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Archive for the ‘Longevity Genetics’ Category

Pandemic Lessons in Improving the Medical System – The New York Times

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

One of the most dramatic examples was the abrupt substitution of telemedicine for in-person visits to the doctors office. Although telemedicine technology is decades old, the pandemic demonstrated how convenient and effective it can be for many routine medical problems, Dr. Navathe said.

Feb. 14, 2021, 6:09 p.m. ET

Telemedicine is more efficient and often just as effective as an office visit. It saves time and effort for patients, especially those with limited mobility or who live in remote places. It lowers administrative costs for doctors and leaves more room in office schedules for patients whose care requires in-person visits.

Even more important, the pandemic could force a reckoning with the environmental and behavioral issues that result increasingly in prominent health risks in this country. We need to stop blaming genetics for every ailment and focus more on preventable causes of poor health like a bad diet and inactivity.

Consider, for example, the health status of those who have been most vulnerable to sickness and death from Covid-19. Aside from advanced age, about which we can do nothing, its been people with conditions that are often largely preventable: obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and smoking. Yet most physicians are unable to influence the behaviors that foster these health-robbing conditions.

Many people need help to make better choices for themselves, Dr. Navathe said. But the professionals who could be most helpful, like dietitians, physical trainers and behavioral counselors, are rarely covered by health insurance. The time is long overdue for Medicare and Medicaid, along with private insurers, to broaden their coverage, which can save both health and money in the long run.

Policy wonks should also pay more attention to widespread environmental risks to health. Too many Americans live in areas where healthful food is limited and prohibitively expensive and where the built environment offers little or no opportunity to exercise safely.

Individuals, too, have a role to play. The pandemic has fostered an opportunity for patients to take on a more active role in their care, Dr. Shrank said in an interview.

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The Role of Hormones in Immunocompetence – Anti Aging News

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

The growing importance of hormonal health is becoming an integral component of modern medicine especially as the focus shifts toward maintaining and boosting immunocompetence in the population. Many plausible benefits of hormonal factors on autoimmunity have received growing attention in recent years from the scientific community. Research has been conducted investigating the relationship between immune system function and sex hormones testosterone and estrogen.

Importantly, the immune systems of men and women are known to function differently with 80% of autoimmune diseases occurring in women who tend to show stronger immune responses than their male counterparts. Stronger immune responses in women produce faster pathogen clearance and improved vaccine responsiveness while also contributing to their increased susceptibility to inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Results from previous experimental studies have revealed that testosterone can have a medium-sized immunosuppressive effect on immune function, however, the impact of estrogen can vary depending on the immune marker measured. Such differences in immune function and responses have contributed to health- and life-span disparities between sexes yet the role of hormones in immune system aging remains to be understood.

Immune Differences and Dimorphism

The differences in immunocompetency between male and female patients are associated with varying testosterone and estrogen levels major regulators of the immune system. Differences in gene expression between the sexes contribute to the concept of immune dimorphism though they are limited to one or a few types of immune cells. Furthermore, genomic differences between sexes have been found to become more prominent after the age of 65 with men having a higher innate and pro-inflammatory activity along with lower adaptive activity.

Female and males have different energy and nutrient requirements largely based on interactions between external factors and sex hormones; interactions between hormones and a patients environment, including cigarette smoke and viral infections, can lead to variable responses in both genders. While enhanced immunity has been reported in female patients, making them less susceptible to viral infections, their hyper immune response can predispose them to immune-pathogenic effects. In addition, sex hormones can control the immune response via circadian rhythms and their ability to regulate T-cell mediated inflammation.

Microbial Composition

Emerging evidence also indicates that sex hormones can impact the guts microbial composition and thus, impact immunocompetency. Studies have shown that diet-based effects on the microbiome are more prominent in men than in women implicating that dietary interventions may have an influence on sex-based immune responses.

The gut microbiota landscape can impact the systemic levels of testosterone, changing metabolic profiles which may heighten the risk for chronic disease including diabetes. However, current knowledge of the mechanism by which microbiome-derived sex steroids impact immunity remains limited.

Previous research has shown that hormonal contraceptives can increase bacterial species, highlighting sex-hormone-dependent differences and their effects on systemic immune responses. However, the gut microbial composition can be influenced by a variety of factors outside of hormonal levels, such as genetics and dietary habits.

The mechanism underlying sex hormone expression and immunocompetency continues to be investigated; this may result in the improvement of future designs for targeted therapeutics that mitigate sex hormone-inflammatory activity or autoimmune diseases. Clinicians interested in expanding their knowledge on the role of hormones in immune function and longevity are invited to attend the cutting-edge, interactive online Role of Hormones in Immunocompetency and Longevity workshop taking place on February 20, 2021.

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Do Short People Live Longer? What We Know – Healthline

Monday, February 1st, 2021

You may assume that being tall means, in some part, having good health. In addition to genetics and heredity, adult height is determined largely by nutritional intake during infancy and childhood. The better the nutrition, the healthier and taller youre likely to be.

But multiple studies have thrown this assumption into question. Being tall may have its perks. But, based on some studies, long life may not be one of them.

While much more evidence is needed, research indicates a possible link between height and specific diseases, as well as longevity potential.

Keep in mind, though, that short and tall are relative terms, and more research, and evidence, is needed to confirm these findings. Lifestyle habits also play a strong role in longevity potential.

Well highlight the research on this topic and break it down for you.

There are several studies indicating a correlation between height and mortality risk.

A longitudinal study of men who had served in the Italian military found that those under 161.1 cm (approx. 53) lived longer than those over 161.1 cm. This study looked at the death rates of men born between 1866 and 1915 in the same Italian village.

Researchers found that at 70 years old, the taller men were expected to live approximately 2 years less than those who were shorter.

During the years when study participants were born, the average height for men in the village was around 52. By current standards, this is relatively short.

Its also important to note that the researchers did not correlate variables, such as weight and BMI (body mass index), for this study.

A 2017 study on height and lifespan in former professional basketball players found that larger body size yielded reduced longevity. This study analyzed the height and life span of 3,901 living and deceased basketball players who played between 1946-2010.

The players had an average height of 197.78 cm. (approx. 65 tall). In this study, the tallest players in the top 5 percent for height died younger than the shortest players in the bottom 5 percent. Those born between 1941-1950 were an exception to these findings.

Researchers were quick to note that variables such as genotype variations, socioeconomic factors, medical care, weight, education, nutrition, exercise, and smoking were all factors that also play a role in determining longevity.

The FOX03 genotype and its relationship to height and longevity was analyzed in an observational study of 8,003 American men of Japanese descent.

The FOX03 gene is consistently linked to longevity in human and animal studies. It is also linked to body size, and may be one reason why shorter people may have longer lifespans.

In this study, men who were 52 or shorter were more likely to have a protective form of the FOX03 gene, and lived the longest. Those over 54 had shorter lifespans.

Shorter men were also shown to have less incidence of cancer, and lower fasting insulin levels. FOX03 is a key regulatory gene in the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway.

It is not completely understood why, or even if, shorter people are destined to live longer. Much more research is needed.

Currently, there are multiple theories:

Health complications which may be correlated with height include cancer and other conditions. Heres what the science says.

A 2016 study of American men and women found a connection between height and cancer risk, as well as death from all causes. Researchers analyzed death certificate data for 14,440 men and 16,390 women aged 25 and up.

According to researchers, an additional inch increase in height generated a 2.2 percent higher risk of death from all causes for men, and a 2.5 percent higher risk of death from all causes for women.

An additional inch increase in height generated a 7.1 percent higher risk of death from cancer for men, and a 5.7 percent higher risk of death from cancer for women.

The researchers controlled for education level and birthdays. They concluded that their findings indicated a positive increase in accessibility to excellent medical care, for conditions other than cancer, in the participants.

Cancer risk and height was analyzed in a 2013 study of 144,701 postmenopausal women. Being tall was positively associated with getting all types of cancer, including cancers of the thyroid, breast, colon, and ovaries.

Height was found to have a modest, but statistically significant, impact upon acquisition of cancer.

The researchers analyzed data from women who did not have a prior history of cancer. They also attempted to adjust for weight and body mass index.

Many variables may have had an impact on study findings, in addition to height. For example, rates of smoking and alcohol intake were shown to increase with increasing height.

Education level, ethnicity, income level, plus use of oral contraceptives and hormone therapy, may all have had an impact. Rates of cancer screenings were found to play no role in study findings.

Recurrences of VTE were found to occur more often in taller women than in those of shorter stature in multiple studies. In this instance, simply having longer legs and longer veins where a thrombus might occur may be the reason.

Age, obesity, and long-term hospitalizations are other potential risk factors for this condition.

Many factors impact upon longevity, and height may be one of them. However, this doesnt mean that taller people are destined to live short lives, or that short people are destined to live long ones.

Lifestyle choices can also greatly impact disease acquisition and longevity. To be healthier and potentially increase your lifespan, you can:

Multiple studies have found a correlation between height and longevity. Short people have been found to resist certain diseases such as cancer, and to live longer lives.

