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

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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In-Depth

Toward Full Pluripotency of Reprogrammed Cells — And Cautionary Tale About Abandoning the ‘Gold Standard’

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are among the most exciting recent developments in biomedicine, overcoming immunological and ethical issues associated with the use of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). However, reasonable doubt remains regarding whether iPSCs do in fact have the full biological and therapeutic potential of ESCs. Work at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute recently produced the first “all-iPSC” live mice, a milestone on the road to establishing full equivalence between the two methods.

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Easy Read

NIA’s ITP Confirms: Resveratrol Does Not Extend Lifespan; Limited Benefit to Rapamycin

Resveratrol, a polyphenol famously found in wine, has previously been shown to extend lifespan in some naturally unhealthy rodent strains – but unfortunately does not show the same benefits in healthy, naturally long-lived mice. Meanwhile rapamycin, an immunosuppressant drug, has now become the first substance confirmed to at least moderately extend maximum lifespan in healthy mice.

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