January 23, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Aging

3 min read

Over the weekends I try to catch up on more diverse reading and sometimes come up with a list of stuff I want to get to during this time, but I also put together weekend reads usually on Fridays as a kind of TGIF on The Niche for the wider audience here. So here’s the weekend reads for this Friday the 13th including some wacky stuff at the end. Anti-Aging efforts got some play in the media including this LA Times piece. Here’s the …Read More

2 min read

With stem cells there’s always all kinds of developments and news every week or even every day. Here is an assortment in no particular order of some of the latest news including some across the spectrum including weird and sometimes stuff. The linked phrases are often the actual headlines of the media pieces. New CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic offers HOPE for boys with deadly disease (article focused on our CIRM-funded Alpha Clinic here at UC Davis as part of our Stem Cell Program). Note …Read More

3 min read

Can we humans grow healthy new brain cells as adults and during later aging? The answer to this question is a big deal because it could have major impact on aging. Those hoped-for new brain cells could keep our brains functionally younger. Who doesn’t want to slow down the aging of their brain, right? Slowing down aging of the brain via new cell growth more broadly would have major impacts on society. Researchers have gone back and forth on this over years. Fairly long …Read More

4 min read

If you want to fight aging, should you turn to stem cells? Does the idea of stem cells to battle getting old even make any sense? The answer is, “it depends.” It’s a really interesting area conceptually and technically for stem cells. A theory. There is evidence that things that happen to our endogenous stem cells are linked to aging. In my book Stem Cells: An Insider’s Guide, which I’m hoping to get a new edition out for next year, I even proposed the …Read More

5 min read

Stem cells for flu? For me, that idea is new. Some months back there was buzz about the stem cell biotech Longeveron related to its report on early trial data on testing infusions of mesenchymal stem cells for frailty in the aged. Frailty that pops up in some aging folks can manifest in a variety of ways and contribute both to reduced quality of life and mortality. This week a PR firm for Longeveron sent out an email suggesting that the company’s investigational stem …Read More

5 min read

Imagine an old man and a teenager sitting side by side, with blood flowing from the kid to the oldster in a stab at anti-aging. Sort of like a one-way fountain of youth via blood flow…Sci-fi? People are kind of trying it in the real world. A self-described ‘clinical trial’ of a sort by a company called Ambrosia essentially lets you buy an infusion of a younger person’s blood in an attempt at anti-aging for $8,000. Interested? Reportedly tech guru Peter Thiel is: “I’m not convinced yet …Read More

5 min read

Is there a stem cell connection between the brain and aging? Could a type of brain stem cell or the exosomes it secretes control whole body aging? A recent big Nature article from the lab of Dongcheng Cai argues an emphatic “Yes” to these questions, at least in mice. In the Zhang, et al paper, entitled “Hypothalamic stem cells control ageing speed partly through exosomal miRNAs”, their team reports the claim that a narrow population of hypothalamic stem cells are directly fighting aging of the …Read More

3 min read

How does one go about cheating death? Who doesn’t want to cheat death? I know I certainly do. Can stem cells help many people in the immediate future to escape death (pictured here in personified form as Death t from Wikipedia)? Recent headlines on new stem cell-related clinical developments would make you think so and they go a step further to indicate that such miracles are just around the corner. We are all susceptible to such hype. When it was early days after my …Read More

5 min read

When it comes to anti-aging science, creepy meets cool with “young blood” in new blood mixing studies just published. The researchers report that blood from young animals literally makes older animals younger. That striking claim is made by both of two independent teams that published high-profile papers that just came out in Science and Nature Medicine.  One of the teams, led by Lee Rubin and Amy Wagers of Harvard, has further narrowed in on one specific factor in blood that may be particularly important called growth …Read More

3 min read

Can Google’s new anti-aging company, Calico, have you Googling at age 140? Don’t sell your burial plot just yet. The idea of anti-aging has been around for a very long time and efforts to combat aging have spanned millennia largely without any success so Calico (apparently short for California Life Company, which sounds more like an insurance company to me) faces long odds. Note too that Calico cats are not known for any particular predisposition to long life. Hmmm. Note that you might find …Read More