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  (Source: INSERM)
A research team has accomplished the rejuvenation of cells from elderly donors, which could prove to be beneficial for regenerative medicine

A research team from the Functional Genomics Institute has successfully reprogrammed cells from elderly donors in vitro to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and to rejuvenated human embryonic stem cells (hESC).

Jean-Marc Lemaitre, study leader and Inserm researcher at the Functional Genomics Institute (Inserm, CNRS, and Université de Montpellier 1 and 2), and Inserm's AVENIR Genomic plasticity and aging team, have accomplished the rejuvenation of cells from elderly donors, which could prove to be beneficial for regenerative medicine.

Since 2007, research teams have been able to reprogram human adult cells into iPSCs, which have similar traits as hESCs. HESCs are the desired result because they are undifferentiated cells that can form various types of differentiated adult cells in the body. Using embryonic stem cells is out of the question due to ethical problems with using stem cells from a human embryo, so researchers have been using different avenues to achieve the same results.

Up until this point, the method of reprogramming human adult cells into iPSCs has been difficult in elderly patients due to senescence, which is the end stage of cellular aging. But Lemaitre and his team were able to surpass this issue. They used older cells taken from donors that were 74, 92, 94, 96 and up to 101-years-old.

Lemaitre and the team first multiplied fibroblasts from a 74-year-old patient. They acquired the senescence distinguished by the "end of cellular proliferation," and finished the in vitro cell reprogramming. When using the four conventional genetic factors typically used, which are OCT4, SOX2, C MYC, KLF4, this feat was not possible. But when adding NANOG and LIN28 to the cocktail, the senescent cells programmed into functional iPSCs and were able to obtain embryonic pluripotent stem cell-like traits once again. The cells were capable of self-renewal and didn't have any traces of aging.

The research team tested the cells' characteristics through the reverse process, where "rejuvenated" iPSCs were once again differentiated into adult cells and compared to the original cells given by the elderly donors. They found that signs of aging were completely gone and the iPSCs can produce functional cells.

The researchers say that this breakthough with iPSCs could lead to techniques to regenerate new tissues and repair failing organs for older patients.

This study was published in Genes & Development.

Source: Science Daily



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RE: SS
By Shig on 11/8/2011 12:30:28 PM , Rating: 3
In the current state of our medical system, a disturbing trend could emerge.

What if there was a direct and obvious correlation between living past 70 and your net wealth? If the very wealthy would begin to live decades past the not so fortunate. As the wealthy lived to be 120 years on average to the 70 on average of the poor, a new 'aristocracy' would evolve, blocking out competition and consolidating all wealth into this new class.

I'm not really being that serious here, but it could make for a decent science fiction book. When you really look at all the facts and the way the world is going, is it really that farfetched?

But what will probably actually happen will be a choice that everyone will have to make at some point in their lives. Would you rather keep living and be dirt poor, selling out your 401k, social security, and medicare benefits forever to get these treatments, or die? I guarantee almost everyone picks keep living. "Sir, we can grow you a new heart, lungs, and liver, then transplant them, give you fresh blood, and give you regenerative treatments, but you'll have to sign your house and car over to us." Live free or die?

This choice is already taken shape in the form of the environment. Would you rather live in a semi-socialist state that has a beautiful environment with no jobs, or a place thats easy to do business, mines and burns resources with no regulation, has cheap energy, but is essentially a barren wasteland toxic dump that is running out of fresh water, but has jobs? It's like, ummmmmmmm, wtf.

Yeah I got a little off topic =D


RE: SS
By ppardee on 11/8/2011 12:43:11 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, I'm thinking that you either don't know a lot of really old people (i.e. 90+) and/or you are very young. Most of the old people I know are ready to die and are a little resentful that they haven't already. You'll see a lot of "i want to live forever"s in their 60's or 70's... after that people are like.. meh, whatever.

And can you imagine what these people's kids would be like? "Dad! I'm 95 years old! I want my freakin' inheritance... would you DIE ALREADY!" Just saying....


RE: SS
By Schrag4 on 11/8/2011 1:01:41 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
And can you imagine what these people's kids would be like? "Dad! I'm 95 years old! I want my freakin' inheritance... would you DIE ALREADY!" Just saying....


Actually, no, I can't. If my kids grow to expect anything when my wife and I are gone then I'll make sure they don't see one cent. I never have understood why someone should expect a pile of money when their parents die. When my father died in an accident 8 years ago, my 3 brothers and I (all grown with families of our own) gave what little came our way from life insurance to our mother. And when she goes - perhaps 2 or 3 decades from now - I won't expect anything then either.


RE: SS
By TheDoc9 on 11/8/2011 1:34:23 PM , Rating: 3
That's too bad, you should want to give your kids something whether they expect it or not.


