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The latest updates from AFAR.

Grantee Jonathan Wanagat Explores Aging and Weight Gain

Feb 22
2010

Grantee Jonathan Wanagat Explores Aging and Weight Gain

Jonathan Wanagat, MD, PhD, was featured in a February NPR story exploring why humans gain weight as they age. It is commonly understood that we grow heavier as we grow older, but scientists are still deepening their understanding of how and why this occurs. One factor, highlighted in the story, is the weakening and shrinking of muscles. Muscles play a role in managing weight because they burn calories. However, when there is less muscle, more calories become converted to fat, leading to weight gain. Dr. Wanagat investigates the reasons muscles shrink as we age, and the effects of exercise on…


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Dr. Luigi Fontana Explores Caloric Restriction

Feb 11
2010

Dr. Luigi Fontana Explores Caloric Restriction

TIME magazine published “Eat Less, Live Longer?” on February 11, tracking a study on the effects of caloric reduction led by BIG Awardee Luigi Fontana, MD, PhD. Early research on organisms ranging from yeast to monkeys showed that a 25-30% decrease in calories could increase lifespan by 50% and prevent diseases. When there is less food, the body reassigns energy from other functions towards survival. Dr. Fontana’s two-year study at Tufts University, the Comprehensive Assessment of Long-Term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE), tracks the health of volunteers who reduce their caloric intake by 25% each day. Researchers…


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Dr. Matt Kaeberlein and Roundworm Healthspan

Feb 11
2010

Dr. Matt Kaeberlein and Roundworm Healthspan

A Time magazine report from February featured Matt R. Kaeberlein, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Washington and recipient of a 2007 Glenn/AFAR Breakthroughs in Gerontology (BIG) Award. Dr. Kaeberlein recently discovered of a group of genes that affects the longevity of roundworms: his lab found that through activation of the hypoxic response, a biological defense against low-oxygen environments, ringworms’ lives were significantly extended. They engineered the worms to have the response “turned on” at all times, even when there was plenty of oxygen, and the result was not only a…


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