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Probiotic plus aloe shows cholesterol-lowering potential: Animal data

Probiotic plus aloe shows cholesterol-lowering potential: Animal data | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Combining probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG supplements with aloe vera may slash cholesterol levels by over 40%, suggests a new study with lab rats.
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Wellness Resources - Mind Blog: The Keys to a Better Brain

Wellness Resources - Mind Blog: The Keys to a Better Brain | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Growing older is not the same as aging. Everyone grows older all the time, but we aren’t necessarily aging as we do so since, by definition, the aging process is one of deterioration.

But we can actually grow new brain connections and even create new neurons from stem cells as a result of our thoughts. If you want to keep your brain and body healthy, you can start by adapting our suggestions into your personal plan.

The Summer 2017 issue of Conscious Lifestyle Magazine features Ray & Terry’s recommendations for building a better brain. As a Ray & Terry’s subscriber, we are happy to share the full article with you (pdf).

Conscious Lifestyle Magazine offers powerful, practical tools, techniques, wisdom and inspiration for creating radiant happiness, health and healing.

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Battling baldness by jumpstarting stem cells with lactate

Battling baldness by jumpstarting stem cells with lactate | Longevity science | Scoop.it
If stem cells can do everything from growing skulls to generating new heart tissue, you'd think they'd also be able to help regrow hair on balding heads. In fact, they soon might be able to do just that. Last year we saw that regular stem cells converted into epithelial stem cells (EpSCs) could be coaxed into growing new hair. Now, researchers out of UCLA have created a way to activate the stem cells already found in dormant hair follicles to get them doing their jobs again.
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Newly discovered gut microbe could treat diseases beyond the stomach, such as MS

Newly discovered gut microbe could treat diseases beyond the stomach, such as MS | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Now, scientists have discovered a gut microbe that could be used to treat diseases outside the stomach, presenting new territory for these belly-dwelling bacteria.
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Live bacteria have been used for a long time to help with things like digestion, treating diarrhea and fending off harmful bacteria that can cause infections. But these probiotics have not been known to have an effect on diseases that strike beyond the stomach. So when a team of researchers from the Mayo Clinic tested three bacterial strains on a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS) and found one that seemed to suppress the immune disease, they were suitably excited.
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First Organ-Specific Tissue Sheets

An accidental spill in the lab has led to the development of bioactive “tissue papers” that could act as a scaffold to grow cells and repair wounds. Described August 7 in Advanced Functional Materials, the cellular scaffolds are the first of their kind to be organ-specific, and researchers have made six different kinds.

Materials engineer Adam Jakus, a postdoc at Northwestern University, discovered the scaffolds after spilling a 3-D printable ovary ink, which is made of decellularized ovarian tissue. He’d previously developed similar materials to repair and regenerate bone, muscle, and nerve tissue. “I knew the spill would be easier to clean up if I let the ink dry,” he tells The Scientist in a phone interview. When Jakus went to wipe up the dried ink, he found it had spread and hardened into a thin, pliable, yet durable sheet.

Having worked in the past with surgeons on biomaterials, Jakus thought the flexibility and stability of the “tissue paper” had the potential to be used in surgeries, wound healing and possibly cell growth. He decided to try to make the paper out of other organs.
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The Cancer Genes Needed for Immunotherapy Response

Immune checkpoint inhibitor antibodies are a relatively new class of cancer drugs that are now approved to treat patients with late-stage melanoma and those with certain lung, bladder, head and neck, kidney, and other types of late-stage cancers. Some patients respond and go into long remissions when treated with these therapies, while others fare worse.

Using a genome-wide CRISPR-based screen, researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and their colleagues identify protein-coding genes that must be expressed by a tumor in order for this type of cancer immunotherapy to work. The results are published today (August 8) in Nature.

“This is an elegant study and a novel application of CRISPR library screening,” says Drew Pardoll, director of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy who was not involved in the work. “The study validates genes we knew [were necessary] for tumors to respond to immunotherapy and turns up a number of unexpected, potentially interesting genes.”
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Nanoparticles used to stop a body rejecting organ transplants

Nanoparticles used to stop a body rejecting organ transplants | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Organ transplantation has undoubtedly been one of the greatest medical innovations of the last century. The development of modern immunosuppressive drugs has significantly reduced the rates of organ rejection, but these drugs often have dramatic side effects for the patient. A team from Yale has now developed an entirely new way of reducing organ transplant rejection by "hiding" the donated organ using targeted nanoparticles.

