2019 01 04 News and Views from around the Web

2019 01 04 News and Views from around the Web

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Effect of temperature on lifespan depends on genes

 

Recent research into aging has challenged the notion that colder temperatures can increase lifespan simply by slowing metabolic rate.

 

Instead, it has revealed that genes determine the extent to which low temperature can influence a person’s lifespan.┬áThe research is the work of scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA, which is an affiliate of the University of Chicago in Illinois.

 

The MBL team is investigating factors that affect aging using tiny aquatic animals called rotifers.

 

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The immune system’s fountain of youth

 

Helping the immune system clear away old cells in aging mice helped restore youthful characteristics

 

If only we could keep our bodies young, healthy and energetic, even as we attain the wisdom of our years. New research at the Weizmann Institute of Science suggests this dream could be at least partly obtainable in the future. The results of this research, led by Prof. Valery Krizhanovsky and Dr. Yossi Ovadya in the Molecular Cell Biology Department, were recently published in Nature Communications.

 

The research began with an investigation into the way that the immune system is involved in a crucial activity: clearing away old, senescent cells that spell trouble for the body when they hang around. Senescent cells — not completely dead but suffering loss of function or irreparable damage — have been implicated in diseases of aging by promoting inflammation. The researchers used mice in which a crucial gene for this immune activity was missing. At two years (elderly, for mice), the bodies of these mice had a greater accumulation of senescent cells compared with the mice in which the gene for removing these cells was intact. The mice missing the gene suffered from chronic inflammation, and various functions in their bodies appeared to be diminished. They also looked older — and died earlier — than their normal counterparts.

 

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