But these studies, while compelling, are far from conclusive. The best thing you can do if youre concerned about longevity is to make lifestyle choices that have a positive effect on your lifespan regardless of how tall you are.

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Hereford Thrives In Uncertain Year – Drovers Magazine

Monday, February 1st, 2021

Despite the challenges of 2020, the American Hereford Association reports breed growth. In a year that was anything but predictable, Hereford breeders and the American Hereford Association (AHA) continued to add value to Hereford genetics. Year-end reports shared during the Associations recent annual meeting show their efforts paid off.

As the commercial industry has looked to add crossbreeding back into the programs to increase fertility, longevity, disposition all the things that are known in Hereford cattle its created a great opportunity for us, says Jack Ward, AHA executive vice president.

Ward reports the Association experienced increases in registrations and memberships this fiscal year, while sale averages climbed. The real excitement within our breed and within our membership is in its growth, Ward says.Its seen growth because the breeders have been committed to genetic improvement and providing the tools necessary to make the changes to produce the type of product that their customers need and then, ultimately, the consumer. Its all encompassing.

A drive for genetic improvement includes a focus on the female. The Association incorporated genomic information into its suite of maternal traits, and female genotypes accounted for almost 60% of the 25,000 genotypes submitted to the organization during the fiscal year.

I really think that speaks highly to our breeders commitment to really get the most of the females that theyre keeping, says Shane Bedwell, AHA chief operating officer and director of breed improvement. Youll find about a 20% to 25%, up to a 30%, increase in those maternal traits in the last three years.

The Association also reports tremendous strides in other economically relevant traits, including carcass. Weve made incredible improvements in postweaning growth and end product merit, Bedwell adds. Thats evident in the amount of cattle that are now grading well in the Hereford breed.

Benefits in conversion and cost of gain have more producers utilizing the Associations commercial programs like Hereford Advantage to add value to Hereford and Hereford-influenced calves.Meanwhile, Certified Hereford Beef celebrated its 25th anniversary and another successful year.

No matter where you drive in the U.S., you find Hereford cattle. Theyre adaptable, they work hard. Theyre efficient, Bedwell notes. We need efficient cattle in these times and in our production system, and Hereford genetics thrive. Ward adds, Producers want it all and, with Herefords, you can Come Home to Hereford, use good Hereford genetics and take advantage of those opportunities.

Learn more about additional AHA opportunities or news from AHAs 2020 Annual Meeting at Hereford.org. Youll find a series of highlights, including the presentation of more than $150,000 in scholarships, as well as breed honorees and other Hereford news. Virtual educational sessions covering topics from genomics to marketing are also available.

Merck Animal Health, Neogen Corporation, National Cattlemens Beef Association and National Corn Growers Association were among major sponsors of the AHA Annual Membership Meeting and Conference.

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Women’s Menstrual Cycles Tied to Moon’s Phases – HealthDay News

Monday, February 1st, 2021

THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- There have long been theories that women's menstrual cycles align with the moon, and now a new study suggests there's some truth to that.

Using years of records kept by 22 women, researchers found that for many, menstrual cycles "intermittently" synced up with the phases of the moon.

The link happened only about one-quarter of the time for women aged 35 or younger, and just 9% of the time for older women. There was a great deal of variance, though, among individuals.

And for a few women, there were hints that excessive exposure to artificial light at night could have thrown off any moon-menstruation synchrony.

One expert called the findings "interesting," and said they might reflect remnants of a lunar influence that benefited humans' ancient ancestors.

Early primates were nocturnal creatures, so a degree of moon-influenced behavior would make sense for them, according to Deena Emera.

Emera, who was not involved in the study, is an evolutionary geneticist based at the Buck Institute's Center for Reproductive Longevity and Equality, in California.

Mating is risky business, Emera noted, as it makes animals vulnerable to predators. So mating during the new moon, under cover of more darkness, would be a "reasonable strategy," she said.

That also means there would be an advantage to ovulation being timed to the new moon.

"I think any [moon-menstruation] synchronization seen today is probably a relic of an ancient primate trait," Emera said.

She also stressed that women need not worry if their menstrual cycles are not wedded to the moon.

"We're so different from those early rodent-like primates," Emera said. "We certainly don't need to sync our cycles to the moon to successfully reproduce."

The study, published online Jan. 27 in the journal Science Advances, is far from the first to investigate moon-menstruation correlations.

The most obvious one is that both lunar and menstrual cycles are roughly one month long. But research dating back to the 1950s has suggested other links: Women were found to commonly start their periods around the time of the full moon. That would mean ovulation happened near the new moon, two weeks before.

However, relatively more recent studies uncovered no such links.

"I was puzzled by the discrepancy between these quite old results and later studies," said Charlotte Helfrich-Frster, the lead researcher on the new study. She's chair of neurobiology and genetics at the University of Wrzburg, in Germany.

Helfrich-Frster's team took a different approach. Instead of studying a large group of women and looking for broad patterns, they had 22 women keep menstruation diaries, which they did for an average of 15 years, and up to 32 years.

Among women aged 35 or younger, the researchers found, menstrual periods synced up with the moon phases about 24% of the time. But the women varied widely: Some were aligned with the moon more often than not, while others never were.

Three women in the "never" category also reported substantial exposure to artificial light at night.

However, Helfrich-Frster said, it's not possible to say whether the bright lights of modern life have disrupted any synchrony between women's cycles and the moon.

Like Emera, she framed the findings in evolutionary terms, but within human history.

Long ago, Helfrich-Frster said, it would have been prudent to stay inside on dark new-moon nights. And why not use that time to mate? In theory, she explained, women who regularly ovulated around new-moon time would have more children and "spread their genes that inherit the timing to the moon."

When it comes to links between lunar rhythms and reproduction, many studies have found them in sea animals, said Satchidananda Panda, an adjunct professor of biological sciences at the University of California, San Diego.

But, he said, that is seen only rarely in today's primates.

Panda said the current study "opens up another line of scientific investigation on biological rhythms."

He also speculated that in humans, the moon might indirectly influence menstrual cycles.

"For example," Panda said, "many cultural activities in ancestral societies, or even in modern-day Asia and Africa, are on full-moon days or tied to the lunar cycle."

Certain foods consumed during those events, like soybeans, might affect hormonal activity, he added.

More information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more on the menstrual cycle.

SOURCES: Charlotte Helfrich-Frster, PhD, chair, neurobiology and genetics, University of Wrzburg, Germany; Deena Emera, PhD, Center for Reproductive Longevity and Equality, Buck Institute, Novato, Calif.; Satchidananda Panda, PhD, adjunct professor, biological sciences, University of California, San Diego, and professor, Salk Institute, La Jolla, Calif.; Science Advances, Jan. 27, 2021, online

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Is The Full Moon Affecting Your Sleep and Flow? – Longevity LIVE – Longevity LIVE

Monday, February 1st, 2021

Specifically, the study found that in women aged 35 or younger, their cycles synced up with the moon phases about 24% of the time. That said, the researchers also noted that synchronization slowly disappeared over time as the women grew older, and found that the link lessened as a result of increased exposure to artificial light.

It appears that menstrual cycles arent the only thing that can be altered or affected by the moon.

The study, published on the 27th of January, involved researchers analyzing the sleep patterns of 98 people from the Toba Indigenous communities located in northeast Argentina. One group was rural, with no access to electricity, the second had limited access to electricity and the third was located in an urban setting with full access.

According to study co-author, Horacio de la Iglesia, their reason for this was because they are all ethnically and socioculturally homogeneous, so it has become an outstanding opportunity to address questions about sleep under different levels of urbanization without other confounding effects.

In addition to collecting data through the use of sleep-monitoring wrist devices, the researchers also used sleep data from 464 college students in the Seattle area. It should be noted that the college student data had been originally collected for a separate study.

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Calico Purring Right Along With Life Extension Research – Nanalyze

Monday, February 1st, 2021

Earlier this month, Alphabet (GOOG) took the air out of its Loon subsidiary, a former moonshot project for deploying internet around the world using high-flying balloons. Apparently, the economics just didnt work out. No word on how much Googles parent company spent on Loon, but SoftBank had sunk $125 million into the business in 2019. This seems like the latest sign that the tech giant is tightening its belt a bit in an increasingly risky regulatory environment. That made us wonder whats happening with another venture that isnt contributing anything to its bottom line. Lets dive into Calico, a subsidiary focused on life extension research and development.

Calico is pretty much the opposite of Verily Life Sciences, the Alphabet unit working to digitize healthcare in every possible way. Verily is one of the few companies that does generate some revenue among the $461 million that its sideline subsidiaries earned through the first nine months of 2020. Some of the joint ventures connected to Verily are developing apps or new medical devices, with a certain amount of publicity and transparency. Calico operates more like a nonprofit research center thats secretly working on some biotech version of the Manhattan Project, so most of what we read is pretty superficial and saccharine.

