Tag Archives: vadim gladyshev

Biology and Biology of Aging Resources

We have prepared a list of resources that can help understand biology of aging. We tried to find easy to grasp information sources and compiled a list of lectures, audio courses, popular science books and articles on biology in general and biology of aging in particular. The selected resources probably don’t exhaust the whole picture of aging science, but they shed light on the main ideas and research directions in this area.

For those who have never studied biology systematically, we suggest to take a look at the MIT “Introduction to Biology” course.

These lectures are mainly about different aspects of molecular biology, biochemistry anad genetics. Beside that, the course provides understanding how this knowledge can be applied in real life: in gene engineering and molecular medicine.

A good online course «Useful genetics» from Coursera.org addresses genetics and its applications.

One of the lectures from this course is by the way about genetics of aging.

“Frontiers in biomedical engineering” course was presented at Yale University and is available on Youtube.

Additionally you can listen to the audio course on molecular and cell biology from UC Berkeley.

Now let’s talk about biology of aging. For starters you can read a popular science article in National Geographic titled «Longevity». It provides the most general knowledge about the genetic mechanisms that regulate aging. A very detailed description of aging on various levels (from molecular to whole organism) is provided in the books «Biology of Aging» by Roger B. McDonald and «Biology of Aging: Observations and Principles» by Robert Arking. There was a couse at MIT on biology of aging, age-related diseases and potential therapies, “The Biology of Aging: Age-Related Diseases and Interventions”, the website provides the summary. The topics that are mentioned in this course generally depict the main research avenues in biology of aging and the can be used as reference points for self studying.

Moreover, we have put together a list of lectures given by prominent scientists that provide a look at aging from different perspectives. The lecture by Vadim Gladyshev is devoted to the topic of various theories of aging – “Molecular Cause of Aging”.

Noteworthy are the lectured by the leading scientists from Stanford University, Thomas Rando and Anne Brunet  -“Longevity and Aging in Humans”

and by Janko Nikolich-Zugich from Arizona State University – “The Biology of Aging: Why Our Bodies Grow Old”

Nir Barzilai, Director of Aging Research Institute at Albert Einstein College of Medicine gave a lecture on genes, facilitating longevity in humans – “The role of protective genes in the exceptional longevity of humans” by Nir Barzilai .

Konstantin Khrapko talks about the role of mitochondia in aging – “Mitochondrial Genetics of Aging”.

Judy Campisi, professor at the Buck Institute for Research onaging, gave a talk on the relationship of cancer and cell senescence – “Cancer and aging: Rival demons”

Additionally, several lectures are about the aging of the brain – “The Aging Brain: Learning, Memory, and Wisdom,” by John Gabrieli.

and «The Aging of the Brain» by Carol A. Barnes

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Genome of Long-Lived Brandt’s Bat Sheds Some Light to Its Exceptional Longevity

Brandt's bat

 

Congratulations to my colleague, Dr. Alexey Moskalev, who, with collaboration with Dr. Vadim Gladyshev, published this awesome paper on genetic basis of exceptional longevity of the Brandt’s bat. This is an amazing animal – it lives up to more than 40 years of age, but weighs only 4-8 grams. A tiny “centenarian” creature. It lives in caves, sleeps during the day, echolocates and hibernates during winter. Every trait has its genetic background. The authors tried to decipher the background of the bat’s longevity.

The most important thing that they found was that Brandt’s bat has altered growth hormone and insulin growth factor 1 signaling (GH/IGF1). This signaling is reduced, there is a kind of dysfunction, that contributes to the animal’s longevity along with the adaptations like hibernation and low reproduction rate. There are other interesting findings. For example, olfactory function is also reduced in these amazing animals. It’s interesting, because olfactory system plays a role in regulating longevity. For example, if you put drosophilas on a restricted diet, they start to live longer, but if you let them smell food, then life extension effect goes away.

I think that this work is crucial, because if we are able to identify the genes that are responsible to exceptional longevity in species like naked mole rats, whales and rougheye rockfish, we’d be able to find the way to alter the activity of those longevity genes in our bodies, for example, pharmacologically. Eventually this will lead to creating life extension therapies that would make us live longer, healthier and happier lives.

