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.

In-Depth

New SENS Foundation-Funded Research Project: Catalytic Cleavage of Age-Related Cardiac Amyloid

The well-known beta-amyloid protein that plays a major role in Alzheimer’s disease is only one of those which accumulate in aging bodies. Cardiac amyloidoses, caused by aggregation of the proteins transthyretin and atrial natriuretic peptide, are already the dominant cause of death in supercentenarians (those 110 years of age or older) and are expected to become much more widespread in an increasingly aged general population and as improved treatment options become available for other age-related diseases. SENS Research Foundation has recently launched a project exploring the use of catalytic antibodies – which actively degrade their target, rather than merely binding to it – to remove such aggregates.

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In-Depth

A New TALE for Targeting Genes

A technique combining the sequence-specific DNA-cleaving property of zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and the localisation function of transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs), creating a new class of composite proteins called TALE nucleases (TALENs), shows considerable promise for expanding the range of genomic sites susceptible to precision engineering.

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In-Depth

Optimizing Abeta Clearance with Catalytic Immunoglobulins

Comprehensive rejuvenation must include the removal of extracellular protein aggregates from aging tissues. Immunotherapy – in which the immune system is encouraged to recognise and clear a particular protein – is the most clinically-advanced biotechnology for this purpose, but has some limitations. Notably, rapid immune clearance of a large volume of protein can cause severe inflammatory side-effects; also, efficacy depends on the patient’s response to vaccination, which declines dramatically in the elderly patients most in need of therapy. A new approach using catalytic antibodies that directly degrade the amyloid proteins may overcome these problems.

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In-Depth

Early Advance Toward Allotopically-Expressed Mitochondrial RNA

Mutations to the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are thought to be a major source of aging-related increases in oxidative stress. The candidate SENS therapy, allotopic expression, involves the production of mitochondrial proteins from the nuclear DNA and their import into the organelle. An alternative mechanism where RNA, rather than protein, is imported is now providing another avenue for research.

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In-Depth

Aged Stem Cells and Niches Rejuvenated by Systemic Factors; Implications for WILT

Haematopoietic stem cells (HSC) exhibit a range of functional declines during biological aging. There has been comparatively little exploration of the possibility of outside causes for age-related HSC dysfunctions, such as the role of age-related shifts in the systemic and local environment and the aging of the bone marrow niche. In a recent report, Dr. Amy Wagers’ group have demonstrated the reality – and the reversibility – of both of these influences on age-related HSC dysfunction.

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Easy Read

Scientists Call for a Biomedical Apollo Project to Avert Global Aging Crisis

Last summer, California-based LifeStar Institute assembled a panel of leaders in the science of aging to ask them the question at the core of their research. “How far can the potential of new biomedical therapies to slow, arrest, or even reverse the damage of aging be brought to bear against the challenge of global graying?” The most important conclusion reached by the participants was that an aggressive program of investment to realize that potential is not only justified, but necessary on humanitarian, economic and social grounds.

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