Enjoy this interesting talk by Dr. David Gems, PhD, Reader in the Biology of aging at the University College London.
A major focus of current work in Dr. Gems’ laboratory is understanding the genes and biochemical processes by which reduced insulin/IGF-1 signalling and dietary restriction increase lifespan. Other interests include sex differences in the biology of aging, evolutionary conservation of mechanisms of aging, and bioethical implications of aging research.
Here’s a talk by Dr. Holly Brown-Borg, PhD, Professor, University of North Dakota, about the role of DNA methylation in defense mechanisms of Ames dwarf mice. Growth hormone is definitely not an anti-aging, but a pro-aging drug. Watch the talk and learn at least a couple of reasons why.
There’s this quite simple idea: to take two species similar in size and basic biology, but having a substantial difference in longevity, and figure out what’s the reason for this difference. What are the distinctions in the mechnisms of aging and stress resistance? It’s desirable to carry out this work in various species. However, not a lot of people are excited about this simple idea. Even the genome of the famous naked mole rat has not been sequenced yet, although many people believe it’s got “negligible” senescence.
For now all that we have is negligible funding of evolutionary-comparative biology of aging. Moreover, previously obtained results are put into cold storage.
In 1962 George Sacher began laboratory breeding of wild-caught house mice (Mus musculus) and white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) trapped near the Argonne Laboratory site in northeast Illinois. The maximal lifespan of the white-footed mouse turned out to be more than 8 years, contrary to 3,5 years in either wild-caught or laboratory house mice. Sacher’s laboratory publiched about a dozen papers comparing house and white-footed mice, as did Ron Hart’s laboratory in the National Center for Toxicological Research.
There’s no need to say that George Sacher was given grants mostly for works in the area of radiological protection, and aging research was mostly funded by means of the lab’s own resources.
Since the beginning of the 1980s research was just middling, but still something was found out.
Below are some data from the works of Ungvary et al. and Labinskyy et al. Basicly this table shows the major known differences between the species. The autors claim that these data correspond with the oxidative stress theory of aging.
Still a lot of questions can be addressed to the white-footed mouse. For example, what is the destinction in the stress resistance mechanisms? What’s with its regeneration capacity? What if we compare it with the naked mole rat? And here comes the main question in Biogerontology. Why is the research into the fundamental mechanisms of aging so scarcely funded?
are the main questions in the Biology of Aging. I suggest that the specialists
should extend the list of questions. And maybe, formulate the problems in more
detail. Everybody is welcome to express their opinion and suggest some
1. What are the mechanisms responsible for the differences in life expectancy within one species and between species?
2. Why do experimental impacts, like caloric restriction, delay the
onset of a number of age-related physiological and pathological changes
and increase the average and maximal life span in animals?
3. What is the relationship between aging and pathology?
4. At what stage of evolution did aging emerge?
5. How did the mechanisms of aging and anti-aging evolve?
6. What are the mechanisms of relationship between aging of an organism and aging on cellular level?
7. What is the reason for the existence of species with negligible aging?
8. How are reproduction and lifespan interrelated?
9. What is aging?
10. Why is there a decline in regenerative potential of an organism over time?
11. What is the role of epigenetic regulation during aging?
12. What is the role of inflammation in aging processes?
13. What is the role of genomic instability in aging processes?
14. What interventions in aging processes could extend the maximal lifespan of model animals and humans?
15. What is the effect of aging on the cells’ and organisms’ energy supplies and vica versa?
16. What is the role of the neuroendocrinal system in the regulation of aging processes?
17. What is the distinction of centenarians as compared to the whole population?
18. How relevant to humans are the results of life extension research on model animals?
19. What is essential for creating the unified synthetic theory of aging?
20. How did animals with negligible senescense evolve?
21. What are the factors influencing differences in the rate of aging among individuals?
22. What are the mechanisms of aging in cancer cells?
23. What is the relationship between aging and oncogenesis?
24. When does aging begin in humans?
25. When do manifestations of aging begin?
26. What are the molecular biological mechanisms of regeneration during sleep?
27. What is necessary for the creation of an exhaustive list of biomarkers of aging?
28. Can neurogenesis be stimulated?
29. What are the mechanisms of how higher nervous system activity influences the mechanisms of aging?
30. What are the factors defining the rate and efficiency of stress responses?
There’s this fascinating article published in Science that I decided to illustrate. This is my retelling of the story.