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Photos and Impressions from the Genetics of Aging and Longevity Conference in Moscow

It has been a while since I’ve posted my blog updates. The reason was the Genetics of Aging and Longevity conference. I have been involved in preparations of this meeting since December and the last month before the event was especially tough. Anyway, the conference turned out to be pretty good. I was surprised to hear so many good responses and impressions from the attendees and the speakers, so I am proud to say that the meeting was a success. The talks were superb, a lot of new and even unpublished data, a lot of discussions during the breaks and meals. I saw quite many people walking around with burning eyes – from excitement of science, of course) Some of those eyes are in the photos below. I believe this was a ground braking event on life extension topic in Russia, a truly unique gathering of minds. The more meetings like this we have, the more attention they get in the media, the better chances we have to live longer.

Robert Shmookler Reis, who was able to extend lifespan of a nematode worm 10-fold, head of the conference Program committee, Mikhail Batin, head of the Science for Life Extension Foundation and Sergei Polotovsky, who helped with translation

Alexander Zhavoronkov, creator of the Aging Portfolio grants database, Alexei Peregudov, executive director of the Institute of Biology of Aging and Igor Artyukhov, his colleague

Peter Fedichev, CEO of Quantum Pharmaceuticals company and Zippi Brand Frank, movie director, author of the Emmy-winning “Google Baby” documentary

Sergei Filonov, President of the “Aviamarket” company

Vadim Fraifeld, professor of the Ben Gurion University, creator of the NetAge database of aging genes, Mikhail Batin and Elena Kokurina, our colleague

Anna Chapman, President of the Fund UMA, non-profit supporting young scientists

Alexei Turchin, futurologist, leading expert in global risks, Mikhail Batin’s co-author of the “Futurology” book, which is coming out this fall

 Mikhail Blagosklonny, professor of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, author of the hypothesis, where aging occurs due to the quasi-program of organism development ruled by TOR pathway

Elena Kokurina, Alexei Marakulin, Mikhail Batin and Sergei Polotovsky

Vasily Novoseltsev, professor of the Trapeznikov Institute of Control Sciences

Professors of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine: Jan Vijg, leading expert in epigenetics of aging and Yousin Suh, a specialist in functional genomics and chair of the future Gordon research confence on Biology of aging 2013

Nir Barzilai, Director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Claudio Franceschi, professor of University of Bologna, studies aging of the immune system, biomarkers and genetics of centenarians

Students from Saint Petersburg with Suresh Rattan, professor of Aarhus University, Denmark

Vadim Fraifeld, Mikhail Balgosklonny and Suresh Rattan

Nir Barzilai and Judy Campisi, professor of the Buck Institute for Aging Research, specialist in cellular senescence, cancer and aging

Andrzej Bartke, geneticist who was able to double mouse lifespan

Vadim Gladyshev, professor of Harvard Medical School, sequenced the naked mole rat genome, Joao Pedro de Magalhaes, author of the Digital Ageing Atlas and David Clancy, professor at the Lancaster University

Blanka Rogina, who doubled drosophila lifespan, Holly Brown-Borg, professor of the University of North Dakota and Elena Zaklitskaya, one of the co-organizers of the conference

Lucas Trindade, young Brazilian researcher who works on aging in Japan

Vladimir Gladyshev, Vladimir Anisimov, head of the Russian Gerontological Society and Anatoly Yashin, professor at Duke University

 Richard Morimoto, professor at Northwestern University, specialist in protein misfolding Brian Kraemer, professor at the University of Washington, studies neurodegeneration and Brian Kennedy, director of the Buck Institute for Aging Research

Genetisists from Syktyvkar, Russia: MIkhail Shaposhnikov and Alexei Moskalev, co-chair of the Organizing committee and founder of the Genetics of Aging and Longevity conference series

Israeli genetisists Judith Leibovici and Monica Hurzar and researchers from Iran, Saied Mohammadzadeh and his colleague

Brian Kennedy and Rocherster University professors: Vera Gorbunova and Andrei Seluanov

Natalia Malygina, head of the Population Genomics lab at the Russian Research Center of Gerontology and Alexei Peregudov

Alexei Peregudov, Alexei Moskalev and Mikhail Shaposhnikov and colleagues

Quite a lot of researchers said that we are on the verge of a breakthrough in the area of life extension. Maybe we have already discovered something fantastic, but haven’t yet realized it’d effective for people. Even if we have a drug that slows aging down, we still need a panel of biomarkers to prove the effect. I do hope we will have both the breakthrough and the markers soon.

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