Methuselah Foundation’s August newsletter is available online:
In this issue we continue to introduce the newest competitors for the Mprize. Significant cash Prizes are awarded for Longevity, breaking the world record for the oldest-ever mouse, and Rejuvenation, the most successful late-onset rejuvenation of a mouse. The amount won is in proportion to the size of the fund and to the margin by which the previous record is broken. Frank Wang is competing for the Rejuvenation Mprize.
Frank Wang has a hobby. After years of practicing medicine in China he came to the United States to do neuroscience research. He went on to found Neuroprotection, a privately funded company based in Massachusetts. Along the way he developed his hobby: thinking about the cause of aging. Frank contemplated aging and, in his words, “The common belief is that aging is natural but that is not entirely right. Aging is a cause of death; it is itself a disease, the ultimate disease.” A question preoccupied him, “What is the real reason that creatures age?”
Frank tossed around all the theories including DNA damage, oxygen free radicals and landed on metabolism. Knowing that calorie restriction was the only proven path to extending life in mice, the next step was to consider why it works, the answer is it lowers metabolism. That led to the next conclusion: doctors have known for many years that to decrease metabolism you decrease blood pressure. And there Frank found where his hobby was taking him – he hopes to prove that lower blood pressure increases healthy lifespan.
Frank knew he was on to something but wasn’t sure how to proceed. He was happy to discover Methuselah Foundation; the Mprize offered just the incentive he needed to begin formal studies.
Frank will compete for the Rejuvenation Mprize. Groups of mice will be given blood pressure drugs; these drugs are typical medications taken by people with high blood pressure. Currently he is determining the proper dosage. The mice will begin receiving the medication at middle age, about 1 year old, equivalent to a human of 40 or 50 years. He anticipates a direct correlation between lower blood pressure and longer lifespan.
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