Last year, they figured out how to insert and delete genes. This year there are methods for repressing and perhaps promoting genes (epigenetically, without modifying the genome) using CRISPR-derived technology.
If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you have probably figured out that I came to the science of aging through evolutionary biology, and that I believe evolutionary thinking is a key to understanding what aging is and how it can be addressed. So without further ado, I introduce a column that is central to how evolution works, but peripheral to the science of aging.
“I’m pretty much messing around with DNA all day!”
Methods for engineering biology. Nina DiPrimio discusses tools for design and construction and plans for future projects. Presented by Counter Culture Labs, this video is designed as an accessible introduction for bio-maker spaces for the basic tools of synthetic biology. Future projects, such as rose scented e coli, are detailed in a how-to of genetic modification. The safety of genetic modification is also discussed.
How does the body know how old it is? Our metabolisms change as we get older, even though our DNA doesn’t change. Different genes are activated at different times of life, and the timing of gene expression is what controls growth, development, sexual maturity, and perhaps aging as well. The body keeps accurate track of how old it is, though there has been no scientific agreement about where the clocks are, or how they work. Recently, some biologists have suggested that one such biological clock might reside in the epigenetic state of the DNA. If this is true, epigenetics will become an attractive, though challenging, target for anti-aging research.