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      Facing up to the global challenges of ageing

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      Nature
      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          Longer human lives have led to a global burden of late-life disease. However, some older people experience little ill health, a trait that should be extended to the general population. Interventions into lifestyle, including increased exercise and reduction in food intake and obesity, can help to maintain healthspan. Altered gut microbiota, removal of senescent cells, blood factors obtained from young individuals and drugs can all improve late-life health in animals. Application to humans will require better biomarkers of disease risk and responses to interventions, closer alignment of work in animals and humans, and increased use of electronic health records, biobank resources and cohort studies.

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          Most cited references173

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          The Hallmarks of Aging

          Aging is characterized by a progressive loss of physiological integrity, leading to impaired function and increased vulnerability to death. This deterioration is the primary risk factor for major human pathologies, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. Aging research has experienced an unprecedented advance over recent years, particularly with the discovery that the rate of aging is controlled, at least to some extent, by genetic pathways and biochemical processes conserved in evolution. This Review enumerates nine tentative hallmarks that represent common denominators of aging in different organisms, with special emphasis on mammalian aging. These hallmarks are: genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, and altered intercellular communication. A major challenge is to dissect the interconnectedness between the candidate hallmarks and their relative contributions to aging, with the final goal of identifying pharmaceutical targets to improve human health during aging, with minimal side effects. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Frailty in Older Adults: Evidence for a Phenotype

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              DNA methylation age of human tissues and cell types

              Background It is not yet known whether DNA methylation levels can be used to accurately predict age across a broad spectrum of human tissues and cell types, nor whether the resulting age prediction is a biologically meaningful measure. Results I developed a multi-tissue predictor of age that allows one to estimate the DNA methylation age of most tissues and cell types. The predictor, which is freely available, was developed using 8,000 samples from 82 Illumina DNA methylation array datasets, encompassing 51 healthy tissues and cell types. I found that DNA methylation age has the following properties: first, it is close to zero for embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells; second, it correlates with cell passage number; third, it gives rise to a highly heritable measure of age acceleration; and, fourth, it is applicable to chimpanzee tissues. Analysis of 6,000 cancer samples from 32 datasets showed that all of the considered 20 cancer types exhibit significant age acceleration, with an average of 36 years. Low age-acceleration of cancer tissue is associated with a high number of somatic mutations and TP53 mutations, while mutations in steroid receptors greatly accelerate DNA methylation age in breast cancer. Finally, I characterize the 353 CpG sites that together form an aging clock in terms of chromatin states and tissue variance. Conclusions I propose that DNA methylation age measures the cumulative effect of an epigenetic maintenance system. This novel epigenetic clock can be used to address a host of questions in developmental biology, cancer and aging research.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                September 2018
                September 5 2018
                September 2018
                : 561
                : 7721
                : 45-56
                Article
                10.1038/s41586-018-0457-8
                30185958
                4e94fc15-8ef5-4456-8057-be825eb00ef7
                © 2018

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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