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Come to the CR Society Conference!

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#1 Michael

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 04:14 PM


The eighth CR Society Conference is coming up next week:

... and if you haven't looked at it in the last few days, you'll have missed the beefed-up speakers list, which now includes scientists from both the WNPRC (Rozalyn Anderson, who is always insightful and a blast) and NIA (Don Ingram & George Roth, who were there from the beginning) studies -- and in the case of Ingram, have done a hell of a lot of rodent CR and other then-potentially-age-retarding research for for > 3 decades now:

Yet, most of you reading this still haven't signed up!

I'd really like to encourage everyone out there to attend if you have any interest at all in CR science, or if you just want to hang out for once with people who fucking GET IT on the value of life and making choices to hold onto it, from 'healthy eating' thru' to extreme CR fanaticism. I almost didn't go to the first one, which was mostly just the lot of us getting together in what was then a cheesy Vegas hotel (it had renos and way fewer smokers last year ) and talking shop (smoothies, supplements, software). That would've been a huge mistake: it was a BLAST! It was WONDERFUL to meet so many folks in the flesh, great to have the immediacy of real face-to-face dialog, and just being able to hang out with the like-minded was like easing a tired and aching body into a hot bath.

Subsequent Conferences have been even better. The second Conf was set up at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, so that we could easily (and cheaply!) attract Richard Weindruch and the other CR (and CR-hangers-on) researchers there, including most of the folks working on the primates. This made it diametrically different from the first: very intellectually exciting, but SO packed with scientific presenters as to be a bit wearying, and left little time for socializing. (Yes, of course, I wish we had come better prepared and known to ask some critical questions back then -- hindsight is 20/20, especially if CR delays cataracts and/or macular degeneration ).

Robert Krikorian and David Stern (who have spearheaded all of these events) exceeded their previous results in the subsequent Confs, managing to harmonize these 2 extremes to create overall events that were truly superlative "holistic" experiences, with lots of exciting and encouraging research, plenty of space for debate and discussion, and still lots of opportunities for socializing.

Here's some of what you missed if you didn't go to CRVII two years ago, held as a 10th anniversary "reunion" at the original Vegas location:

Stephen Spindler: billed as "Statins increases mean lifespan and improve cardiac health independently of their effects on serum cholesterol levels," this actually turned out to be a great presentation on teh many way sin which most lifespan studies in rodents are flawed, his methods for screening potential life-extending compounds, and a quick page-flipper thru' scores of compounds popular with life extensionists that had either failed to extend life in his carefully-controlled studies, or had marginally shortened life. Some of these results (curcumin (2 doses), pomegranate, green tea, etc) have recently been published:
(I THOUGHT he had also published his finding that simvastatin plus an ACE inhibitor (enlarapril, or possibly captopril) very slightly increased LS in mice, but all I can find is this much more impressive result in fruit flies:

Others remain under semi-wraps, tho' there are now videos from subsequent conferences revealing more than has been published (eg,

I gave a reprieve of what was then my recent American Aging Association presentation on late-onset CR and the implications for humans. Later, Paul and I had a discussioin on macronutrients, focused mostly on protein: I presented (informally -- my position was in flux, and really remains so), he presented (much better prepared!), and then we had a dialog and Q&A. I think most people found this very useful.

Joseph Dhahbi presented his then-unpublised data on mRNA in CR, which was a good lead-in into Dr. Fontana's presentation, which was on his study of muscle biopsy gene expression in human CR folk (us) vs. average Americans, finally published a month or so ago and discussed by Dean and me:

Andrzej Bartke, who has done an enormous amount of work on the role of IGF-1 in aging, presented his work on CR, GH/IGF-1, and insulin sensitivity, which may bear on teh paradox of the low protein/low IGF-1 subgroup of us exhibiting impaired glucose tolerance:

Irina Conboy then gave a great but quite complicated talk on the involvement of TGFb receptor signaling contributes to decline in muscle regeneration in aging. The intrinsic density of the subject was unfortunately exacerbated by her accent, which was astonishingly thick, but one could still get a lot out of it. She first went over her original and still thrilling parabiosis work and the work linking teh age-related failure of muscle stem cells to mobilize and regenerate muscle after injury and exercise back to TGFb, a factor involved in kidney fibrosis and other things both good and bad (on this previous work, see eg.

then, she reviewed her mor recent human study (PMID 20049743:

... She (Conboy) then pointed to & v. briefly summarized pubmed/21562229,, and additional work on the effects of diabetes on muscle regeneration and ways to reverse it. She says that circulating TGFb levels are more or less flat from ages 20-30, rises pretty substantially thru' age 60, and very slowly thereafter. Fontana then interjected to note that alpha-granules in platelets release TGFb as a paracrine factor (as do many cell types), and will do so more in response to injury, and that people with CVD have "preactivated" platelets and are thus more prone to releasing it. Moreover, diabetics have high TGF-b, which rises as they progress from prediabetes to full-on disease -- but our CR cohort has low TGFb, and he wonders if this might be related to our low cardiovascular & diabetes risk, low levels of internal 'injuries' of various sorts, or even simply low platelet count (170 k vs 250-300 k in his studies; wiki says that the reference range is 150-450 k platelets/μl blood).

