Aging

No human can survive longer than a few minutes underwater, and even a well-trained Olympic swimmer needs frequent gulps of air. Our brains need a constant supply of oxygen, particularly during exercise.

Contrast that with Weddell seals, animals that dive and hunt under the Antarctic sea ice. They hold their breath for as long as 90 minutes, and remain active and mentally alert the whole time. The seals aren't fazed at all by low levels of oxygen that would cause humans to black out.

Long-lived, wild animals harbor genetic differences that influence how quickly they begin to show their age, according to the results of a long-term study reported in Current Biology. Evidence for the existence of such genetic variation for aging rates—a central tenet in the evolutionary theory that explains why animals would show physiological declines as they grow older—had largely been lacking in natural populations until now, the researchers said.

“We’ve found that individuals differ in their rates of aging, or senescence, and that these differences are (at least in part) caused by genetic effects so they will be inherited,” said Alastair Wilson of the University of Edinburgh.

LEUVEN, Belgium, December 11 /PRNewswire/ --

- TB-402 Shows Clear Promise as a Stable Long-acting Anticoagulant for the Prevention of Thromboembolic Disorders.

ThromboGenics NV (Euronext Brussels:THR), a biotechnology company focused on vascular and eye disease, announced that the results of the first Phase I trial of TB-402 were presented yesterday at the prestigious American Society of Hematology (ASH) 49th Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. TB-402 is being co-developed in collaboration with BioInvent International (Nordic Exchange: BINV).

LAVAL, Canada, December 5 /PRNewswire/ --

- Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service Approves Permit for NKO(R)Import

Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. ("Neptune") (NASDAQ.NEPT - TSX.V.NTB) is pleased to announce that it has received notification from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia that Neptune Krill Oil (NKO(R)) has obtained approval as a complementary medicine allowing immediate commercialization in Australia hence New Zealand, which automatically allows TGA approved products.

Research has shown convincing evidence that dietary patterns practiced during adulthood are important contributors to age-related cognitive decline and dementia risk. An article published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences highlights information on the benefits of diets high in fruit, vegetables, cereals and fish and low in saturated fats in reducing dementia risk.

Adults with diabetes are especially sensitive to the foods they eat with respect to cognitive function. Specifically, an adult with diabetes will experience a decline in memory function after a meal, especially if simple carbohydrate foods are consumed.

An age-related decline in heart function is a risk factor for heart disease in the elderly. While many factors contribute to a progressive age-related decline in heart function, alterations in the types of fuels the heart uses to produce energy also play important roles.

Jason Dyck and his research team at the University of Alberta have been studying the types of fuels used by the heart in young and aged mice. The young healthy heart normally used a balance of fat and sugar to generate energy to allow the heart to beat and pump blood efficiently. However, as the heart ages the ability to use fat as an energy source deteriorates. This compromises heart function in the elderly.

In a new study, mice with brain injuries experienced enhanced memory -- similar to the level found in healthy mice -- up to three months after receiving a stem cell treatment. Scientists believe the stem cells secreted proteins called neurotrophins that protected vulnerable cells from death and rescued memory. This creates hope that a drug to boost production of these proteins could be developed to restore the ability to remember in patients with neuronal loss.

“Our research provides clear evidence that stem cells can reverse memory loss,” said Frank LaFerla, professor of neurobiology and behavior at UCI.

SEATTLE, October 26 /PRNewswire/ --

- New website allows consumers to share experiences on anti-aging and personal beauty

RealSelf.com (http://www.realself.com) today announced the public launch of the first consumer website dedicated to consumer reviews and expert opinions regarding anti-aging products, treatments, and lifestyle choices. On RealSelf.com, consumers engage in an open and honest conversation about important decisions that affect the way they look and feel.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071026/AQF047)

While showing impressive growth prenatally, the human brain is not completed at birth. There is considerable brain growth during childhood with dynamic changes taking place in the human brain throughout life, probably for adaptation to our environments.

Evidence is accumulating that brain structure is under considerable genetic influence [Peper et al., 2007]. Puberty, the transitional phase from childhood into adulthood, involves changes in brain morphology that may be essential to optimal adult functioning. Around the onset of puberty gray matter volume starts to decrease, while white matter volume is still increasing [Giedd et al., 1999].

A hot topic during the 2008 elections will be proposals for national health care.