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Longevity News Digest

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Nobel Prize Winning Stem Cell Breakthrough?

Dear Future Centenarian, 

I had dinner with Dr. Steve Coles just before this article was written. He told me all about it¦ finally. As it turns out, he was working on this project for years.

You know the character of a person when they keep fascinating and pertinent information from even their best friends when it is confidential.

Now the cat is publicly out of the bag. And the news may very well lead to a treatment that preserves your life. It could be huge. Bigger even than the article below indicates.

You might remember a Korean scientist who shook the medical world with a game changing stem cell technology. But other labs could not repeat the results that he claimed he got. He was later disgraced when the scientific and legal community learned he falsified his study results.

As it turns out, his hypothesis appears to be correct all along. His method may again shake the medical world. An international team created human embryonic stem cells from adult skin cells for the first time.

Here™s an article which gives more details:

Thursday, April 17, 2014, (Los Angeles Times) -- Scientists have replicated one of the most significant accomplishments in stem cell research by creating human embryos that were clones of two men.  The lab-engineered embryos were harvested within days and used to create lines of infinitely reproducing embryonic stem cells, which are capable of growing into any type of human tissue.  The work, reported Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell, comes 11 months after researchers in Oregon said they had produced the world's first human embryo clones and used them to make stem cells. Their study, published in Cell, aroused skepticism after critics pointed out multiple errors and duplicated images.
In addition, the entire effort to clone human embryos and then dismantle them in the name of science troubles some people on moral grounds.
The scientists in Oregon and the authors of the new report acknowledged that the clones they created could develop into babies if implanted in surrogate wombs. But like others in the field, they have said reproductive cloning would be unethical and irresponsible.

The process used to create cloned embryos is called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT). It involves removing the nucleus from an egg cell and replacing it with a nucleus from a cell of the person to be cloned. The same method was used to create Dolly the sheep in 1996, along with numerous animals from other species.

Human cloning was a particular challenge, in part because scientists had trouble getting enough donor eggs to carry out their experiments. Some scientists said SCNT in humans would be impossible.

Dr. Robert Lanza, the Chief Scientific Officer for Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. in Marlborough, MA, has been working on SCNT off-and-on for about 15 years. He and his colleagues finally achieved success with a modified version of the recipe used by the Oregon team and skin cells donated by two men who were 35 and 75.

After swapping out the nucleus in the egg cell, both groups used caffeine to delay the onset of cell division ­ a technique that has been called "the Starbucks effect." But instead of waiting 30 minutes to prompt cell division, as was done in the Oregon experiment, Lanza and his team waited two hours.

It remains unclear exactly how the egg causes the cells in previously mature tissues ­- in this case, skin -­ to transform into a more versatile, pluripotent state.
But Lanza and his colleagues said their experiments revealed that some eggs were better at it than others. Researchers used 49 eggs from three women, though eggs from only two of them produced results. "The magic is in the egg," Lanza said.

Experts who were not involved in the experiments said the achievement was significant because it offered clear confirmation that so-called therapeutic cloning is possible with human cells. Given the field's history of fraudulent claims, such confirmation was valuable, said stem cell researcher Sean Morrison, Director of the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern.  "This makes it clear that it is possible to succeed," Morrison said.
In 2005, South Korean researcher Woo Suk Hwang claimed to have created cloned human embryos, but those experiments were later shown to be fabricated.  It took another eight years for cell biologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov to create the first cloned human embryo and resulting stem cells in a laboratory at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).  "My team is very pleased that our results ... are reproducible," Mitalipov said.

Pluripotent stem cells have become increasingly valuable in medical research. By using them to grow tissue cells involved in diseases, scientists can study them directly rather than relying on mice or other animals as proxies. Scientists are trying to use them to grow replacement tissues for treating diabetes, heart disease, and a form of age-related blindness called Age Related Macular Degeneration, among other conditions.  But coaxing normal tissue cells to revert to an embryonic state is challenging. The use of human egg cells complicates the process even further, due in part to their limited availability.

In the years that Lanza spent working on therapeutic cloning, many of his colleagues shifted their focus to a method that uses viruses and other compounds to rewind a cell to an earlier, more flexible state of development. The researcher who first developed these induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPSC's, won a Nobel Prize for the work.

With so much momentum behind iPSC's, it's unlikely that the new study will prompt many researchers to return their focus to SCNT, said Dr. Arnold Kriegstein, Director of the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Program at UCSF School of Medicine."With the iPS technology, almost any molecular biology lab can create stem cell lines using simply skin cells, or even blood cells," said Kriegstein, who wasn't involved in the cloning studies.

Lanza said that most stem cell scientists have "jumped on the iPS bandwagon," but he argued that stem cells created by SCNT may still play a vital role in regenerative medicine.  He envisions a day when multiple lines of stem cells are kept in banks and made available to patients based on their biological similarity, much the way blood and donor organs are now handled.  "If we had these banks, we would have the raw material to do tissue engineering and grow up organs, or to grow up vessels, tendons or whatever you want," Lanza said.

Ref.: http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-stem-cells-cloning-20140418,0,3647088.story#ixzz2zZbSCjSL

More Life,
David Kekich

Latest Headlines from Fight Aging!

Effective Tissue Adhesion With a Nanoparticle Solution - Monday, April 21, 2014
Researchers have developed an improvement upon sutures that has a range of potential applications beyond merely sealing injuries.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/04/effective-tissue-adhesion-with-a-nanoparticle-solution.php

A View of the Correlation Between Individual Wealth and Adult Life Expectancy - Monday, April 21, 2014
A web of correlations links health, longevity, wealth, education, and intelligence. More intelligent and educated people tend to be wealthier. They also tend to live longer.

