Sunday, 28 April 2013

What have you done for immortality? What are you personally doing to help science create means of radical life extension? What can you do? I

Maria Konovalenko (  asked a question " What have you done for immortality? What are you personally doing to help science create means of radical life extension? What can you do? " at her Facebook page. I decided to  answer her question.

I had a very productive week. We are four weeks into the experiment with the Hutchinson-Gilford cells treated with a variety of compounds. We even tried doxirubicin (yeah, it was crazy, but I really wanted to try it), which killed most of the cells, but it will be interesting to see the changes in the surviving ones.

I also completed most of the statistical analysis for my boss's new model of economic growth, which now incorporates "Rejuvenation Rate" among other factors. I must say that it was not easy and I hope that he tries to publish it soon. This project is dragging for four months now. We had the first draft of the paper in December.

We also had four group meetings with the teams of our First Open Institute for Regenerative Medicine for Young Scientists (FOIRMYS, a very stupid name and acronym I don't really like). One particular project we have on  endometriosis fascinates me. This is probably the best team ever, because most of the team members are not only enthusiastic, but also more or less professional and knowledgeable. Plus, we have a very promising patient, who is very interested in supporting our team and is slowly getting into the management role.

I can't wait for the summer so that regular coursework and exams do not take my focus away from laboratory research, bioinformatics and my work in aging economics.

By the way, the above was a story for my TOEFL prep course. I will take my first TOEFL exam on May, so if you see any grammar or spelling mistakes, please let me know.

When you read this brief abstract ask yourself "What am I doing to fight aging?".  I wish I could do more, but a grand problem requires a grand team effort. 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

TED MED Russia 2013

Hello everyone!
Yesterday I took a part at TED MED Russia conference.

 It was really amazing! The most creative and outstanding Russian scientists and общественные деятели took part in it. There were such interesting topics as oncology, cryobiology, demography, stress management and also aging. I was presenting topic “Personalized science: new paradigms in funding biomedical research and solving global medical challenges in small target-oriented teams”. We suggest our new original strategy for treating patients that was developed by the director of International Aging Research Foundation Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD.

TED MED conference was conducted at first time at our country, but the organization was good (great thanks to Alexandra Bobretsova), so I liked the format of the conference and unusual, unofficial way of presenting ideas.  Such conference is a good place to become familiar with different trends in medicine, to establish new collaboration and met other scientists, famous and young. TED MED is a place, where you could be inspired and see the appliance perspectives of various branches of science to aging.  This conference can draw attention  of politicians to problems of medicine and aging in particular.  

Also there was a translation from TED MED in Washington.  I was so impressed by Laura Deming speech!  Obsessed with curing aging, she began working in labs at 12, entered MIT at 14. She is a good example to do best to achieve immortality.  

So, I hope to see you at TED MED Russia 2014!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Let's play!

All people like to play. What do you say if we can play and help science to make discoveries? I think, it is great. Fortunately, we have such opportunity with game FoldIt.

Foldit is an online puzzle video game about protein folding.  The objective of the game is to fold the structure of selected proteins  to the best of the player's ability, using various tools provided within the game. The highest scoring solutions are analysed by researchers, who determine whether or not there is a native structural configuration that can be applied to the relevant proteins, in the "real world". Scientists can then use such solutions to solve "real-world" problems, by targeting and eradicating  diseases and creating biological innovations.

It really works! In 2011, players of Foldit helped to decipher the crystal structure  of the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (M-PMV) retroviral protease , an AIDS-causing monkey virus . While the puzzle was available to play for a period of three weeks, players produced an accurate 3D model of the enzyme  in just ten days. The problem of how to configure the structure of the enzyme had stumped scientists for 15 years.

And one more thing about my Institute....

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visits MIPT.

As I am not interested in politics I leave this news without any comment, but I hope that Prime Minister's visit will lead to not only to queue in front of the Institute because of strict access control, but positive changes in MIPT.

Dr. Charles Cantor has become an adjunct professor at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

I am so proud for my alma-mater!

