Tag Archives: anti-aging

Reversing the Biological Clock

While the current increasingly aging population and enhanced human lifespan are signs of great advancement in medical technology, population aging also contributes to a variety of socioeconomic, environmental, and healthcare-related difficulties, significantly straining the global economy and healthcare system. The medical community began investigating potential biomedical strategies of reversing the aging process several years ago in the hopes of diminishing cognitive decline, weakening of the immune system, and other negative effects of biological aging. In doing so, researchers have made significant discoveries in the field, one of which now provides a definitive basis of measurement for determining biological age – the epigenetic clock.

Developed by Dr. Steve Horvath, professor of Human Genetics and Biostatistics at UCLA, the epigenetic clock utilizes the body’s epigenome and specifically, changes in DNA methylation state to determine a person’s biological age, which may often exceed or fall behind their chronological age. Dr. Horvath’s discovery has helped to elucidate novel aspects of the aging process and deepen our current understanding, promoting further research efforts aimed at uncovering the complexities of reversing systemic aging. Thus far, attempts at the reversal of biological aging have not been confirmed by epigenetic age changes although the latest trial results from California implicate the potential to effectively reverse the aging process for the first time.

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The Race to Longevity  

A growing body of research demonstrates significant discoveries and advancements in knowledge  into potential biomedical strategies for reversing the aging process. Today, researchers continue to study animal and human abilities to regenerate cells, aiming to diminish cognitive decline, immune system weakening, and other adverse effects of the biological aging process. Meanwhile, healthcare and biotech companies race to “find the key” to reversing the aging process, bringing the market valuation of anti-aging medicine to a projected $610 billion by 2025 from current estimates of $110 billion. Investors are pouring millions into start-up companies that focus on anti-aging and regenerative medical research, in hopes of being the first organization to make a breakthrough – bringing a successful solution to aging to the public.

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The Role of Sirtuins in Longevity

Despite strenuous controversies, the field of sirtuin research is growing with an increasing number of recent studies revealing their promising connection to longevity. After many years of investigation, understanding of the activity of the silent information regulator 2 (Sir2) family (‘sirtuins’) has greatly expanded, proving its significant involvement in the regulation of many fundamental biological processes. Dr. Leonard Guarente, co-founder of Elysium Health and director of MIT’s Glenn Center for Biology of Aging, stands at the forefront of sirtuin research efforts.

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