All sorts of sensible causes can be proposed, such as those involving better access to medical services and a better ability to make use of that access, or the education, willpower, and peer pressure to make improved lifestyle choices. Don't get fat, keep exercising, and so forth: over the long term calorie restriction and regular exercise produce benefits to health and life expectancy in the average individual that are large in comparison to that provided by any presently available medical technology.

There are less usual suggestions as well, such as the possibility of a biological connection between better health and greater intelligence. Biology and health is very complex, and there is plenty of room to argue cause versus effect and relative impact even in deceptively simple associations such as these. The data showing these associations is robust, however, and here is another example.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/04/a-view-of-the-correlation-between-individual-wealth-and-adult-life-expectancy.php

An Interesting Comparison of Species Lifespan Differences - Tuesday, April 22, 2014
One branch of investigation into the mechanisms and progression of aging uses comparisons between species of differing longevity as a way to identify where to work. The ultimate aim is to narrow down the exact biological differences between short-lived and long-lived species, a process that can probably be simplified by focusing first on the exceptional cases.

Surveys and theorizing of the sort quoted below are a part of the process of deciding which of the thousands of readily available species to study are most likely to yield useful information.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/04/an-interesting-comparison-of-species-lifespan-differences.php

An Interview With Mikhail Batin - Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Here is a Russian-language interview with Mikhail Batin of the Science for Life Extension Foundation, following on from the recent 3rd International Conference on the Genetics of Aging and Longevity in Sochi, Russia. The state of automated translation for Russian is still very rough around the edges, so the quoted material below is tidied up somewhat from the original.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/04/an-interview-with-mikhail-batin.php

TFE3 Promotes Autophagy - Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Autophagy is the name given to a collection of processes that recycle damaged cellular components and unwanted or harmful molecules. Materials flagged for recycling are engulfed by one of the cell's lysosomes and then dismantled inside it.

Greater levels of autophagy are observed in a majority of the means of extending life in laboratory animals through genetic or metabolic manipulation to slow aging, including calorie restriction, in which the body reacts to low levels of nutrients, raw materials for protein manufacture in cells, by stepping up its efforts to reclaim the needed raw materials from existing structures that are past their prime.

The association of enhanced longevity and enhanced autophagy shouldn't be a surprise: aging is the accumulation of unrepaired damage, and autophagy is a process that attempts to minimize the present level of cellular damage before it can cause more harm.

At some point the research community will make inroads towards creating therapies based on boosted autophagy - though this doesn't appear to be happening anywhere near as rapidly as I expected it to. Here is an example of research into the regulation of autophagy, similar to many other papers published in past years, but the expected use of this sort of knowledge to build a treatment has yet to happen.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/04/tfe3-promotes-autophagy.php

How Cells Take Out the Trash - Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Autophagy consists of a collection of cellular housecleaning processes responsible for recycling damaged cellular components. It is known to relate to longevity, as demonstrated in numerous animals studies in which aging is slowed via genetic or metabolic manipulation, and in which autophagy is seen to take place more energetically.

This all seems logical, as aging is nothing more than an accumulation of unrepaired damage and the reactions to that damage, while autophagy seeks to minimize present damage before it causes more harm.

Since we've already touched on of autophagy and its relationship to longevity today, as well as the prospects for developing therapies based on increased levels of autophagy, I thought I'd point out this popular science article on the topic.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/04/how-cells-take-out-the-trash.php

Altering Fat Metabolism to Inhibit Atherosclerosis - Thursday, April 24, 2014
This is an intriguing result, though it is worth noting that - per the published paper - it was carried out in animals genetically altered to rapidly develop atherosclerosis.

This is a common approach in exploratory studies: use a model in which the disease process runs more rapidly than normal, so as to bring down costs and time, but it opens the possibility for a potential treatment to only undo some of the effects of the model rather than actually working against the normal, much slower disease mechanisms. So the next step in this case is to run the experiment in unmodified laboratory animals and see what happens.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/04/altering-fat-metabolism-to-inhibit-atherosclerosis.php

Data on the Aging of Stem Cells From Supercentenarian Blood - Thursday, April 24, 2014
Researchers may gain some insight into the aging of stem cells and the relevance (or irrelevance) of nuclear DNA damage to aging from the analysis of blood and tissue donated by a supercentenarian.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/04/data-on-the-aging-of-stem-cells-from-supercentenarian-blood.php

Blood Cells Reprogrammed into Blood Stem Cells - Friday, April 25, 2014
As researchers continue to work on cellular reprogramming, we will see an increasing number of new research results like this one. A compelling reason for this type of work is to secure low-cost and reliable sources of large numbers patient-matched cells, grown from easily obtained tissue samples such as skin and blood.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/04/blood-cells-reprogrammed-into-blood-stem-cells.php
Neural Stem Cell Transplants as Stroke Treatment - Friday, April 25, 2014
Researchers here demonstrate that neural stem cells transplanted into aged rats following stroke are an effective enough treatment to be considered, and thus an old tissue environment is not a barrier to deriving benefit from such stem cell transplants.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2014/04/neural-stem-cell-transplants-as-stroke-treatment.php

DISCLAIMER:  News summaries are reported by third parties, and there is no guarantee of accuracy. This newsletter is not meant to substitute for your personal due diligence and is not to be taken as medical advice. For originating report, please see www.fightaging.org/

David A. Kekich
Maximum Life Foundation

"Where Biotech, Infotech and Nanotech
     Meet to Reverse Aging by 2033"


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