Dr. Charles Cantor is a member of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Engineering and Pharmacology, Boston University, Visiting Professor of Bioengineering, University of California at San Diego, an honored Visiting Professor of Molecular Biology at the Scripps Research Institute (CA, USA). Dr. Cantor continues active research at Boston University in the form of his collaboration companies Sequenomand Retrotope with academic research groups. He is the author of over 450 articles, holds more than 65 patents and is co-author of a three-volume textbook "Biophysical Chemistry".

Research conducted by Dr. Charles Cantor currently includes the development of new methods for non-invasive diagnosis of cancer, inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases and other medical conditions, using cell-free DNA, epigenetically modified DNA, RNA, and proteins, the identification of the mechanism by which certain sections, in particular, fatty acids, protect against oxidative stress, and the use of the nucleic acid or nucleic acid nanostructures protein as detectors in biology and physics.

"It is my great honor and pleasure that I can now interact directly with the wonderful students and faculty of MIPT. The boundary between biology and physics today is a hotbed of innovation, and I hope that we will be able to direct the activities of MIPT on the track of important discoveries in that area. One of my main ambitions is to try to use the biological tools available today for the synthesis and replication of nanoscale objects using them as elements in nanoscale physics detectors and other functional elements. Among my other interests is expanding the boundaries of quantitative molecular recognition in order to overcome the constraints imposed by stochastic sampling. Both areas of activity should be supported by such types of interactions between physics and biology, which are possible at MIPT "- said Dr. Charles Cantor.

"We are proud to cooperate with scientists of such a stature as Dr. Charles Cantor, and firmly believe that this event will be a key to the globalization of our university. Transfer of knowledge from such global luminaries as Dr. Kantor, medical science will help develop and establish MIPT as an advanced world-class research center, "- said the rector of MIPT Nikolai Kudryavtsev.

"The appearance of such a distinguished scientist among the teaching staff should help the development of biomedical science in MIPT. This will play an important role in the international recognition of MIPT - not only as a source of outstanding graduates, in which capacity it is already known today, but also as a research institution, "- remarked Alexander Melerzanov, Dean of the Faculty of Biological and Medical Physics MIPT.

"As one of the first foreign biophysicists who visited the Soviet Union, Dr. Charles Cantor is a living legend in the Russian community of genetics and molecular biology. Translations of his books in the series, “Biophysical Chemistry” take pride of place on the shelves of leading scientists. Inventor of the pulse-electrophoresis and immuno-PCR method, Dr. Charles Cantor constantly conducts cutting-edge research in many scientific fields, including non-invasive prenatal diagnosis, cancer biomarkers and organic compounds,stable isotopes. The experience of Dr. Charles Cantor in turning basic research into commercially successful projects to fund and promote science is very important for the development of the biopharmaceutical cluster "Northern", created at MIPT. We are proud that Dr. Charles Cantor has joined the international MIPT faculty as a visiting professor, "- noted Oleg Korzinov, executive director of biopharmaceutical cluster" Northern ".

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University)
The Moscow Physics and Technology Institute is an institution of higher education in the Russian Federation which prepares highly qualified specialists in various fields of modern science and technology. The Institute has a rich history. Its founders and employees have been Nobel laureates P.L. Kapitsa, N.N. Semenov, and L.D. Landau. Among its graduates there have also been Nobel Prize winners. Many MIPT professors are leading Russian scientists. Among them, more than 80 academicians and corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Since its inception, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology has used an original system of training, widely known as "Phystech system", which combines fundamental education, engineering disciplines, and student research work.

BioPharmarmCluster "Northern"
BPC "Northern" is a union of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology with small innovative companies, research organizations, industrial companies, supported by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, the Government of Moscow Region, the City of Dolgoprudny and Khimki. BPC "Northern" aims at creating around MIPT a belt of small innovative enterprises and corporate laboratories in the field of living systems. The structure of BPC "Northern", in addition to MIPT, includes the fund "Skolkovo", The Center for High Technology "ChemRar," the company "Akrihin," "Protek", JSC "Geropharm," FSUE RPC "Pharmzaschita," the company "Altonika», Quantum Pharmaceuticals and