One contributor to the aging of your immune system is that your thymus–the gland that turns leukocytes into T cells–is slowly replaced by fat, and eventually shuts down around puberty. In a perfect world this wouldn’t be a problem, because our existing T cells would be appropriately proportioned to cover the entire infection space. In

Since the world of Alzheimer’s therapeutics hasn’t seen much practical benefit from targeting harmful proteins like amyloid-beta, maybe other approaches like targeting dysfunctional mitochondria are worth exploring in more depth. Apparently, improving mitochondrial function can decrease plaque burden and improve cognition in a mouse model. Why do cancer survivors have shorter lifespans than the rest

The immune system degrades as we age. The elderly get sick more often, take longer to recover from illness or injury, are more prone to cancer, and more prone to autoimmune issues. Why this happens is a question scientists are just beginning to answer.   Like other cells, your immune cells are subject to telomere…

That weathered, pruny exterior loved by photographers and loathed by nearly everyone else is, along with gray hair, perhaps the most easily recognizable feature of aging. But while most people’s objections to wrinkles are cosmetic, looking pretty is far from the only function required of the body’s largest organ. Chief among these functions is keeping…

All cells in your body have the same DNA, yet they express different proteins and do different things. How does that happen?  Various alterations in your cells affect the expression of genes, without altering their contents.  This is known as epigenetics. Cells of different tissue types have different epigenetic alterations that lead them to produce…

For much of the 20th century, the prevailing wisdom was that once cells were fully differentiated, their identities were crystallized eternally–a neuron was a neuron forever, and that was that. Then in 1987, something almost magical happened for the first time: with the help of a single transcription factor, a mature fibroblast was completely remade…

(Part I of II.) Researchers at UNC Chapel Hill had an interesting mission: first, transform scar tissue (like the kind that forms after heart attacks) into ordinary cardiac muscle. Researchers at UNC Chapel Hill Of course, that wasn’t the interesting part. We’ve been able to transform cells of one type into cells of another, completely…

LEAF takes an incisive look at the popular “eternal snoozefest” view of life extension and knocks down that shaky extrapolation from elderly people’s will to live, along with several other misconceptions about boredom. LEAF “You want me to live in the beautiful Italian countryside, eat delicious Italian home cooking, and hang out at Italian beaches…

With three decades of experience as a professor of clinical medicine under his belt, Dr. Michael Fossel takes a fundamentally pragmatic approach to tackling human aging. It’s with this attitude that he has championed telomerase therapy, in the process writing multiple well-received books on the biology of aging and its clinical implications, as well as…

Epigenetic markers “drift” as we age to cause unintended gene expression changes, but you might be able to slow this via caloric restriction. The epigenomes of rhesus monkeys on CR “appeared 7 years younger than their chronological age.” 7 years younger A vaccine for Alzheimer’s? It’s more likely than you think. Researchers at USC are…

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