Living to be 100 programmed at birth?

A study from the University of Chicago has been getting a lot of press attention lately. They found that your chances of living to 100 may depend on how young your mother was when she gave birth to you with chances doubled if mom was under 25. The reports do not give the explanation why.

Dr. Steven Palter, a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, has written in his blog docinthemachine about an interesting theory of reproductive aging and human longevity. The findings are based on data presented in recent American Society for Reproductive Medicine meeting by Dr. Keefe of U. Florida on the telemore and its role in reproductive aging.

Read rest of this interesting story at docinthemachine blog.

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Coolest biological cartoon ever!

This movie from Harvard shows the inner life of a cell with an inspring music. This is arguably the coolest biological cartoon I have ever seen. It so beautifully captures the essence of a biological system. Thanks to my friend Dr. Chris Arendt for forwarding this link.

Back to posting articles

I will start posting articles tomorrow after another long hiatus. I have been swamped moving my lab to New York for the last month. I hope to post regularly again, lots of cool stories accumulated!

Reprogramming Biology

Visionary futurist Ray Kurzweil, whose remarkable ideas on technological progress have been an inspiration for Biosingularity blogs, have a wonderful concise article on biological advances in recent issue of Scientific American

As a scientist working on biological systems I fully agree and whole heartedly support Kurzweil's observations that: " Biology is now in the early stages of an historic transition to an information science, while also gaining the tools to reprogram the ancient information systems of life ….. We are now beginning to understand biology as a set of information processes, and we're developing realistic models and simulations of how the processes involved in disease and aging progress. Moreover, we are developing the tools to reprogram them."

In the article Kurzweil predicts that tinkering with our genetic programs will extend human lifespan beyond the current limits. He also reiterates that biological systems are also subject to the "law of accelerating returns", which had tremendous impact on information technologies. Indeed, the cost of sequencing and synthesizing gene base pairs have decreased more than 10,000 fold over the last 15 years, and this exponential progress is currently accelerating as predicted by Kurzweil in his recent book. 

Read rest of the article at Scientific American web site.
 

Cool blog of the month: Soft Machines

Soft Machines is a very interesting blog on nanotechnology and future technologies by Richard Jones who is also the author of the book "Soft machines: nanotechnology and life". The book explains why things behave differently at the nanoscale to way they behave at familiar human scales, and why this means that nanotechnology may be more like biology than conventional engineering. The blog follows on a similar theme with many  thoughtful articles.

I especially enjoyed the recent article titled: Death, life and amyloids, which is about the good, the bad and the ugly sides of misfolded fibrillar proteins called amyloids. Check it out.

Cool blog of the week: Fight Aging!

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Fight Aging! blog is a great site to get information on latest news and efforts to stop the ultimate scourage that face us, the aging itself. There are many excellent articles that provide ideas to stimulate future research in understanding and slowing aging process. This blog also does a good job in creating awareness for the fund raising efforts for aging research.

From Fight Aging! web site: “We are on the verge of a revolution in medicine: understanding, treating, and ultimately preventing the causes of degenerative aging. But medical revolutions only happen if we all stand up in support of funding and research. We did it for cancer. We’re doing it for Alzheimer’s. We can do it for aging – and create an era of longer, healthier lives!”
I fully support this motto!