Ask a good scientist in a San Francisco Cafe: The Reality of Age Research

lithgowThe Buck Institute in Novato, California is a rich private research center focusing on aging with the mission of “extending the healthy years of life”. They have a real interdisciplinary staff, exactly the one that is needed for studying aging, which is a notoriously multifactorial, multicausal, atypical and complex biological phenomenon.
One of the faculty member of Buck Institute is Gordon J. Lithgow Associate Professor, and on Tuesday due to Monya Baker‘s alarm I was happy to participate on Lithgow’s clearly terrific presentation without slides but full with thoughts, facts and good comments from a grateful audience. The event was part of the Ask a Scientist Series, which is a monthly lecture series, held at a San Francisco cafe. This time the place was the Axis Cafe and here are some words out of the official intro:
Understanding and dealing with disease associated with aging is arguably the greatest challenge for biomedicine in the 21st Century. In fact growing old is the single largest risk factor for human disease in developed countries. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the biological basis of aging — but a series of remarkable discoveries in simple animal models indicates that our understanding of the subject is beginning to change. For example, it is now commonplace to extend the lifespan of lab worms and flies by genetic or chemical interventions. Come learn about the latest in the new field of geroscience and talk about opportunities for living better, more productive lives.

On the iPhone photo made by me: Mr. Lithgow is demonstrating the role of chaperone proteins in protein folding/unfolding with 2 paper glasses.

Here are my brief notes and highlights:

All forms of stress is involved in aging not just oxidative stress Continue reading