Wednesday October 16, 2019

Researchers to Figure Out Mechanism of Aging Process to Find Ways to Help People Stay Healthy for Longer

"We are not trying to cheat death, but help people be healthy and disease-free in their final years," said Linda Partridge, a professor

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Researchers, Mechanism, Aging
A fruit fly is seen in a laboratory at the Bar-Ilan University, in Ramat Gan, Israel, May 1, 2018. VOA

Scientists who gave fruit flies a triple drug combination treatment and found that it extended their lives by almost 50% say their work offers clues on how to fight aging in people. Researchers.

The researchers said their aim is not to find the secret of eternal life, but to figure out the mechanism of the aging process to find ways to help people stay healthy for longer.

“We are not trying to cheat death, but help people be healthy and disease-free in their final years,” said Linda Partridge, a professor at University College London’s Institute of Healthy Ageing and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing who co-led the work.

The three drugs – the mood stabilizer lithium, a cancer treatment called trametinib and an immune regulator called rapamycin – target different cellular processes and had a “quite remarkable” impact on the flies’ lifespans, the scientists said.

Researchers, Mechanism, Aging
The researchers said their aim is not to find the secret of eternal life, but to figure out the mechanism of the aging process to find ways to help people stay healthy for longer. Pixabay

And since the three drugs are all already in use as medical treatments, they are known to be safe to use in people, we have found that a combination drug treatment … may be an effective way to slow down the aging process,” said Jorge Castillo-Quan, who co-led the research.

Partridge said the findings add to growing evidence that so-called polypills — pills that combine low doses of multiple drugs — could one day help prevent age-related diseases.

“This may be possible by combining the drugs we’re investigating with other promising drugs, but there is a long way to go,” she said.

This research adds to previous studies finding that individually, lithium, trametinib and rapamycin can each extend lifespan in fruit flies. That evidence has also been supported by further studies in mice and worms, the scientists said.

Also Read- Eating Red Meat Links to Cancer and Heart Disease, but are the Risks Big Enough to Give Up Burgers and Steak?

In this study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, Castillo-Quan’s team gave fruit flies doses of the three drugs separately and in combination.

Each drug individually extended lifespan by an average of 11%, they found, and pairing two drugs extended lifespan by around 30%. But when all three were combined, the fruit flies lived 48% longer than flies that did not get the treatment.

“We found it was quite remarkable that this drug combination enabled them to live 48% longer,” said Castillo-Quan, who now works at Harvard Medical School in the United States.

The researchers said they plan to conduct more studies to try to decipher exactly how the drugs work in combination with each other. They hope to move on to experiments in more complex animals, such as mice, to gauge the effects on the entire body before eventually progressing to human trials. (VOA)

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Researchers Develop New Algorithm to Identify Cyber-bullies on Twitter

“In a nutshell, the algorithms ‘learn’ how to tell the difference between bullies and typical users by weighing certain features as they are shown more examples,” said Blackburn

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Business, Twitter, Invest, Investment, Start-up, Kochi
A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

Researchers have developed machine learning algorithms which can identify bullies and aggressors on Twitter with 90 per cent accuracy.

For the study published in the journal Transactions on the Web, the research team analysed the behavioural patterns exhibited by abusive Twitter users and their differences from other users.

“We built crawlers — programs that collect data from Twitter via variety of mechanisms,” said study researcher Jeremy Blackburn from Binghamton University in the US.

“We gathered tweets of Twitter users, their profiles, as well as (social) network-related things, like who they follow and who follows them,” Blackburn said.

The researchers then performed natural language processing and sentiment analysis on the tweets themselves, as well as a variety of social network analyses on the connections between users.

twitter, white swan, suicide, awareness
Twitter is a social media app that encourages short tweets and brief conversations. Pixabay

They developed algorithms to automatically classify two specific types of offensive online behaviour, i.e. cyber-bullying and cyber-aggression.

The algorithms were able to identify abusive users — who engage in harassing behaviour like those who send death threats or make racist remarks — on Twitter with 90 per cent accuracy.

Also Read: Facebook Announces Some New Features to its Video Capabilities

“In a nutshell, the algorithms ‘learn’ how to tell the difference between bullies and typical users by weighing certain features as they are shown more examples,” said Blackburn.

“Our research indicates that machine learning can be used to automatically detect users that are cyber-bullies, and thus could help Twitter and other social media platforms remove problematic users,” Blackburn added. (IANS)