Resveratrol May Not Extend Life | The Scientist.
Hector et al. recently published a meta-analysis of the overall effects of resveratrol (link below).� Overall, resveratrol it seems to decrease risk of death, but the strength of the effects are highly variable depending upon species. It seems to extend lifespan reliably in yeast and worms, but not so reliably in other critters. Too bad! We all love our red wine… we’ll have to await the results of human trials… Who’s with me??
The paper in Biology Letters: http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2012/06/13/rsbl.2012.0316
via Resveratrol May Not Extend Life | The Scientist.
DNA Methylation Declines with Age | The Scientist.
DNA methylation is one method by which the expression of our genes (how much protein our genes make and when) can be changed within mere minutes. With age, our genes make proteins less reliably – they’re produced (or not) at inappropriate times or at inappropriate levels. Some researchers think this phenomenon can lead to age-related disease. This article in The Scientist gives an update on the status of research on why and how this wide-scale gene dysregulation happens, and how it relates to the aging process.
Parkinson’s Vax Enters Clinical Trials | The Scientist.
In what is possibly the biggest news of the year, scientists in Vienna are entering trials to vaccinate people against Parkinson’s Disease. The method is based upon building an immune response to alfa-synuclein, a protein naturally produced by the body. This smacks of the potential for massive organ failure due to a massive auto-immune response, akin to what we saw in the early days of gene therapy. I hope I’m wrong…
Here is the full press release: http://www.affiris.com/html/en/presse_medien/pressemeldungen.html
via Parkinson’s Vax Enters Clinical Trials | The Scientist.
We all know that nutrition is important to our health, but it’s when we see articles like this recently published one, “Blueberry extract prolongs lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster,” or this slightly older one, “Concord grape juice supplementation improves memory function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment” that we are reminded of just how literal and direct the positive results of a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can be.
An article in the New York Times is reporting that Dr. Dipak Das (U. Connecticut), is under investigation for scientific misconduct – specifically, for reporting fraudulent data. Dr. Das was one of the early contributors to research on Resveratrol, a potential anti-aging compound upon which millions of research dollars have since been spent. Many experts on Resveratrol were unaware of Dr. Das and his work until the reports of fraudulent data surfaced. Although much research since Resveratrol’s beginning has had positive results, scientific misconduct is a serious issue and can adversely impact not only the progress of the field, but can waste millions of dollars of taxpayer money. Read the article at the New York Times here and one in the Chronicle of Higher Education here, and a WordPress blog on the situation here.
A study published online today in the journal Nature reveals that increased expression of the gene PGC1-alpha increases levels of the hormone irisin. Irisin is responsible for some of the beneficial effects of exercise. The authors found that if they increased the levels of PGC1-alpha, the levels of irisin increased, and gave animals the benefits of having exercised even when animals were inactive. This result could lead to treatments for metabolic disease and other age-related disorders that are typically improved with exercise. Click the title to view the paper:
Authors: Pontus Boström, Jun Wu, Mark P. Jedrychowski, Anisha Korde, Li Ye, James C. Lo, Kyle A. Rasbach, Elisabeth Almer Boström, Jang Hyun Choi, Jonathan Z. Long, Shingo Kajimura, Maria Cristina Zingaretti, Birgitte F. Vind, Hua Tu, Saverio Cinti, Kurt Højlund, Steven P. Gygi & Bruce M. Spiegelman