One of the most potent form of immune cells responsible for the body rejecting a transplanted organ is activated by proteins known as human leukocyte antigens (HLAs). These proteins are found on the surface of endothelial cells, which line an organ's blood vessels.
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First embryo gene-repair holds promise for inherited disease

First embryo gene-repair holds promise for inherited disease | Longevity science | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — Altering human heredity? In a first, researchers safely repaired a disease-causing gene in human embryos, targeting a heart defect best known for killing young athletes — a big step toward one day preventing a list of inherited diseases.

In a surprising discovery, a research team led by Oregon Health and & Science University reported Wednesday that embryos can help fix themselves if scientists jump-start the process early enough.

It's laboratory research only, nowhere near ready to be tried in a pregnancy. But it suggests that scientists might alter DNA in a way that protects not just one baby from a disease that runs in the family, but his or her offspring as well. And that raises ethical questions.
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Stanford study finds blood biomarkers linked to chronic fatigue syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) as many sufferers prefer it called, is still one of the more mysterious ailments physicians grapple with. The disease has no known cure, is difficult to diagnose, and still to this day is debated by some as being more a psychological condition than a physical one. Researchers at Stanford University have recently made a breakthrough in pinning down the physiological origins of this mysterious malady, which may pave the way for a blood test that could diagnose it.
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The disease was only officially classified as chronic fatigue syndrome in the late 1980s, but for much of the 20th century the symptoms were recognized by doctors as an unknown illness.
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Report: Scientists edit human embryos for first time in US

Report: Scientists edit human embryos for first time in US | Longevity science | Scoop.it
(CNN)America reportedly has moved ahead in a controversial race to tinker with human DNA -- but the scientific feat is shrouded in unanswered questions.


The MIT Technology Review published on Wednesday a news report about the first-known experiment to create genetically modified human embryos in the United States using a gene-editing tool called CRISPR.

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The Keys to Brain Health: 10 Supplements and Habits That Supercharge Your Brain

The Keys to Brain Health: 10 Supplements and Habits That Supercharge Your Brain | Longevity science | Scoop.it
It is important to realize that growing older (and wiser!) is not the same thing as aging. Everyone grows older all the time, but we aren’t necessarily aging as we do so since, by definition, the aging process is one of deterioration in both physical health and brain health.


The Art of Staying Young: Are You Aging or Youthening?

You grew older today, but did you age as well? If you drank a few cups of green tea, had five servings of fruits and vegetables, exercised for at least 30 minutes at your target heart rate, took nutritional supplements optimized for your age and health situation, spent quality time with close friends and loved ones, consumed a glass of red wine, had a romantic (and sensual!) time with your spouse or significant other, and got eight hours of quality sleep, then you probably aged very little if at all.

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Genomic Analysis Leaves Tardigrade Phylogeny Unclear

Genomic Analysis Leaves Tardigrade Phylogeny Unclear | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Where tardigrades belong in the tree of life is a difficult question. Some previous work suggests that these tiny animals that can survive intense environmental challenges are most closely related to nematodes, while other studies and the animals’ morphology point to arthropods as water bears’ nearest relatives.

Now, an international team of scientists has compared detailed genome assemblies of two tardigrade species. While their analysis, published today (July 27) in PLOS Biology, sheds light on water bears’ ability to endure punishing circumstances, it does not resolve their evolutionary history.

“Even the full genomes of two tardigrades, which the authors report here, were not sufficient to decide whether tardigrades were closer to the arthropods or the nematodes,” Thorsten Burmester, a biologist at the University of Hamburg in Germany who did not participate in the study, writes in an email to The Scientist. “Genome sequences from related phyla, which are not yet available, may help in the future.”
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The fountain of youth might reside deep in our brains

According to some new research, the key to living longer may reside deep in our brains. In a major breakthrough for our understanding of how the brain controls aging, scientists managed to both speed up and slow down the aging process in mice by disrupting the volume of neural stem cells found in the hypothalamus.
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Back in 2013, a team from New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine discovered that a region of the brain called the hypothalamus seemed to play a key role in the way the body regulated its aging processes.
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Fighting Alzheimer's: It's all in how you slice it

Building on research that identified a rare genetic mutation in Italian people that leads to the early onset of Alzheimer's and one in Icelandic people that delays the onset of the condition, a researcher at the University of British Columbia has discovered that using an enzymatic scissor the right way could stave off the cognitive decline associated with the disease.
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DNA mutations enable detection of early-stage cancers with a blood test

DNA mutations enable detection of early-stage cancers with a blood test | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Scientists are one step closer to developing a functional blood test to detect a range of cancers. By identifying specific cancer DNA mutations, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center are reporting success in detecting the presence of early-stage cancers in blood samples.

