Saturday, 17 August 2013

The secret of salamander's regeneration is opened.

Salamanders are unique among animals in their ability to regenerate lost or damaged parts. Adult salamanders can regrow heart, brain, muscles and even whole limbs. Researchers have discovered a certain type of immune cell is responsible for this fascinating ability.

Normally immune cells called macrophages migrate from the bloodstream to the site of injury in all animals from salamanders to human. In humans they are responsible or ingesting and thereby removing debris. When humans are injured the result is usually fibrotic scar tissue, limbs and most organs cannot regenerate. The researchers hoped to dissect the regeneration response in salamanders and use the learnings to apply to human regenerative medicine.In the experiment, salamanders were treated to remove their macrophages, and then underwent amputation.  Without macrophages the animals  could not longer regenerate tissue, proving these cells were responsible for the effect.

The authors reasoned the macrophages must release specialized chemical signals that allow regeneration. It is likely that the early arrival of macrophages into the regenerating axolotl blastema by 24 h after amputation, along with simultaneous induction of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, is part of a distinct regenerative program.

Understanding the early regulation of expression patterns and timing of various extracellular matrix components by macrophage signaling is critical in identifying pathways permissive for appendage regeneration. Their early engagement in the secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines and other factors promoting the efficient regeneration of axolotl limbs point to potential therapeutic strategies for preventing fibrotic scarring and promoting tissue regeneration in mammals following tissue injury.

Souse: PNAS

Thursday, 15 August 2013


The world's leading series of conferences dedicated to the prevention and treatment of the diseases of aging using regenerative medicine will hold its next installment later this year. The conference, entitled "SENS6: Reimagine Aging," will be held from September 3-7, 2013 at Queens' College, Cambridge, UK. As part of the biennial SENS conference series, SENS6 will be presented SENS Research Foundation (SRF), a biomedical research charity.

"What makes the SENS conferences different is the way they unite experts on every major aspect of aging," said Dr. Aubrey de Grey, SRF's Chief Science Officer. "These conferences are a place where we talk about solutions: repairing the damage that underlies each of these diseases. You won't find that comprehensive, practical approach discussed anywhere else - though, of course, we're doing our best to change that."

Topics covered at the conference will include heart disease, cancer, cellular senescence, age-relateddysfunction of lysosomes and mitochondria , and advances in gene delivery. "Based on how far we've already come, as this meeting will show, I'm extremely optimistic about the progress that the scientific community will make in all of these areas in the coming decades," added Dr. de Grey.

My friend and colleague Anastasia Shindyapina will participate in this conference. Good luck!

Sourse: SENS

New heart

Nature is giving another burst of hope to the future of organ transplants. For the very first time, a research team has been able to grow human heart tissue that beats totally autonomously. The tissue itself came from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which started as mature human skin cells and effectively “reprogrammed” back to an embryonic state and then coaxed into becoming the desired cell, in this case those with the potential to become heart tissue or multipotential cardiovascular progenitor (MCP) cells. 

Then using a decellularised mouse heart (which is basically exactly what it sounds like — a mouse heart stripped of all its cells, leaving behind a heart framework or “scaffold”), the researchers repopulated the heart scaffold with the MCP cells. After several weeks, not only had the mouse’s heart been fully rebuilt with the human cells, it was also beating again entirely on its own at a rate of 40 to 50 beats per minute. While this is certainly an incredible achievement the heart still isn’t quite at the level of effectively being able to pump blood throughout a human body — the average resting human heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute.Still, with one person dying of heart disease every 34 seconds, this is more than enough cause for celebration. And we have every reason to believe that, one day in the not too distant future, repairing a severely damaged heart could be as easy as taking a simple skin biopsy and regrowing one of your very own.

Sourse: Nature

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Eat less or take one pill?

