Switch Off the Aging Genes
By manipulating eight strands of D.N.A. that control the production of a crucial hormone linked to old age, scientists believe they could slow down the ageing process and ward off age related conditions.
What's the Most Recent Development?
"For 50 years [scientists] have observed the most abundant circulating steroid in the body, DHEAS, with no clue as to its role. Now its genes have shown us its importance in many parts of the ageing process," said professor Tim Spector of King's College in London. Spector has coauthored a report studying the link between the production of DHEAS and the aging process in over 14,000 people from Europe and the U.S. The steroid is also linked to medical conditions associated with aging, such as type 2 diabetes and lymphoma. Spector's team will spend the rest of the year looking closer at the eight genes that regulated DHEAS production.
What's the Big Idea?
Is modern science approaching a watershed moment with regards to aging? Average life expectancy has nearly doubled in the last century thanks to advances in modern medicine and democratized health care systems, but will we soon be able to directly manipulate our genes to achieve near-immortality? If the process of aging is caused by specific chemical reactions in our body, is it worth neutralizing those reactions. Beyond scientific possibilities, other serious questions abound: Do we have the resources to support an immortal population? What would motivate an immortal to act today given an infinite number of tomorrows?
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
The phenomenon that makes our favourite drinks bubbly is, alarmingly, the same one that causes decompression sickness in divers. Why do we still love it?
As Game of Thrones ends, a revealing resolution to its perplexing geography.
- The fantasy world of Game of Thrones was inspired by real places and events.
- But the map of Westeros is a good example of the perplexing relation between fantasy and reality.
- Like Britain, it has a Wall in the North, but the map only really clicks into place if you add Ireland.
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