Could beget "proteostatic collapse." Now you know.
1. Jane Metcalfe has today’s most interesting piece. The headline is: “What to expect in neuroscience, genetics, longevity, biotech and psychedelics in 2022.” Short bites: George Church predicts that 2022 will be the year that preventive genomics goes mainstream. David Sinclair predicts that in 2022, “the first drug to slow aging will enter the final stage of human clinical trials.” Alex Zhavoronkov predicts “another year of records” in terms of AI-powered drug discovery. Amir Kalali predicts that pharmaceutical companies and technology companies will begin to merge and that this year will see the first major acquisition that starts to blur the boundary between the two. Read the rest. (Source: neo.life)
2. If you can recognize a dog by sight, then you can probably recognize a dog when it is described to you in words. Not so for today’s artificial intelligence. Deep neural networks have become very good at identifying objects in photos and conversing in natural language, but not at the same time: there are AI models that excel at one or the other, but not both. A team at Meta AI (previously Facebook AI Research) wants to change that. The researchers have developed a single algorithm that can be used to train a neural network to recognize images, text, or speech. The algorithm, called Data2vec, not only unifies the learning process but performs at least as well as existing techniques in all three skills. “We hope it will change the way people think about doing this type of work,” says Michael Auli, a researcher at Meta AI. (Sources: technologyreview.com, ai.facebook.com)
3. One of the fickle foes of longevity is apparently the clunky sputtering, late in life, of the ubiquitous molecular machines known as ribosomes. According to research at Stanford University examining how cells age in the lowly worm Caenorhabditis elegans and the common winemaker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an important mechanism of aging may be when old cells suffer “ribosomal pausing,” a stuttering halt of those molecular machines, which are found in all living cells and are responsible for translating genetic transcripts into proteins. Once ribosomes are paused, they likely create problems in this basic process like the production of truncated proteins and their misfolding and aggregation. The researchers say ribosome pausing could be a critical driver of “proteostatic collapse,” a hallmark of aging and marker of those age-related neurodegenerative diseases where protein levels increase inside cells. (Sources: neo.life, nature.com)
4. The University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine yesterday announced the first peer-reviewed research outlining the successful transplant of genetically modified, clinical-grade pig kidneys into a brain-dead human individual, replacing the recipient’s native kidneys. “Along with our partners, we have made significant investments in xenotransplantation for almost a decade hoping for the kinds of results published today,” said Selwyn Vickers, M.D., dean of the UAB Heersink School of Medicine and CEO of the UAB Health System and UAB/Ascension St. Vincent’s Alliance. “Today’s results are a remarkable achievement for humanity and advance xenotransplant into the clinical realm. With this study, our research teams have also demonstrated that the decedent model has significant potential to propel the xenotransplantation field forward.” (Source: uab.edu)