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Who wants to live forever? Recent work toward delaying biological aging

Thursday October 17, 2019
5:00 pm

 Presenter:  Mark McCormack
Assistant Professor
Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology University of New Mexico
 Series:  Sigma Xi Public Talk
 Abstract:  Aging is the single greatest risk factor for much of the disease in the developed world. Aging leads to dramatic increases in rates of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disease. As the world’s population continues to age, the cost of these age-related diseases, in human suffering and in economic terms, will continue to increase. Our answers to the question of whether aging is alterable, and to what extent, have evolved very rapidly in recent years. Comparative studies have long pointed out hundred-fold variation in natural lifespan, even among otherwise very similar organisms. More recent work in lab-based genetic model organisms, including our own models, has demonstrated up to 10-fold changes in lifespan from mutations in a single gene. Starting from genetic studies, this work has now progressed to identifying drugs that can remarkably extend lifespan in many organisms, including mice. Interestingly, many of these genetic changes and drug treatments do not simply drag out the last part of life- rather, they appear to greatly extend the time during which organisms are healthy and youthful: their healthspan. 
 Host:  Harjit Ahluwalia
 Location:  Room C, UNM Conference Center

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