According to Nature, researchers are poised to meet with the FDA this month to discuss “medicines that delay ageing-related disease as legitimate drugs.” This makes sense, given that there are a number of scientific teams working on such compounds. Nir Barzilai of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York is one of those scientists, and the compond he’s focused on is metformin, which has shown promise in previous studies.
A huge advance. Here’s the story from Discover Mag:
“A team of regenerative scientists and surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital successfully grew a semi-functional rat forelimb in the lab, employing a technique previously used to build bio-artificial organs. If someday perfected, the experimental approach could be used to create human limbs suitable for transplantation.”
From the WSJ:
“A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has recommended the first drug to help combat female sexual dysfunction. And Sprout Pharmaceuticals, which owns the pill, hopes agency approval will occur in mid-August.”
“Scientists have found a new family of molecules that kill cancer cells and protect healthy cells, which could be used to treat a number of different cancers. Research shows that as well as targeting and killing cancer cells, the molecules generate a protective effect against toxic chemicals in healthy cells.”
Here’s the description:
“A one-day event with leading influencers and visionaries to reimagine the American dream in an intimate setting at The Battery in San Francisco. NOVUS is a tour de force that unites global shapers from around the world to tackle the today’s grand challenges via actionable change. “
From the New Scientist:
“Over the past few years, researchers have reversed muscle atrophy, memory loss, heart degradation and some of the effects of cognitive decline by pumping the blood of young mice into old mice. The results from these animal experiments were so intriguing that last year a team at Stanford University began the ultimate rejuvenation trial: giving blood plasma from under 30s to people with Alzheimer’s. Results are expected next year.
Now, Benjamin Alman, a professor of surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, and his colleagues have tested young blood’s ability to heal bones.”
IBM’s Watson computer can now do in a matter of minutes what it takes cancer doctors weeks to perform
From Business Insider:
“It can take weeks to identify drugs targeting cancer-causing mutations. Watson can do it in minutes and has in its database the findings of scientific papers and clinical trials on particular cancers and potential therapies.”
From the LAT:
“So far, the medical implant has been tested in three children between the ages of 3 months and 16 months. Before getting the implant, the young patients had spent much of their lives in intensive care, where they needed to be on ventilators full-time to help them breathe. But after surgeons inserted the small white device around their narrow airways, all three recovered rapidly, according to a study published this week in the journal Science Translational Medicine.”
Scientists controlled a mouse’s behavior using a method called “DREADDs (designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs).” Not a great acronym (given the potential abuse for such a method), but it does reflect a shift away from linking mental “illnesses to “chemical imbalances” in the brain, instead tracing them to miswiring and misfiring in neuronal circuits.” Here’s the story.
“What do you do when a patient needs a blood transfusion but you don’t have their blood type in the blood bank? It’s a problem that scientists have been trying to solve for years but haven’t been able to find an economic solution – until now.
University of British Columbia chemists and scientists in the Centre for Blood Research have created an enzyme that could potentially solve this problem. The enzyme works by snipping off the sugars, also known as antigens, found in Type A and Type B blood, making it more like Type O. Type O blood is known as the universal donor and can be given to patients of all blood types.”
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-04-donated-blood-universal.html#jCp
Researchers at Duke University have engineered a polio virus to infect cancer cells. This weakens the cancer and alerts the body’s immune system to the fact that there is something growing in the body that shouldn’t be there. It’s brilliant work and 60 Minutes has done a great job of capturing the story. Watch it here.
Here’s the story from Forbes.
“The company has hired Richard Scheller, who led drug discovery at biotech icon Genentech for 14 years before announcing he would retire in December, and who has won some of science’s top awards, including the Lasker Prize, often referred to as “America’s Nobel,” and the Kavli Prize.”
From the Independent:
“A new class of drugs has been identified that slow the ageing process in mice, alleviating symptoms of frailty and extending a healthy lifespan.
If their effect on humans is as marked as it is on animal models, their benefit could be enormous.
The research was carried out by a team from Mayo Clinic, The Scripps Institute and other institutions and published in the journal Aging Cell yesterday.
“We view this study as a big, first step toward developing treatments that can be given safely to patients to extend healthspan or to treat age-related diseases and disorders,” said co-lead author and TSRI Professor Paul Robbins, PhD.”
Please tune in to Sirius XM (Channel 121) this Saturday at 9am PT (12pm ET) to listen to a longevity discussion between me and Dr. Anthony Atala of Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
This is such a great story, and really only the beginning of what will be possible outside of the traditional health sector. Thank-you awesome engineers and tinkerers!
Also, see this adorable video of Robert Downey Jr. helping out with the cause.
It was a pleasure to meet Dr. Craig Venter at Stanford this week. As you can imagine, he had strong views and a huge amount of energy. I’m super-interested in all of his work, but was surprised to find out about his efforts to fight the spread of influenza using genomics. He convinced me that it is possible to create an annual flu vaccine that actually targets the flu of that year. That would be useful.
I spent last weekend at Wake Forest University in NC at their annual TedX event. It was a great group of people, and I’m looking forward to posting links to all the talks when they are released.
A great story. And another example of how man is blending with machine.
From the NY Daily News:
“Zderad became the 15th person in the country, and the first in his home state, to receive the implanted sight device created by Second Sight, Inc., according to the Mayo Clinic.
The tiny implant works by sending light waves to the optic nerve, bypassing the damaged retina. Wires attach to a prosthetic device that looks like sunglasses and renders a certain amount of imagery.”