An active protein component of royal jelly helps honeybees create new queens. Stanford researchers have identified a similar protein in mammals, which keeps cultured embryonic stem cells pluripotent.
The Stanford project, led by neuroscientists Tony Wyss-Coray and Marion Buckwalter, will focus on the influence of immune factors and systemic inflammation on the brain.
Tony Wyss-Coray, from Stanford University, found that stitching together young and old mice to join their blood systems improved the older mice’s cognition. Startups began offering unproven “fountain of youth” blood-plasma infusions, but Wyss-Coray co-founded a company, Alkahest, to scientifically test the idea in people with early Alzheimer’s. Encouraged by early results, he now hopes to refine a blood-plasma treatment for aging brains.
The Stanford scientists will receive $32 million over five years to fund explorations of cancer, the brain, the aging process, chromosomes and the development of cells.
A Q&A with Thomas A. Rando, M.D., Ph.D. on Young Blood, Biomarkers, and Aging