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Another Step Forward For Tooth Regeneration

Posted: May 18, 2010 at 8:18 am

Researchers have regrown teeth in rats by manipulating existing stem cells: "a new technique [can] orchestrate the body's stem cells to migrate to three-dimensional scaffold that is infused with growth factor. This can yield an anatomically correct tooth in as soon as nine weeks once implanted in the mouth. ... These findings represent the first report of regeneration of anatomically shaped tooth-like structures in vivo, and by cell homing without cell delivery. ... By homing stem cells to a scaffold made of natural materials and integrated in surrounding tissue, there is no need to use harvested stem cell lines, or create a an environment outside of the body (e.g., a Petri dish) where the tooth is grown and then implanted once it has matured. The tooth instead can be grown 'orthotopically,' or in the socket where the tooth will integrate with surrounding tissue in ways that are impossible with hard metals or other materials. ... A key consideration in tooth regeneration is finding a cost-effective approach that can translate into therapies for patients who cannot afford or who aren't good candidates for dental implants. Cell-homing-based tooth regeneration may provide a tangible pathway toward clinical translation."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.dentistryiq.com/index/display/article-display/0045494294/articles/dentisryiq/industry/2010/05/body_s-stem_cells.html

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

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

More Data to Ponder on Gender Longevity Differences

Posted: May 18, 2010 at 8:18 am

From the Max Planck Institute: "Marriage is more beneficial for men than for women - at least for those who want a long life. Previous studies have shown that men with younger wives live longer. While it had long been assumed that women with younger husbands also live longer, [a new study] has shown that this is not the case. Instead, the greater the age difference from the husband, the lower the wife's life expectancy. This is the case irrespective of whether the woman is younger or older than her spouse. ... The mortality risk of a husband who is seven to nine years older than his wife is reduced by eleven percent compared to couples where both partners are the same age. Conversely, a man dies earlier when he is younger than his spouse. For years, researchers have thought that this data holds true for both sexes. They assumed an effect called 'health selection' was in play; those who select younger partners are able to do so because they are healthier and thus already have a higher life expectancy. ... These theories now have to be reconsidered. It appears that the reasons for mortality differences due to the age gap of the spouses remain unclear."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/en/press/1813.htm

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

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Micromasonry in Tissue Engineering

Posted: May 18, 2010 at 8:18 am

A new technique for tissue engineering: "Tissue engineering has long held promise for building new organs to replace damaged livers, blood vessels and other body parts. However, one major obstacle is getting cells grown in a lab dish to form 3-D shapes instead of flat layers. ... To obtain single cells for tissue engineering, researchers have to first break tissue apart, using enzymes that digest the extracellular material that normally holds cells together. However, once the cells are free, it's difficult to assemble them into structures that mimic natural tissue microarchitecture. Some scientists have successfully built simple tissues such as skin, cartilage or bladder on biodegradable foam scaffolds. ... That works, but it often lacks a controlled microarchitecture. You don't get tissues with the same complexity as normal tissues. ... Researchers [have] come up with a new way to overcome that challenge, by encapsulating living cells in cubes and arranging them into 3-D structures, just as a child would construct buildings out of blocks. The new technique, dubbed 'micromasonry,' employs a gel-like material that acts like concrete, binding the cell 'bricks' together as it hardens. ... You can reproduce this in any lab. It's very simple. ... The short-term next step is really looking at different cell types and the viability of tissue growth."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2010/tissue-legos-0513.html

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

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Creating Inner-Ear Cells

Posted: May 18, 2010 at 8:18 am

Via EurekAlert: "Humans are born with 30,000 cochlear and vestibular hair cells per ear. (By contrast, one retina harbors about 120 million photoreceptors.) When a significant number of these cells are lost or damaged, hearing loss occurs. The major reason for hearing loss and certain balance disorders is that - unlike other species such as birds - humans and other mammals are unable to spontaneously regenerate these hearing cells. ... After years of lab work, researchers [have] found a way to develop mouse cells that look and act just like the animal's inner-ear hair cells - the linchpin to our sense of hearing and balance - in a petri dish. If they can further perfect the recipe to generate hair cells in the millions, it could lead to significant scientific and clinical advances along the path to curing deafness in the future. ... While researchers will ultimately need human hair cells, the mouse version is a good model for the initial phases of experimentation, he said. In addition to using mouse embryonic stem cells, the researchers used fibroblasts that had been reprogrammed to behave like stem cells: These are known as induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-05/sumc-at051010.php

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

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

CR Mimetics and the Definition of Insanity

Posted: May 18, 2010 at 8:18 am

From the SENS Foundation: "To date, all successful interventions into the biological aging process in experimental animals have entailed modulation of basic metabolic pathways, generally through genetic or dietary manipulation. Of these, the earliest, most well-studied, and arguably the most robust, is Calorie restriction (CR): the reduction in dietary energy intake, without compromise of essential nutrients. With few exceptions, CR retards the biological rate of aging in nearly every species and strain of organisms in which it has been tested, ranging from rotifers, through small multicellular invertebrates, and most extensively to laboratory rodents; and although inconclusive, recent evidence also supports its effectiveness in dogs and nonhuman primates. Moreover, while necessarily preliminary, a growing body of human research has reported that rigorous CR, when practiced by previously normal-weight adults, results in physiological, functional, and perhaps even structural changes consistent with its translation to the human case. ... But despite the initial attractiveness of the notion; its strong theoretical basis; the high level of scientific interest that it has garnered; the launching of biotech startups originating in CR mimetic research; and the popularization and commercial exploitation of the concept by the dietary supplement industry - despite all of these drivers, the ensuing decade and a half or more of CR mimetic research have thus far been fruitless. Initially-promising compounds have failed to extend lifespan, while surprising findings have preempted the further investigation of what might otherwise have been novel targets for CR mimetics."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.sens.org/node/777

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

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

The Challenge of Longevity

Posted: May 18, 2010 at 8:18 am

From QFinance: "Big business and governments are already grappling with the uncomfortable side effects of increasing longevity. According to actuaries, the present generation has gained the equivalent of 12 minutes an hour or a 20% increase in average lifespan by comparison with the previous generation. The impact of this is felt first and foremost in the pensions arena, with businesses having to run harder just to stand still as far as their pension scheme deficits are concerned. But it is felt too by governments across Europe as they struggle to pay out meaningful state pension benefits against the headwind imposed by the fact that the ratio of those in work to those on pension is getting more and more out of balance. The impact of increased longevity is felt too in the health systems, where the diseases and ailments of old age take an increasing toll on a country's medical resources. These problems might seem fairly intractable, or at least extremely difficult and challenging in their own right, but it could be just the tip of the iceberg, according to the renowned longevity specialist Dr Aubrey de Grey, Chief Scientist at the charity SENS, which specializes in promoting research that aims to 'defeat ageing.' Dr de Grey is famous for asserting that the first person to enjoy a four-digit lifespan is probably already in his or her middle years. Before I give a rapid summary of his reasoning - those interested in learning more can watch a video of one of his presentations at the SENS website - it is worth saying that if de Grey is right, then instead of exacerbating the pensions problem, as I suggested earlier, it will probably make the problem vanish like a puff of smoke. Provided society stays reasonably open, people will have more than enough time to acquire independent means. The magic of compound arithmetic will be very much in their favor. Start small, watch it grow, where's the hurry?"

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.qfinance.com/blogs/anthony-harrington/2010/05/05/the-challenge-of-longevity

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

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko


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