Scientists who gave tablets containing purified resveratrol to obese men found it had some metabolic effects similar to those from exercise and caloric restriction, including lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Research in animals over the past decade has suggested the compound can slow the development of age-related diseases and increase lifespan. 
Researches gave 11 obese men either a daily 150mg resveratrol supplement or a placebo for 30 days. Four weeks later, the two groups swapped over so that those who took the supplements first time around were given placebos and vice versa.
Regular measurements showed resveratrol lowered blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity, as well as cutting triglycerides – fats found in the blood that can increase heart disease risk. Resveratrol also reduced both sleeping and resting metabolic rate and cut blood pressure.
Previous research has shown that calorie restriction can extend lifespan in laboratory animals. Some studies suggest it also offers protection from diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type II diabetis, though this remains controversial. Calorie restriction works in a similar way to resveratrol, by triggering the production of a protein called SIRT1 which improves metabolic function and keeps cells healthy in the face of stress.Muscle biopsies carried out by Prof Schrauwen's team confirmed that participants taking resveratrol saw increased SIRT1 levels. They also strongly suggested the beneficial effects on metabolism were associated with improved functioning of mitochondria, the energy factories within cells.
Sourse: Cell Metabolism

Do you want to know how many years left do you have?

The device, which has been created to encourage users to stay healthy, uses laser beams to analyse crucial cells lining blood vessels under the skin.These tiny endothelial cells are a key indicator of a person’s health, and the device’s inventors say that by monitoring them they can identify those who are ageing more quickly than normal.  The analysis of the endothelium –  the layer of endothelial cells in tiny blood vessels called capillaries – could also suggest whether someone has  cancer or dementia.Everything that goes on in your  cardiovascular system, whether you are going to have a stroke or heart attack, starts off as something going wrong in the endothelium.But once the test has been refined, they claim it should eventually be possible to tell a person how many years they have left.In tests on 220 healthy people, it was clear that some had aged more quickly or slowly than expected.  Having created a bulky experimental device, the inventors are designing a smaller prototype that can be worn on the wrist.

But there will be concerns that while some will alter their lifestyle to stay in optimum condition, others may take a fatalistic approach. Also insurance and pension companies could also use the information to alter premiums and payouts. Without any doubt, such discovery could affect not only life style of people, but global economy too.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Do you want to measure you biological age?

Measurements of some of the mediators or causes of aging are often used to determine your age, as more active aging usually implies an older biological age. For example, measures of oxidative stress, inflammation, glycation, stress or hormone levels are all important determinants of many age-related changes and are consequently used by some practitioners as a means to say that you are older or younger than your chronological age.

1) Measure your blood pressure.Blood pressure levels have a number of characteristics that make them suited to be a biomarker of aging. In particular, the systolic blood pressure which is the highest pressure achieved by the beating heart, generally increases as we get older, due to the increasing stiffness of blood vessels.

2) Control your cholesterol level. Levels of bad cholesterol (contained in low density lipoprotein (LDL) particles) rise as we get older and the higher your LDL cholesterol levels, the higher your risk of heart attacks, strokes and other diseases of the blood vessels that shorten life expectancy. Equally levels of good cholesterol, contained in high density lipoprotein (HDL) particles are used as a marker of the ability of the body to remove bad cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels, and put it back into more safer storage sights (reverse cholesterol transport). The higher your HDL cholesterol the higher your capacity to reduce the effects of bad cholesterol, particularly with regards to the development and progression of heart disease, so that individuals with high levels of HDL cholesterol have lower risk of heart disease and strokes and greater longevity.

3)  Mesure your body mass index. Body composition is a key determinant of health, disease and disability. Your body changes significantly as you get older and some of these changes can be used to track the process of aging.

4) Body composition is a key determinant of health, disease and disability. Your body changes significantly as you get older and some of these changes can be used to track the process of aging.

5) Deficiencies or relative deficiencies of hormones give established symptom complexes and should be treated. Those doctors who subscribe to the neuro-endocrine theory of aging believe that in part at least, you age because your hormone levels drop. The hormones DHEA and IGF1 (the primary metabolite of Growth Hormone) have both been suggested as the most accessible stand-alone biomarkers we have. Also you should check Testosterone / Free Testosterone, DHEAs, TSH T3 T4 (Thyroid Function), Oestrogen, Progesterone, FSH. 

