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Quick Reads about Public Health
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The New York Times
8 min read

An Ancient Cure for Alzheimer's?

This article is accompanied by an illustration by Eleanor Davis that is available at no charge to clients of The New York Times Op-Ed service. In 2011, Ben Trumble emerged from the Bolivian jungle with a backpack containing hundreds of vials of saliva. He had spent six weeks following indigenous men as they tramped through the wilderness, shooting arrows at wild pigs. The men belonged to the Tsimane people, who live as our ancestors did thousands of years ago — hunting, foraging and farming small plots of land. Trumble had asked the men to spit into vials a few times a day so that he could map
6 min read

Meet the Doctor Who Sells Blood Plasma From Teens

If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk. But if you give a mouse a transfusion of blood plasma from a much younger mouse, you can improve his cognitive and neurological functions—and reverse the effects of aging. The scientific studies are fairly remarkable. In 2014, researchers at Stanford University demonstrated that infusion of young blood plasma in mice "is capable of rejuvenating synaptic plasticity and improving cognitive function." In other words, blood helps keep mice young. Can this work on humans, too? Jesse Karmazin, a 32-year-old physician and graduate o
8 min read

How Aging Research Is Changing Our Lives: An interview with Eric Verdin, CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.

Biologist Eric Verdin considers aging a disease. His research group famously discovered several enzymes, including sirtuins, that play an important role in how our mitochondria—the powerhouses of our cells—age. His studies in mice have shown that the stress caused by calorie restriction activates sirtuins, increasing mitochondrial activity and slowing aging. In other words, in the lab, calorie restriction in mice allows them to live longer. His work has inspired many mitochondrial hacks—diets, supplements, and episodic fasting plans—but there is not yet evidence that these findings translate t