The SENSible Blog discusses the development of rejuvenation biotechnology around the world: progress being made in the field of longevity, the design of medical therapies to cure, reverse and prevent the diseases and disabilities of aging, and much more.

Our content is a blend of popular interest articles – labelled “Easy Reads”, and designed to require no specific background knowledge – as well as more detailed scientific commentaries, labelled as “In-Depth” and aimed towards readers with some grounding in the biological/medical sciences.

Easy Read

Doris Taylor: Recellularized Human Hearts May be Weeks Away

Dr. Doris Taylor, the researcher whose team successfully engineered a live, beating rat heart via the technique of decellularisation and reseeding, has announced progress towards repeating the process with human tissue. Press reports based on Dr. Taylor’s presentation at the American College of Cardiology’s 60th Annual Scientific Session indicate that the hearts are growing well and are expected to begin beating within the next few weeks.

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In-Depth

How (Not) to Run a Lifespan Study

Much of the distraction in the literature of biogerontology, and an even higher ratio of studies cited and promoted in the popular media and the dietary supplement industry, derives from methodologically-poor lifespan studies in mice (or occasionally rats). In these studies, an increase in mean or maximal lifespan is reported, relative to short-lived controls, and claimed to be informative about the universal, degenerative aging process and the prospects for extending healthy life in humans living in the developed world.

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In-Depth

Harnessing Wild Horses: New Roles of Free Radicals in Cell Signaling

The free radical theory of aging suggests that reactive oxygen species (ROS) and similar chemicals are responsible for a large part, or perhaps all, of the molecular and cellular damage that accumulates in aging bodies. However, more detailed analysis has revealed that some free radicals have essential signalling functions within the cell. These functions are likely to explain some of the failure of antioxidant therapy to extend lifespans in model organisms.

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Brain Inflammation from Alzheimer's Disease
In-Depth

The Pathological Basis of “Normal” Cognitive Aging

Beginning in the 1960s, a loose alliance led by social gerontologists but quickly coming to include biogerontologists, geriatricians, and patient advocacy groups successfully campaigned for a new understanding: that while some level of minor cognitive decline was indeed a “normal” and inevitable part of aging, the newly-rediscovered clinicopathological entity, “Alzheimer’s disease,” was exactly that: a disease, against which the full force of public and private biomedical research should be mobilized in the pursuit of a cure.

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In-Depth

Clearing Out the Dead Wood: Rejuvenating Humoral Immunity through Ablation Strategy

The degenerative aging of the immune system is responsible for an enormous burden of disease and disability, from the pain of recurrent Herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia, to elevated rates of chronic urinary tract infections, to complications in wounds, pressure sores, ulcers, and surgical incisions. Most prominently, it underlies the meteoric rise in mortality from respiratory infections with age: influenza, pneumonia, and septicemia rise from being negligible causes of death in healthy middle-aged adults in the USA, to emerge amongst the top 10 causes of death in adults over the age of 55, with mortality rates climbing with each successive year of aging.

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In-Depth

A CoDA for the Barriers to Genetic Rejuvenation Therapies?

Zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) are engineered DNA-binding proteins with remarkable, highly programmable sequence-specificity. However, their widespread use has been slowed by licensing issues and the technical difficulty of synthesising new variants. A new platform, CoDA (context-dependent assembly), promises to make these exceptionally useful tools available to a far greater number of researchers.

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