Immune system's aging

Aging is accompanied by a general dysregulation in immune system function, commonly referred to as immunosenescence. This progressive deterioration affects both innate and adaptive immunity. Studies have suggested that  aging is associated with increase permeability of mucosal barriers, decreased phagocytic activity of macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs), reduced natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity, and dysregulated production of soluble mediators such as cytokines and  chemokines. These alterations could lead to increased pathogen  invasion and poor activation of the adaptive immune response mediated by T and B lymphocytes. 

Aging, is also associated with quantitative and qualitative changes within the naive  CD4+T-cell compartment. Decreased numbers of recent thymic emigrants (RTE), shortened telomeres,  hyporesponsiveness to stimulation, decreased proliferative capacity, reduced IL-2  production, alterations in signal transduction and changes in cell surface phenotype have all been reported. These changes likely contribute to the poor response to vaccines and increased susceptibility to infectious diseases and neoplasms reported for older adults. Aging causes a shift in the ratio of naive to memory T-cells, with associated changes in the cytokine profile that favor increases in pro-inflammatory interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interferon (IFN), tumor necrosis factor (TNFa), and transforming growth factor (TGFb). The production of IL-6, but not IL-1 or TNFa, by peripheral blood mononuclear cells increases in the elderly. 

As the hematopoietic system ages, the immune function deteriorates, the lymphoid potential diminishes, and the incidence of myeloid leukemia increases. Aging leads to increased stem cell dysfunction, and as a result leukemia can develop in failed attempts by the bone marrow to return to a homeostatic condition after stress or injury. Stem cells leave the hibernation state and undergo self-renewal and expansion to prevent premature hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) exhaustion under conditions of hematopoietic stress. The remaining stem cells divided more rapidly as if to compensate for those that were lost. Stimulating old stem cells to grow more rapidly, perhaps by stress such as infrared (IR), puts stem cells at greater risk of becoming cancer cells because of acquired DNA damage. 


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Trigger of aging

Scientists have found a biological command center for the ageing process in a lump of brain the size of a nut. The US team identified the mechanism in the hypothalamus, which sits deep inside the brain, and showed they could tweak it to shorten or lengthen the lives of animals.

In a series of experiments, the researchers found they could extend the lives of mice by a fifth, without the animals suffering from muscle weakness, bone loss, or memory problems common in old age. They found that a chemical called NF-kB became more active in the hypothalamus of mice as they got older. When the researchers blocked the substance, mice lived up to 1,100 days, compared with 600 to 1000 days for normal healthy mice. When they boosted NF-kB in mice, they all died within 900 days.
Tests on the animals six months into the study found that those without NF-kB had more muscle and bone, were better at learning, and had healthier skin than controls. Further work showed that NF-kB lowered levels of a hormone called GnRH, which is better known for the central role it plays in fertility and the development of sperm and eggs. When the scientists gave old mice daily jabs of GnRH, they found this too extended the animals' lives, and even caused fresh neurons to grow in their brains.
There may be several ways to slow down ageing, with drugs that dampen the activity of NF-kB in the brain, or raise levels of GnRH.
Sourse: Nature

Young blood injections

For me it sounds a bit crazy, but experiments on mice have shown that it is possible to rejuvenate the brains of old animals by injecting them with blood from the young.

Scientists from Stanford University found that blood from young mice reversed some of the effects of ageing in the older mice, improving learning and memory to a level comparable with much younger animals. This technique could one day help people stave off the worst effects of ageing, including conditions such as Alzheimer's.
They connected the circulatory systems of an old and young mouse so that their blood could mingle, after that several clear signs were found that the ageing process had slowed down. The number of stem cells in the brain, for example, had increased. More important, researchers found a 20% increase in connections between brain cells.
He took blood plasma – the fluid portion of blood that is not cells – from two-month-old mice and injected small amounts, around 5% of the total amount of blood in a mouse by volume, into 18-month-old animals eight times over the course of a month.
Author said that the young blood most likely reversed ageing by topping up levels of key chemical factors that tend to decline in the blood as animals age. Which factors in particular are causing the effect is unclear since there are hundreds of thousands in blood.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Dead people's bodies are usefull!

