1. Tiny fish swims to Israel to help unlock mystery of aging

    Tiny fish swims to Israel to help unlock mystery of aging

    The search for the proverbial fountain of youth is moving underwater. Experimental biologist Itamar Harel, returning to Israel this spring from a post-doc at Stanford University School of Medicine, will establish an aging research lab focused on the tiny East African turquoise killifish, the shortest-lived vertebrate that can be cultivated in the laboratory easily. Gleaning insights into human aging from a fish that lives an average of four to six months sounds counterintuitive. But the East African turquoise killifish has an aging progression remarkably similar to ours, making it perfect for studying human aging in a rapid timeframe. “In the ...

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    1. In the past 25 years, experiments in short-lived yeast, worms and flies have revolutionized the way we perceive aging – revealing that the aging rate itself can be manipulated by genetic and environmental interventions.
    2. The majority of aging research has been done on invertebrates, in which it is challenging to study things like bone degeneration, declining immune function, declining ability to benefit from vaccinations, and increasing susceptibility to cancer and infections.
    3. But we could tailor specific interventions to boost our ability to cope with Alzheimer's or other degenerative diseases.
    4. Doing research in Israel comes with a sense of community and ease of developing new collaborations.
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