weekly blog--one for the ages
This sounds like science fiction, but it’s true…Optogenetics, a method for controlling neurons with light, can be used to improve the social interactions within groups of animals. For the first time, Northwestern engineers and neurobiologists have wirelessly programmed, and then deprogrammed, mice to socially interact with one another in real time. The advancement is thanks to a first-of-its-kind ultraminiature, wireless, battery-free and fully implantable device that uses light to activate neurons. “One day Optogenetics could be used to fix blindness or reverse paralysis,” says one researcher. More importantly, it could be used to help people get a long with each other.
Learn More: Implanted wireless device triggers mice to form instant bond - ScienceBlog.com
For decades, scientists had largely ignored senescent cells, dismissing them as a clever way for the body to keep damaged cells from proliferating into cancer. But more recently, researchers established that senescence is actually a driver of the decrepitude that comes with old age. As cells stop dividing, they don’t exactly go dormant. In their zombie-like state, they start spewing a cocktail of toxic molecules that cause inflammation, damage surrounding tissues, and contribute to diseases like osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
That realization spurred the creation of at least two dozen companies developing ways to systematically purge the body of senescent cells. Senolytics attracted this wave of investment because it promises a scintillating and fundamental shift in medicine — away from the one-drug-one-target-one-disease paradigm of the last century, toward correcting a root cause behind many of them with a single treatment.
Learn More: Reawakened immune cells attack cells tied to diseases of aging - STAT (statnews.com)