The most common reason of death in old age is cardiovascular disease. Now scientists are able to treat such conditions even if the patient is very old.

A team of Dr. Gepstein have genetically transformed skin cells from heart failure patients into healthy,beating, "young" heart tissue. This is a fantastic achievement for the field of regenerative medicine.The transformation was achieved by guiding the skin cells from  men with heart failure through an intermediate form known as human induced pluripotent stem cells, or "hiPSCs" for short. Unlike embryonic stem cells, however, hiPSCs start out as fully-formed cells of a specific type. In the case of Gepstein's research, the hiPSCs started out as fully developed skin cells.When Gepstein's team grew their new muscle cells in a dish, in the company of existing heart tissue, the two were beating in unison within a matter of days. When they transplanted the tissue into the hearts of rats, they observed the same thing.

What's most exciting about this research is that the heart cells derived from the skin cells of the two elderly patients appear to function just as well as those derived from young, healthy volunteers. Thus, we are able to rejuvenate ourselves, at list , a some organs.

Sourse: NCBI

Sunday, 4 August 2013

The wrinkles

When I think about aging, the first thing that is coming to my mind is wrinkles. You can easily figure out person’s age just take a look on his or her face. In my opinion, wrinkles are a kind of skin decease, associated with aging, and we definitely should fight them and do not only mask them. I do not believe in some “wonderful” creams, but I believe in science and in this post I will give a general overview of new strategies to reduce wrinkles based on molecular approach.
 Skin aging is a complex process combined with intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic or chronological skin aging results from the passage of time and is influenced by genetic factors. Extrinsic skin aging is mainly determined by UV irradiation, also called photoaging. These two types of aging processes are superimposed on sun-exposed skin, and have a common feature of causing dermal matrix alterations that mostly contribute to the formation of wrinkles, laxity, and fragility of aged skin. The dermal matrix contains extracellular matrix proteins such as collagen, elastin, and proteoglycans that confer the strength and resiliency of skin. Thus, it is necessary to stop the degradation of the skin primary structural constituents, such as collagen, elastin, to prevent the formation of wrinkles. Recent research showed that a drug with naturally occurring matrix of hydrolyzed collagen type II and low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate have a great positive effect on skin health. Daily supplementation with 1 g of such substance for 12 weeks led to a significant reduction of skin dryness/scaling (76%) and global lines/wrinkles (13.2%). .You can read more about the drug here.
Another way to handle with aging of skin matrix is to use inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).  It has been proposed that the pro-inflammatory catalytic activity of COX-2 plays a key role in the aging process. A COX-2 inhibitor, NS-398 was shown to reduce skin aging by regulating the expression of type I procollagen and caveolin-1 and reducing the expression of p53 and p16 (oncogenes). So the injection of NS-398 can be the way to cure wrinkles.
However, I have my own idea. A small balls made from thin rubber should be placed around the wrinkle. After that the water or some liquid should be placed in this balls, the balls will become bigger and cause the growth of healthy skin. When new skin could replace the skin with wrinkle, the old skin should be replaced. Thus we have healthy new skin.

If you read more about skin anti-aging strategies: NCBI

Friday, 2 August 2013

What are the biomarkers of aging?

Current research is looking closely into the process of aging and seeking ways to slow it down. In order to test new drugs, there has to be a way to determine if the intervention is having an impact on the underlying process of aging— not just whether it has an effect on one of the body’s systems, such as affecting blood pressure or cholesterol levels, but whether it slows down the actual aging process.

Currently, the only way to test drugs that are aimed at extending life is to conduct studies that follow subjects to the end of their lives. This can take an impractically long time. What’s needed are biomarkers of the aging process that could help determine a person’s life expectancy, making it unnecessary to wait many years for the results of studies. If a set of biomarkers of aging were identified, it would also have the effect of demonstrating that there actually is an underlying mechanism of aging that coordinates changes across the body’s systems.