At face value, Calico is pure anti-aging R&D, starting at the very beginning of the problem with what is aging? For example, one of its public-facing projects involves studying how yeast ages, apparently without in situ experiments involving a teenagers room. The premise (in very broad strokes) is that if we can understand how yeast age at the cellular level, we could all one day look like Brad Pitt forever. But the biggest news to emerge is that Calico scientists created a bit of new technology to help analyze the yeast cells, enabling genome-wide characterization of the aging process, which certainly sounds significant and was published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The Miniature-chemostat Aging Device (MAD) purifies 50 million old cells in a single test tube to speed up the search for genetic biomarkers of aging. An additional platform that sounds similar to the technology used in lab-on-a-chip solutions developed by companies like Berkeley Lights (BLI) allows scientists to observe the entire aging process in single cells hundreds of thousands each week allowing them to screen for lifespan-extending modifications that can increase the yeast lifespan beyond that of your ordinary lab yeast. The company integrated computer vision and machine learning to recognize cell division from time-lapse images or to measure the age of a cell directly from static images.

While a new cell-counting gizmo using AI sounds great, thats certainly not something out of reach for any large research university. Calico is a company that has at least $2.5 billion in funding thanks to its most high-profile partnership with AbbVie (ABBV), a pharmaceutical company with a market cap of nearly $200 billion as of late January 2021.

The companies first joined forces in September 2014. Three years later, Calico and AbbVie had already burned through $1 billion, but that didnt stop the duo from extending their research collaboration and kicking in another $500 million each, according to the San Francisco Business Times. So you would think theres some high-pressure expectation to produce an anti-aging Brad Pitt pill or something significant. What has all that money produced? According to the company, the partnership has resulted in two dozen early-stage programs addressing disease states across oncology and neuroscience and new insights into the biology of aging.

The 2018 deal makes Calico responsible for research and early development until 2022 and for advanced collaboration projects through Phase 2a clinical trials through 2027. In fact, theres actually a whisper of something finally gaining traction. Endpoints News was the first to report that a team from Calico and AbbVie is conducting a phase 1 safety study to test a drug called ABBV-CLS-579 for treating solid tumors. The article also noted how one of the companys principal investigators just published a paper in Nature on how Calico is using AI to predict genome folding from DNA sequence alone.

Calico is mining for answers to longevity in human DNA by creating its own hardware and software to automate and accelerate that search. One of its other high-profile ventures, in fact, involved mining the genetic database of Ancestry.com for three years. The Holy Grail was to find genetic commonalities among those who live longer, but research delivered some unexpected results. Another study based on the Ancestry data in another prestigious journal, Genetics, found that while longevity runs in families, DNA isnt as strong an influence on how long an individual lives, so just because Grandpa Joe lived to 103 doesnt mean youre going to outlive a lifetime of junk food.

Other ongoing collaborations include the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and C4 Therapeutics (CCCC), a small-cap biotech company focused on treating diseases of aging, including cancer, by degrading proteins known to drive disease.

Pretty much every story on Calico refers to the fact that the former Genentech CEO Art Levinson, who has a PhD in biochemistry, is in charge of the Alphabet subsidiary. Acquired by Roche for nearly $47 billion about a dozen years ago, Genentech was considered the worlds oldest and most successful biotechnology company. Its also worth noting that he serves on the boards of Apple and the Broad Institute, as well as formerly served on the boards of small-cap biotechs, including Amyris Biotechnologies, a synthetic biology stock. He is also an advisor on a bunch of scientific boards. So the assumption is that this guy knows what hes doing in terms of his scientific expertise needed to lead one of the most well-funded, private, anti-aging R&D labs in the world.

As we told you more than five years ago, Calico will likely forever be an innovation lab similar to Alphabets DeepMind AI lab in London. The only thing close to a pure-play in the longevity theme is perhaps C4 Therapeutics, which has developed a novel platform for harnessing the bodys natural mechanisms for regulating protein levels to fight diseases of aging. But the Boston area biopharmaceutical company is on pace to double its losses in 2020 from 2019, and it gets all of its revenue from collaboration agreements like the one with Calico. Well just have to wait for a Brad Pitt pill and make our money on the market the old-fashioned way over time.

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Dr. William Kelley inducted into IAOTPs Hall of Fame – PRUnderground

Monday, February 1st, 2021

Dr. William N. Kelley, MACP, MACR, Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, was recently inducted into the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) Hall of Fame.

Being selected by the International Association of Top Professionals is an esteemed honor, as only 20 IAOTP members are inducted each year into the exclusive Hall of Fame. These special honorees are distinguished by their longevity in their fields, the contributions they have made to society, and the impact they have had on their industries.

With over five decades of professional experience as an Educator, Physician Scientist, and Medical Doctor, Dr. Kelley has undoubtedly proven himself an extraordinary professional and an expert in medical research and education. Dr. Kelley is a dynamic, results-driven leader who has demonstrated success as one of the most respected doctors in America. In the early 1990s at PENN, Dr. Kelley, in his role as Dean of the Medical School and CEO of the Health System (the combination now known as PENN Medicine), began to build a broad research program focused on the creation of gene-based medicine and vaccines as a new method for preventing and curing human disease. While the road was a rocky one over the last three decades, he is proud to note that PENN Medicine is now the global leader in this new field. This includes the two recently FDA approved mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Biontech/Pfizer) to prevent COVID-19 which came from the PENN Medicine research laboratories of Doctors Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman. He is noted for developing the first fully integrated university-based academic health system in the country at the University of Pennsylvania and expanding the Medical Centers regional footprint by acquiring hospitals and private practices, including Pennsylvania Hospital and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. Kelleys impressive repertoire of roles has included Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, and Founding CEO of the Penn Health System (now known as Penn Medicine).

Prior appointments included Professor of Medicine, Associate Professor of Biochemistry, and Chief of Rheumatic and Genetic Diseases at Duke University, followed by Professor of Biological Chemistry and Internal Medicine, and Chair of Internal Medicine with the Medical School at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Dr. Kelley was known for his breakthrough research and leadership of academic medical programs at Duke and the University of Michigan when he arrived at Penn. During Dr. Kelleys Tenure, the Perelman School became a research powerhouse moving the school into the top 3 rankings for NIH funding. There is now a Professorship named in his honor at the Perelman School of Medicine.

Dr. Kelley earned his Doctor of Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, in 1963 and subsequently served an internship and residency in Medicine at the Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, TX. He completed his senior residency in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Kelleys other titles have included Clinical Associate in Human Biochemical Genetics with the National Institutes of Health, Educator to Fellow of Medicine at Harvard University, and Macy Faculty scholar at the University of Oxford in England. Later in his career, he received an honorary Master of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania.

The President of IAOTP, Stephanie Cirami, stated, Inducting Dr. Kelley into our Hall of Fame was an effortless decision for our panel to make. In addition to his long list of accomplishments and accolades, he is well regarded and well recognized in academic medicine. We are thrilled to honor him in this way and look forward to celebrating his success with him.

Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Kelley has received many awards, accolades and has been recognized worldwide for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the profession. He will be honored at IAOTPs 2021 Annual Awards Gala, being held at the Plaza Hotel in NYC for his selection as Top Professor of the Year in Medicine for 2020; he will be inducted on stage at the ceremony for his appointment into the Hall of Fame. In 2018 he received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2005, Dr. Kelley was presented with the Kober Medal by the Association of American Physicians and the Emory Medal in 2000 from his alma mater, Emory University. He was the recipient of the David E. Rogers Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges, the John Phillips Award of the American College of Physicians, the Gold Medal Award from the American College of Rheumatology, the Robert H. Williams Award from the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine, and the National Medical Research Award from the National Health Council. Dr. Kelley has been featured in many magazines and publications, including Whos Who in America, Whos Who in Medicine and Healthcare, and Whos Who in the World.

Aside from his successful career, Dr. Kelley is a sought-after lecturer, speaker, and contributor to numerous professional journals and chapters to books. He was the co-inventor of a Viral-Mediated Gene Transfer System, now the most commonly used method today for in vivo gene therapy. Dr. Kelley founded and edited numerous early editions of Kelley and Firesteins Textbook of Rheumatology and Kelleys Textbook of Internal Medicine. He was also editor-in-chief for Essentials of Internal Medicine and co-editor of Arthritis Surgery and Emerging Policies for Bio-Medical Research. Dr. Kelley has served on the Board of Directors for many public companies such as Beckman Coulter, Inc. and Merck & Co., Inc, and has been involved with many committees and subcommittees with the National Institutes of Health. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, The American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

Looking back, Dr. Kelley attributes his success to his perseverance, his education, his mentors as well as outstanding students and trainees he has had along the way. When not working, he enjoys traveling and spending time with his family. For the future, he hopes that his contributions will continue to improve human health worldwide.