Previous research in identifying mutated DNA signposts for cancer has relied on looking at biopsied tumors from individual patients. The genetic mutations found in the tumor samples offer doctors solid signposts that can then be traced back to a patient's blood sample, but these DNA markers are often highly specific to the patient and not broadly applicable in a more general blood test.
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Microscopy Tool Can See Through Dense Tissue: Study

A novel imaging technique allows researchers to peer through thick, three-dimensional tissues using a holographic microscope and economical, easily transported tools, according to a study published today (August 11) in Science Advances. The tissue preparation and imaging protocol is meant to serve as an alternative to costlier techniques that aren’t easily accessible in resource-starved areas.

The researchers demonstrated the utility of their technique on a slice of a mouse brain, 200 microns (0.2 millimeters) in thickness. First, they made their tissue sample see-through using a tweaked version of the CLARITY tissue-clearing method, which removes lipids within tissue, then applied a stain to visualize brain cells. The researchers placed their sample near an image-sensing chip, which digitally acquired a focused, 3-D image. Traditional techniques, on the other hand, require lenses and cumbersome optical apparatuses.
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Chip reprograms skin cells with a short electric pulse

Chip reprograms skin cells with a short electric pulse | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Technologies that reprogram one type of cell to perform the role of another hold a huge amount of potential when it comes to medicine, possibly changing the way we treat everything from Parkinson's to pancreatic cancer to brain tumors. One broader outcome of all of this could be a game-changing ability to repair and restore damaged tissue and organs. Scientists are now reporting a promising advance in the area, in the form of patch that they say can use an electric pulse to turn skin cells into the building blocks of any organ.
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The protein that can make your heart think you exercise

The protein that can make your heart think you exercise | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Although it's usually used as a compliment, having a big heart can be a good thing or a bad thing. When it needs to pump more blood, the heart can grow in a good way in response to exercise and pregnancy, but after a heart attack, swelling of the heart muscles can lead to further complications. Now, Canadian scientists have found that a protein called cardiotrophin 1 (CT1) can essentially trick the heart into the good kind of growth, and reduce the bad kind.

Heart failure is a life-threatening condition where the organ can't adequately pump blood around the body, and often the only treatment is a transplant. It can be caused by a heart attack that damages muscles in the left side of the organ, or by pulmonary hypertension, whereby high blood pressure in the lungs damages the right side.
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Breakthrough Stem Cell Study Offers New Clues to Reversing Aging

Breakthrough Stem Cell Study Offers New Clues to Reversing Aging | Longevity science | Scoop.it

This week, a study published in Nature threw a wrench into the classical theory of aging. In a technical tour-de-force, a team led by Dr. Dongsheng Cai from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine pinpointed a critical source of aging to a small group of stem cells within the hypothalamus—an “ancient” brain region that controls bodily functions such as temperature and appetite.

 

Like fountains of youth, these stem cells release tiny fatty bubbles filled with mixtures of small biological molecules called microRNAs. With age, these cells die out, and the animal’s muscle, skin and brain function declines.

 

However, when the team transplanted these stem cells from young animals into a middle-aged one, they slowed aging. The recipient mice were smarter, more sociable and had better muscle function. And—get this—they also lived 10 to 15 percent longer than mice transplanted with other cell types.

 

To Dr. David Sinclair, an aging expert at Harvard Medical School, the findings represent a “breakthrough” in aging research.

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Right-to-Try Bill Passes the Senate

Right-to-Try Bill Passes the Senate | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A bill allowing seriously ill patients to obtain access to experimental, unapproved treatments passed the US Senate in a unanimous vote on Thursday (August 3). The legislation, known as the Right to Try Act, expands on similar laws already passed in 37 states, and eliminates the requirement for patients to obtain permission from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to purchase treatments that are still undergoing evaluation.
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Research suggests type 2 diabetes could be transmitted like mad cow disease

Research suggests type 2 diabetes could be transmitted like mad cow disease | Longevity science | Scoop.it
It is estimated that about 6 percent of the world's population suffers from type 2 diabetes. Labelled a global health epidemic by the World Health Organization, rates of the disease increased dramatically from about 30 million cases in 1985 to around 390 million by 2015. A new study has now found a previously undiscovered mechanism that raises the possibility of type 2 diabetes being transmitted in a way similar to infectious diseases such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (mad cow disease).
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The Era of Human Gene Editing Is Here—What Happens Next Is Critical

The Era of Human Gene Editing Is Here—What Happens Next Is Critical | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Scientists in Portland, Ore., just succeeded in creating the first genetically modified human embryo in the United States, according to Technology Review. A team led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health & Science University is reported to “have broken new ground both in the number of embryos experimented upon and by demonstrating that it is possible to safely and efficiently correct defective genes that cause inherited diseases.”

