Credit: iStock “Free radical” is a term you might have heard about, usually in the context of its link to rapid aging and cancer. But what exactly is a free radical? Free radicals—also called reactive oxygen species—and their toxic effects have been on scientists’ minds since their discovery about a hundred years ago. As scientists … Continue reading Stopping Free Radicals in Their Tracks
Credit: iStock This year, as the pandemic continued, the lights of labs and classrooms switched back on as scientists and students returned to studying, working and researching in person. Our I Spy blog contributors wrote about a wide range of topics this year, including aging, the physiological effects of grieving, achieving optimal physical performance and … Continue reading 2021’s Most-read I Spy Physiology Posts
Credit: iStock Age-related diseases—including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes—are a growing problem worldwide as people live longer lives. Promoting healthy aging is important, but the best intervention for healthy aging identified so far—eating fewer calories (calorie restriction)—is often too difficult for people to follow. A potential alternative lies in the growing realization that “a calorie … Continue reading What and When We Eat May Be the Key to a Longer Life
Credit: iStock Menopause is a stage in a person’s life when their menstrual cycle stops. The average age in the U.S. is 52. During this time, the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone—hormones that regulate the reproductive cycle and support pregnancy—marking the end of reproductive function. After going without a period for 12 consecutive months, … Continue reading Spotlight On: Menopause
Credit: iStock As we get older, our cardiovascular system changes dramatically. Specifically, our blood vessels become stiffer and lose some of their ability to relax. This is known as endothelial dysfunction. Scientists debate and propose many theories about the specific causes of endothelial dysfunction with aging. Recently, telomeres have become a hot research topic. Telomeres … Continue reading Small but Mighty: How Telomeres Could Control Vascular Aging
Credit: iStock Getting older is a fact of life. As we age, we can grow bigger, smarter and stronger. But at a certain point, our bodies often start to slow down. The idea behind why we age and why our bodies slow down is that we start to lose the ability to make enough energy … Continue reading The Key to Reversing Aging: Folded Mitochondria?
Credit: iStock In the spring of 2020, ACE2—angiotensin-converting enzyme 2—became a major focus of attention as the entryway of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. As of early November 2020, over 47 million cases of COVID-19 were confirmed worldwide, with more than 9 million cases in the U.S. Since the beginning … Continue reading How ACE2 Influences COVID-19 Severity in Older Adults
Credit: iStock As life expectancy increases in the world, centenarians—people who have celebrated their 100th birthday—have become increasingly common. Scientists now have more data related to changes that accompany aging than ever before. One thing the data show is that cardiac (heart) muscle must stay strong and, most importantly, resistant to fatigue for our heart … Continue reading Can Your Blood Vessels Last Until 100?
Credit: Julius Nielsen and Holly Shiels The U.S. just had its birthday, which means it’s been 244 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. What if I told you that in the Arctic Ocean, there are sharks swimming around today who were alive in 1776? And before you ask, yes, the very same … Continue reading What Can Greenland Sharks Teach Us about (a Long) Life?
Credit: iStock It’s important to monitor your blood pressure and keep it within normal levels to prevent life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke. But you might not know that maintaining a normal blood pressure is also important for brain health and can help reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Over time, … Continue reading Blood Pressure and Alzheimer’s Disease: Healthy Heart, Healthy Brain