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

Stress – aging, young animals – more stress resistance

Program to die, program to live

In nature there is no need for aging to kill you, life will kill you

Fitness is focusing on young animals only

Aged animals in nature are non-biology, as evolution as a mechanism is not involved

Maximum mouse life span in nature is 4 months, in labs up to 2 years

Mouse with wings bats live up to 30 years in nature

Naked mole rat big oxidative stress resistant ???? reference

Ask a worm how it is like to live longer

life expectancy is linearly growing, aging is the biggest risk factor

1 trillion dollars cost of Alzheimer by 2030

on the deep molecular level aging and diseases is the same

caffeine induced death protein (tumor suppresor)

are humans lab animals or wild animals????

60 environment/ 40% genes

how does aging occur in asexual animals?

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