 

The U.S. team’s results follow two trials—one last year and one in April—by researchers in China who injected genetically modified cells into cancer patients. The research teams used CRISPR, a new gene-editing system derived from bacteria that enables scientists to edit the DNA of living organisms.

 

The era of human gene editing has begun.

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A living programmable biocomputing device based on RNA | KurzweilAI

Synthetic biologists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and associates have developed a living programmable “ribocomputing” device based on networks of precisely designed, self-assembling synthetic RNAs (ribonucleic acid). The RNAs can sense multiple biosignals and make logical decisions to control protein production with high precision.

As reported in Nature, the synthetic biological circuits could be used to produce drugs, fine chemicals, and biofuels or detect disease-causing agents and release therapeutic molecules inside the body. The low-cost diagnostic technologies may even lead to nanomachines capable of hunting down cancer cells or switching off aberrant genes.
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Massive RNAi Screens Probe for Genes Important to Cancer

Massive RNAi Screens Probe for Genes Important to Cancer | Longevity science | Scoop.it
In what appear to be the largest RNAi screening efforts in cancer to date, two groups of scientists have tamped down the expression of thousands of genes in hundreds of human cancer cell lines. Their results, published today (July 27) in two Cell papers and made freely available to researchers, confirm the roles of the usual genetic suspects in cancer and identify new potential therapeutic targets.

The Scientist spoke with the lead author of one of the studies, Rob McDonald, a senior investigator at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, about his team’s Project DRIVE endeavor. The study systematically knocked down more than 7,800 genes in nearly 400 cell lines. The other project, by researchers from the Broad Institute and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, looked for genetic dependences for cancer growth or survival among 501 cell lines.
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DNA-based sunscreen gets more effective with more use

DNA-based sunscreen gets more effective with more use | Longevity science | Scoop.it
One of the hassles involved with using sunscreen is the fact that you shouldn't just apply it once – depending on who you ask, it should be reapplied at least once every few hours. That isn't the case, however, with an experimental new coating made from DNA. It actually gets more effective the longer it's left on the skin.
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Led by assistant professor of biomedical engineering Guy German, a team at New York's Binghamton University developed thin and optically transparent crystalline DNA films, then irradiated them with ultraviolet light. It was found that the more UV exposure the films received, the more their optical density increased, and the better they got at absorbing the rays.
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UMMC Implants the Worlds Smallest Pacemaker

UMMC Implants the Worlds Smallest Pacemaker | Longevity science | Scoop.it

The University of Maryland Medical Center’s Stephen Shorofsky, MD, PhD, was one of the first doctors in Maryland to implant the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia.

 

Recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is a new type of heart device that provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker.

 

Micra is the only leadless pacemaker approved for use in the U.S. Bradycardia is a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm. As a result, the heart is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body during normal activity or exercise, causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells. Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia to help restore the heart's normal rhythm and relieve symptoms by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate.

 

Comparable in size to a large vitamin, physicians at UMMC have elected to use the Medtronic Micra TPS because unlike traditional pacemakers, the device does not require cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical “pocket” under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy. Instead, the device is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart with small tines, providing a safe alternative to conventional pacemakers without the complications associated with leads – all while being cosmetically invisible. The Micra TPS is also designed to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on a patient’s activity levels.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Engineered Human Liver Tissue Grows in Mice

Engineered Human Liver Tissue Grows in Mice | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Engineering human livers is a lofty goal. Human liver cells, hepatocytes, are particularly difficult to grow in the laboratory as they lose liver functions quickly in a dish. Now, in a study published today (July 19) in Science Translational Medicine, researchers show that a “seed” of human hepatocytes and supporting cells assembled and patterned within a scaffold can grow out to 50 times its original size when implanted into mice.

These engineered livers, which begin to resemble the natural structure of the organ, offer an approach to study organ development and as a potential strategy for organ engineering.
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