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Lessons From the Mouse

Posted: July 31, 2010 at 8:16 am


A reminder of the role of the laboratory mouse in aging research: "Aging, which affects all organ systems, is one of the most complex phenotypes. Recent discoveries in long-lived mutant mice have revealed molecular mechanisms of longevity in mammals which may contribute to our understanding of why humans age. These mutations include naturally-occurring spontaneous mutations, and those of mice genetically modified by modern genomic technologies. It is generally believed that the most fundamental mechanisms of aging are evolutionarily conserved across species. The following types of longevity mechanisms have been intensively studied: suppression of the somatotropic (growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor 1) axis, decreased metabolism and increased resistance of oxidative stress, reduced insulin secretion and increased insulin sensitivity, and delayed reproductive maturation and reduced fertility. In addition, many of the mutations have a sex-dependent effect on lifespan, and when present in different genetic backgrounds, the effects of the same gene mutation can vary considerably. ... We anticipate that these mouse studies will ultimately provide clues about how to delay the aging and prolong lifespan, and help to develop therapies for healthier human aging."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20667513

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Aging of the Innate Immune System

Posted: at 8:16 am


The innate immune system declines with age, just like the adaptive immune system. The details are different: "The innate immune system is composed of a network of cells including neutrophils, NK and NKT cells, monocytes/macrophages, and dendritic cells that mediate the earliest interactions with pathogens. Age-associated defects are observed in the activation of all of these cell types, linked to compromised signal transduction pathways including the Toll-like Receptors. However, aging is also characterized by a constitutive pro-inflammatory environment (inflamm-aging) with persistent low-grade innate immune activation that may augment tissue damage caused by infections in elderly individuals. Thus, immunosenescence in the innate immune system appears to reflect dysregulation, rather than exclusively impaired function." Understanding the cause of the problem steers the search for solutions. Dysregulation means that the focus is on fixing errant signaling mechanisms, or on finding ways to directly instruct cells to act or not act. Cell transplants or repairs are not much use if the problem actually lies in the control systems.

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20667703

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Polyphenols Found in Green Tea Can Help Save Diabetics

Posted: July 30, 2010 at 8:19 am


Polyphenols or phytochemicals found in green tea can help fight off bad cholesterol and harmful sugar-derived substances through strong antioxidant activity in the body.

In a recent scientific research published in the journal Food Chemistry in Taiwan, it was found that the compound EGCG or epigallocatechin 3 gallate can help reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol and also prevents glycatin of blood sugar. Glycation is a process whereby sugar molecules are able to bind with other types of molecules such as protein.  Glycation is characteristic of conditions such as type 2 diabetes or adult onset diabetes.

To mimic actual conditions in the human body, the in-vitro study simulated in-vivo conditions by using human blood serum.

According to the researchers Chi-Hao Wu, Chi-Tai Yey and Gow-Chin Yen, the resistance of bad cholesterol to anti-oxidant activity was directly countered by the introduction of polyphenols found in green tea.  EGCG was also able to inhibit glycation in the same in-vitro studies.

Based on this research, the researchers stated that modest health benefits related to heart health and diabetes can be acquired through regular drinking of green tea.

Benefits of drinking green tea

And there are other reasons to love green tea:

1. Due to its antioxidant properties, green tea has been viewed in the world of alternative medicine and naturopathy as a natural cancer preventive both in men and women.

2. Reducing oxidative stress can also help reduce pain, which is why drinking green tea can also help people with chronic conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism.

3. There has been some evidence that green tea can help reduce the incidence of heart diseases by lowering bad cholesterol.

4. Increasing the amount of antioxidants in the body can boost the immune function, which effectively reduces “sick days” and helps the body bounce back from illnesses such as the common flu or the common cold.

5. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that people who took green tea with beverages along with modest amounts of caffeine tend to burn more calories than those who don’t drink such beverages.

6. Green tea has antibacterial activity, which may help fight off cavities and tooth decay.

7. A study in Japan showed that people who regularly drank tea were at less risk for cancer and heart problems.

8. Green tea is a natural healing aid for people with multiple sclerosis.

9. Green tea has also been noted as a potential ally against Parkinson’s disease.  Antioxidants help prevent the brain from suffering from too much oxidative stress.

