February 2015

February 2015

Thank You

 

SENS Research Foundation would like to thank everyone who contributed during our fundraising challenge push at the end of 2014. Your generosity enabled us to raise $180,000 through the $50,000 Fight Aging Challenge Grant, our #GivingTuesday special match from CSO Aubrey de Grey, and the $10,000 match from AutoStore software developer Ronny Hatteland.
 
We are so very grateful to all SRF's supporters and to our matching grant benefactors. With your continued support, we can keep refining our research programs, building key collaborations, helping educate the next generation of regenerative medicine scientists, and ultimately laying the groundwork for a comprehensive solution to age-related disease. Watch your inbox and check back frequently on our website for opportunities to help throughout 2015.
 
Donate today at www.sens.org/donateIf you are interested in offering up a challenge please contact Jerri Barrett, VP of Outreach at jerri.barrett@sens.org.

SRF Now Accepting Bitcoin

 

SRF would like to thank the members of our community who asked us to begin accepting Bitcoin donations.  We've selected Coinbase to be our provider for our Bitcoin services. You can now make a donation by going to www.coinbase.com/SRF. The donations come to us anonymously unless you are also a Coinbase user.

 

If you would like a receipt for tax purposes please just send us a note with your name, email and the bitcoin amount you donated to gifts@sens.org.  Our special thanks to our generous donors who helped us test the system by making our first Bitcoin donations.

RB2014 Exclusive Video Content Now Online

 

SRF is delighted to announce that the videos from last year's RB2014 conference are now available to view online. If you are considering coming to RB2015 and would like to see what it's all about, the RB2014 videos are a great way to preview the kind of experience this new SRF conference series provides. 

 

 

Be sure to check out our Building a Rejuvenation Biotechnology Industry Panel Discussion and our keynotes George Church, Peter Diamandis and Jim O'Neill.

 

 

Reminder: Save The Date for RB2015

 

Save the Date...RB2015 Rejuvenation Biotechnology, a SENS Research Foundation Conference, August 19-21, 2015, Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, www.sens.org/rb2015
 
To receive updates on conference planning and to be notified first when registation opens go to:
 

 

2014 SRF Summer Scholar Video Profiles Series Continues with WFIRM Spotlight

 

The third in a series of videos profiling the students who participated in the 2014 SRF Summer Scholars Program can be viewed on the SRF website. This video features our 2014 scholars in action at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Click here or on the screenshot to meet Ethan Bassin, Abigail Hawkins, Shruti Singh, and Sophia Szymkowiak and learn about their experiences in the program.

 

Stay tuned for more exclusive SRF Education video content to be announced in future newsletters.

 

 

To learn more about the background and research projects of these and other past Summer Scholars, visit www.sens.org/summer-scholars/alumni.

Question Of The Month #8: Aging Damage and Early Early Detection

 

Q: Because the cellular and molecular damage of aging is a by-product of metabolism, I have always assumed that it accumulates throughout our entire lives – from when we are a baby until we die. Is this true? Is there any research showing that very young children have low levels of tissue-stiffening crosslinks, extracellular aggregates like beta-amyloid, or intracellular aggregates (like lipofuscin or the ones driving atherosclerosis) in their tissues?
 
A: Scientists don't have any single, comprehensive answer to this broad question, in part because there hasn't been a systematic investigation into it, and in part because the answer likely depends on the specific kind of aging damage under consideration. To really answer it, one would need to begin an investigation for each aging-damage precursor by taking tissue samples from newborns, and then performing ongoing testing periodically throughout life. As a second-best, you'd do a cross-sectional study comparing neonates, five-year-olds, pubescent children, very young adults, and then adults, including ages spread fairly evenly across the remaining lifespan. It would be difficult to perform such studies both institutionally and technically, as they would be quite expensive and would involve sourcing tissue samples from individuals of all of these ages, acquiring consent to use them for studies, and securing funding to do all this. Some of the tissues would have to be from living donors, or the most immediately deceased, leading to reluctance to donate because of invasiveness or sensitivity around the dead. Obtaining approval to test neonates and very young children would be challenging due to these individuals' inability to consent, plus reluctance by parents to give it; moreover, it might be hard to justify collecting them from subjects whose risk as related to aging damage is many decades into the future.

From a technical standpoint, it is already difficult to quantitate many kinds of aging damage even in older people. The extreme case here is the key tissue-stiffening crosslink glucosepane, which is very fragile when subjected to most laboratory tissue treatments and has heretofore needed to be painstakingly extracted from tissues using a laborious series of sequential enzymatic extractions. Happily, this is likely to change soon, thanks to excellent progress being made in research that SENS Research Foundation has been funding in the Spiegel Research Group at Yale for several years now, developing enabling technologies for the development of glucosepane crosslink breakers. We are pleased to be able to report that this research has reached an important milestone: the first-ever laboratory synthesis of glucosepane. By incorporating these synthetic glucosepane structures into peptides, it should be possible to develop highly specific antibodies that will conveniently identify glucosepane crosslinks in tissue samples. (Meanwhile, the Spiegel group is going on to work on the biologically-significant isomers of glucosepane). And it is inherently even more difficult to probe tissue samples for aging damage in very young people, for the obvious reason that the damage is by definition present at much lower levels in very young people's tissues than it is in older people's....
 

The "Question of the Month" column is your opportunity to submit your research-related queries to SRF's expert science writer Michael Rae. Please send your questions to foundation@sens.org and they may be featured in a future newsletter.

 

 

 

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