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Hyperbaric chambers used to reverse aging in "Holy Grail" study
Researchers from Israel reversed two key processes involved in aging.
- Israeli scientists reversed two major processes involved in aging.
- Their new therapy counteracted the shortening of telomeres and the accumulation of old and dying cells.
- The study participants underwent oxygen treatments in hyperbaric chambers.
Scientists from Israel carried out a study that might prove groundbreaking in the human quest to slow the biological march of time. Researchers used oxygen treatments in hyperbaric chambers to stop blood cells from aging, actually making them grow younger.
The scientists devised a novel program that uses high-pressure oxygen in a pressure chamber to reverse two key processes that stem from aging. They were able to counteract the shortening of telomeres, which are protective regions at the ends of every chromosome, and the body's aggregation of old and poorly-functioning cells.
As we get older, our cells continue to divide, while the telomeres keep getting shorter. If they become too short, the cells stop replicating (becoming "senescent") and eventually die. This results in genetic aging. Analyzing the study participant immune cells, the researchers saw a lengthening in 38 percent of the telomeres, while the senescent cells decreased by 37 percent. This is similar to the cellular state of their bodies 25 years earlier, the researchers noted.
The pressurized chamber involved in the study.
Credit: Shamir Medical Center
The study involved 35 healthy people over 64 years old, who underwent 60 hyperbaric sessions in 3 months. With the air pressure in the chamber twice that of normal, the subjects would breathe pure oxygen, saturating their blood and bodily tissues.
The research team was led by Professor Shai Efrati from Tel Aviv University, who is also the Founder and Director of the Sagol Center of Hyperbaric Medicine at the Shamir Medical Center, as well as Dr. Amir Hadanny, the Sagol Center's Chief Medical Research Officer.
In a press release, Professor Efrati explained that their team has been working on hyperbaric research and therapy for many years, looking to develop treatments based on exposing patients to varying concentrations of high-pressure oxygen. One of their achievements was in improving aging people's brain functions. The current study was focused on seeing if the aging process could be slowed down at the cellular level in healthy adults.
What are telomeres?
"Today telomere shortening is considered the 'Holy Grail' of the biology of aging," Professor Efrati elaborated. "Researchers around the world are trying to develop pharmacological and environmental interventions that enable telomere elongation. Our HBOT protocol was able to achieve this, proving that the aging process can in fact be reversed at the basic cellular-molecular level."
Dr. Hadanny added that, previously, lifestyle changes and a great deal of exercise were required to achieve some impact on the shortening of telomeres. But in their "pioneering" study, "only three months of HBOT were able to elongate telomeres at rates far beyond any currently available interventions or lifestyle modifications."
While more research is required to expand upon these results, you can check out the promising study published in the journal Aging.
Scientists use new methods to discover what's inside drug containers used by ancient Mayan people.
- Archaeologists used new methods to identify contents of Mayan drug containers.
- They were able to discover a non-tobacco plant that was mixed in by the smoking Mayans.
- The approach promises to open up new frontiers in the knowledge of substances ancient people consumed.
PARME staff archaeologists excavating a burial site at the Tamanache site, Mérida, Yucatan.
Trained dogs can detect cancer and other diseases by smell. Could a device do the same?
Numerous studies have shown that trained dogs can detect many kinds of disease — including lung, breast, ovarian, bladder, and prostate cancers, and possibly Covid-19 — simply through smell. In some cases, involving prostate cancer for example, the dogs had a 99 percent success rate in detecting the disease by sniffing patients' urine samples.
Remedies must honor the complex social dynamics of adolescence.
- Bullies are likely to be friends according to new research published in the American Journal of Sociology.
- The researchers write that complex social dynamics among adolescents allow the conditions for intragroup dominance.
- The team uses the concept of "frenemies" to describe the relationship between many bullies and victims.
School Bullying: Are We Taking the Wrong Approach?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="dfd7e31a97e8a049081d3cf6b978714f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/E3U38uZBW6w?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Femlee, a sociology professor at Penn State, says her study offers important insights into why bullying occurs—and, potentially, leaves clues for how to combat it. Her team found peer aggression to be much higher among students that are proximal to one another, either through friendship or social circles. Bullying does not end friendships, she says; they persist over the long-term, with the bullied maintaining ties to their tormentors. </p><p>Looking at a data set of over 3,000 students—at least half were either bullier or victim—the researchers asked students to choose five classmates that had been mean to them, then analyzed these networks while racking levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. As one student remarked, "Sometimes your own friends bully you. I don't understand why, why my friends do this to me."</p><p>Femlee <a href="https://news.psu.edu/story/648500/2021/02/22/research/et-tu-brute-teens-may-be-more-likely-be-bullied-social-climbing" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">elaborates on the complex dynamics</a> of adolescence:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"These conflicts likely arise between young people who are eyeing the same spot on the team, club, or vying for the same best friend or romantic partner. Those who are closely linked in the school social network are apt to encounter situations in which they are rivals for identical positions and social ties."</p>
Photo: motortion / Adobe Stock<p>They note that strained friendships are more likely to produce dominance behavior and power differentials than close ties. Punching down is common, especially between students of the same gender, race, and grade. The race for recognition seems to necessitate close racial and gender ties. "Frenemies" usually result from one member of a group victimizing another in an attempt at clawing their way to the top of the network.</p><p>This competition can have lifelong effects, such as reducing the bullied's chances of developing intimate relationships. The authors note that most bullying prevention programs fail becuase, in part, "aggressive behavior accrues social rewards and does so to a degree that leads some to betray their closest friends."</p><p>Such programs tend to focus on a fraction of bullying dynamics, such as empathy deficits and emotional dysregulation. They fail to take into account the complex social dynamics of being a teenager. The authors believe coopting status contents and changing the behavior of high-status youths could have downline effects. Instead of dismantling hierarchies, they recommend recognizing status is intrinsic to group fitness instead of pretending the struggle to the top is an aberration. Only then can you create structural change. </p><p>Friends, they conclude, can be the problem but also offer the solution. Aiming for enduring friendships instead of backstabbing frenemies is a tall order but it could impact the tragedy of bullying—and the emotional carnage it leaves in its wake. </p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Facebook</a>. His most recent book is</em> "<em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08KRVMP2M?pf_rd_r=MDJW43337675SZ0X00FH&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy</a>."</em></p>