10. Green tea can help regulate the natural fluid balance of the body.

11. This beverage can also help reduce the incidence of allergies because it is capable of blocking allergy receptors, like a natural anti-allergy medication.

12. Green tea can help people lose weight by stimulating the body’s metabolism.

Sources:
nutraingredients.com
chinesefood.about.com
healthmad.com
greenteasecrets.com
clinical.diabetesjournals.org

Discuss this post in Frank Mangano’s forum!

Resveratrol A Potent Weapon Against Prostate Cancer

Posted: at 8:19 am


Resveratrol may be helpful in reducing the growth of prostate cancer cells and also provides a myriad of other health benefits.

According to the US Agricultural Research Service, the compound responsible for the so called “French Paradox” is proving to be a potent weapon against one of the deadliest killers around – prostate cancer.

The statement from the US ARS came about because of a study that was published in the medical journal Carcinogenesis. In the said study, in-vitro testing showed that prostate cancer cells actually died when they were exposed to the potent compound, resveratrol.

Throwing caution into the air

While it was true that cancer cell inhibition took place when the prostate cancer cells were exposed to the compound, it also increased the growth of blood vessels after the initial death of cancer cells, according to Thomas Wang, a researcher working for the Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory of the US ARS.

The growth of extra blood vessels in the site of the prostate cancer was observed in laboratory animals who were genetically prone to developing prostate cancer.  Each of the animal subjects had been given 3 to 6 milligrams of the potent compound, which was equivalent to the amount of resveratrol found in six glasses of red wine.

What does this all mean?

According Wang, more research is needed to further substantiate the potential anti-cancer benefits of resveratrol.  He also stated there should be a clear focus on studying the effective dosage needed for cancer prevention as well as important factors such as interaction with other chemical compounds and timing.  In short – people shouldn’t be complacent with just taking large amounts of supplements.

The issue of overabundance

Nutrients (like vitamins, theanine and resveratrol) are still biological compounds, whether we like it or not.  With the proliferation of nutritional supplements in the market, it’s hard not to take extra doses of these supplements because of the health benefits.  Folic acid for one, is being taken in large amounts by people because of its numerous purported health benefits.

But did you know that too much of this nutrient can actually encourage the growth of cancer cells?

According to Joel Mason, a program director for the US ARS, cancer requires a very complex process in order to survive.  And one of the requirements for cell growth are nutrients like folic acid.

If you get more than four hundred micrograms of folic acid per day, you just might be encouraging the growth of cancer cells, instead of preventing it.

Too much folic acid can actually facilitate the DNA replication process necessary for the growth of cancer cells.  Watch what you eat – if you take a high-nutrient shake in the morning and eat folic-acid loaded snacks toward the end of the day, you just might be taking in too much of the nutrient.

Other benefits of resveratrol

1. Resveratrol helps promote a healthy heart by reducing oxidative stress and by improve blood circulation.  It also reduces the incidence of swelling or inflammation in the body’s tissues, as well as reduce unnecessary clotting in the blood vessels, which may lead to embolisms or even stroke.

2. In another study, it was shown that resveratrol prevented the initial processes required for cancer growth.

3. Studies show that resveratrol can help seniors by reducing the risk of neurological diseases and neural degeneration.

4. Coupled with calorie reduction, resveratrol can make a person resistant to many chronic and degenerative conditions such as heart diseases and even diabetes.

5. If used in conjunction with supplements like co-enzyme Q10 and omega 3 fatty acids, resveratrol can protect you from conditions like coronary heart disease.

6. Resveratrol has also been shown to reduce damage caused by stroke.

Sources:
nutraingredients.com
altmedicine.about.com
longevity.about.com
longevity.about.com
altmedicine.about.com
longevity.about.com
wine.about.com
altmedicine.about.com

Discuss this post in Frank Mangano’s forum!

Save Your Brain With Vitamin E and Vitamin D

Posted: at 8:19 am


Not having enough natural vitamin E and naturally-produced vitamin D in the body can predispose a person to dementia and cognitive decline.

In a recent Dutch study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, it was found that not having enough vitamin E and vitamin D over the long term predisposed a person to cognitive decline and even the psychiatric disorder dementia.