For more information on Dr. Kelley please visit: http://www.iaotp.com

Watch his video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uhxBnYVY54

About IAOTP

The International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) is an international boutique networking organization that handpicks the worlds finest, most prestigious top professionals from different industries. These top professionals are given an opportunity to collaborate, share their ideas, be keynote speakers, and to help influence others in their fields. This organization is not a membership that anyone can join. You have to be asked by the President or be nominated by a distinguished honorary member after a brief interview.

IAOTPs experts have given thousands of top prestigious professionals around the world, the recognition and credibility that they deserve andhave helped in building their branding empires.IAOTP prides itself to bea one of a kind boutique networking organization that hand picks only the best of the best and creates a networking platform that connects and brings these top professionals to one place.

For More information on IAOTP please visit: http://www.iaotp.com

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Baptist Health of Northeast Florida Joins Forces with Blue Zones to Begin Building a Plan for Well-Being Transformation in Jacksonville – PR Web

Monday, February 1st, 2021

Baptist Healths vision is A Lifetime of Health, Together. That vision extends beyond the walls of our hospitals and calls us to help all people in the community live longer and healthier lives. -- Brett McClung, President and CEO of Baptist Health

MINNEAPOLIS (PRWEB) January 26, 2021

Baptist Health has invited Blue Zones to bring its expertise in well-being innovation to Jacksonville. The first phase is a Blue Zones Activate assessment and feasibility study that will help determine how to make Jacksonville a healthier and happier place to live, work, and grow old.

Research shows that where people live has a significant influence on their health even more than their genetics. Blue Zones tackles this "zip code effect" by using scientifically proven lessons of longevity, health, and happiness gleaned from their 20 years of international research to boost the well-being of entire communities.

By focusing on making permanent and semi-permanent changes to the Life Radius--the area close to home where people spend 90% of their lives--Blue Zones has helped hundreds of communities achieve measurable improvements in its residents health.

Baptist Healths vision is A Lifetime of Health, Together, said Brett McClung, President and CEO of Baptist Health. That vision extends beyond the walls of our hospitals and calls us to help all people in the community live longer and healthier lives. We are excited to build on a long legacy of community partnership by inviting Blue Zones, a proven leader in community-led health improvement, to help Jacksonville learn some new and innovative ways to achieve transformational results.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this work begins at a time when public focus is now, more than ever, on the interconnectedness of our health to that of our friends and neighbors. As a proven and comprehensive solution influencing social determinants of health and improving health equity, the Blue Zones approach for strengthening community well-being will be critical as we navigate recovery.

In the assessment phase, which begins in January and concludes with recommendations in May, Blue Zones collaborates with local leaders to assess readiness and build a plan for change. The Blue Zones team, made up of global experts in food systems, the built environment, tobacco and alcohol use, health equity, and happiness, will work with local experts and leaders to assess the highest priority needs and opportunities, as well as strengths and challenges.

Ben Leedle, CEO of Blue Zones said, We are excited to learn from and share our knowledge with Jacksonville leaders, and we applaud Baptist Health for spearheading this movement. Improved well-being leads to healthier and happier residents, a better and more productive workforce, and a more vibrant economy. We are excited to create a transformation plan for Jacksonville that will improve the lives of current and future generations.

For more information on Blue Zones Activate or to learn how to get involved, visit bluezones.com/activate-jacksonville.

About Blue Zones Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live longer, better. The companys work is rooted in explorations and research done by National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner in Blue Zones regions around the world, where people live extraordinarily long and/or happy lives. The original research and findings were released in Buettner's bestselling books The Blue Zones Solution, The Blue Zones of Happiness, The Blue Zones, Thrive, and Blue Zones Kitchenall published by National Geographic books. Using original Blue Zones research, Blue Zones works with cities and counties to make healthy choices easier through permanent and semi-permanent changes to our human-made surroundings. Participating communities have experienced double-digit drops in obesity and tobacco use and have saved millions of dollars in healthcare costs. For more information, visit bluezones.com.

About Baptist Health Baptist Health is a faith-based, mission-driven system in Northeast Florida comprised of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville; Baptist Medical Center Beaches; Baptist Medical Center Nassau; Baptist Medical Center South; Baptist Clay Medical Campus and Wolfson Childrens Hospital the regions only childrens hospital. All Baptist Health hospitals, along with Baptist Home Health Care, have achieved Magnet status for excellence in patient care. Baptist Health is part of Coastal Community Health, a highly integrated regional hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. Baptist Health has the areas only dedicated heart hospital; orthopedic institute; womens services; neurological institute, including comprehensive neurosurgical services, a comprehensive stroke center and two primary stroke centers; a Bariatric Center of Excellence; a full range of psychology and psychiatry services; urgent care services; and primary and specialty care physicians offices throughout Northeast Florida. The Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center is a regional destination for multidisciplinary cancer care, which is clinically integrated with the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the internationally renowned cancer treatment and research institution in Houston. For more details, visit baptistjax.com.

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Baptist Health of Northeast Florida Joins Forces with Blue Zones to Begin Building a Plan for Well-Being Transformation in Jacksonville - PR Web

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Is longevity determined by genetics?: MedlinePlus Genetics

Monday, January 25th, 2021

The duration of human life (longevity) is influenced by genetics, the environment, and lifestyle. Environmental improvements beginning in the 1900s extended the average life span dramatically with significant improvements in the availability of food and clean water, better housing and living conditions, reduced exposure to infectious diseases, and access to medical care. Most significant were public health advances that reduced premature death by decreasing the risk of infant mortality, increasing the chances of surviving childhood, and avoiding infection and communicable disease. Now people in the United States live about 80 years on average, but some individuals survive for much longer.

Scientists are studying people in their nineties (called nonagenarians) and hundreds (called centenarians, including semi-supercentenarians of ages 105-109 years and supercentenarians, ages 110+) to determine what contributes to their long lives. They have found that long-lived individuals have little in common with one another in education, income, or profession. The similarities they do share, however, reflect their lifestylesmany are nonsmokers, are not obese, and cope well with stress. Also, most are women. Because of their healthy habits, these older adults are less likely to develop age-related chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, than their same-age peers.

The siblings and children (collectively called first-degree relatives) of long-lived individuals are more likely to remain healthy longer and to live to an older age than their peers. People with centenarian parents are less likely at age 70 to have the age-related diseases that are common among older adults. The brothers and sisters of centenarians typically have long lives, and if they develop age-related diseases (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, or type 2 diabetes), these diseases appear later than they do in the general population. Longer life spans tend to run in families, which suggests that shared genetics, lifestyle, or both play an important role in determining longevity.

The study of longevity genes is a developing science. It is estimated that about 25 percent of the variation in human life span is determined by genetics, but which genes, and how they contribute to longevity, are not well understood. A few of the common variations (called polymorphisms) associated with long life spans are found in the APOE, FOXO3, and CETP genes, but they are not found in all individuals with exceptional longevity. It is likely that variants in multiple genes, some of which are unidentified, act together to contribute to a long life.

Whole genome sequencing studies of supercentenarians have identified the same gene variants that increase disease risk in people who have average life spans. The supercentenarians, however, also have many other newly identified gene variants that possibly promote longevity. Scientists speculate that for the first seven or eight decades, lifestyle is a stronger determinant of health and life span than genetics. Eating well, not drinking too much alcohol, avoiding tobacco, and staying physically active enable some individuals to attain a healthy old age; genetics then appears to play a progressively important role in keeping individuals healthy as they age into their eighties and beyond. Many nonagenarians and centenarians are able to live independently and avoid age-related diseases until the very last years of their lives.

Some of the gene variants that contribute to a long life are involved with the basic maintenance and function of the bodys cells. These cellular functions include DNA repair, maintenance of the ends of chromosomes (regions called telomeres), and protection of cells from damage caused by unstable oxygen-containing molecules (free radicals). Other genes that are associated with blood fat (lipid) levels, inflammation, and the cardiovascular and immune systems contribute significantly to longevity because they reduce the risk of heart disease (the main cause of death in older people), stroke, and insulin resistance.

In addition to studying the very old in the United States, scientists are also studying a handful of communities in other parts of the world where people often live into their nineties and olderOkinawa (Japan), Ikaria (Greece), and Sardinia (Italy). These three regions are similar in that they are relatively isolated from the broader population in their countries, are lower income, have little industrialization, and tend to follow a traditional (non-Western) lifestyle. Unlike other populations of the very old, the centenarians on Sardinia include a significant proportion of men. Researchers are studying whether hormones, sex-specific genes, or other factors may contribute to longer lives among men as well as women on this island.

Martin GM, Bergman A, Barzilai N. Genetic determinants of human health span and life span: progress and new opportunities. PLoS Genet. 2007 Jul;3(7):e125. PubMed: 17677003. Free full-text available from PubMed Central: PMC1934400.

Sebastiani P, Gurinovich A, Bae H, Andersen S, Malovini A, Atzmon G, Villa F, Kraja AT, Ben-Avraham D, Barzilai N, Puca A, Perls TT. Four genome-wide association studies identify new extreme longevity variants. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Oct 12;72(11):1453-1464. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glx027. PubMed: 28329165.

