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Jim Lillie

Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

Saturday, 19 January 2019 00:00

Out with the Old, in with the Youth

Not in the sense of older or younger people, which would naturally be regarded as an unkind attitude.

Instead, the clearing away refers to older cells in mice that, once removed, could restore youthful qualities.

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science indicate that it may indeed be possible to preserve the body's young, energetic, and healthy qualities even as we grow into the wisdom of years.

The research involved eliminating senescent cells, which aren't yet dead but have been effectively incapacitated, and which have also been tied to the promotion of inflammation, an aggravating cause of diseases of aging. Mice that displayed a greater accumulation of senescent cells were afflicted by chronic inflammation, looked older, and died younger.

The new mechanism, recently discovered by Australian scientists, could help to bolster cancer treatments.

A study published in the journal Nature by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute) and Telethon Kids Institute researchers examined the role of a specific immune cell -- tissue-resistant memory T cells (TRM) -- in battling melanoma.

Researchers discovered that TRM cells had the capacity to control such a tumor in mice for as long as the animal lived. This is believed to equate to decades of similar protection in humans.

Simone Park, a Ph.D. student at the University of Melbourne as well as a member of the Doherty Institute, said in a news release, “Using a special microscope, we could see individual melanoma cells sitting in the skin of the mouse, and could watch the T cells move through the skin, find the melanoma cells and control the growth of those cells.”

Scientists from Rice University have come up with a rechargeable lithium metal battery that is said to contain three times the capacity of presently available lithium-ion cells -- all by conquering a problem that has vexed researchers for many years: the dendrite issue.

Dendrites are lithium deposits that take up more and more of a battery's electrolyte. They can accumulate to a point of short-circuiting, which makes a battery fail or possibly explode.

The Rice researchers, headed by James Tour, a chemist, discovered that when their batteries are charged, lithium metal uniformly coats the carbon hybrid area where nanotubes are fused to the surface of graphene. The hybrid in the Rice-made battery takes the place of a graphite anode in typical lithium-ion batteries, which are designed to sacrifice capacity for the sake of safety.

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