Maybe it’s in the blood

Excerpt

The first signs that young blood could blunt the ravages of aging came more than 60 years ago when a team at Cornell University — using a somewhat ghoulish procedure devised a century earlier and used to study wound healing — sutured together two rats so that they would share a common circulatory system. After old and young rats were joined for many months, the bones of both animals became similar in weight, volume and density, thus helping to ward off the bone brittleness that typically accompanies old age.

Some 15 years later, researchers at the University of California performed their own old–young rat pairing experiments. As they reported in 1972, older partners in this arrangement lived around 10 to 20 percent longer than control rats paired to other old animals.

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The Googlization of health research

tug-o-war

Abstract

Consumer-oriented mobile technologies offer new ways of capturing multidimensional health data, and are increasingly seen as facilitators of medical research. This has opened the way for large consumer tech companies, like Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook, to enter the space of health research, offering new methods for collecting, storing and analyzing health data.

While these developments are often portrayed as ‘disrupting’ research in beneficial ways, they also raise many ethical issues. These can be organized into three clusters: questions concerning the quality of research; privacy/informed consent; and new power asymmetries based on access to data and control over technological infrastructures. The author argues that this last cluster, insofar as it may affect future research agendas, deserves more critical attention.

SOURCE: Personalized Medicine