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Springy fibers developed to mend hearts

Springy fibers developed to mend hearts | Longevity science | Scoop.it

When a heart attack occurs, the resulting dead heart tissue is replaced with scar tissue that's incapable of expanding and contracting. This means that the victim is left with a permanently weakened heart. Numerous studies are now looking at ways in which the dead tissue can instead be replaced with functioning cardiac tissue.

 

While most of the lab-grown tissue created so far has used straight fibers as a base, scientists at Tel Aviv University recently had another idea – if the tissue is supposed to expand and contract, then why not make it using springy fibers?

 

 

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Melatonin may offer weight management potential: Animal data

Melatonin may offer weight management potential: Animal data | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Consumption of melatonin could help control weight gain by stimulating the development of ‘beige fat’ cells that burn - rather than store - calories, say researchers.
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‘Important’ study: Vitamin K shows benefits for memory

‘Important’ study: Vitamin K shows benefits for memory | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Increased blood levels of vitamin K1 are associated with improved episodic memory in healthy older adults, says a new study that provides support for vitamin K and brain health.
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Apples really can help keep the doctor away

Apples really can help keep the doctor away | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The whole fruit is packed with good stuff and just might keep the doctor away.

 

Apples keep you hydrated and healthy. Just be careful not to choose recipes that add butter and sugar to this healthy fruit.

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Surgery, radiation and chemo didn’t stop the tumor, but an experimental treatment did

Surgery, radiation and chemo didn’t stop the tumor, but an experimental treatment did | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Surgery, radiation and chemo did not help, but a different approach is working for a retired doctor.

 

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According to a presentation about the research that the Duke doctors gave last May, the results so far are promising: “The first patient enrolled in our study (treated in May 2012) had her symptoms improve rapidly upon virus infusion (she is now symptom-free), had a response in MRI scans, is in excellent health, and continues in school 9 months after the return of her brain tumor was diagnosed. Four patients enrolled in our trial remain alive, and we have observed similarly encouraging responses in other patients. One patient died six months following . . . infusion, due to tumor regrowth.” They added: “Remarkably, there have been no toxic side effects . . . whatsoever, even at the highest possible dose.”

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DNA damage may cause ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), involving SIRT1, HDAC1 and sarcoma breakpoint protein FUS

DNA damage may cause ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), involving SIRT1, HDAC1 and sarcoma breakpoint protein FUS | Longevity science | Scoop.it

MIT neuroscientists have found new evidence that suggests that a failure to repair damaged DNA could underlie not only ALS, but also other neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. These findings imply that drugs that bolster neurons’ DNA-repair capacity could help ALS patients, says Li-Huei Tsai, director of MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and senior author of a paper describing the ALS findings in the Sept. 15, 2013 issue of Nature Neuroscience.

 

Neurons are some of the longest-living cells in the human body. While other cells are frequently replaced, our neurons are generally retained throughout our lifetimes. Consequently, neurons can accrue a lot of DNA damage and are especially vulnerable to its effects. 

“Our genome is constantly under attack and DNA strand breaks are produced all the time. Fortunately, they are not a worry because we have the machinery to repair it right away. But if this repair machinery were to somehow become compromised, then it could be very devastating for neurons,” Tsai says.

 

Tsai’s group has been interested in understanding the importance of DNA repair in neurodegenerative processes for several years. In a study published in 2008, they reported that DNA double-strand breaks precede neuronal loss in a mouse model that undergoes Alzheimer’s disease-like neurodegeneration and identified a protein, HDAC1, which prevents neuronal loss under these conditions.  

HDAC1 is a histone deacetylase, an enzyme that regulates genes by modifying chromatin, which consists of DNA wrapped around a core of proteins called histones. HDAC1 activity normally causes DNA to wrap more tightly around histones, preventing gene expression. However, it turns out that cells, including neurons, also exploit HDAC1’s ability to tighten up chromatin to stabilize broken DNA ends and promote their repair. 

 

In a paper published earlier this year in Nature Neuroscience, Tsai’s team reported that HDAC1 works cooperatively with another deacetylase called SIRT1 to repair DNA and prevent the accumulation of damage that could promote neurodegeneration. 

When a neuron suffers double-strand breaks, SIRT1 migrates within seconds to the damaged sites, where it soon recruits HDAC1 and other repair factors. SIRT1 also stimulates the enzymatic activity of HDAC1, which allows the broken DNA ends to be resealed. 

SIRT1 itself has recently gained notoriety as the protein that promotes longevity and protects against diseases including diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, and Tsai’s group believes that its role in DNA repair contributes significantly to the protective effects of SIRT1. 