I make my point clear with the example. There was a research aimed at Identification of Biomarkers of Human Skin Ageing in Both Genders.  The goal of our work has been to investigate the mechanisms of gender-independent human skin ageing and examine the hypothesis of skin being an adequate model of global ageing. Research showed that only 4 overlapping gene OR52N2F6FR1OP2TUBAL3 and STK40 showed differential regulation with age. Interestingly, Wnt signaling pathway showed to be significantly downregulated in aged skin with decreased gene and protein expression for males and females. In addition, several genes involved in central nervous system (CNS) ageing showed to be expressed in human skin and were significantly regulated with age. Thus, the WNT-signaling pathway could be a good biomarker of aging.

Read more: PLOSONE

Watch more: YOUTUBE

Picture: Aging Kills You

Vitamin D and an ability to live independent are connected.

It is summer now and thought a suntan we get vitamin D. This vitamin plays a key role in bone and muscle health, and a deficiency can lead to reduced bone density, muscle weakness, osteoporosis and broken bones. However, there are a little percentage of tanned people among the seniors.

So in was calculated that about  90 percent of older people are vitamin D-deficient. Also a study reviled that vitamin D deficiency some how connected with physical activity of the person. The study included more than 1000 people, aged 55 to 88 who were under doctor's control for six years. Participants' vitamin D levels were checked and they were asked about their ability to do routine tasks. Among participants aged 65 to 88, those with the lowest vitamin D levels were likely to have at least one physical limitation as those with the highest vitamin D levels. Among participants aged 55 to 65, those with the lowest vitamin D levels were twice as likely to have at least one physical limitation as those with the highest vitamin D levels.

The findings indicate low vitamin D levels in older individuals may contribute to the declining ability to live independently. While the study found an association between low vitamin D levels and limited mobility, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

Sourse: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Sohl

Effects of Sleep Quality on Skin Aging and Function

While chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency, its effects on skin function have previously been unknown. Study conducted by Elma Baron, MD reviled that inadequate sleep is correlated with reduced skin health and accelerates skin aging.

Sixty pre-menopausal women between the ages of 30 and 49, with half of participants falling into the poor quality sleep category were involved into the experiment. The study involved a visual skin evaluation and participation in several non-invasive skin challenge tests including UV light exposure and skin barrier disruption. Additionally, participants filled out a sleep log for one week to quantify sleep duration. The doctors reviled statistically significant differences between good and  bad sleepers. Poor quality sleepers showed increased signs of intrinsic skin aging including fine lines, uneven pigmentation and slackening of skin and reduced elasticity.

Thus the healthier you sleep, the younger you look!

Are you sleep well? =)

Let’s steal immunity!

Each organism on our Earth, except viruses, of course, has immunity.

The bacterium are always under the danger to be harvested by viruses – bacteriophage and the bacterium have the immunity against viruses also. One of the levels of bacterium’s immunity is CRISPR system. It is very similar to human’s acquired immunity; it allows bacterium to save fragments of viruses which it has faced.   CRISPR system also helps to recognize the virus quicker and stop its actions.

However, the viruses are tricky guys and have its own antiimmune system. This system could arise by recombination of virus's and bacterium's genes. Such event occurs very often in bacterium but it is quite unlikely that such simple organisms like viruses have the antiimmune system.

Go to the dark side of... oxytocin!

Oxytocin often is called “hormone of love and fidelity”, but, as Jedi's power, it is also has a dark side. Instead of creating social network links and sense of  well-being it can enhance the emotional discomfort and anxiety.

The experiments were held on three types of mouse. The first group of mouse there are no oxytocin receptors on  lateral septum of a brain, the second one has very high level of  receptors to  oxytocin and the third one was normal. Mouse in the first group placed in a cell with aggressive mouse six hours later did not show any trace of fear, however, animals from the second group were very frightened.

Thus, the experiment showed that oxytocin can enhance all types of memory: both happy and unhappy. For example, if you were humiliated by your classmates, oxytocin will enhance the pain.

Source: Northwestern University news