The Conference has one (optional) catered meal each day. With the exception of the third conference in Charleston, the catered meals over which we've chatted (with CR scientists and each other) have been EXCELLENT: every meal is laid out as a huge CR buffet, with a wide range of fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein, and a huge spread of Walden Farms dressings to try out on them. David and Robert clearly take a lot of pain to make sure that things are set up well for us, with enough diversity to meet any style of CR, and crack the whip with the staff whenever needed to ensure that our very particular needs were met -- and really, we *are* often a pain in the ass to the poor catering staff, with incessant demands to refill the salad greens, and for double- and triple-checking that we had the right meat, but they kept up to the challenge.

For other meals, people fend for themselves: I tend to hide in my room with my scales and stews, but others stage near-takeovers of carefully-chosen local restaurants, where our numbers let us collective-bargain with the wait staff to get foods customized to the occasion (Cobb salads without the bacon, cheese, and egg yolks, with healthy dressings on the side; etc) without the usual social awkwardness when doing this with dinner company unaccustomed to thinking about the consequences of the crap they put in their bodies.

One great thing about this time is that whereas previous confereences have all been in hotel conference rooms, this one is at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, which is one of the premier resaerch centers on the biology of aging in the world:


The facility iteself is very cool, and the work in the labs is interesting and important, and as you may have seen you can sign up for a tour of some of the labs. I also expect we'll get some drop-in traffic from non-speaker scientists at the Buck.

As to what it feels like to be there ... my beloved April (who is coming again this year -- reason enough for her adoring fans to attend ) recorded some of her impressions of the first one (where we met in RW) on her old blog:

... and that's another thing: I met the love of my greatly-extended life at the third one . (As She always hastens to add when mentioning this, however: Results Not Typical).

If you care about staying young and healthy through low-Calorie,
high-nutrition eating, and want to keep that lifestyle up sustainably,
and if even the flat interaction with science and other CR
practitioners over email engages you, you should be there. Heck, if a
cantankerous, introverted, antisocial bastard like myself can have such
a good time, anyone who actually has some social skills will love it.

Be there -- or age and die like your neighbors;)

Edit: fixed broken link.

Edited by niner, 29 May 2013 - 10:39 PM.

#2 tunt01

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 05:48 PM

Sad that I will miss it. I was planning to attend. But work trumps play again :(

#3 scottknl

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 11:29 PM

I'm coming and it looks like a great lineup of speakers this time. Anyone have any questions about aging or CR for the speakers?
I'm sure we're going to have great fun with Gary Taubes theories of sugar metabolism and Rafael de Cabo might get an earful of opinions about the NIA/WNPRC study results. ;).

Here's the list of speakers for anyone who's too lazy to click on the links above:
Pankaj Kapahi (Buck Institute)
Simon Melov (Buck Institute)
Remi-Martin Laberge (Buck Institute)
Deepak Lamba (Buck Institute)
Heinrich Jasper (Buck Institute)
Joseph Dhahbi (University of California, Riverside)
Danica Chen (University of California, Berkeley)
Rozalyn Anderson (University of Wisconsin)
Thomas Seyfried (Boston College)
Gary Taubes
Satchin Panda (Salk Institute)
Rafael de Cabo (NIH/NIA)

#4 Michael

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 11:38 PM

I'm coming and it looks like a great lineup of speakers this time. Anyone have any questions about aging or CR for the speakers?
I'm sure we're going to have great fun with Gary Taubes theories of sugar metabolism and Rafael de Cabo might get an earful of opinions about the NIA/WNPRC study results. ;).

Unfortunately, de Cabo has been forced to withdraw, due to the inane budget sequestration having led to a travel ban on NIH scientists. However, we now have Don Ingram & George Roth instead, who were central to the launch of the NIA study and thus arguably better people to ask about this (tho' I was really, really hoping to hear the details of some recent results from one of de Cabo's other projects ...).

Here's the list of speakers for anyone who's too lazy to click on the links above:

Yourself included ;) (kidding, Scott -- honest). Seriously: here is the new schedule.

#5 InquilineKea

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 04:20 PM

Will the conference be videotaped?

#6 Michael

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:00 PM

Will the conference be videotaped?

Yes, but most likely the cameras will be turned off for the most interesting stuff (unpublished and non-trivial results), as eg. they were during Spindler's and IIRC Fontana's presentations last time.

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