The donnybrook between Amazon and Hachette will repeat itself between Facebook and online news sites.
Over the past 2-3 years, Facebook has begun to assume an Amazon-like role in the ecosystem of online news. We have quickly moved from a Web in which you got your readers either from search or…
Man Ray ”Ady with Hoops”.
George Hoyningen-Huene “The Poet Jean Cocteau on Plaster Horse”.
Fritz Henle “Diego Rivera”.
Roman VIishniac Albert Einstein in His Office, Princeton University, New Jersey 1942
"To punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an authority myself." Albert Einstein, 1930
Scientists Urge Study of Environmental Factors That May Speed Aging
New paper urges more work on “gerontogens” in the environment
PHOTOGRAPH BY LYNN JOHNSON, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE
PUBLISHED MAY 28, 2014
Why do our bodies age at different rates? Why can some people run marathons at the age of 70, while others are forced to use a walker?
Genes are only part of the answer. A trio of scientists from the University of North Carolina argue in a new paper that more work needs to be done on “gerontogens”—factors, including substances in the environment, that can accelerate the aging process.
Possible gerontogens include arsenic in groundwater, benzene in industrial emissions, ultraviolet radiation in sunlight, and the cocktail of 4,000 toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke. Activities may also be included, like ingesting excessive calories, or suffering psychological stress.
Writing in Trends in Molecular Medicine, Jessica Sorrentino, Hanna Sanoff, and Norman Sharpless argue that focusing on such factors would complement more popular approaches like studying molecular changes in old bodies and searching for genes that are linked to long life.
"People have focused on slowing aging, which always struck me as premature," says Sharpless. Even if scientists announced tomorrow that they’d discovered an antiaging pill, he says, people would have to take it for decades.
"Getting [healthy] people to take medicine for a long time is challenging, and there are always side effects," Sharpless says. "If you identify stuff in the environment that affects aging, that’s knowledge we could use today."
Frailty and Mental Decline
Twin studies have suggested that only around 25 percent of the variation in the human life span is influenced by genes. The rest must be influenced by other factors, including accidents, injuries, and exposure to substances that accelerate aging.
"The idea that environmental factors can accelerate aging has been around for a while, [but] I agree that the study of gerontogens has lagged behind other areas of aging research," says Judith Campisi of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.
She adds that scientists have become more interested in these substances in recent years after learning that many types of chemotherapy, and some anti-HIV drugs, can speed the onset of age-related traits like frailty and mental decline.
The quest to identify gerontogens is partly a quest to find better way of measuring biological age. There are several options, each one imperfect.
Researchers could look in the brain and measure levels of beta-amyloid, a protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease, but these levels would not reflect aging in other parts of the body.
They could measure the length of telomeres—protective caps at the end of our DNA that wear away with time. But doing so is hard and expensive, and telomere length naturally varies between people of the same age.
Sharpless’s team has focused on one particular aspect of aging—a process called senescence, in which cells permanently stop dividing. Senescent cells accumulate as we get older, and they contain ten times the usual levels of a protein called p16.
The team has developed a strain of mice that produce a protein that glows whenever they make p16. “When they get older and have lots of senescent cells, they glow like crazy,” says Sharpless. “When you expose them to gerontogens, they’ll glow at a younger age than you expect.”
The team members are using their mice to test potential gerontogens, and they’ve sent the animals to around 50 different labs that are doing the same. They’re also working with a company called HealthSpan Diagnostics to create a version of their p16 test that could measure biological age in people.
"One marker isn’t going to do it. You need a panel," says Sharpless. "The perfect test doesn’t exist, but I’m certain that within my lifetime we’ll have the ability to measure someone’s physiological age with precision."
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US manufacturing is experiencing a revival and NYC is at the center of it. That’s why we are excited to announce Making it Here, a new series of programs that showcase manufacturing in New York City.
Find cutting edge manufacturing technologies right here in NYC with the following tours at #MadeinNYC facilities:
Standard Motors Building
Friday, May 16th / 3:00 PM
Organized with Vertical Urban Factory
Tour a variety of niche manufacturing spaces, along with Brooklyn Grange’s expansive rooftop farm, with Vertical Urban Factory curator and project director Nina Rappaport, and learn about how and why private developer Acumen Capital Partners LLC is investing in the revitalization of New York’s industrial infrastructure. Click here to purchase tickets.
Brooklyn Army Terminal
Tuesday, May 20 / 3:00 PM
Representatives from NYCEDC’s Industrial Desk will show guests around Cass Gilbert’s massive Brooklyn Army Terminal complex, and explain how the space has been incrementally re-imagined as a mixed-use hub for manufacturing, commerce, and cultural activity over the past three decades. Click here to purchase tickets.
Brooklyn Navy Yard
Friday, June 6th / 10:00 AM
Spend the morning exploring the sprawling Brooklyn Navy Yard campus, considered a model 21st-century industrial park, with BNY staff. The program will include stops at Skanska’s modular housing factory and MacroSea’s new BetaLab, as well as the new Making it in NYC exhibition at BLDG 92. Tickets for this event will go on sale May 23.
Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center
Friday, June 20th / 12:00 PM
Join GMDC staff for a tour of a selection of the dozen businesses that have located at the McKibbin Street facility, home once again to nearly a hundred industrial jobs. Tickets for this event will go on sale June 6.
Meret Oppenheim (in a paper jacket that she made)