Archive for December, 2014

Researchers at Texas A&M have found that ibuprofen can slow aging and extend life

December 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Excerpt from: “Ibuprofen use leads to extended lifespan in several species, study shows” by Kathleen Philips

“We first used baker’s yeast, which is an established aging model, and noticed that the yeast treated with ibuprofen lived longer,” said Dr. Michael Polymenis, an AgriLife Research biochemist in College Station. “Then we tried the same process with worms and flies and saw the same extended lifespan. Plus, these organisms not only lived longer, but also appeared healthy.”

He said the treatment, given at doses comparable to the recommended human dose, added about 15 percent more to the species lives. In humans, that would be equivalent to another dozen or so years of healthy living.

Polymenis said the three-year project showed that ibuprofen interferes with the ability of yeast cells to pick up tryptophan, an amino acid found in every cell of every organism. Tryptophan is essential for humans, who get it from protein sources in the diet.

“We are not sure why this works, but it’s worth exploring further. This study was a proof of principle to show that common, relatively safe drugs in humans can extend the lifespan of very diverse organisms. Therefore, it should be possible to find others like ibuprofen with even better ability to extend lifespan, with the aim of adding healthy years of life in people.”

Enhanced Longevity by Ibuprofen, Conserved in Multiple Species, Occurs in Yeast through Inhibition of Tryptophan Import

The common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen has been associated with a reduced risk of some age-related pathologies. However, a general pro-longevity role for ibuprofen and its mechanistic basis remains unclear. Here we show that ibuprofen increased the lifespan of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, indicative of conserved eukaryotic longevity effects. Studies in yeast indicate that ibuprofen destabilizes the Tat2p permease and inhibits tryptophan uptake. Loss of Tat2p increased replicative lifespan (RLS), but ibuprofen did not increase RLS when Tat2p was stabilized or in an already long-lived strain background impaired for aromatic amino acid uptake. Concomitant with lifespan extension, ibuprofen moderately reduced cell size at birth, leading to a delay in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. Similar changes in cell cycle progression were evident in a large dataset of replicatively long-lived yeast deletion strains. These results point to fundamental cell cycle signatures linked with longevity, implicate aromatic amino acid import in aging and identify a largely safe drug that extends lifespan across different kingdoms of life.

Categories: Uncategorized

In loving memory of Nicholas Mahoney, Rest in Peace

December 10, 2014 Leave a comment


Sadly we are all reminded that life is all too short. We lost one of the best and brightest stars from our BMCDB galaxy. Words fail to express how much he meant, how his presence made us all better, and how much we will miss him.

I am putting this blog post up in the hopes that people will share not just their thoughts and condolences, but also their favorite memories and stories Nick. I know his influence will stay with me for a life time. I can’t think of much else to say other than to talk to those you care about, never take anyone for granted, and share the warmth, love, and compassion that he shared with all of us. RIP Nick

Dear BMCDB faculty and students,

It is with great sorrow that I share with you this sad news.

The graduate group has received word that Nick Mahoney, a  third year Ph.D. candidate, working in Chris Fraser’s lab, passed away Saturday from a heart attack. There is no additional information at this time, but I wanted to let you all know of this tragic event. Our hearts go out to Nick’s family. I will keep you posted as to what arrangements are being made as I become aware of them.

Campus psychological services are also available if you find you or someone you know needs to reach out for confidential support.  The Counseling Center for Psychological Services (CAPS) is available for students. Please call (530) 752-0871.  The Academic & Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) is available to faculty and staff.  Please call (530) 752-2727.

Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues,

Mitch Singer

Dear BMCDB students and faculty,

Sydney Mahoney has asked that you be informed of services for Nicholas Mahoney. She will have a visitation with family on Saturday, December 13th from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at Wiscombe Funeral Home. A Memorial Service will be at the Unitarian Church on Sunday Dec. 28th at 3:00 p.m.

Both services are open to faculty, students, and staff.

Erin C. Kent, Ph.D

Categories: Recent News

A little reminder to take life slow sometimes

December 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Awesome timelapse video of some underwater invertibrates doing their thing. Bonus: How many model organisms can you spot?