In an attempt to further unveil other partners that work with HDAC1 to repair DNA, Tsai and colleagues stumbled upon a protein called Fused In Sarcoma (FUS). This finding was intriguing, Tsai says, because the FUS gene is one of the most common sites of mutations that cause inherited forms of ALS. 

The MIT team found that FUS appears at the scene of DNA damage very rapidly, suggesting that FUS is orchestrating the repair response. One of its roles is to recruit HDAC1 to the DNA damage site. Without it, HDAC1 does not appear and the necessary repair does not occur. Tsai believes that FUS may also be involved in sensing when DNA damage has occurred.

 

At least 50 mutations in the FUS gene have been found to cause ALS. The majority of these mutations occur in two sections of the FUS protein. The MIT team mapped the interactions between FUS and HDAC1 and found that these same two sections of the FUS protein bind to HDAC1. 

They also generated four FUS mutants that are most commonly seen in ALS patients. When they replaced the normal FUS with these mutants, they found that the interaction with HDAC1 was impaired and DNA damage was significantly increased. This suggests that those mutations prevent FUS from recruiting HDAC1 when DNA damage occurs, allowing damage to accumulate and eventually leading to ALS.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Yale breakthrough bolsters fight against Alzheimer's

Yale breakthrough bolsters fight against Alzheimer's | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A team of researchers at Yale University has completed a molecular model for Alzheimer's disease by identifying a protein that plays a key role in its onset. Promisingly, the study showed that when the activity of this protein is blocked by an existing drug, mice engineered as models for human AD recover their memories.

 

 

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Google announces Calico, a new company focused on health and well-being | KurzweilAI

Google announces Calico, a new company focused on health and well-being | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
(Credit: Google) Google announced Calico, a new company that will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated
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Is The Developed World So Hygienically Clean That It’s Making Us Sick?

Is The Developed World So Hygienically Clean That It’s Making Us Sick? | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Few would argue the overall health benefits of living in the industrialized world. Clean drinking water, fewer fatal accidents and greatly reduced infant mortality are just a few of the advantages. So pronounced are the health boons of development that researchers may sometimes be blinded to health risks that it brings.

For example, rates of Alzheimer’s disease are higher in developed nations — a fact that is often attributed to the longer life expectancies in those countries. But the higher rates persist even after correcting for longer lifespans, according to a recent study led by Cambridge evolutionary biologist Molly Fox.

 

 

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Adult tissue 'sent back to embryo'

Adult tissue 'sent back to embryo' | Longevity science | Scoop.it

The living tissue inside an animal has been regressed back into an embryonic state for the first time, Spanish researchers say.

They believe it could lead to new ways of repairing the body, for example after a heart attack.

However, the study published in the journal Nature, showed the technique led to tumours forming in mice.

Stem cell experts said it was a "cool" study, but would need to be much more controlled before leading to therapies.

 

 

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Looking for lessons in cancer's 'miracle' responders

Nearly every oncologist can tell the story of cancer patients who beat the odds, responding so well to treatment that they continued to live many years disease-free, while most of their peers worsened and eventually died.

Dr. David Solit decided to find out why.

Solit, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, delved into the case of a woman with advanced bladder cancer who volunteered for a 45-patient study of the Novartis drug Afinitor. He discovered that a combination of two gene mutations made her particularly receptive to the treatment.

 

 

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Better Humans? Understanding the Enhancement Project, by Michael Hauskeller

Better Humans? Understanding the Enhancement Project, by Michael Hauskeller | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Andy Miah on the pros and cons of humanity 2.0 If you could enhance one aspect of your biology, what would it be? Would you use cosmetic surgery to make yourself more beautiful? How about cognitive enhancers to improve your memory or wit? What if you and your partner could take love pills to iron out any problems in your relationship?

What if you just want to live a longer and healthier life? What would you be prepared to do?

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Natural nerves improve robotic leg performance

Redirecting nerves from the thigh muscle to control an experimental robotic leg makes it easier to use and more like a natural leg, researchers report.

 

The leg's movements are guided by the patient's original nerves, which have been redirected to a small area of the thigh muscle. The robotic leg senses the unconscious muscle movements and translates them into movements for the knee and ankle of the 10-pound device.

 

"This technology offers a seamless transition to walking around, climbing stairs, and descending stairs and moving around on slopes and even repositioning the prosthesis without thinking about it. That's something no other device offers now," Levi Hargrove of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago told Reuters Health.

 

 

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Weight loss tied to knee arthritis benefits

Intensive weight loss together with regular exercise did more to ease knee arthritis than exercise alone for overweight and obese adults in a new U.S. study.

