Our epigenome is a set of chemical switches that turn parts of our genome off and on and are impacted by environmental factors including diet, exercise and stress. Research at the Buck Institute reveals that aging also effects the epigenome in human skeletal muscle. The study provides a method to study sarcopenia, the degenerative loss of muscle mass that begins in middle age.
To tackle the rising prevalence of age-related diseases and the challenges and opportunities presented by a growing elderly population, the USC Davis School of Gerontology and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging today announced a joint Ph.D. program in the Biology of Aging, the first in the nation.
The major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, present in about two-thirds of people who develop it, is ApoE4, the cholesterol-carrying protein that about a quarter of us are born with. But one of the unsolved mysteries of AD is how ApoE4 causes this risk. Researchers at the Buck Institute have found a link between ApoE4 and SirT1, an “anti-aging protein” that is targeted by resveratrol, present in red wine.
Have you ever wondered why young children can eat bags of Halloween candy and feel fine the next day – compared to adults who experience all sorts of agony following the same junk food binge? Evolution and a gene called Foxo may be to blame.
Research focused on the regulation of the adult stem cells that line the gastrointestinal tract of Drosophila suggests new models for the study of Barrett’s esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the cells of the lower esophagus transform into stomach-like cells. In most cases this transformation has been thought to occur directly from chronic acid indigestion. A new study suggests a change in stem cell function for this transformation.
Mice suffering from age-related heart disease saw a significant improvement in cardiac function after treatment with the FDA-approved drug rapamycin for just three months. Research at the Buck Institute shows how rapamycin impacts mammalian tissues, providing functional insights and possible benefits for a drug that can extend lifespan in mice as much as 14 percent. Researchers at the Mayo clinic are now recruiting seniors with cardiac artery disease for a clinical trial involving the drug.
Scientists seeking to develop treatments for Huntington’s disease just got a roadmap that could dramatically speed their discovery process. Researchers at the Buck Institute have used RNAi technology to identify hundreds of “druggable” molecular targets linked to the toxicity associated with HD. The gene RRAS, involved in cell motility and neuronal development , was among the diverse range of modifiers identified. RRAS was revealed as a potent modulator of HD toxicity in multiple HD models.