Tag Archives: insulin signaling

Third International “Genetics of Aging and Longevity” Conference Featured Research on Multiple Ways to Combat Aging

Genetics of aging and longevity conference

More than 200 participants from North America, Europe and Asia met in post-Olympic Sochi for five days this April, as world-famous anti-aging researchers exchanged ideas at the third International Conference on Genetics of Aging and Longevity. They discussed progress and remaining obstacles, in their efforts to deepen our understanding of this complex phenomenon and develop strategies for interventions.

The central themes of the conference included (1) identification of molecular targets for lifespan-extending drugs, (2) understanding the protective genotypes of centenarians and exceptionally long-lived animal species, (3) the complex roles and interactions of genetic determinants, epigenetic regulation, metabolism, gut microbiota, lifestyle and environment in shaping the aging process, (4) developing technologies for artificial growth, cryopreservation and transplantation of organs, and (5) new technologies, including gene-editing nanoparticles and artificial chromosomes, as prospective anti-aging tools.

The doors opened on April 6, 2014, to the 3rd International conference Genetics of Aging and Longevity, organized by the Science for Life Extension Foundation in collaboration with the Institute of biology of the Komi Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). Scientists from many fields of biology, medicine and informatics, and from 19 countries (Russia, U.S., Canada, Ukraine, UK, China, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Israel, The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Israel, Italy, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Sweden, Uzbekistan, and Jordan) met in Sochi and were unified by one common goal – the ever-growing importance of understanding the mechanisms of aging, to develop ways to prevent and possibly reverse this debilitating and deadly process that underlies virtually all age-dependent diseases.

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Vote Kennedy in the Presidential Election

kennedy-brian-1

If your life depends on someone other than yourself, that would be Brian Kennedy. Dr. Kennedy is the President of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, a world’s leading research institute that brings together outstanding scientists who work together on solving the mystery of aging and revealing the ways of increasing our health span. Basically, it’s up to the successes of the large team led by Brian Kennedy whether you will live a long and enjoyable life, or not.

An excellent example of my  words is the most recent amazing work done by Dr. Pankaj Kapahi and his research group, who was able to extend nematode’s lifespan 5-fold. The trick was to switch off two genes in one worm simultaneously – the TOR  and the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (named daf-2) genes. It has been known that turning off TOR in a worm gives it a 30% longer lifespan, and turning off daf-2 doubles the lifespan. One could think that 100% + 30% = 130%, but Dr. Kapahi’s worms decided they know Math better and lived 5 times longer, proving that sometimes  100% + 30% = 500%. What happened is the synergy between blocking the two aging mechanisms – the TOR and insulin/IGF-1 signaling. I have always said that there are so many things  we know that extend lifespan – let’s try the combinations of those things. Indeed, this proved to be a fruitful strategy. I am looking forward to seeing more and more papers combining different interventions in aging mechanisms and getting synergistic results.

pankaj kapahiPankaj Kapahi's paper

Regardless of the country where you live, it always makes sense to vote for someone who may increase the chances for extending your lifespan. Of course, Dr. Brian Kennedy is not participating in the presidential elections, however it would be excellent if the politicians fought for our lives. I think it’s up to us to demand that the politicians include increasing funding for aging research as part of their programs. We have to show it matters. A lot.

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Robert Shmookler Reis on Fighting Aging Approaches and Role of Basic Science

Dr. Reis talks about the main trends in longevity research, potential for creation life extension therapies in the nearest future, his favorite genes, preferable ratio of basic to applied research funding and the overall hurdles of aging research field.

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Filed under Funding, Genetics