Could people one day live to 150 with the help of a pill? In the cover story of the Autumn issue of Uniken, we report on a 10-year battle to prove that a molecule in red wine can be harnessed to help to slow the ageing process.
A decade ago Professor David Sinclair, from UNSW Medicine and Harvard Medical School, suggested that the molecule, Resveratrol, could make an anti-ageing enzyme in the body run faster. Now, in a paper published in the journal Science, Sinclair and his team have demonstrated that the molecule and 116 synthetic activators work on the enzyme through a common mechanism. The breakthrough paves the way for a new class of anti-ageing drug that could act against 20 age-related diseases. “We are finding,” says Sinclair, ”that ageing isn’t the irreversible affliction it once was.”
Also in the Autumn issue we look at how Australia’s lack of a space agency and earth observation satellites could cost us dearly in the long run; we reveal how UNSW biomedical engineers are helping Paralympians win gold at Rio in 2016; and we investigate how a proposed gas-processing hub in the Kimberley is dividing locals, but also sparking an Indigenous-led community awakening.
Steve Offner, Editor
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