Sebastiani P, Solovieff N, Dewan AT, Walsh KM, Puca A, Hartley SW, Melista E, Andersen S, Dworkis DA, Wilk JB, Myers RH, Steinberg MH, Montano M, Baldwin CT, Hoh J, Perls TT. Genetic signatures of exceptional longevity in humans. PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e29848. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029848. Epub 2012 Jan 18. PubMed: 22279548. Free full-text available from PubMed Central: PMC3261167.

Wei M, Brandhorst S, Shelehchi M, Mirzaei H, Cheng CW, Budniak J, Groshen S, Mack WJ, Guen E, Di Biase S, Cohen P, Morgan TE, Dorff T, Hong K, Michalsen A, Laviano A, Longo VD. Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Sci Transl Med. 2017 Feb 15;9(377). pii: eaai8700. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aai8700. PubMed: 28202779.

Young RD. Validated living worldwide supercentenarians, living and recently deceased: February 2018. Rejuvenation Res. 2018 Feb 1. doi: 10.1089/rej.2018.2057. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed: 29390945.

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Optogenetics Shows How the Microbiome Affects Longevity

Monday, January 25th, 2021

Studies have shown that gut microbes can influence several aspects of the hosts life, including aging. Given the complexity and heterogeneity of the human gut environment, elucidating how a specific microbial species contributes to longevity has been challenging.

To explore the influence of bacterial products on the aging process, scientists at Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University developed a method that uses light to directly control gene expression and metabolite production from bacteria residing in the gut of the laboratory worm Caenorhabditis elegans.

The team reports (Optogenetic control of gut bacterial metabolism to promote longevity) ineLife that green-light-induced production of colanic acid by resident Escherichia colibacteria protected gut cells against stress-induced cellular damage and extended the worms lifespan. The researchers indicate that this method can be applied to study other bacteria and propose that it also might provide in the future a new way to fine-tune bacterial metabolism in the host gut to deliver health benefits with minimal side effects.

Gut microbial metabolism is associated with host longevity. However, because it requires direct manipulation of microbial metabolism in situ, establishing a causal link between these two processes remains challenging. We demonstrate an optogenetic method to control gene expression and metabolite production from bacteria residing in the host gut. We genetically engineer an E. coli strain that secretes colanic acid (CA) under the quantitative control of light, the investigators wrote.

Using this optogenetically-controlled strain to induce CA production directly in theC. elegansgut, we reveal the local effect of CA in protecting intestinal mitochondria from stress-induced hyper-fragmentation. We also demonstrate that the lifespan-extending effect of this strain is positively correlated with the intensity of green light, indicating a dose-dependent CA benefit on the host.

Thus, optogenetics can be used to achieve quantitative and temporal control of [the microbiome] metabolism in order to reveal its local and systemic effects on host health and aging.

We used optogenetics, a method that combines light and genetically engineered light-sensitive proteins to regulate molecular events in a targeted manner in living cells or organisms, said co-corresponding author Meng Wang, PhD, the Robert C. Fyfe endowed chair on aging and professor of molecular and human genetics at the Huffington Center on Aging at Baylor.

In the current work, the team engineered E. coli to produce the pro-longevity compound colanic acid in response to green light and switch off its production in red light. They discovered that shining the green light on the transparent worms carrying the modified E. coli induced the bacteria to produce colanic acid, which protected the worms gut cells against stress-induced mitochondrial fragmentation. Mitochondria have been increasingly recognized as important players in the aging process.

When exposed to green light, worms carrying this E. coli strain also lived longer. The stronger the light, the longer the lifespan, continued Wang, who is also an investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a member of Baylors Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Optogenetics offers a direct way to manipulate gut bacterial metabolism in a temporally, quantitatively, and spatially controlled manner and enhance host fitness.

For instance, this work suggests that we could engineer gut bacteria to secrete more colanic acid to combat age-related health issues, added co-corresponding author Jeffrey Tabor, PhD, associate professor of bioengineering and biosciences at Rice University. Researchers also can use this optogenetic method to unravel other mechanisms by which microbial metabolism drives host physiological changes and influences health and disease.

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9 Factors That Affect Longevity | ThinkAdvisor

Monday, January 25th, 2021

1. Gender: According to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, mortality rates for females are lower at each age than those of men. Women live longer than men, on average.The current overall life expectancy for U.S. men is 76.4 years, and 82.9 years for men at age 65. Overall life expectancy for U.S. women is 81.2 years, or 85.5 years for women at age 65.

2. Genetics: Genetics may play a role in nine of the top 10 causes of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

3. Prenatal and childhood conditions: Poor conditions in utero, at birth and in very early childhood are associated with higher mortality even at advanced ages, according to IFA. The Society of Actuaries has been studying the impact of early childhood conditions on exceptional longevity, including whether growing up in certain geographic areas is associated with differing life expectancies.

4. Education:Higher education levels are linked to higher socio-economic status and both are linked to improved longevity, according to Hall and Peterson. For those with a bachelor's degree or higher, life expectancy at age 25 increased by 1.9 years for men and 2.8 years for women, according to the CDC.

5. Socio-economic status: Among other things, socio-economic status can affect a persons ability to access adequate medical care and their participation in healthier lifestyle habits like exercising more, smoking less and maintaining a healthy weight.

6. Marital status: Married people have lower mortality rates than those who were never married, are divorced or are widowed, according to IFA. Various studies suggest that marriage or committed relationships may improve cardiac health, help combat isolation and loneliness that can negatively impact mental health, and motivate people to make healthier choices like keeping regular doctor visits and giving up unhealthy habits.

7. Ethnicity/migrant status: The CDC tracks data related to ethnicity and life expectancy. According to 2011 data compiled by the CDC, life expectancy is highest among Hispanic people both male and female. Life expectancy ranged from 71.7 years for non-Hispanic black males to 83.7 years for Hispanic females. Ethnicity or migrant status may also be associated with socio-economic status. (Image: Shutterstock)

8. Lifestyle: Historically, lifestyle factors that affect mortality include an unhealthy diet, inadequate exercise, tobacco use, excessive use of alcohol, risky behaviors, food safety, work place safety and motor vehicle safety. Today, the major lifestyle factor that affects mortality is obesity.

9. Medical technology: Development of antibiotics and immunizations, as well as improvements in imaging, surgery, cardiac care and organ transplants all have helped push the average life expectancy higher.

Longevity has been increasing over the past century thanks to medical advances and lifestyle improvements. Not only has the average life expectancy increased since 1900, but a larger number of people are living to older ages, driven in part by a steep decline in the high infant mortality rate that characterized the early 1900s.

Life expectancy once a person reaches age 65 is now about to 84 years of age in the United States and about 86 in Japan. Life expectancy in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom fall between 84 and 86 for people at age 65, according to statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development.

R. Dale Hall and Andrew Peterson of the Society of Actuaries detailed trends in longevity and factors that affect it at LIMRAs Retirement Industry Conference earlier this month in Boston. The pair then introduced a new longevity tool, designed tohelp consumers and advisors estimate how long of a retirement they may need to plan for. Life expectancy likely will continue to increase but at a slower rate in the future, including at older ages, they said.

Hall and Peterson outlined several factors, based on data from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, associated with mortality that affect whether a person is likely to live to or beyond the average life expectancy. Multiple factors influence mortality and are important to consider in financial planning for retirement.

Here are nine factors that may impact mortality and longevity.

According to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, mortality rates for females are lower at each age than those of men. Women live longer than men, on average.

The current overall life expectancy for U.S. men is 76.4 years, and 82.9 years for men at age 65. Overall life expectancy for U.S. women is 81.2 years, or 85.5 years for women at age 65.

Some studies attribute this gap in part to riskier behavior among men that may lead to higher rates of accidents.

There appears to be a link between genetic factors and mortality rates. Genetics may play a role in nine of the top 10 causes of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC lists the leading causes of death in the United States as:

Poor conditions in utero, at birth and in very early childhood are associated with higher mortality even at advanced ages, according to IFA. The Society of Actuaries has been studying the impact of early childhood conditions on exceptional longevity, including whether growing up in a city or farm environment affects longevity, as well as whether growing up in certain geographic areas is associated with differing life expectancies.

Higher education levels are linked to higher socio-economic status and both are linked to improved longevity, according to Hall and Peterson.

For those with a bachelors degree or higher, life expectancy at age 25 increased by 1.9 years for men and 2.8 years for women, according to the CDC. On average, a 25-year-old man without a high school diploma has a life expectancy 9.3 years less than a man with a bachelors degree or higher. Women with a high school diploma have a life expectancy 8.6 years less than their counterparts with a bachelors degree or higher, the CDC said.

Higher education levels were also associated with lower levels of obesity and tobacco use, which may correlate with greater longevity, according to CDC data.

As socio-economic status decreases, so does life expectancy, according to the IFA. Among other things, socio-economic status can affect a persons ability to access adequate medical care and their participation in healthier lifestyle habits like exercising more, smoking less and maintaining a healthy weight.

