Category: Blog

Antonov Foundation donates $1M to SRF’s End of Year Campaign

At the end of each year, SRF launches our final fundraising campaign – the aptly named End of Year Campaign – to encourage our donors to donate during the most giving time of year. This year, matching funds from Michael Antonov and a team of other supporters helped you to smash through our original goal.

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Parabiosis: the Dilution Solution?

In heterochronic parabiosis, joining the circulatory systems of young and old mice causes the older animal to recover some features of youth. The effect has been widely assumed to be driven by pro-youth factors in younger blood, but an alternative hypothesis is possible: that the procedure is instead diluting pro-aging factors in the older partner.

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Send In The Senolytics

Elie Dolgin’s recent article in Nature Biotechnology explains why the failure of the first senolytic drug to enter clinical trials is far from being a refutation of the senolytic hypothesis, and reviews the growing arsenal of other senolytics currently in development – including work by SRF’s Dr. Amit Sharma and SRF-supported startup Oisín Biotechnologies.

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ApoptoSENS team at the SRF Research Center granted a Catalyst award

We are pleased to announce that the ApoptoSENS team led by Dr. Amit Sharma at the SRF Research Center has recently been granted a Catalyst award, courtesy of the Healthy Longevity Global Competition, to continue and expand their critical work on the interactions between senescent cells and natural killer (NK) cells.

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Tracking Down Glucosepane

The loss of physical function seen in aging tissues is partly due to the formation of irreversible crosslinks between proteins. A new paper in ACS Chemical Biology reports SRF-funded work in the lab of Yale’s Prof. David Spiegel on an antibody that specifically labels the major crosslink glucosepane – a crucial step towards its removal.

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Latest News

A Letter to the Economist

To the Editors:

Your special report highlighted the growing number of people suffering dementia as one of the many terrible effects of an aging world. It did not consider the potential of medical intervention into aging itself to mitigate that future.

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ShARM: The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes comes to Aging Research

Aging laboratory rodents are the foundation of our ability to study the degenerative aging process, and develop the rejuvenation biotechnologies that will arrest and reverse it. They’re also expensive, logistically intensive, and in short supply. A new UK initiative has been establish to greatly expand what we can learn from the aging animals in our collective care, and to get a fuller picture of aging and its deceleration and reversal than has hitherto been possible.

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Tale of Telomerase: Lessons and Limits in a Late-Life Launch

Recent studies show the potential – and the limits – of inducing telomerase expression in aging mice. We place these results in context and explore their implications for new treatments targeting age-related degeneration in humans, particularly examining how telomerase activity relates to the development of cancer.

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By Looped Hook and Targeting Crook: Potential Game-Changer for “Allotopic” Mitochondrial RNA

UCLA Researchers have exploited a recently-discovered mammalian system for the mitochondrial import of nuclear-encoded RNA to import, express, and demonstrate functional protein translation from engineered mRNA and tRNA constructs. They used this system, with modifications for mitochondrial targeting and orthotopic translation, to rescue respiration in human mitochondriopathy cells. While further characterization and extension is clearly needed, this approach appears offer great promise for the correction of age-related mitochondrial DNA mutations.

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NFT-Specific Tau Vaccine Arrests Tangle Progress

The promising results of immunotherapy for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease has sparked an interest in utilizing the same approach for other forms of aging damage, including the clearance of pathological tau species from within neurons. A group led by Dr. Lars Ittner of the University of Sydney has recently published promising results from studies using a vaccine targeted at the neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) that are characteristic of established tau accumulation.

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How to Disable a Cellular Bomb: Findings and Tools on the Machinery of ALT

APBs – protein complexes associated with telomeric DNA in ALT (Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres) cancer cells – are the leading candidates for the sub-cellular site at which the ALT mechanism occurs. Recent work involving the generation of artificial APBs has shed light on their composition and function, providing hints as to how ALT might be disabled.

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With True Cells Come True Benefits: the Potential of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Released in a Model of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is characterised by the loss of dopaminergic neurons from the substantia nigra, and cell therapy is being actively pursued as a means to replace the losses. Most trials to date have used fetal tissue, an approach that although transiently effective is unscalable and prone to immune rejection. Human dopaminergic neurons differentiated from stem cells have historically had poor therapeutic efficiency, but a new study using an improved differentiation protocol has shown much more positive results.

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Novel Abeta Vaccine Reports First Human Data

Aggregates of beta-amyloid protein (Abeta) and other malformed proteins accumulate in both “normal” brain aging and neurodegenerative disease, leading to neuronal loss. Their removal by immunotherapy is a central plank of the SENS platform, and the most clinically advanced. Gantenerumab, a new fully human anti-Abeta monoclonal antibody, has just completed a Phase I trial.

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A Green Light for the Ultimate Cure for Cancer

The elimination from the body of telomerase, the enzyme used by most cancer cells to maintain their DNA through unlimited numbers of cell divisions, is the central component of the WILT (Whole-body Interdiction of Lengthening of Telomeres) strategy proposed by SENS Research Foundation as a universal and unbreachable defence against all forms of cancer. Concerns have been raised, however, that telomerase may have other biologically important functions, making its elimination dangerous or impossible. Fortunately, recent work by Nobel laureate Carol Greider indicates a lack of any such activity.

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