Aging

Obesity is associated with clear changes in gene-networks and the dysfunction of mitochondria, say researchers at the University of Helsinki and the National Public Health Institute - worse, the impacts of these cellular changes may aggravate and work to maintain the obese state in humans

Surprisingly, the genes most drastically affected by obesity were ones involved in the breakdown of a class of amino acids known as branched-chain amino acids. These changes in the obese twins were clearly associated with pre-diabetic changes in sugar metabolism and the action of the hormone insulin.

The researchers say that, while healthy eating habits and exercise are important, genes play some role in the development of obesity, so they studied rare cases of young (25 year old) identical twins with large differences in bodyweight and saw clear changes in the function of the cellular mitochondria.


A brain network linked to introspective tasks -- such as forming the self-image or understanding the motivations of others -- is less intricate and well-connected in children, say researchers. They also showed that the network establishes firmer connections between various brain regions as an individual matures.

The scientists are working to establish a picture of how these connections and other brain networks normally develop and interact.

Numerous studies have shown the the benefits of coffee. Science studies go back and forth on foods so use some judgment but generally today it is considered one of the best sources of the antioxidants that protect us against pesky free radicals that can cause premature aging and certain diseases.

Taking the supplement ginkgo biloba had no clear-cut benefit on the risk of developing memory problems, according to a study published in Neurology®.

The three-year study involved 118 people age 85 and older with no memory problems. Half of the participants took ginkgo biloba extract three times a day and half took a placebo. During the study, 21 people developed mild memory problems, or questionable dementia: 14 of those took the placebo and seven took the ginkgo extract. Although there was a trend favoring ginkgo, the difference between those who took gingko versus the placebo was not statistically significant.

In people affected by acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome it may often be observed a rise of cutaneous emergencies, whose impact spans from 25% in asyntomatic subjects to 100% in the case of very evident AIDS.

The frequency and the atypic nature of these emergencies gives a highlighted role to the dermatologist, characterizing the early diagnosis of cutaneous pathologies as the qualifying moment in the analysis of AIDS affected patient.

As the starting moment in the HIV-positive subject examination, search for injuries referable to Kaposi's sarcoma, especially at the mucous level (pharinx wounds are evident in 10 to 50% of total cases).
University of Michigan scientists and their colleagues at the National Institute on Aging have produced the largest and most detailed worldwide study of human genetic variation, a treasure trove offering new insights into early migrations out of Africa and across the globe.

Like astronomers who build ever-larger telescopes to peer deeper into space, population geneticists like Noah Rosenberg are using the latest genetic tools to probe DNA molecules in unprecedented detail, uncovering new clues to humanity's origins.

The latest study characterizes more than 500,000 DNA markers in the human genome and examines variations across 29 populations on five continents.

A schematic of worldwide human genetic vari

A healthy lifestyle during the early elderly years—including weight management, exercising regularly and not smoking—may be associated with a greater probability of living to age 90 in men, as well as good health and physical function, according to a report in the February 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. A second article in the same issue finds that although some individuals survive to 100 years or beyond by avoiding chronic diseases, other centenarians live with such conditions for many years without becoming disabled.

Studies of twins have found that about one-fourth of the variation in human life span can be attributed to genetics, according to background information in the article. That leaves about 75 percent that could be attributed to modifiable risk factors.

German physician Otto Werner (1879-1936) described the clinical picture of this syndrome in 1904, in four sisters, defining the skin thin, tight, scleroderma-like, that mimics premature aging, with bilateral cataracts associated.

Also known by the term "Progeria" - 'prematurely old' Greek derivation, due to the fact that usually presents wrinkling and aging of face. Progeria occurs in two forms: Progeria of childhood, described by Jonathan Hutchinson (1886) and Hastings Gilford (1897), diagnosed in the first or second year of life and Progeria adultorum commonly indicated as Werner Syndrome.
Jonathan Hutchinson (1828-1913) described “A case of congenital absence of hair with atrophic condition of the skin and its appendages”. Lancet, London, 1: 923, 1886.

At the same time wrote “Congenital absence of hair and mammary glands with atrophic condition of the skin and its appendages in a boy whose mother had been almost wholly bald from alopecia areata from the age of six”. Transactions of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Edinburgh, 69: 473-477, 1886.

Subsequently Hastings Gilford (1861-1941) wrote “On a condition of mixed premature and immature development”. Medico-Chirurgical Transactions, London, 80: 17-45, 1897 and coined the term Progeria from greek “Prematurely old”. In the year 1904 published “Progeria: a form of senilism”. Practitioner, London, 73: 188-217.
Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) have reported a 10-fold life extension in the complex animal C. elegans, tiny worms that live in the soil.

Reported in the February 2008 issue of the journal Aging Cell, the discovery was made by a team of researchers headed by Robert Shmookler Reis, professor in the UAMS Departments of Geriatrics, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Pharmacology/Toxicology and research scientist at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.