Scientists Say the Clock of Aging May Be Reversible

At the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., scientists are trying to get time to run backward. Biological time, that is. In the first attempt to reverse aging by reprogramming the genome, they have rejuvenated the organs of mice and lengthened their life spans by 30 percent. The technique, which requires genetic engineering, cannot be applied directly to people, but the achievement points toward better understanding of human aging and the possibility of rejuvenating human tissues by other means.

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Stem cells police themselves to reduce scarring, study finds

Stem cells produce a decoy protein to attenuate growth signals. Artificially regulating this pathway might help keep muscles supple in muscular dystrophy or during normal aging, researchers hope.

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National Academy of Medicine Elects 79 New Members

rando-150The National Academy of Medicine announced today the election of 70 regular members and 9 international members during its annual meeting. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Dr. Thomas Rando was among those elected.

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A Niche New Way to Stay a Stem Cell

rando-150All quiescent on the fresh native myofiber, but…

Stem cells typically lose the capacity to differentiate when cultured in vitro. Their potency appears to depend on preserving the quiescent state, which has been difficult to accomplish with traditional culture methods. In the body, stem cells reside in specialized microenvironments, or niches, with unique chemical and physical properties. Quiescent stem cells isolated from their native environment and then plated become activated to divide and differentiate. A Stanford University research group led by Dr. Thomas A. Rando sought to create an enhanced culture system for studying the biology of quiescence.

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Helping stem cells sleep can boost their power to heal

rando-150We are often told that sleep is one of the most important elements of a healthy lifestyle, that it helps in the healing and repair of our heart and blood vessels – among other things.

It turns out that sleep, or something very similar, is equally important for stem cells, helping them retain their power or potency, which is a measure of their effectiveness and efficiency in generating the mature adult cells that are needed to repair damage. Now researchers from Stanford, with a little help from CIRM, have found a way to help stem cells get the necessary rest before kicking in to action. This could pave the way for a whole new approach to treating a variety of genetic disorders such as muscular dystrophy.

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