbacks. Let’s take a look at what those are for the most widely used animal models.

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Filed under Science