Married people have lower mortality rates than those who were never married, are divorced or are widowed, according to IFA. Various studies suggest that marriage or committed relationships may improve cardiac health, help combat isolation and loneliness that can negatively impact mental health, and motivate people to make healthier choices like keeping regular doctor visits and giving up unhealthy habits.

The CDC tracks data related to ethnicity and life expectancy. According to 2011 data compiled by the CDC, life expectancy is highest among Hispanic people both male and female. Life expectancy ranged from 71.7 years for non-Hispanic black males to 83.7 years for Hispanic females.

Ethnicity or migrant status may also be associated with socio-economic status. Mortality of migrant people appears to vary as a result of differences in average mortality between host and home countries, as well as healthy selection for migration or return and length of residence in the host country, IFA said.

Historically, lifestyle factors that affect mortality include an unhealthy diet, inadequate exercise, tobacco use, excessive use of alcohol, risky behaviors, food safety, work place safety and motor vehicle safety. Today, the major lifestyle factor that affects mortality is obesity. Nearly 5 percent of adults are considered extremely obese, compared with about 1 percent in 1962; more than 30 percent are considered obese compared with about 13 percent in 1962; and nearly 70 percent of adults are overweight today compared with about 46 percent in 1962.

Advances in medicine and medical technology have had a major impact on increased longevity. Development of antibiotics and immunizations, as well as improvements in imaging, surgery, cardiac care and organ transplants all have helped push the average life expectancy higher.

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Hereford thrives in an uncertain year | Farm Forum | aberdeennews.com – AberdeenNews.com

Monday, January 25th, 2021

In a year that was anything but predictable, Hereford breeders and the American Hereford Association continued to add value to Hereford genetics. Year-end reports shared during the associations recent annual meeting show their efforts paid off.

As the commercial industry has looked to add crossbreeding back into the programs to increase fertility, longevity, disposition all the things that are known in Hereford cattle its created a great opportunity for us, Jack Ward, AHA executive vice president, said in a news release. Ward reports the association experienced increases in registrations and memberships this fiscal year, while sale averages climbed.

The real excitement within our breed and within our membership is in its growth, Ward says. Its seen growth because the breeders have been committed to genetic improvement and providing the tools necessary to make the changes to produce the type of product that their customers need and then, ultimately, the consumer. Its all encompassing.

A drive for genetic improvement includes a focus on the female. The association incorporated genomic information into its suite of maternal traits, and female genotypes accounted for almost 60% of the 25,000 genotypes submitted to the organization during the fiscal year.

I really think that speaks highly to our breeders commitment to really get the most of the females that theyre keeping, Shane Bedwell, AHA chief operating officer and director of breed improvement, said in the release. Youll find about a 20% to 25%, up to a 30%, increase in those maternal traits in the last three years.

The association also reports tremendous strides in other economically relevant traits, including carcass. Weve made incredible improvements in postweaning growth and end product merit, Bedwell adds. Thats evident in the amount of cattle that are now grading well in the Hereford breed. Benefits in conversion and cost of gain have more producers utilizing the Associations commercial programs like Hereford Advantage to add value to Hereford and Hereford-influenced calves.

Meanwhile, Certified Hereford Beef celebrated its 25th anniversary and another successful year. No matter where you drive in the U.S., you find Hereford cattle. Theyre adaptable, they work hard. Theyre efficient, Bedwell notes. We need efficient cattle in these times and in our production system, and Hereford genetics thrive.

Ward adds, Producers want it all and, with Herefords, you can Come Home to Hereford, use good Hereford genetics and take advantage of those opportunities.

Learn more about additional AHA opportunities or news from AHAs 2020 annual meeting at Hereford.org. Youll find a series of highlights, including the presentation of more than $150,000 in scholarships, as well as breed honorees and other Hereford news.

Virtual educational sessions covering topics from genomics to marketing are also available. Merck Animal Health, Neogen Corp., National Cattlemens Beef Association and National Corn Growers Association were among major sponsors of the AHA Annual Membership Meeting and Conference.

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Njonjo, Moody Awori: Why these wazee are still up and running – The Standard

Monday, January 25th, 2021

Former Attorney General Charles Njonjo recently turned 101. Photo: Courtesy.

Many Kenyans succumb to lifestyle diseases at relatively young ages and celebrating ones 90th birthday is no doubt a biological milestone. Former Attorney General Charles Njonjo recently turned 101. Njonjo, who is not on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, was born in the year Kenya became a Colony and went on to outlive all who were in Kenyas first independence Cabinet. He joined that rare group of Kenyans enjoying their sunset years in the 90s Club. Others in this bracket include Kenyas first Governor of the Central Bank and Head of Public Service Duncan Ndegwa who still plays a round of golf at 95. Muthoni Likimani, the first black Kenyan to run a PR agency called Nonis Publicity, is 93 years old. But the mother of three has won other hats in her illustrious life: writer, broadcaster, radio and television producer, educationist and women rights activist. Former Vice President Moody Awori is 92.

The World Health Organisation pegs the average life expectancy in Kenya at 67. So, what made these Kenyans live so long? What diet and lifestyle habits helped them, or was it plain good old genetics?

Dr Borna Nyaoke-Anoke, a Kenyan physician and clinical researcher, argues that Kenyans were living longer in the past as they had healthier dietary choices with less processed foods and were more physically active hence did not have as many non-communicable diseases such as diabetes type two, cancer or cardiovascular diseases which lead to higher mortality rates.

READ ALSO: Five things you need to quit for a longer life expectancy

James Mbugua, a city psychologist, argues increased knowledge and advanced technology has not helped matters considering many people hardly take their health seriously and instead opt for quick fixes in drugs.

Njonjo, for instance, has often mentioned keeping to a frugal diet of a cup of tea and two toasts of bread in the morning, and lots of fruits and vegetables at lunch and supper. He dispenses with nyama choma, preferring fish and other white meat. The former Constitutional Affairs minister is husband of Margret Bryson and father of three children a lawyer, scientist and veterinary doctor. He also does occasional drink alcohol, but only a bottle of beer strictly a cider.

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In a previous interview, Njonjo, who remained a bachelor until he was 52, said: I look after myself. I swim daily. I used to do 12 laps, now I do only seven. I also have a bicycle which I ride for 10 minutes daily, on top of the treadmill which I do for 10 minutes daily. Im also careful about what I eat; I dont eat nyama choma. I eat a lot of veggies.

Being busy also counts. When he retired from public service, Njonjo immersed himself in business and wont stop working unless Maybe when Im cremated. Otherwise I will wait until I cannot move a limb, he said.

Besides lifestyle, Njonjos family is known to live long lives meaning genetics could also be at play as his father, Chief Josiah Njonjo was still strong when he was facing the Njonjo Commission of Inquiry in 1984. Njonjo was in his 60s, the father in the 80s.

Duncan Ndegwa, the former Central Bank of Kenyatta retired to his businesses and among his regimens is playing golf. He once said, The way you are on the golf course, is the way you are in life. Without golf, my life would have been poorer. I have no regrets in activity spent in golf.

READ ALSO: These innocent habits can send you to the grave

Uncle Moody, the one-time career assistant minister became Vice President after the demise of Wamalwa Kijana at a London hospital in 2003. He and his 14 siblings have dominated politics, education, commerce, medicine, engineering, sports and academia, but the long life for the father of five can be pegged on among others; 30 press ups and floor exercises every morning. As he once explained, I lie on my back and then I flip over until my feet touch the ground. Then I get up and do that again 150 times.

When asked about her longevity, Muthoni, a former beauty queen, who hardly sleeps beyond 4am said, God has been kind to me. African food has also helped me remain strong. I eat uji made from three different types of millet and I dont drink.

