Tuesday December 10, 2019

Stem Cells May Help To Stay Strong In Old Age

For the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers investigated the number of mutations that accumulate in the muscle's stem cells (satellite cells)

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Stem cells
As we grow older, our muscular function declines. So, according to the researchers, this discovery may result in new medication to build stronger muscles even when in old age. Pixabay

Researchers have found how an unexpectedly high number of mutations in the stem cells of muscles impair cell regeneration.

For the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers investigated the number of mutations that accumulate in the muscle’s stem cells (satellite cells).

ALSO READ: Treating blindness with stem cell therapy

“What is most surprising is the high number of mutations. We have seen how a healthy 70-year-old has accumulated more than 1,000 mutations in each stem cell in the muscle, and that these mutations are not random but there are certain regions that are better protected,” said co-author Maria Eriksson, professor at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet.

Stem cells
The study was performed using single stem cells cultivated to provide sufficient DNA for whole genome sequencing. Pixabay

The mutations occur during natural cell division, and the regions that are protected are those that are important for the function or survival of the cells. Nonetheless, the researchers were able to identify that this protection declines with age.

ALSO READ: Scientists have grown Human Cells inside Pig Embryos with goal of growing Livers, other Human Organs in Animals

“We can demonstrate that this protection diminishes the older you become, indicating an impairment in the cell’s capacity to repair their DNA. And this is something we should be able to influence with new drugs,” said Eriksson.

“We achieved this in the skeletal muscle tissue, which is absolutely unique. We have also found that there is a very little overlap of mutations, despite the cells being located close to each other, representing an extremely complex mutational burden,” the researcher noted. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Your Grandmothers Dislike Wearing A Fitness Band

Grandmas may hate wearing smart watches not just to be tech savvy

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Grandmoms dislikes fitness band
There are many reasons as to why Older ladies do not prefer wearing a fitness band. Pixabay

If your grandmother does not like to wear a fitness band or a smart watch, there are deeper reasons than just being tech-savvy. According to researchers, older adults wish to remain active together in a group, not competing with their peers while being in the park.

While counterintuitive, engaging in competition with family and friends decreases the odds of long-term use among older adults, perhaps because they feel it’s demotivating, according to researchers from Michigan State University.

And wanting to lose weight, become more active and monitor health doesn’t seem to influence length of use either. But technological savviness does.

“For older adults, motivation is about partnership and collaboration, such as walking together,” said Anastasia Kononova, assistant professor of advertising. “It’s about being active together, not competing.”

Fitness band
Older adults dislike wearing fitness band as the physical appearance of such devices doesn’t matter to them. Pixabay

The researchers conducted a survey of adults age 65 and older to explore factors associated with long-term use — longer than six months — of wearable activity trackers.

They looked at usage patterns, socioeconomic factors, health status and activity levels.

The study, published in the journal Telemedicine and e-HEALTH, found older adults are likely to use trackers longer if they use a wider variety of functions to track their health and activity levels.

Examples of such functions include tracking calories burned, distance, heart rate, mood, sleep time, steps, etc.

Other factors determining long-term use: being female, being well-educated, wearing every day, exercising regularly and not having chronic health conditions.

Also Read- For U.S. Military Veterans, Apple Providing Health Records On iPhones

“For starters, manufacturers should incorporate activities specific to an older population, such as swimming and gardening, into trackers,” Kononova said.

Like younger users, physical appearance of trackers is important, so big and bulky doesn’t work.

“Wearable activity trackers have the potential to improve older adults’ health, yet many adopters don’t use them on a long-term basis,” said Lin Li, a doctoral candidate studying health and technology who led the study. (IANS)