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Showing posts from 2023

Epigenetic Age Changes - what do they mean? Has my biological age really gone from 63 to 37?

The concept of an Epigenetic Clock has been around for some time. The idea is that there are markers on DNA from which it is possible to work out someone's biological age. The idea of "biological age" is that it is in essence a measurement of how healthy someone is. People with the same chronological age, but different biological ages differ in their health status. My own personal view is that in fact the overall health of an individual is a driven by the status of all of the cells. Hence one person can have a particularly unhealthy pancreas whilst another person has a particularly unhealthy kidney. However, the idea of a biological age is useful to the extent that it is an easy concept to understand even if realistically it is an oversimplification. There is then the idea that if you can reduce someone's biological age that means improving their health status. This is a good approach in the sense that we ideally would be trying to ensure people are so health

Neural Networks Introduction

As readers may know I have been helped in my court cases over the past few years by Samuel Collingwood Smith. As well as being a law graduate and former councillor, Sam is also a software developer and recently he has begun two article series on artificial intelligence. One focuses on neural networks, one more on the tensor mathematics used in modern AI and neural networks. These are intended to be simple, step-by-step introductions for those new to both topics. Introduction to Neural Networks Introduction to Tensors in Neural Networks

UK Autophagy Network and the importance of autophagy for health (Healthspan and Longevity)

On 19-20 June 2023 I attended the conference of the UK Autophagy network. They have a website for the conference here and is their twitter account. This was a really interesting conference. My degree is in Physics specialising in Theoretical, Atomic and Nuclear physics. However, I have spent a lot of time reading up on molecular biology in the last few years. This is mainly to improve the health of my own cells which I believe (with some evidence) will improve my health as an individual. I have ended up as a biohacker, which is someone who uses cutting edge science to improve their own health making their own decisions. I am pleased that the UK Autophagy network decided they would allow me as a biohacker - they described me as an Independent Student - to attend their conference. Autophagy comes from the greek words which imply "eating oneself". It is a key part of cellular metabolism. In many ways it is obvious why Autophagy would b

HDAC inhibitors and Gene Expression (The Sirtuins are not longevity genes) - Resveratrol etc

I have been reading up on the issues around acetylation of the histone and I have some ideas as to the interplay between acetylation and deacetylation. There are two steps in creating proteins. The first is called "transcription". This is where a complex called RNA Polymerase II (RNA Pol II or RNAPII) travels down the gene creating messenger RNA (mRNA) as essentially a local copy. The second is "translation" where proteins get created from the mRNA. Although I think there are important metabolic constraints on protein creation in this post I am going to concentrate on "transcription". One of the key things about Transcription is that for RNA Pol II to get at the genes to copy from them the genes need to be opened up. The opening up process is where an acetyl group (think vinegar without the hydrogen ion or oxygen which would attract the hydrogen) is added to the histone which holds the DNA. This causes it to open up as a result of the electric char

NAD (Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and aging - does differential expression of KYNU and KMO genes reduce NAD levels.

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a chemical found in cells which is at the centre of many metabolic processes. It has been noted by many people that NAD levels go down as people get older. I won't go into any of the details of the impact of this as it can be read in many other places. This is just one of many articles about this. I am not citing it particularly, but it is one I found in a few second searching on the net. Recently Michael Lustgarten produced a video: I have linked to the video to a point at which the alternative route of producing NAD from Tryptophan is highlighted Most of the discussions about NAD relate to how it is produced from different versions of vitamin B3 which includes NMN and NR. Indeed there have been many debates about what is the best way to increase NAD+. The video got me thinking. The video highlights how there is an increase in the metabolite (3-hydroxy-l-kynurenine) produced by Kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (which is produced

Homes for Lambeth Scandal Reveals Labour Failures and Concerns About Executive Paul Simpson

I came across this story written by a friend about a national scandal that I consider raises issues of concern about the provision of housing for vulnerable groups and Labour failures. According to a report by independent peer Lord Kerslake, "The Kerslake Review", Labour controlled Lambeth council has wasted £25 million funding a failed private housing company, Homes for Lambeth. Worse, it appears at least one senior executive on a choice salary, Paul Simpson, was a former Labour Party staffer who made a career jump from one-man-band communications consultant to Head of Communications and Operations. Simpson's extensive LinkedIn profile takes credit for a number of areas which Kerslake said were failing. The author, Sam Smith of Matthew Hopkins News has written a lengthy and careful in-depth article . As well as raising the Kerslake Review, he raised historic issues since he worked with Simpson many years ago, which of course only he knows about, but which are consisten

Biohackers: Bryan Johnson, Michael Lustgarten, and myself

Biohacking has come more into the public domain with the publicity around Bryan Johnson's blueprint . Bryan Johnson is someone who is a tech entrepreneur who sold one of his businesses a few years ago and has since being trying to improve his health. This has been described in the media as him spending about USD 2 million a year with try to get his body to be the equivalent of an 18 year olds. However, it is probably best to read his website (that I have linked to) to see what he describes this as. There are quite a lot of people who are doing similar things, but not necessarily spending as much or promoting what they are doing to the same extent. His website provides quite a bit of information, but sadly at the moment it is not as useful as it could be as he does not always link to the relevant research papers or specify the units of the measurements he quotes. Hopefully that will be fixed over time. Dr Michael Lustgarten is similar to Bryan Johnson in that he publicises

Why does vitamin D exist - To provide an annual metabolic cycle?

We know Vitamin D exists. We know that people suffer if they don't have enough of it. However, it raises an interesting question as to why we evolved to create a vitamin in the summer which gets stored and then gradually fades away during the winter. I have an idea. Historically food was more plentiful in the summer and less available in the winter. The genes that rely on vitamin D don't function without it. Hence the body requires less energy. There are a number of things which operate to adjust metabolism to fit food availability. I think Vitamin D evolved to provide an annual metabolic cycle so things which could wait which required energy did not operate. That gives an idea as to what functions we would expect to depend on vitamin D. It would be those functions which are useful, but not essential all year round. The Vitamin D Receptor Inhibits the Respiratory Chain, Contributing to the Metabolic Switch that Is Essential for Cancer Cell Proliferation is an intere