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Aging research news

Articel on yeast article
A yeast cells will only divide a certain number of times before it stops–it senesces. When yeast cells divide, the mother and daughter are asymmetric, and the daughter cell has it’s division clock reset. At least part of this is due to extrachromosomal rRNA circles (ERCs) being retained by the mother cell.

New research finds that the septin ring between mother and daughter cells is a selective barrier for membrane proteins. The ERCs can’t pass the septin ring, and are likely linked to a membrane protein.

Z. Shcheprova et al., “A mechanism for asymmetric segregation of age during yeast budding,” Nature, 454:728–34, 2008

A drug that activates telomerase

A team of biotech and academic researchers has found a natural product compound, TA-65, that activates telomerase. Activating telomerase for short period is a way to renew cell populations that stop dividing. This diminishment of renewing cell populations causes some of the human aging phenotypes. If telomerase was turned on all the time, it would lead to cancer. The idea is that short term telomerase activation may have the benefits of renewal without increasing cancer incidence. TA-65 has only had one pilot human pharmacokinetic study where it seemed to have an effect on T-cells.

A Natural Product Telomerase Activator As Part of a Health Maintenance Program. Harley et al. Rejuvenation Research. doi:10.1089/rej.2010.1085. Online Ahead of Print: September 7, 2010

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