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A Closer Look at Intrinsic Aging

By: Steve Herman
Posted: April 7, 2009, from the April 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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If the likelihood of finding real age-defying ingredients seems far-fetched, consider the advancements that would have been relegated to the realm of science fiction not too long ago. One finds that real science is outpacing science fiction at an accelerated rate. For example, if amblyopia (“lazy eye”) is left untreated past a critical stage it becomes untreatable because the critical brain wiring becomes fixed. Recent neuroscience research in rats, however, showed the possibility of turning the brain back into a plastic state, where rewiring can be done. In essence, an old brain could be made like a young brain for treatment of conditions such as amblyopia.

In the field of skin care, it seems like only yesterday that DNA repair enzymes and rousing stem cells in the basal epidermal membrane were cutting-edge. Now the mysteries of aging are being peeled away daily in laboratories around the world, with the results disclosed instantly on the Web. In a world where miracles become realities at the genetic scale, the future potential for antiaging products is mind-boggling.


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  2. M Wenner, Rethinking the Wrinkling: Key genes, rather than cell and DNA damage, as causes of aging, Sci Am (Oct 2008)
  3. Budovskaya et al., An elt-3/elt-5/elt-6 GATA Circuit Guides Aging in C. Eegans, Cell (2008) Doi:10.10.1016/j.cell.2008.05.044.
  4. B Brewster, Stimulating Sirtuins Antiaging Appeal, Cosm&Toil 123 22–29 (2008)
  5. I Imbert et al., Sirtuins: A Breakthrough in Antiaging Research, Cosm&Toil 123 69–74 (2008)
  6. AJ Olaharski, J Rine, BL Marshall, J Babiarz, L Zhang, et al., The Flavoring Agent Dihydrocoumarin Reverses Epigenetic Silencing and Inhibits Sirtuin Deacetylases, PLoS Genet 1(6):e77 (2005)

Steve Herman is president of Diffusion LLC, a consulting company specializing in regulatory issues, intellectual property, and technology development and transfer. An adjunct professor in the Fairleigh Dickinson University Masters in Cosmetic Science program, his book, Fragrance Applications: A Survival Guide, was published by Allured Publishing Corp. in 2001. A former chairman of the SCC’s New York chapter, he was elected to fellow status in 2002.