Vitamin E and dementia

The study, which was undertaken by researchers from the Erasmus Medical Center, used questionnaires to track the diet of more than five thousand individual respondents.  The respondents were further tracked for an additional ten years.  Within this period of time, more than four hundred respondents were diagnosed with dementia while more than three hundred respondents developed Alzheimer’s disease.

After analyzing the combined data produced by the five thousand plus test subjects, it was found that an average intake of 18.5 mg of vitamin E reduced the chances of developing the psychiatric disease dementia than those who did not.  Individuals who had developed dementia had an average intake of only 9 mg of vitamin E per day.

According to the researchers, the connection between vitamin E intake and brain health is quite straightforward: the brain is an organ that is in constant metabolic activity.  Organic metabolism produces waste products, including free radicals.  If there are too many free radicals in the brain and too little anti-oxidants in the body, the brain tissue suffers directly from oxidative stress.  Vitamin E and other anti-oxidants can help reduce oxidative stress, which in turn promotes overall wellness and not just brain health.

Vitamin D and cognitive decline

In an unrelated study, researchers from UK’s University of Exeter discovered that individuals who had too little vitamin D were at risk for cognitive decline over the long term.  The study made use of data collected from more than 800 adults in the UK, who were above 50 in age.  Instead of questionnaires, the UK study used actual cognitive tests to measure cognitive stability and decline over a six year period.  They also tested the level of vitamin D present in the blood of the test subjects.

It was found that test subjects who had less than twenty-five nanomoles for every liter of blood had a 60% higher chance of cognitive decline.  According to David Llewellyn, lead researcher, a causal pathway between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive decline has finally been established with the help of their study, which means that cognitive decline can indeed be prevented by increasing the amount of vitamin D in the body.  And the easiest and most natural way to do this is to get direct sun exposure for at least ten minutes everyday.

In a  commentary produced by academics from the University of Auckland, it was said that it was high time that further examinations be performed to find out whether or not the public should be formally made aware of the benefits of vitamin D.

Natural or synthetic vitamin E

There are two main forms of vitamin E available in the market – synthetic vitamin E and natural vitamin E.  While some experts say that it’s basically the same, a study that had been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition begs to differ.

According to the study, natural vitamin E was more bio-available than synthetic vitamin E.  Bio-availability is an important issue when it comes to supplements because it is the direct measurement of how much of a supplement is actually absorbed and used by the body. When there is low bio-availability, the benefits of a supplement are not maximized because only part of the dose is actually absorbed.

Other benefits of vitamin D and vitamin E

Vitamin D

1. Getting enough vitamin D can prevent advanced arthritic conditions from manifesting – you just have to be outdoors a few minutes everyday to keep your vitamin D levels up.  As one ages, the natural vitamin D production decreases, so you have to adjust your lifestyle to increase production during the golden years.

2. Healthy levels of vitamin D can help benefit the cardiac function by regulating blood pressure levels.

3. A link between vitamin D intake and reduction of the risk for multiple sclerosis has been established by numerous independent studies.

4. Vitamin D can help people with chronic pain.  People with fibromyalgia, arthritis and joint pain can also benefit from vitamin D intake.

Vitamin E

1. Vitamin E can keep older women healthy and free from common chronic, degenerative disease, says a study that has been published in the Journal of the AMA.

2. Vitamin E has been shown to slow down the growth of prostate cancer, according to a US study called the SELECT trial.

3. Vitamin E has natural anti-oxidant properties, which reduces oxidative stress and may also help reduce the occurrence of many types of cancer, including breast cancer and prostate cancer.

4. Vitamin E when applied topically can help lighten scars by improving the production of new skin and the formation of collagen, an important component in the skin that makes it resistant to physical stresses and also makes it supple.

400 IU of natural vitamin E per day is recommended for women over the age forty for general wellness and possible cancer prevention.

Sources:
nutraingredients.com
vitamins-nutrition.org
longevity.about.com
heartdisease.about.com
ms.about.com
arthritis.about.com
nutrition.about.com
prostatecancer.about.com
breastcancer.about.com
adam.about.com
altmedicine.about.com
longevity.about.com

Discuss this post in Frank Mangano’s forum!