RE: SS
By boobo on 11/8/2011 3:38:52 PM , Rating: 5
Yes, you should want to give them an education so that they can build their own future. Not turn them into an appendage of your own life by giving them the thing that you, not they, built.


RE: SS
By ET on 11/9/2011 1:36:50 AM , Rating: 2
But what health do these 90+ people you know have? Would they think differently if they looked like they were 50 and felt that way?


RE: SS
By kensiko on 11/8/2011 12:52:28 PM , Rating: 2
I think if we manage to get there (120 rich, 70 poor), we will have another big issue: The population of the earth will be too big and the poor people will not have food anymore, only the rich will be able to buy food and live longer.


RE: SS
By ClownPuncher on 11/8/2011 12:56:51 PM , Rating: 2
Thus, the emergence of the lich!


RE: SS
By nafhan on 11/8/2011 1:45:12 PM , Rating: 2
Evidence seems to indicate that a good way to control the population (and certainly the most humane way), is to get everyone up to a certain minimal level of wealth: there's a strong correlation between being a subsistence farmer and having 20 kids. Likewise, those in "wealthy" countries tend to average 2 or so.


RE: SS
By JediJeb on 11/8/2011 3:13:53 PM , Rating: 3
Or the poor will become resentful and stop growing the food the rich need. At those ages the poor won't live long enough to burn through the money they have saved for retirement then pass it along to their children and maybe eventually the poor will advance. Or...

Too many scenarios to imagine, but any time the classes have become too far apart, there has always been an event that brings them back into balance. French Revolution is a good example.


RE: SS
By Iaiken on 11/8/2011 1:22:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What if there was a direct and obvious correlation between living past 70 and your net wealth?


On the flip side, there already is a correlation between net wealth and age. If you simply were able to continue to get by on work income and leave your investments alone your would wind up ridiculously wealthy. Even a modest principle return of 7% will double the amount of money you have about every 10 years.

If you have $2 million saved for retirement at 60, at 70 it would be $4 million if you could leave it to grow. By 120 years of age, you would have a staggering $64 million.

Basically, making it so that people can live longer, healthier lives breaks our entire investment economy. Even if you look at the means of prolonging life as a way to take money out of such an economy, that wealth is still there, only then it would be in the hands of the medical companies.


RE: SS
By MrBlastman on 11/8/2011 1:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
Bring on our robot servants!


RE: SS
By Iaiken on 11/8/2011 1:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
If you get a chance to check it out, the novel Altered Carbon actually touches on the idea from my post, but is about a different subject entirely.


RE: SS
By Nyu on 11/8/2011 1:32:25 PM , Rating: 2
That's because our economical system plainly sucks.

Prolonged life should come along with social changes in the scale of http://www.thevenusproject.com/


RE: SS
By MrBlastman on 11/8/2011 1:42:47 PM , Rating: 2
While they have noble ideas (many of which are logical but seemingly insurmountable) I find it humorous that with all their talk at removing money and going to a resource-based economy... they have a store where they ask for money to buy information and propaganda. Funny indeed.


RE: SS
By Iaiken on 11/8/2011 1:53:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
a resource-based economy...


How much food can I get for a consumption information system?


RE: SS
By nafhan on 11/8/2011 1:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
I feel like this would be a great idea for a 2011 movie starring Justin Timberlake...

Also, a major recurring theme in Larry Niven's books (written in the 60's and 70's) was: people voting for almost every crime to carry the death penalty, because then, the organs could be used to keep "non-criminals" healthy.

So, been done, in fiction :)


RE: SS
By nafhan on 11/8/2011 1:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What if there was a direct and obvious correlation between living past 70 and your net wealth?
One more thing: there's already a major correlation between the two. If you're poor, living in a poor country, you will almost invariably die young, but average lifespan in most "developed" countries is over 70 years.


RE: SS
By Solandri on 11/8/2011 4:24:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What if there was a direct and obvious correlation between living past 70 and your net wealth? If the very wealthy would begin to live decades past the not so fortunate. As the wealthy lived to be 120 years on average to the 70 on average of the poor, a new 'aristocracy' would evolve, blocking out competition and consolidating all wealth into this new class.

You're assuming there's a fixed amount of wealth, or at least that the amount of wealth is proportional to population. That's not true. The amount of wealth is proportional to the population * number of productive working years. So a 120 YO aristocracy could control all the wealth created in their lifetime, but then younger people would simply create more wealth for themselves.

There is a small exception to this - goods in limited supply like real estate. This type of wealth could suffer the fate you're describing. But the simple solution to prevent that is to crank up property taxes (which should also apply to IP like copyright btw) to encourage efficient use of the scarce resource.


RE: SS
By PoeticJustice on 11/9/2011 10:59:11 AM , Rating: 2
farfetched?
Shig what you are saying is exactly how things are and will develop.
It should be common sense, alas common sense is not that common.
Thank you for a very well thought and clever, point of view. I couldn't have said it better myself.


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