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Methuselah Foundation Launches NewOrgan Prize

Posted: April 9, 2010 at 8:42 am

Via the Methuselah Foundation blog: “Today Methuselah Foundation launched the NewOrgan Prize, the Foundation’s new longevity prize specifically focused on advancing the development of replacement tissues and organs for humans. Its goal is to accelerate advances in regenerative medicine, which will become the standard of care for replacing all tissue and organ systems in the body within 20 years, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The first research team to construct a whole new complex organ (heart, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas) made from a person’s own cells – one that is functionally equivalent and successfully transplanted – will be awarded the NewOrgan Prize. The goal of the Methuselah Foundation NewOrgan Prize is to achieve this medical breakthrough within the next 10 years. Today’s launch is a call to action for competitors, candidates and contributors who want to participate in this crucial medical challenge aimed at extending healthy human life. … Based on our success in spurring medical advances with incentives provided by the original Methuselah Mouse prize, we anticipate that over $10 million will be raised by the time the NewOrgan Prize criteria is met – and the prize presented – to the leading medical R&D team. At minimum, $1 million will be awarded to the research team that develops a whole new human organ that is functional and successfully transplanted.”

View the Article Under Discussion: http://blog.methuselahfoundation.org/2010/04/methuselah_foundation_launches_neworgan_prize.html

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

A Trial of Giving Stem Cells Orders

Posted: April 9, 2010 at 8:42 am

One approach to stem cell therapy is to try to order existing stem cells to do more work, accomplished by introducing signaling molecules into the body – a drug, in other words. This methodology has reached the point of early clinical trials, as indicated in this press release: “Clinical-stage regenerative medicine company Juventas Therapeutics Inc. [has] started enrolling patients in a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of its leading stem cell factor for treating heart failure. In preclinical studies of heart failure in pigs, JVS-100, as the factor is known, significantly increased cardiac function by promoting cell survival and increasing blood vessel formation in damaged hearts. JVS-100 works by encoding Stromal Cell-derived Factor-1 (SDF-1), a growth factor that in adults recruits stem cells from the bone marrow to create new blood vessels. The JVS-100-treated pigs showed significant improvements in cardiac function. … We’ve led with heart failure because that’s where our preliminary data was, and it’s a great clinical opportunity. We also have strong data in the area of peripheral vascular disease and cosmetic wound healing. … The factor can increase blood flow for patients who have peripheral vascular disease and accelerate wound closure and prevent scarring for patients who have had cosmetic surgery [so] we’re looking to move both those toward clinic in the near future.”

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.medcitynews.com/2010/04/juventas-therapeutics-starts-phase-1-trial-for-heart-failure-therapy/

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

On Mitophagy and Aging

Posted: April 9, 2010 at 8:42 am

A good review paper: “Our understanding of autophagy has expanded greatly in recent years, largely due to the identification of the many genes involved in the process, and to the development of better methods to monitor the process, such as GFP-LC3 to visualize autophagosomes in vivo. A number of groups have demonstrated a tight connection between autophagy and mitochondrial turnover. Mitochondrial quality control is the process whereby mitochondria undergo successive rounds of fusion and fission with a dynamic exchange of components in order to segregate functional and damaged elements. Removal of the mitochondrion that contains damaged components is accomplished via autophagy (mitophagy). Mitophagy also serves to eliminate the subset of mitochondria producing the most reactive oxygen species, and episodic removal of mitochondria will reduce the oxidative burden, thus linking the mitochondrial free radical theory of aging with longevity achieved through caloric restriction. Mitophagy must be balanced by biogenesis to meet tissue energy needs, but the system is tunable and highly dynamic. This process is of greatest importance in long-lived cells such as cardiomyocytes, neurons, and memory T cells. Autophagy is known to decrease with age, and the failure to maintain mitochondrial quality control through mitophagy may explain why the heart, brain, and components of the immune system are most vulnerable to dysfunction as organisms age.”

View the Article Under Discussion: http://pmid.us/20357180

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Better Understanding Cytomegalovirus

Posted: April 9, 2010 at 8:41 am

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the reasons our immune systems decay with aging: too many immune cells become specialized to deal with CMV, leaving too few to deal with everything else. New research “explains how a virus that has already infected up to 80 percent of the American population can repeatedly re-infect individuals despite the presence of a strong and long-lasting immune response. The research involves cytomegalovirus (CMV), which infects 50 percent to 80 percent of the U.S. population before age 40. … For most people, CMV infection goes undetected and they do not become seriously ill. … When most viruses infect a host, the immune system remembers the disease and protects against re-infection. This is the case with smallpox, seasonal strains of flu and several other viruses. This immune system reaction is also the reason why vaccines made with weakened or dead viruses work against these pathogens. In the case of CMV, the body’s immune system is continuously stimulated by ongoing, low-level persistent infection, but yet CMV is still able to re-infect. This research explains how CMV is able to overcome this immune response so that re-infection occurs. … The results of this study primarily illustrate the significant barriers to creating a vaccine that will prevent CMV infection.” But a vaccine won’t do much for people already burdened by an CMV-focused immune system. What we want is a way to use targeted cell killing strategies to destroy CMV-related immune cells and free up space for more useful immune cells.

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-04/ohs-ore033010.php

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Rapamycin and Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted: April 9, 2010 at 8:41 am

Rapamycin recently showed promise as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, and here more researchers are working on that: “A few weeks after a report that rapamycin, a drug that extends lifespan in mice and that is currently used in transplant patients, curbed the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in mice, a second group is announcing similar results in an entirely different mouse model of early Alzheimer’s. … The second report [showed] that administration of rapamycin improved learning and memory in a strain of mice engineered to develop Alzheimer’s. The improvements in learning and memory were detected in a water maze activity test that is designed to measure learning and spatial memory. The improvements in learning and memory correlated with lower damage in brain tissue. … Strikingly, the Alzheimer’s mice treated with rapamycin displayed improved performance on the maze, even reaching levels that were indistinguishable from their normal littermates. Levels of amyloid-beta-42 were also reduced in these mice after treatment, and we are seeing preserved numbers of synaptic elements in the brain areas of Alzheimer’s disease mice that are ravaged by the disease process.”

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-04/uoth-adt040110.php

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Rapamycin and Alzheimer's Disease

Posted: April 9, 2010 at 8:41 am

Rapamycin recently showed promise as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, and here more researchers are working on that: “A few weeks after a report that rapamycin, a drug that extends lifespan in mice and that is currently used in transplant patients, curbed the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in mice, a second group is announcing similar results in an entirely different mouse model of early Alzheimer’s. … The second report [showed] that administration of rapamycin improved learning and memory in a strain of mice engineered to develop Alzheimer’s. The improvements in learning and memory were detected in a water maze activity test that is designed to measure learning and spatial memory. The improvements in learning and memory correlated with lower damage in brain tissue. … Strikingly, the Alzheimer’s mice treated with rapamycin displayed improved performance on the maze, even reaching levels that were indistinguishable from their normal littermates. Levels of amyloid-beta-42 were also reduced in these mice after treatment, and we are seeing preserved numbers of synaptic elements in the brain areas of Alzheimer’s disease mice that are ravaged by the disease process.”

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-04/uoth-adt040110.php

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko


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