David A. Sinclair

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August 2019

Average rating: 4.29 · 616 ratings · 98 reviews · 1 distinct work
Lifespan: Why We Age—and Wh...

4.29 avg rating — 617 ratings — published 2019 — 10 editions
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“The longevity genes I work on are called “sirtuins,” named after the yeast SIR2 gene, the first one to be discovered. There are seven sirtuins in mammals, SIRT1 to SIRT7, and they are made by almost every cell in the body. When I started my research, sirtuins were barely on the scientific radar. Now this family of genes is at the forefront of medical research and drug development. Descended from gene B in M. superstes, sirtuins are enzymes that remove acetyl tags from histones and other proteins and, by doing so, change the packaging of the DNA, turning genes off and on when needed. These critical epigenetic regulators sit at the very top of cellular control systems, controlling our reproduction and our DNA repair. After a few billion years of advancement since the days of yeast, they have evolved to control our health, our fitness, and our very survival. They have also evolved to require a molecule called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD. As we will see later, the loss of NAD as we age, and the resulting decline in sirtuin activity, is thought to be a primary reason our bodies develop diseases when we are old but not when we are young.”
David Sinclair, Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don't Have To

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