Harnessing Hormesis

Posted: at 8:19 am


Hormesis is here examined in the context of exploiting it to slow aging: "The process of aging is accompanied by a progressive reduction of biological dynamical sophistication, resulting in an increased probability of dysfunction, illness, and death. This loss of sophistication is inherent in all aging organisms. However, it may be possible to retard the rate of loss of biological complexity [by] exploiting the multiple effects of hormesis, through a wide range of challenges including physical, mental, and biological stress. Hormesis is widely encountered in biological systems, and its effects are also seen in humans. It is possible to use hormetic strategies [to] enhance the function of repair processes in aging humans and therefore prevent age-related chronic degenerative diseases and prolong healthy lifespan. Such techniques include dietary restriction and calorie restriction mimetics, intermittent fasting, environmental enrichment, cognitive and sense stimulation, sexuality-enhancing strategies, exposure to low or to high temperatures, and other physicochemical challenges. Current research supports the general principle that any type of a hormetic dose-response phenomenon has an effect that does not depend on the type of stressor and that it can affect any biological model. Therefore, novel types of innovative, mild, repeated stress or stimulation that challenge a biological system in a dose-response manner are likely to have an effect that, properly harnessed, can be used to delay, prevent, or reverse age-related changes in humans."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20662589

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

An Example of Early Life Damage Affecting Longevity

Posted: at 8:19 am


Per the reliability theory of aging, we should expect to see shorter life expectancies result from damage or stress in early life. Here, a historical analysis supports that line of thinking: "Nutritional conditions in utero and during infancy may causally affect health and mortality during childhood, adulthood, and at old ages. This paper investigates whether exposure to a nutritional shock in early life negatively affects survival at older ages, using individual data. Nutritional conditions are captured by exposure to the Potato famine in the Netherlands in 1846-1847, and by regional and temporal variation in market prices of potato and rye. The data cover the lifetimes of a random sample of Dutch individuals born between 1812 and 1902 and provide individual information on life events and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. First we non-parametrically compare the total and residual lifetimes of individuals exposed and not exposed to the famine in utero and/or until age 1. Next, we estimate survival models in which we control for individual characteristics and additional (early life) determinants of mortality. We find strong evidence for long-run effects of exposure to the Potato famine. The results are stronger for boys than for girls. Boys and girls lose on average 4, respectively 2.5 years of life after age 50 after exposure at birth to the Potato famine. Lower social classes appear to be more affected by early life exposure to the Potato famine than higher social classes. These results confirm the mechanism linking early life (nutritional) conditions to old-age mortality."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20663577

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Considering Cryonics and Neuronal Survival

Posted: at 8:19 am


From Depressed Metabolism: "The debilitating effects of a stroke are the result of the (delayed) neuronal death that follows an ischemic insult to the brain. In cryonics, biochemical or freezing damage to cells does not necessarily produce irreversible cell death because damaged cells are stabilized by cold temperatures. As such, morphological preservation of brain cells can co-exist with loss of viability. Therefore, securing viability of brain cells is a sufficient but not a necessary condition for resuscitation of cryonics patients. Future cell repair technologies are assumed to infer the original viable state of the cells from their morphological properties. This does not mean that conventional stroke research does not have any relevance for evaluating the technical feasibility of cryonics. Extensive delays between the pronouncement of legal death and the start of cryonics procedures could alter the structural properties of cells to such a degree that meaningful resuscitation is even problematic with advanced nanomedical cell repair technologies. This is one of the reasons why Alcor complements the cryopreservation process with stabilization procedures to secure viability of the brain after pronouncement of legal death."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.depressedmetabolism.com/2010/07/27/how-many-neurons-need-to-survive-for-cryonics-to-work/

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Social Connectivity and Mortality Risk

Posted: at 8:19 am


This study crunches the numbers to show that being socially connected has an effect on life expectancy comparable to that of exercise. Why this correlation exists is still up for debate, but it is worth considering that skill at networking and possessing a large social network enable success in other aspects of life: "These findings indicate that the influence of social relationships on the risk of death are comparable with well-established risk factors for mortality such as smoking and alcohol consumption and exceed the influence of other risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity. Furthermore, the overall effect of social relationships on mortality reported in this meta-analysis might be an underestimate, because many of the studies used simple single-item measures of social isolation rather than a complex measurement. Although further research is needed to determine exactly how social relationships can be used to reduce mortality risk, physicians, health professionals, educators, and the media should now acknowledge that social relationships influence the health outcomes of adults and should take social relationships as seriously as other risk factors that affect mortality, the researchers conclude."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1?000316