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Son reported father to FBI weeks before he reportedly stormed the Capitol – Yahoo News

Monday, January 25th, 2021

The Daily Beast

GettyAghast over former President Donald Trumps decision to authorize a series of last-minute federal executions before departing the White House, progressives are starting to exert pressure on President Joe Biden to get specific about his timeline and planned approach to ending capital punishment.The argument, shared widely among left-aligned Democrats in Congress and reform advocates, is rooted in the belief that being antithetical to Trump on the death penalty is a crucial first step to eradicating a racially biased criminal justice system. As Bidens first 100 days in office begin to take shape with no political barriers, many believe the newly elected president has a moral imperative to actively help dismantle racist systems in government early on. And they are not expected to ease up as the administration works through its preliminary priorities.Theres all kinds of room for what Ill call political jujitsu thats going to happen on the part of the Biden administration that is... going to seek to slow down the progressive movement, said Stacey Walker, a supervisor in Linn County, Iowa, and appointee to the criminal justice unity task force developed between Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during the 2020 presidential election.This one is different to me, Walker said.After Biden secured the Democratic nomination, his campaign worked with Sanders allies like Walker to form party consensus around key criminal justice and prison reforms. Ending the death penaltya stance Biden started to come around to early into his bidwas one of the strongest unifiers between the two factions, according to a source involved in the discussions.Now, with a Democrat in the White House, many believe they have a supportive ally who will set a contrasting tone to Trump and temporarily halt the practice by executive action. With control of both chambers in Congress additionally in their favor, those same voices are confident that legislation will pass relatively easily, bolstered by approval by rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans alike. According to a recent Gallup survey, support for the practice is strikingly low.We have to continue to apply pressure, to keep up the fight, to halt federal executions, to ultimately abolish the federal death penalty in its totality, said Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), a leading criminal justice reform advocate in the House in a segment on The Appeal. They have a mandate to do this from the people.The contours of Bidens stated early-term agenda includes a sharpened focus on addressing racial inequity as one of many national crises. After a summer of mass protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police, Biden built out the specifics of his proposed justice agenda. In his Jan. 20 inauguration address, he explicitly said: We can deliver racial justice, indicating that he believes the goal is achievable. A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us, he continued. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.Feds Will Try to Reinstate Death Penalty for Convicted Boston Marathon BomberAs his early days in office unfold in the wake of a violent insurrection at the Capitol carried out by predominantly white perpetrators, the multifacets of justice issues have returned to full view. That notion was further tested after Trump made the alarming decision to execute five individuals just before his term in office ended, bringing the total to 13 during his administration.From our perspective, there should be no roadblocks, said Sakira Cook, justice reform director at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Its widely understood and accepted that three things are true: Ending the death penalty is essential to advancing any other priority around transforming the criminal legal system; there is growing momentum against the death penalty across this country and at the federal level; and the death penalty is equally flawed across racial lines in particular.White House press secretary Jen Psaki has so far declined to provide specifics on Bidens plans and timing. Asked on Inauguration Day by a reporter about a possible moratorium, she reiterated the presidents prior objection to the practice, adding that it remains his view today.Some Democrats and advocates argue that Biden would be wise to sign an executive order as a first signal of leadership, an action that would draw an intense contrast between his start and Trumps finish. But without guidance yet from the administration, congressional progressives are moving forward legislatively in the interim.Last week, Pressley and Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), a leading Black Lives Matter activist turned freshman member of Congress, sent a letter to Biden contextualizing the issue as a way to demonstrate a broader commitment to racial equality. Pressleys House bill, known as the the Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act, along with Sen. Dick Durbins (D-IL) version in the Senate, would end the death penalty once and for all, the letter states.Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), deputy whip of the House Progressive Caucus, said he believes there is growing momentum in Congress around the issue, particularly now with Democrats in control and an on-the-record pledge from the president. There is traction in Congress to abolish it, he said during a forum with Columbia University.While Espaillat believes that a moratorium is a good initial step, he also acknowledges that penning a temporary end to the practice does not go far enough. Executive orders, which were frequently used by both the Obama and Trump administrations, are subject to reversal by the political party in power and are seen as non-permanent solutions.It is an extension or continuation of the progress Barack Obama made, said state Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-TN), a Biden appointee on the Biden-Sanders task force. I know that people were pleased with the Obama administration, but some felt they wished additional drug-related sentences would be commuted.There is a strong sentiment among Democrats supportive of former President Barack Obama that the 46th president should go further than his old boss on the issue. During his eight years in office, Obama commuted only two federal death sentences. Part of the thinking that Biden should take more action stems from his role in the 1994 crime bill, which significantly expanded the number of offenses for which individuals could be put to death. On the campaign trail, Biden called it a mistake.There are currently 49 individuals on death row, according to the most recent data from the Death Penalty Information Center, including Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man who plotted and carried out a deadly bombing during the 2013 Boston Marathon. The Supreme Court is expected to announce soon whether they will hear the case. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has stated opposition to Tsarnaev receiving the death penalty.The governments got to be better than the basic instincts of man, Walker said. Its got to be bigger than that. And its got to recognize that this is a relic of a pre-futile era of this world where someone in a high chair gets to decide who lives and dies. Thats not who we are.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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Study of More Than 1 Million People Finds Intriguing Link Between Iron Levels And Lifespan – ScienceAlert

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

A massive study published in 2020 found evidence that blood iron levels could play a role in influencing how long you live.

It's always important to take longevity studies with a big grain of salt, but the research was impressive in its breadth, covering genetic information from well over 1 million people across three public databases. It also focused on three key measures of ageing: lifespan, years lived free of disease (referred to as healthspan), and making it to an extremely old age (AKA longevity).

Throughout the analysis, 10 key regions of the genome were shown to be related to these measures of long life, as were gene sets linked to how the body metabolises iron.

Put simply, having too much iron in the blood appeared to be linked to an increased risk of dying earlier.

"We are very excited by these findings as they strongly suggest that high levels of iron in the blood reduces our healthy years of life, and keeping these levels in check could prevent age-related damage," said data analyst Paul Timmers, from the University of Edinburgh in the UK.

"We speculate that our findings on iron metabolism might also start to explain why very high levels of iron-rich red meat in the diet has been linked to age-related conditions such as heart disease."

While correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, the researchers used a statistical technique called Mendelian randomisation to reduce bias and attempt to infer causation in the data.

As the researchers noted, genetics are thought to have around a 10 percent influence on lifespan and healthspan, and that can make it difficult to pick out the genes involved from all the other factors involved (like your smoking or drinking habits). With that in mind, one of the advantages of this new study is its sheer size and scope.

Five of the genetic markers the researchers found had not previously been highlighted as significant at the genome-wide level. Some, including APOE and FOXO3, have been singled out in the past as being important to the ageing process and human health.

"It is clear from the association of age-related diseases and the well-known ageing loci APOE and FOXO3 that we are capturing the human ageing process to some extent," wrote the researchers in their paper published in July 2020.

While we're still in the early stages for investigating this association with iron metabolism, further down the line we could see the development of drugs designed to lower the levels of iron in the blood - which could potentially add extra years to our lives.

Besides genetics, blood iron is mostly controlled by diet and has already been linked to a number of age-related diseases, including Parkinson's and liver disease. It also affects our body's ability to fight off infection as we get older.

We can add this latest study to the growing evidence that 'iron overload', or not being able to break it down properly, can have an influence on how long we're likely to live, as well as how healthy we're likely to be in our later years.

"Our ultimate aim is to discover how ageing is regulated and find ways to increase health during ageing," says Joris Deelenwho studies the biology of ageing at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Germany.

"The 10 regions of the genome we have discovered that are linked to lifespan, healthspan, and longevity are all exciting candidates for further studies."

The research has been published in Nature Communications.

A version of this article was first published in July 2020.

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Study of More Than 1 Million People Finds Intriguing Link Between Iron Levels And Lifespan - ScienceAlert

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Hereford Thrives in an Uncertain Year – AG INFORMATION NETWORK OF THE WEST – AGInfo Ag Information Network Of The West

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

In a year that was anything but predictable, one constant held fast: Americas farmers and ranchers and, among them, Hereford breeders.

In this year-end report from the American Hereford Association (AHA), we learn how Hereford cattlemen and women grew the breed through 2020.

Despite the unforeseen challenges of 2020, AHA Executive Vice President Jack Ward says Hereford breeders and the American Hereford Association continued to add value to Hereford genetics. Year-end reports shared during the Associations recent annual meeting show their efforts paid off.

"As the commercial industry has looked to add crossbreeding back into the programs to increase fertility, longevity, disposition all the things that are known in Hereford cattle its created a great opportunity for us said Ward.

Ward reports the Association experienced increases in registrations and memberships this fiscal year, while sale averages climbed.

The real excitement within our breed and within our membership is in its growth" said Ward. "Its seen growth because the breeders have been committed to genetic improvement and providing the tools necessary to make the changes to produce the type of product that their customers need and then, ultimately, the consumer. So its all encompassing.

Learn more from the American Hereford Associations virtual educational sessions and 2020 annual meeting at Hereford.org.

Youll find a series of highlights, including the presentation of more than $150,000 in scholarships, as well as breed honorees and other Hereford news. Virtual educational sessions are also available and cover topics from genomics to marketing.

Source: American Hereford Association

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Covid-19 Update Precision Medicine Software market: Poised to Garner Maximum Revenues by 2027 with major key players in the market Syapse, Allscripts,…

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

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The New Anti-Ageing: How the pandemic unlocked new ways to lower your biological age – Telegraph.co.uk

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

While most scientists look at Covid-19 as a viral respiratory illness, Nir Barzilai takes a slightly different perspective. Instead Barzilai, founder of the Institute of Ageing Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, sees it as a disease of ageing.

The grim statistics show that he has a point. In Europe, people over 60 have accounted for 90% of fatalities since the start of August. While the impact of Covid-19 has been universal, older people have been disproportionally affected.

This virus has no eyes, but it could see immediately who is old and more vulnerable, says Barzilai.

For Barzilai and other geroscientists scientists who study the biology of ageing this represents an opportunity. They have long argued that we need a different perspective for tackling many chronic diseases, from cancer to Alzheimers. As all of these illnesses become more common with age, geroscientists have suggested that therapies attempting to reverse some of the cellular mechanisms of ageing, might make older individuals more resilient to a whole range of diseases.

