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Aging Brain Roundup

September 6, 2013

Researchers have found keys to aging in the brain.



A brain connection to long life. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Compounds called sirtuins may play a role in extending lifespan, but scientists have been unclear on what that role might be. Researchers report in the journal Cell Metabolism that mice engineered to over-express sirtuin in brain tissue lived longer than regular mice, and longer than mice that had extra sirtuins in their bodies. The team went on to pinpoint the compounds activity in the brain’s hypothalamus, and studied its effects. The goal is to find a control center for aging in the brain, and use it to extend lifespan.

In other brain news, scientists at UC Riverside have developed a clear ceramic material they plan to use as a skull implant to create a window into the brain. That would let them to use lasers to treat brain cancer without repeated surgeries. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.