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Exercise: Good at Any Age

Posted: at 8:19 am


Failing to exercise damages your prospects for healthy life in the future: "one in three men and one in two women over the age of 75 are not physically active at all. A recent study led by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) says this lack of exercise makes these seniors three times more likely to die sooner than their counterparts who do only light day-to-day activities. ... Any movement is better than no movement at all to lower your risk of death ... For every 287 calories per day a senior expended, there was a 32 percent reduction in death rate over the six-year period encompassed by the study. ... It is well-established that exercise leads to the reduction of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and it can preserve mental sharpness. What is significant about the current findings is that the study is the first to provide credible evidence that everyday activity might be beneficial ... Researchers ask how much activity do we need, but the public approaches it by asking how little can I get away with ... experts caution against using the study as a basis to give up exercise, a conclusion not supported by the data." A little is better than none, but more is better than a little. Rejuvenation medicine is on the far horizon, and if you want the best chance of being alive and healthy to benefit from it, you'd better take care of the health basics here and now.

View the Article Under Discussion: http://senior-spectrum.com/news04_072710/

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Lysosomal Dysfunction and Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted: at 8:18 am


Your lysosomes are recycling units, but their function slowly fails with age - meaning your cells degrade as they fill with waste and junk. More rapid and selective lysosomal failure in brain cells is implicated in a variety of neurodegenerative conditions. Here, researchers dig more deeply: "Neurodegenerative disorders, like Alzheimer's disease, are a devastating group of conditions that exact a heavy toll on patients and their families. ... Research over the past two decades has strongly suggested that a fundamental problem in affected nerve cells relates to accumulation of cellular 'garbage,' or proteins and other material that is too old to function properly. Thus, understanding how the neuron handles these outdated molecules is of great significance. Here we find that upregulation of one such cellular degrading pathway, the lysosome, can have significant deleterious effects to the neuron. We specifically show that expanding the lysosomal compartment can markedly increase production of a very toxic form of tau, a protein strongly implicated in neuronal dysfunction and death in Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. Our findings have important implications for the development of neurodegenerative disease therapies that seek to manipulate the lysosome and the proteins within the lysosome." Therapies that can repair failing lysosomes may have general application to rejuvenation medicine - so the more groups working on that, the better.

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2904797/

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Why Pay Attention to Accelerated Aging Studies?

Posted: at 8:18 am


In a nutshell, this is why research into so-called accelerated aging conditions may be relevant to longevity science: "One of the many debated topics in ageing research is whether progeroid syndromes are really accelerated forms of human ageing. The answer requires a better understanding of the normal ageing process and the molecular pathology underlying these rare diseases. Exciting recent findings regarding a severe human progeria, Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, have implicated molecular changes that are also linked to normal ageing, such as genome instability, telomere attrition, premature senescence and defective stem cell homeostasis in disease development. These observations, coupled with genetic studies of longevity, lead to a hypothesis whereby progeria syndromes accelerate a subset of the pathological changes that together drive the normal ageing process." This same viewpoint - that each of the accelerated aging conditions represents a different facet of normal aging run wild - holds up for well other conditions, such as Werner syndrome, given the evidence amassed to date.

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20651707

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

MDR Proteins and Cellular Longevity

Posted: at 8:18 am


An interesting study that provides another view of the relationship between accumulating damage, repair systems, and life span in cells: "Yeast cells, much like our own cells, have a finite ability to reproduce themselves. A 'mother' cell can only produce 20-30 'daughters' before it loses the ability to replicate and dies. ... Multidrug resistance (MDR) proteins are best known for helping cancer cells expel anticancer drugs - hence their name - but they also ferry compounds in and out of normal cells. [Researchers] found that yeast lacking certain MDR proteins have a shorter reproductive lifespan; they produce fewer daughter cells. Yeast engineered to contain more of these pumps, however, can produce more daughters. ... during division, the mother conserves damaged proteins and other cellular components that could prove harmful to the bud. ... Indeed, some research groups have posited that the mother's finite reproductive capability is the result of accumulating these damaged and toxic compounds. ... yeast division also results in an unequal distribution of MDR proteins. The mother cell retains the original MDR proteins while the bud gets young, newly formed MDR proteins. Because the mother's supply is never replenished, she has to rely on the pool of MDR proteins that she's born with. ... Over time these proteins decay. Some lose only part of their function; others may stop working altogether."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100725/full/news.2010.373.html