The premise of this approach is that while we typically measure age chronologically, the number of years we have been alive, your biological age says far more about your health. Biological age is indicated through various biomarkers ranging from the length of telomeres the tips of chromosomes to changes in DNA expression, and even your gut microbiome.

Some 55-year-olds may be biologically equivalent to 45, making them more resilient to disease, while others may be far older, due to lifestyle or genetics.

Since the 1930s, scientists have identified certain drugs which appear capable of reversing biological ageing in mice. Over the past nine months, the pandemic has provided increasing evidence they may be capable of doing the same in humans. Covid has moved anti-ageing from hope to promise, says Barzilai. The promise is that ageing is flexible, and can be manipulated, is something weve shown again and again in animals.

Geroscientists have defined eight hallmarks of biological ageing, which when targeted can improve health and lifespan in animals. These hallmarks range from declining immune function, to a decrease in the quality and quantity of mitochondria the energy factories of our cells and an impaired ability of cells to perform garbage disposal and remove toxins or viruses.

There are drugs which can target some hallmarks of ageing, including resveratrol - a compound found naturally in foods such as blueberries but the impact of Covid-19 has sparked particular interest in a cheap, commonly available medication called metformin, which has been used to treat diabetes for over fifty years, due to its ability to lower glucose levels. But recently, epidemiologists have begun to notice people taking it for diabetes also appeared to have reduced rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

When the pandemic began, an early study from a hospital in Wuhan sparked particular interest. It showed diabetics taking metformin were much less likely to die of Covid-19 than diabetics not on the drug. Geroscientists around the world took note.

Because of the number of people contracting Covid-19, we could gather data on metformin and its impact on reducing mortality, which would otherwise have taken years to collect, says Vadim Gladyshev, a biochemist at Harvard Medical School.

Soon, further studies yielded similar findings. Doctors at the University of Minnesota found metformin lowered mortality rates across more than 6,000 Covid-19 patients with diabetes, albeit only in women.

Barzilai believes he understands why. In a paper published earlier this year, he showed that metformin targets all eight hallmarks of ageing at the same time. Now, this accumulation of evidence has helped convince investors to provide $75 million in funding for a landmark randomised control trial called TAME.

Intended to begin in June 2021, it aims to see whether giving metformin to older people for four to five years, can give them more years of good health. If this proves successful, it could see metformin licensed by regulators as the worlds first clinically proven anti-ageing therapy.

In April, Edwin Lam, a pharmacologist at Thomas Jefferson University, was looking at AI-based predictions of potential Covid-19 treatments and found a drug called rapamycin ranked higher than many highly touted alternatives.

Rapamycin is currently used to prevent organ transplant rejection, but geroscientists have been interested in its effects on longevity for decades. It specifically targets a pathway called mTOR, a major driver of many of the cell degradation processes that occur with ageing. Because rapamycin inhibits mTOR, it can help reactivate different parts of the immune system, making them behave like a younger person.

Boston-based biotech company resTORbio have previously shown that forms of rapamycin can reduce rates of respiratory infections in over 65s. They are now conducting a clinical trial in the US, looking at whether giving rapamycin to nursing home residents on a daily basis, could protect them from becoming severely infected with Covid-19. If successful, it could pave the way for rapamycin becoming a new treatment for protecting older people from seasonal infections, and future viral outbreaks.

The renewed interest in biological ageing as a result of Covid-19, could also yield benefits for other diseases linked to the ageing process, in particular Alzheimers. For years, pharma companies have attempted to develop treatments which target the accumulation of amyloid proteins in the brain during the course of the disease.

With Covid-19 increasing the spotlight on how ageing makes people more vulnerable to disease, Alzheimers scientists have begun to consider alternative approaches. I think neurologists are becoming more open to the idea that we have been too insensitive to the ageing context in which Alzheimers occurs, says Jeffrey Cummings, professor of neurology at UCLA. Most patients have the onset of their disease in their 80s, where you get this accumulation of multiple adverse influences on cognitive function.

One particular clue about how to prevent this accumulation may lie in our DNA. As we age, telomeres become shorter, leading to a variety of cell changes. However, in 1984 biologists Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol Greider discovered an enzyme produced in cells called telomerase which naturally prevents telomere shortening, a finding which won them the 2009 Nobel Prize.

Telomerase levels also decline with age, but in recent years pharma companies have begun to wonder whether artificially boosting telomerase through drugs, could prevent age-related diseases.

Seoul-based pharma company GemVax have developed a product named GV1001 which boosts telomerase levels in cells, with the aim of seeing whether it can prevent decline in Alzheimers patients and prevent the onset of the disease altogether. In a recent Phase II clinical trial of moderate to severe Alzheimers patients, they reported promising results on an assessment tool called the severe impairment battery (SIB) scale. The results exceeded our expectations, said Jay Sangjae Kim, chairman of GemVax.

With the major test a Phase III trial which is set to get underway in 2021 still to come, the results must be viewed cautiously, but the success of GV1001 has the potential to yield a new frontier of telomerase based drugs for age related diseases.

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The New Anti-Ageing: How the pandemic unlocked new ways to lower your biological age - Telegraph.co.uk

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A Good Age: Auld lang syne to the eldest who inspired and entertained us – The Patriot Ledger

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

Sue Scheible|The Patriot Ledger

QUINCY -- Dorothy "Dot" Cole was a reluctant interview at the age of 98 in 2016. "The only time you belong in thenewspaper is for your obituary," she said. "No one wants to hear you bragging about yourself before that."

I was fortunate to be able to coax a few stories out of Dot,a charmer who was still working from the home in Weymouth where she had lived her entire life. After that, she wouldn't talk to me again when she reached age 100. Dot would have turned 102on Christmas Day this year but died Dec. 10 at home. Her obituary gave her arepeat appearance in the paper where she recapped the facts of her life.

At the opposite end of the publicity spectrum of remarkable elders I have met was the irrepressible Ruth Kundsin of Quincy, a "Let's go for it" interview subject from the start. Tipped off by her friends,I wrote about her becoming a centenarian in 2016 and followed her each year after. She surprised and delighted readers and drew national attention:at age 103 she was working out with herpersonal trainer Dick Raymond weekly at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy

She kept that regimen up until this year, when at 104 she decided enough was enough in July. She was working on a book about her pioneering professional life as a microbiologistwhen shedied at home on Thanksgiving Day, family and friends by her side. Ruth was anAssociate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Emerita, at Harvard Medical School. Her groundbreaking research on airborne pathogensled to important changes in hospital and operating room protocols.

Turning 104, Ruth Kundsin of Quincy tells it like it is

As retired microbiologist Ruth Kundsin turns 104, she wonders if it's time to stop her workouts with a personal trainer at the South Shore YMCA.

Sue Scheible, The Patriot Ledger

In May, the legendary Mary Pratt of Quincy died at age 101 after a long and illustrious career teaching physical education and fighting for the rights of women in sports. In 1943, Pratt became a pitcher in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

She was one of the first members of the Rockford Peaches,the team featured in the movie "A League of Their Own."

As a youngster, she loved playing ball with the boys in her Connecticut neighborhood. Her family moved to Quincy; she graduated from North Quincy Highand attended Sargent College of Physical Education at Boston University.

At age 24, Pratt was scouted for the brand new All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. She played ball for five years, returned to Quincy and was passionate about teaching physical educationfor 48 years, including three in Braintree and 42 in Quincy.

She became a passionate fighterfor new opportunities for women in sports and more leadership positions.

When Pratt was in her 90s, she moved to 1000 Southern Artery senior housing in Quincy. Herneighbors included some of her former students who knew her as their gym teacher in grade school.Helen Colette, 80, was walking through the lounge one day when she spotted that familiar face from the past.Colette was standing with her hands in her pockets when Mary sized her up and said approvingly, Look at her, standing so tall and nice and straight. Her shoulders match her hips and her hips match her ankles.

Another effervescent phenom was Agnes Mullay of Quincy, who died in Aprilthree weeks after her 108th birthday at Alliance Health at Marina Bay Nursing Center. She hadloved to sit in the lobby and greet people.At 4-foot-8, she was a tiny woman with a rich chuckle and sparkling smile.

A less visible but equally large loss was that of Shirley Bartlett of Weymouth, who was 93, had survived COVID, recovered and then died last summer.Shirley had a large circle of friends, was an aunt, great-aunt, and great-great-aunt to many nieces and nephews. She belonged to the Weymouth Newcomers Club, the Castle Island Association,participated in choral groups and line dancing and sang at nursing homes.

It is such aprivilege to have met and interviewed these and other South Shore elders and to have heard their stories. They have shared their secrets and ways of adjusting to long life with wisdom and a positiveperspective.They remain present in our memories,their achievements and their stories.

In the weeks ahead, we'll catch up with others who continue to lead the way in longevity.

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A Good Age: Auld lang syne to the eldest who inspired and entertained us - The Patriot Ledger

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