Here are the biogerontological reviews from the last month or so that I’ve found interesting and noteworthy. The field as a whole continues to massively overproduce review papers; by my totally unscientific estimate, these represent less than ten percent of the review abstracts that crossed my desk since Thanksgiving.
The last installment of review roundup can be found here. As always, each Review Roundup is guaranteed to contain at least one link to a review you will find highly educational, or your money back.
A while back I attended a NAKFI meeting about aging. Along with a few others, I applied for (and got) a seed grant to use comparative zoology to study aging — in a nutshell, to study the various ways that nature has solved various problems that arise during aging, and see whether we might learn something that could be applied to enhancing human healthspan or lifespan.
The initial small grant funded a series of meetings, culminating in a large-scale gathering of scientist with wide expertise not only in biogerontology but also zoology, evolutionary biology, metabolomics, and other disparate fields. While this conference didn’t end up leading to the creation a single comprehensive Comparative Biogerontology Initiative, as some of my fellow applicants had hoped, it did provoke a great deal of excellent discussion. There are a few smaller-scale efforts currently underway, initiated by people who came together to talk about the original idea.
Two of the attendees of the big meeting have published reviews recently. I haven’t asked them personally but I am assuming that they’re discussing ideas that germinated at the CBI conferences.
- Insights from comparative analyses of aging in birds and mammals, Robert Ricklefs
- Methusaleh’s Zoo: How Nature provides us with Clues for Extending Human Health Span, Steven Austad
- Evolution of the human lifespan and diseases of aging: Roles of infection, inflammation, and nutrition, Caleb Finch
- Inflammaging (inflammation + aging): A driving force for human aging based on an evolutionarily antagonistic pleiotropy theory?, M. Goto
One of the authors of the first paper is Thomas Nyström, whose lab recently described the role of cell polarity in sorting protein aggregates preferentially into the mother cell during cell division. That story lacked a significant mitochondrial component, so this review is a nice complement to the primary study published earlier this year.
- Perspectives on the mitochondrial etiology of replicative aging in yeast, Ugidos et al.
- The mtDNA mutator mouse: Dissecting mitochondrial involvement in aging, Edgar & Trifunovic
Leanne Jones, the senior author on this review, is one of the folks writing the proverbial book on the critical interactions between stem cells and the tissue microenvironment. Her lab uses the Drosophila gonad as a model system.
- Stem Cells and the Niche: A Dynamic Duo, Voog & Jones