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Methuselah Foundation Newsletter, July 2010

Posted: at 8:18 am


The latest Methuselah Foundation newsletter is out: "2010: Where We Are Now: Methuselah Foundation took on a big challenge: extending healthy human life. From SENS to My Bridge 4 Life, we've supported and incentivized major initiatives and research to fulfill our mission. In 2010 we are focusing our attention on tissue and whole organ engineering. Read this newsletter and follow the links to our site to learn more about what we are doing now so you live longer and healthier. ... This year we are focusing our efforts on tissue engineering and organ replacement. We are looking ahead 10 years and projecting that, with our help, everyone who needs an organ will get an organ. ... Prizes have proven to be the most powerful tool for inspiring radical scientific breakthroughs. That's why we offer prizes, including the recently announced NewOrgan Prize. The end result will allow many people to live longer and - if history is an indicator - the many innovations that come as a result of this work are unimaginable today. To build a replacement organ, from a patients own cells, and have it fully function, scientists must first develop and preserve all the tissues that build that organ - including muscle, nerves, arteries and veins. ... Leaders in the science of organ engineering have joined the NewOrgan Advisory Board. ... The members of our Scientific Advisory Board are frontrunners in the research and development of new organ technology. "

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.mfoundation.org/files/newsletters/july2010/newsletter.html

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

More on the FDA and Aging as a Disease

Posted: at 8:18 am


From ShrinkWrapped: "If a physical change affects half of all people as they age, this would seem to suggest that it is a normal variant of human aging, which to the best of our knowledge is an accumulation of metabolic and genetic errors that accrue as we get older until some sub-unit(s) of the processes reach a threshold at which continued functioning of the body is impossible. Our current regulatory apparatus remains trapped in a 20th century mindset which fails to recognize how various diseases are nothing more than unfortunate variants of the aging process that all of us will one day fall prey to. For example, in Alzheimer's 'Disease' errors of metabolism (malformed proteins) in neurons in the brain lead to an accumulation of defective protein parts which eventually disrupt the functioning of the neuron, ultimately killing it. When this process has gone on long enough to have damaged and destroyed some as yet unknown fraction of the brain, the person becomes neurologically symptomatic. This 'Disease' is not communicable, nor is it caused by an exogenous agent. The damage to the brain occurs as the result of biological failure that all of us will have to face in one form or another. ... The FDA does not recognize aging as a treatable condition and only approves treatment for 'Disease.' ... Because the FDA only evaluates treatments for Diseases, and its definition of disease versus aging is completely arbitrary (why is Type II Diabetes a disease while Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass and function that accompanies aging, is not?) we are forced to develop treatments that primarily address symptoms rather than either repairing damage or rejuvenating systems."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://shrinkwrapped.blogs.com/blog/2010/07/when-is-a-disease-not-a-disease.html

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Disagreement about melanoma CSCs

Posted: July 29, 2010 at 8:18 am


The Evolving Science of Cancer Stem Cells by Carmen Phillips, NCI Cancer Bulletin 2010(Jul 27); 7(15). Excerpt:

Researchers from Stanford University earlier this month reported in Nature that they had found a marker, CD271, that identified a somewhat unique population of cells that could produce melanoma in highly immunocompromised mice; anywhere from 2.5 percent to 41 percent of cells in their human tumor samples expressed the marker. In additional experiments using similar mice on which human skin was engrafted, only tumor cells with the marker could produce tumors and metastases in the mice. (In his lab, Dr. Morrison noted, the same marker did not differentiate tumor-forming from nontumor-forming cells.)

The publication about CD271 is: Human melanoma-initiating cells express neural crest nerve growth factor receptor CD271 by Alexander D Boiko and 11 colleagues, Nature 2010(Jul 1); 466(7302): 133-7. [PubMed citation].

