Right Turn: Are we getting any closer to a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease?

Let’s play a game. If you could choose, what would be your superpower? Invisibility is a popular one, as are super strength, the ability to read minds, and time travel (but we know that messing with time can be dangerous). This list of the best superpowers of all time ranks them in the context of helping a person win a battle and save lives. But what if we are choosing our superpower for everyday life?…

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Is being a woman in STEM like being a stem cell?

Tannen Horber is a recent graduate from Ryerson University’s Master of Professional Communication program. Tannen is passionate about using communication strategies as a vehicle for social change and focused her Major Research Project (similar to a thesis) on the representation of women in the public sphere. Tannen has recently joined the CCRM team as a Communication Coordinator.  My mother’s friend was a biology undergrad at York University in the late eighties. She was passionate, driven…

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Right Turn: STEM internships, co-ops and jobs for students

University of Toronto students in parade on College Street, pre-pandemic. Author’s photo. Like everyone I know, I’m working from home. This means I’m far from the parades of brightly and uniformly-clad university students that I’m accustomed to hearing and seeing from my vantage point at the MaRS Centre, 10 floors above College Street in downtown Toronto. Not only am I unable to witness this September spectacle that traditionally marks the beginning of another school year…

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Regenerative medicine news under the microscope – August 2021

“Regenerative medicine news under the microscope” is a monthly feature highlighting big stories in stem cell research. I will sample the latest and greatest findings in recent press and package them into a single post. August was another packed month in regenerative medicine research news. In this edition, I cover visually-equipped brain organoids, the latest in stem cell therapy for Parkinson’s and Dementia, plus much more. Also, don’t forget about the new addition to this…

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Blog Carnival: Is aging reversible?

Does the “cure” for aging come in a face cream? For this year’s blog carnival, I asked our illustrious group of bloggers, academics and thought leaders to discuss this statement by David Sinclair, a director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School: “Aging is far more reversible than we thought.” It’s an interesting statement. In my life so far and in my experience, aging moves in…

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Reversing aging: Not just a single system to consider…

Youth and Time, John William Godward, 1901 (public domain) For Signal’s annual blog carnival this year, we were asked to consider David Sinclair’s recent comments in the New York Times where he said “Aging is far more reversible than we thought.” As someone who has dedicated the better part of the last 20 years to studying stem cells in the context of healthy aging and disease, it was difficult to turn down the opportunity. For…

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New gene therapy shows promise, but is it enough to reverse aging?

Photo courtesy Rod Long, Unsplash The last few decades have seen a dramatic leap in life expectancies across developed countries—people are living longer than ever before, and the age of the centenarian could soon be upon us. For example, in the ‘70s Canadians lived an average of 72.7 years. Today, that number has risen by around a decade. Looking ahead, could advances in biogerontology help push the limits of longevity even further? Most likely, says…

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Thinking about longevity makes me feel old

A “youthful and optimistic” Michael May (right) posing with a University of Toronto student In pondering David Sinclair’s statement “Aging is far more reversible than we thought,” I couldn’t help but reflect on how much our field has changed since I was in grad school. Alas, looking back that far makes me feel really old! My PhD in cell encapsulation focused on diabetes using porcine islets conformally coated in a novel synthetic polymer that isolated…

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Is aging more reversible than we thought?

The short answer: It really depends on what we define as aging. Professor Fabio Rossi, University of British Columbia, is Director, Research in the School of Biomedical Engineering and Canada Research Chair in Regenerative Medicine. He obtained his MD from his hometown university in Genoa, Italy. During undergraduate studies, he investigated the mechanisms underlying chondrocyte differentiation in the laboratory of Ranieri Cancedda. Next, he joined the PhD program at the European Molecular Biology Laboratories in…

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Right Turn: Singing for stem cell research

What does it take for a fundraising idea to succeed? In my view the following ingredients are necessary: an important cause that resonates with the public, an original fundraising idea that could be fun, challenging, embarrassing or all three, and celebrity endorsement. As someone who participated in the ALS #IceBucketChallenge in 2014, I’m speaking from experience. Toronto’s McEwen Stem Cell Institute has a novel idea for this year’s fundraising campaign, but I’ll get to that…

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