We’re living longer these days, but that hasn’t stopped newer branches of medicine from trying to enhance and further extend our lifespans.
For centuries, humans have sought the secret to eternal youth. While the fountain of youth may still elude us, advances in anti-aging technology are bringing us closer than ever to extending the human lifespan and improving quality of life in old age.
Modern society places a high value on appearance and youth. Whole markets have emerged to sell products for aesthetic purposes with the underlying intention to help people age their best. While it may be tempting to mock the fitness industry or the latest ‘super-fruit’, the reality is that if we are to live longer, we should also seek to live healthier.
Anti-ageing is a billion dollar industry. However, many purported anti-ageing products (including supplements) lack evidence regarding their effectiveness but are nonetheless widely promoted and sold. Over the next decades, nations will be adapting funding and infrastructure to support the health and flourishing of their ageing populations.
Anti-aging research and technologies
Geroprotection is a field of research focused on protecting cells from aging and preventing age-related diseases. As cells age, they enter a state of senescence where they stop dividing and can no longer function properly. This can lead to a variety of age-related diseases and health problems. Geroprotective strategies aim to slow down or prevent cell senescence, thus maintaining the health and function of organs and tissues. Additionally, senescent cells can release pro-inflammatory cytokines, leading to chronic inflammation, which is also linked to aging and age-related diseases. Therefore, geroprotection strategies may also aim to reduce chronic inflammation and prevent age-related diseases.
This arena involves the use of geroprotectors, which are compounds that can stop or reverse cellular aging, and senolytics, which are compounds that can pinpoint and destroy senescent cells. This is why researchers are looking into geroprotectors and senolytics, which requires long spans of time to understand.
Researchers are also looking into our cell’s telomeres, which are short segments of DNA in our chromosomes that protect cells from wear and tear that comes with aging. As cells divide, they can shorten and no longer protect the chromosome or cell. Lengthening them is the focus of recent research. Last year, a BGRF study was able to lengthen human telomeres.
Researchers in longevity medicine and biogerontology are studying drugs and compounds that can prevent and reverse aging on the cellular level.
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A recent reportTrusted Source in the journal CellTrusted Source detailed how peptides were able to boost the life span of mice. The study examined how cell therapy could reverse poor age-related kidney function, fur loss, and frailty in mice. Scientists are looking into whether or not the approach can also prolong the life span of mice. Human safety studies are in the works.
One of the most promising areas of anti-aging research is in the field of senolytics. Senolytics are drugs that target and destroy senescent cells. Senescent cells are old, damaged cells that accumulate in our bodies over time. They can contribute to a number of age-related diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Senolytics have shown great promise in animal studies, and they are currently being tested in human clinical trials.
Another promising area of anti-aging research is in the field of regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine is the use of stem cells and other technologies to repair or replace damaged tissue. This field is rapidly advancing, and it has the potential to revolutionize the way we treat a wide range of age-related diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, and stroke.
Extended Longevity, an anti-aging company based in Hawaii, has demonstrated age deceleration in two 42-year-old men by 12 and 9 years respectively, using epigenome testing. Additionally, one subject had regrown telomeres to 9,150 base pairs using the SpectraCell Telomere test. The company’s founder and CEO, Steven M. Schorr, suggests that their findings indicate that maintaining youthfulness through the Extended Longevity Protocol can start earlier than originally anticipated. The company is currently conducting medically supervised studies and has revealed that their formulations have regrown telomeres to lengths consistent with preteens, significantly lowered levels of inflammation, and rolled back epigenetic clocks by an astonishing 15 years. The test results are available for review on their website.
One of the most promising areas of anti-aging research is the field of cellular rejuvenation. Scientists have long known that as cells divide and replicate over time, the telomeres at the ends of our chromosomes shorten, eventually leading to cell death and aging. However, recent breakthroughs in telomere extension and other cellular rejuvenation therapies have the potential to slow or even reverse the aging process.
Another promising area of anti-aging research is immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to fight disease and promote health. Researchers are exploring ways to boost immune function and eliminate senescent (or “zombie”) cells that contribute to aging and disease.
In addition to these cutting-edge therapies, there are also more traditional approaches to anti-aging, such as nutrition and exercise. A diet rich in antioxidants and healthy fats, for example, can help protect cells from damage and promote longevity. Exercise has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, boost immune function, and increase lifespan.
But perhaps the most exciting aspect of anti-aging research is the possibility of combining different therapies and approaches to create a holistic, personalized approach to aging. By combining cellular rejuvenation therapies, immunotherapy, nutrition, and exercise, we may be able to significantly extend the human lifespan and improve quality of life in old age.
AI Finds Drug Candidates To Target Aging-Associated Cells
In a recent study published in Nature Aging, researchers from Integrated Biosciences, in collaboration with scientists from MIT and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, have utilized artificial intelligence (AI) to identify potential drug candidates for targeting aging-associated cells. The study focused on senolytics, a class of compounds that selectively eliminate senescent cells, which are implicated in various age-related diseases. By employing AI-guided screening of over 800,000 compounds, the researchers discovered three drug candidates that demonstrated comparable efficacy and superior medicinal chemistry properties to existing senolytics under investigation. This breakthrough showcases the potential of AI in exploring chemical space and identifying anti-aging compounds with higher chances of success in clinical trials. The study marks a significant milestone in longevity research and exemplifies the application of AI in drug discovery for aging-related conditions.
Senolytics are known for their ability to induce programmed cell death in non-dividing senescent cells, which contribute to age-related diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. However, many existing senolytic compounds suffer from side effects and poor bioavailability. Integrated Biosciences has been pioneering advancements in anti-aging drug development through the integration of synthetic biology, AI, and other next-generation tools. Their goal is to selectively remove senescent cells, similar to how antibiotics target bacteria without harming host cells. The newly discovered compounds exhibited high selectivity and favorable medicinal chemistry properties, positioning them as potential candidates for successful drug development and clinical trials.
The researchers trained deep neural networks on experimental data to predict the senolytic activity of molecules. Using this AI model, they identified three highly selective and potent senolytic compounds from a vast chemical space. These compounds showed indications of high oral bioavailability and demonstrated favorable toxicity profiles in genotoxicity and hemolysis tests. Biochemical and structural analyses revealed that the compounds bind to Bcl-2, a protein involved in apoptosis and a target for chemotherapy. Additionally, in experiments conducted on aged mice, one of the compounds cleared senescent cells and reduced the expression of senescence-associated genes in the kidneys.
This study highlights the potential of AI in advancing therapies that target aging, a significant challenge in biology. By combining AI, synthetic biology, and innovative screening methods, Integrated Biosciences and their collaborators have made substantial progress in drug discovery and longevity research. The findings pave the way for the development of novel treatments that can restore health and address age-related conditions, providing new possibilities for improving human well-being and extending healthy lifespans.
Of course, there are ethical considerations and limitations to anti-aging research that must be carefully considered. For example, there are concerns about the potential for overpopulation, the unequal distribution of life-extending therapies, and the psychological impact of living for centuries. However, by addressing these concerns and continuing to invest in anti-aging research, we may one day be able to achieve the dream of eternal youth.
In conclusion, while the fountain of youth may remain elusive, the latest advances in anti-aging technology offer real hope for extending the human lifespan and improving quality of life in old age. By combining cellular rejuvenation therapies, immunotherapy, nutrition, and exercise, we may one day be able to achieve the dream of eternal youth.