Comments: The sentence: "In his lab, Dr. Morrison noted, the same marker did not differentiate tumor-forming from nontumor-forming cells" is noteworthy. Why the difference in results for CD271?

The publication by Boiko and co-authors was cited in a previous post to this blog, "Melanoma-initiating cells identified", dated July 1, 2010.

See also an earlier post to this blog, "Tumorigenic cells not rare in human melanoma", dated December 3, 2008.

International Stem Cell Corporation and Sristi Biosciences Enter Distribution Agreement for Lifeline Cell Technology’s Brand of Human Cell Culture…

Posted: at 8:18 am


International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO), http://www.internationalstemcell.com, via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Lifeline Cell Technology® (Lifeline) http://www.lifelinecelltech.com, and Sristi Biosciences, http://www.sristibio.com, have entered into a distribution agreement for the Lifeline® brand of human cell culture products in India.

Lifeline specializes in development, manufacture and distribution of primary human cells and media and growth factors for optimized culturing of cells, including stem cells. These products are being requested by customers internationally, including in India, which represents one of the fastest growing markets for products of this kind.

According to Lifeline's CEO and SVP of Operations at ISCO, Jeffrey Janus, 'Sristi Biosciences is part of one of the most experienced biotechnology companies in India and the first to advance cell therapy into human trials in that country. Their network among academic and corporate researchers and experience and capacity to import and handle primary cell cultures, media and growth factors in India will be highly valuable for Lifeline to continue the international commercial expansion of its brand.'

Lifeline's scientists have over 20 years of experience developing products for the culture of human cells. The company has made significant contributions to the creation and standardization of human cell systems used today for clinical applications and in academic, government and pharmaceutical research laboratories. The group sells over 75 standardized products directly and via its distributors in the US and abroad. It also engages in customized product development for its largest customers.

Dr. Sudhir Reddy, Sristi Biosciences' CEO adds, 'We are pleased to be the first company to introduce the Lifeline products to the growing Indian research market. Our cell culture experience and broad market reach in India will benefit the brand and help Sristi Biosciences further accelerate its commercialization and corporate growth in the biomedical field.'

ISCO recently announced the beginning of a collaboration on its human corneal tissue, CytoCor™, with leading Indian eye hospital and research center, Sankara Nethralaya, and Letter of Intent with Insight Bioventures India (IBVI) to seek funding and establishment of development and manufacturing operations for ISCO's research and pharmaceutical products in India (ISCO India), including the Lifeline products and CytoCor.

'The Lifeline distribution agreement with Sristi Biosciences is central to ISCO's international expansion. Besides facilitating commercialization of the Lifeline products in India, Sristi Biosciences' cell therapy development, regulatory and manufacturing expertise will be important as ISCO and IBVI seek to establish ISCO India with cost-efficient development and manufacturing of research and pharmaceutical products for the Indian and broader Asian markets,' says Brian Lundstrom, ISCO's President.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL STEM CELL CORPORATION (ISCO.OB)

International Stem Cell Corporation is a California-based biotechnology company focused on therapeutic and research products. ISCO's core technology, parthenogenesis, results in creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). These proprietary cells avoid ethical issues associated with use or destruction of viable human embryos and, unlike most other major stem cell types, can be immune matched and be a source of therapeutic cells with minimal rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing racial groups. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary, Lifeline Cell Technology, and is developing a line of cosmeceutical products via its subsidiary, Lifeline Skin Care. ISCO is advancing novel human stem cell-based therapies where cells have been proven to be efficacious but traditional small molecule and protein therapeutics have not. More information is available on ISCO's website.

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ABOUT SRISTI BIOSCIENCES

Sristi Biosciences Private Limited is a result of twelve years of research and corporate development in the therapeutic space and is the healthcare component of leading biotechnology group, SRI Biotech, in India. Sristi Biosciences' two main divisions include Tissue Engineering and Cell Therapy that has pioneered chondrocytes-based cell therapy in India and Drug Discoverythat covers the Indian research product market with natural compound libraries, molecular diagnostics and markers, informatics and cell-based products. Sristi's integrated research and development facility in Hyderabad is state-of-the-art and the company has wide collaborative and commercial presence across the research market in India, including 23 leading biotech institutes and major corporate bodies.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Statements pertaining to anticipated developments and therapeutic applications, the potential benefits of collaborations, affiliations, and other opportunities for the company and its subsidiaries, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as "will," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates,") should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential products and the management of collaborations, uncertainty in the results of clinical trials or regulatory approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, application of capital resources among competing uses, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the company's business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any intent or obligation to update forward-looking statements.