 

Knee inflammation, pain and functioning all improved more among people who cut back on calories in addition to working out, researchers found.

 

The greatest benefits were seen among those who lost the most weight, and they tended to be the ones who combined diet and exercise.

 

 

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Seeking serenity? Flotation therapy offers an inexpensive way to achieve it.

Seeking serenity? Flotation therapy offers an inexpensive way to achieve it. | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Anette Kjellgren, a psychology professor who has studied flotation at Karlstad University in Sweden since the 1990s, says floating can help with a laundry list of conditions, including stress, muscular pain, addiction, fibromyalgia and disorders associated with whiplash. The technique can also facilitate traditional psychotherapy and even help address ADHD and autism spectrum disorders, she said in an e-mail interview.

 

These apparent benefits have yet to be tested rigorously enough to prove flotation’s effectiveness. But some researchers are convinced enough that they have become floaters themselves.

 

 

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History behind ‘An apple a day’

History behind ‘An apple a day’ | Longevity science | Scoop.it
When did humans coin the adage?

 

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In 2012, an Ohio State University study found that eating an apple a day helped significantly lower levels of bad cholesterol in middle-aged adults, and in 2011 a Dutch study found that eating apples and pears might help prevent strokes.

The longevity of the phrase “an apple a day,” Taggart explained, comes from its simplicity.

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Foundation to provide open access to blood cancer research data

Multiple myeloma research advocates on Tuesday will begin providing open Internet access to genetic and research data on hundreds of patients in hopes of speeding the development of new treatments for the deadly blood cancer.


That could help identify biological targets for future medicines, hasten enrollment in studies by finding the right patients for the trials and enhance researcher collaboration.

 

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Stem cell reprogramming made easier | KurzweilAI

Stem cell reprogramming made easier | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Weizmann Institute scientists show that removing one protein from adult cells enables them to efficiently turn back the clock to a stem-cell-like state.

 

Embryonic stem cells have the enormous potential to treat and cure many medical problems. That is why the discovery that induced embryonic-like stem cells can be created from skin cells was rewarded with a Nobel Prize in 2012.

 

 

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Two studies hail resveratrol type 2 diabetes potential

Two studies hail resveratrol type 2 diabetes potential | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Supplemental resveratrol should be considered as an adjunct to standard anti-diabetic agents in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, according to two studies conducted at the University of Medical Sciences in Iran and JSS University in India.
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The best foods for clear skin

The best foods for clear skin | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Not only can sugar cause inflammations in the body, but it also adversely affects cell membranes and by extension can break down collagen.

 

 

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Drug-resistant 'superbugs' deemed urgent threats: U.S. report

Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, a diarrhea-causing superbug and a class of fast-growing killer bacteria dubbed a "nightmare" were classified as urgent public-health threats in the United States on Monday.

According to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 2 million people in the United States develop serious bacterial infections that are resistant to one or more types of antibiotics each year, and at least 23,000 die from the infections.

 

 

Ray and Terry's 's insight:

Keep your immune system strong with natural compounds and avoid antibiotic use unless absolutely necessary. Eat healthy and organic whenever possible. Exercise, rest, relax. Stay vigilant and learn what you can about natural ingredients. A strong immune system is your best defense. All of these measures will help.

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Increased protein protects against muscles during diet and weight loss, say researchers

Increased protein protects against muscles during diet and weight loss, say researchers | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Doubling the recommended daily allowance of protein intake could help to protect against muscle loss during dieting and exercise related weight loss, say researchers.
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Two times is the charm (in this study). Three times the protein did not add benefit.

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A radical new holistic view of health based on cooperation and disease based on competition | KurzweilAI

A radical new holistic view of health based on cooperation and disease based on competition | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Researchers at The Mount Sinai Medical Center have developed a radical holistic view of health — seeing it as a cooperative state among cells, while they see disease as result of cells at war that fight with each other for domination.

Their unique approach is backed by experimental evidence. The researchers show a network of genes in cells, which includes the powerful tumor suppressor p53, which enforce a cooperative state within cells — rather like the queen bee in a beehive.

Disease or disorder occurs when these enforcer genes are mutated, allowing competition between cells to ensue.

 

 

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Proteins that are vital to long-term memory | KurzweilAI

Proteins that are vital to long-term memory | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found a group of proteins called Wnts that are essential to the formation of long-term memories.

 

These proteins send signals from the outside to the inside of a cell, inducing a cellular response that is crucial for normal functioning of the adult brain (and aspects of embryonic development, including stem cell differentiation).

 

 

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