Reviewing What is Known of the Aging of the Gut Microbiome
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by Reason
7h ago
Evidence obtained from animal and human studies in recent years suggests that the composition of the gut microbiome influences long-term health to a similar degree as choices relating to exercise and dietary choices. Certainly, the balance of populations making up the gut microbiome changes with age. Pro-inflammatory microbes grow in number at the expense of microbial populations responsible for the generation of beneficial metabolites, such as butyrate, which is known to upregulate neurogenesis. This process of gut microbiome aging begins quite early in adult life, perhaps as early as the 30s ..read more
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Cells Can Eject Damaged Mitochondria
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by Reason
1d ago
A sizable fraction of cell signaling is carried in extracellular vesicles, membrane-wrapped packages of molecules. In the course of investigating cell signaling, researchers have noted that some fraction of these vesicles are in fact mitochondria. Cells can readily ingest mitochondria, just as they do other vesicles, and put the mitochondria to work. Mitochondria are organelles descended from ancient symbiotic bacteria, primarily responsible for generating chemical energy store molecules to power cell processes, but also deeply integrated into a wide range of cellular mechanisms beyond this. M ..read more
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Lower Dose Senolytics Fail to Prevent Cognitive Decline in Female Rats
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by Reason
2d ago
Researchers here evaluate the effects of a longer term dosing schedule of a few different senolytic drugs in rats, 5 days on and 14 days off repeated for 7 months. The dose of dasatinib and quercetin used is about half of that shown to be effective in clearance of senescent cells in mice and people, but those higher doses have typically not been used as frequently or for as long. That this fails to affect cognitive decline in female rats is a data point, to contrast with other studies in which senolytic therapies have slowed cognitive decline or produced benefits in animal models of neurodegen ..read more
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A Decellularized Liver Patch Improves Function in Rats
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by Reason
2d ago
Decellularization involves stripping cells from donor tissue to leave behind the extracellular matrix and its chemical cues. That extracellular matrix can then be repopulated with patient-matched cells and transplanted, in principle minimizing many of the issues associated with tissue transplantation. The initial hype over decellularization has somewhat faded, but many groups continue to work with decellularized tissue in parallel with other approaches to tissue engineering. The production of thin patches of functional tissue to apply to organs such as the liver or heart has shown some promise ..read more
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Mid-Life Chronic Inflammation Contributes to Measures of Late Life Frailty
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by Reason
2d ago
Chronic inflammation is a feature of aging. Constant unresolved inflammatory signaling arises from a number of distinct causes, but leads to significant disruption of cell and tissue function, and contributes to the onset and progression of age-related disease. The list causes includes a growing population of lingering senescent cells, all secreting pro-inflammatory signal molecules that can be useful in the short term, but become harmful when sustained over the long term. The list also includes some of the consequences of mitochondrial dysfunction, wherein fragments of mitochondrial DNA are f ..read more
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BMP-7 Promotes Heart Regeneration
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by Reason
2d ago
BMP-7 is a myokine, involved in muscle growth and upregulated in response to exercise. It is also involved in the development of muscle tissue in early life. One of the reasons that researchers are interested in this gene and related mechanisms of muscle maintenance, growth, and regeneration is to be able to promote greater recovery in an injured heart. Heart muscle is one of the least regenerative tissues in the body, and this limits recovery from a heart attack and resilience to the harmful aged tissue environment. Activating pathways involved in development or exercise may be the road to th ..read more
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Reviewing the Link Between Peripheral Vascular Aging and the Brain
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by Reason
3d ago
The development of cardiovascular disease outside the brain is thought to contribute to the aging of the brain. The brain is an energy-hungry tissue, and any reduction in blood flow, such as through atherosclerotic narrowing of the arteries and heart failure, will cause harm and functional decline over time. At the same time, and while every organ influences every other organ in some way, it is also the case that vascular aging and brain aging arise to some degree independently due to same underlying processes of aging that operate in every tissue. Mitochondrial dysfunction occurs in the brain ..read more
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Eliminating Germ Cells Removes the Sex Difference in Life Span from Killifish
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by Reason
3d ago
There are a great many hypotheses as to why there is a difference in life expectancy between sexes in many species, and even more when it comes to humans. Since the difference exists in other species, it seems reasonable to throw out most of the thinking that involves behavioral differences or lifestyle choice differences in humans: arguments that men are more prone to risky behavior, less conscientious in use of medical resources, and so forth. From an evolutionary perspective, one can model how reproductive strategies might affect the process of natural selection and its interaction with pac ..read more
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Assessing the Effects of Intermittent Fasting and Calorie Restriction on the Gut Microbiome
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by Reason
4d ago
Evidence suggests that the composition of the gut microbiome is as influential on long-term health as choices in diet and exercise. The relative proportions of microbial species shift with age, favoring harmful pro-inflammatory microbes over those that produce beneficial metabolites. It is reasonable to ask how much of the beneficial effects of fasting and calorie restriction are mediated via the gut microbiome, via slowing or reducing age-related changes in these microbial populations. With that in mind, researchers are beginning to assess how fasting and calorie restriction alter the behavio ..read more
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Lower Ceremide Levels in Aged GHRH Knockout Mice
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by Reason
4d ago
GHRH knockout mice are one of the longest-lived lineages. It remains the case that disrupted growth hormone signaling extends life to a greater degree than any of the other interventions tested in mice. The equivalent Laron syndrome population in humans clearly doesn't experience the same sizable extension of life span, however. This should perhaps tell us that researchers must look elsewhere for approaches to the treatment of aging in long-lived mammals. The most well studied approaches to extend healthy life span in mice, meaning calorie restriction and disruption of growth hormone signaling ..read more
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