Key Words: Stem Cells, Biotechnology, Parthenogenesis

International Stem Cell Corporation
Kenneth C. Aldrich, Chairman
760-940-6383
kaldrich@intlstemcell.com
Or
Brian Lundstrom, President
760-640-6383
bl@intlstemcell.com

Secrets Your Dentist Doesn’t Want You To Know

Posted: July 28, 2010 at 8:19 am


Here are the secrets your dentist may not want you to know -- but you need to know to get the best care possible:
Secret #1: Your dentist may not be as educated as you think.

Dentistry has changed a lot since your dentist graduated from dental school. There have been major advances in most materials used in fillings, bonding and root canals. If your dentist is not actively engaged in continuing education, it is unlikely that he or she is keeping up with these developments.

Secret #2: Your dentist may not have the latest technology.

Digital x-ray: Dentists who do not have digital x-ray equipment are practicing in the dark ages. Digital x-rays use less radiation than film. They are easier to read and the ability to manipulate contrast makes diagnosis more accurate.

Ultrasonic Cleaning: Ultrasonic instruments vibrate plaque and calculus off your teeth, even in areas below your gums. It is much more comfortable than old-fashioned hand scraping. Read more...

Detox cleansing

Researchers Study CSCs as Therapeutic Targets for Mesothelioma

Posted: at 8:19 am


Researchers Study Cancer Stem Cells as Therapeutic Targets for Mesothelioma, Asbestos.com, July 26, 2010. Excerpt:

In a study published in the International Journal of Oncology, Cortes-Dericks and colleagues tested whether cancer stem cells in malignant pleural mesothelioma express resistance to cisplatin and pemetrexed, two chemotherapy drugs commonly used to treat mesothelioma cancer.

This news item is based on the OA publication entitled: Putative cancer stem cells in malignant pleural mesothelioma show resistance to cisplatin and pemetrexed by Lourdes Cortes-Dericks, Giovanni L Carboni, Ralph A Schmid and Golnaz Karoubi, Int J Oncol 2010(Aug); 37(2): 437-44. [PubMed citation].

Prostate CSCs sensitive to gamma-tocotrienol?

Posted: July 27, 2010 at 8:16 am


Gamma-Tocotrienol Kills Prostate Cancer Stem Cells, PRNewswire, July 25, 2010. Excerpt:

The scientists found that low doses of gamma-tocotrienol cause apoptosis in the prostate cancer stem cells and suppress their colony formation capability. This results in a lower prostate cancer stem cell population (as defined by the protein markers CD133 and CD44). Further tests in mice models were conducted, where mice implanted with hormonal refractory prostate cancer cells were given gamma-tocotrienol orally. The results showed that gamma- tocotrienol not only reduced tumour size formed, but also decreased the incidence rate of tumour formation by 75%, as compared to the control group of mice, which had 100% tumour formation. These results strongly suggest that gamma-tocotrienol could be developed for prostate cancer prevention and treatment.

The news release by Davos Life Science is based on the publication:

Gamma-tocotrienol as an effective agent in targeting prostate cancer stem cell-like population by Sze Ue Luk and 11 co-authors, including Ming-Tat Ling, Int J Cancer 2010(Jul 8) [Epub ahead of print][PubMed citation].

Comment:

See also a relevant patent application: (WO/2010/047663) Use of Tocotrienol Composition for the Prevention of Cancer.
Publication Date: 29.04.2010
Applicants: DAVOS LIFE SCIENCE PTE. LTD. [SG/SG]; 16 Tuas South Street 5 Singapore 637795 (SG) (All Except US).
LING, Ming Tat [CN/AU]; (AU) (US Only).
YAP, Wei Ney [MY/SG]; (SG) (US Only).
WONG, Yong Chuan [MY/CN]; (CN) (US Only).
YAP, Yee Leng, Daniel [MY/SG]; (SG) (US Only).

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