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Ask Me Anything about ApoptoSENS - with Dr. Amit Sharma and Michael Rae

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Ask Me Anything about ApoptoSENS - with Dr. Amit Sharma and Michael Rae

384 views  Nov 6, 2022
Michael Rae (Science Writer for SENS Research Foundation) asks Dr. Amit Sharma questions about his ApoptoSENS area of research.

This video is part of our End of Year Campaign 2022.

WEEK ONE ApoptoSENS. www.sens.org/eoy2022

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SENSible Question: Cellular reprogramming turns an old person’s cells young again. So can’t we fix aging by just reprogramming a person’s old cells with reprogramming factors?
This is a tantalizing idea that’s on a lot of our supporters’ minds these days. On the one hand, it’s certainly true that we lose cells with aging and that other cells become dysfunctional. And on the other hand, the cellular reprogramming experiments have in some senses rejuvenated cells in a way that can and should spark excitement — first and foremost, because the technology will greatly enable cell therapy of various kinds, which will be critical to the medical defeat of aging. But the quite rational enthusiasm for a specific technology can sometimes spark a kind of irrational biomedical exuberance so great that even some very prominent geroscientists seem to have begun to fall into a kind of fallacy of composition: the body is made up of cells; therefore, if we rejuvenate all our cells, we will rejuvenate our entire bodies.
People making this intuitive leap are in for an inelegant crash, like a runner in an obstacle course who are so focused on the goal that they both misjudge the height of a hurdle, and don’t see the mudpit that lies directly behind it. By focusing too narrowly on cells and their epigenetic status, they neglect or take too superficial an account of many kinds of cellular and molecular aging damage. We simply are not composed entirely of cells, and replacing lost cells and restoring the original differentiation of cells with epigenetic changes won’t do anything to remove or repair aging damage to the many other functional units that are lost or damaged as we age and that contribute to diseases and disabilities of aging.

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