1. Elderly patients tolerate chemo

Though doctors often deem older patients unfit to receive chemotherapy, a recent trial showed that patients at a median of 74 could tolerate combination therapy for colorectal cancer, suggesting that with careful oversight, this age group can be enrolled in clinical trials and be treated with more aggressive drugs.

M.T. Seymour et al., "Chemotherapy options in elderly and frail patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (MRC FOCUS2): an open-label, randomised factorial trial," Lancet, 377:1749-59, 2011. Free F1000 Evaluation

2. Gut bacteria prevents asthma

Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium associated with ulcers that routinely colonizes the gut, appears to prevent the development of asthma by stimulating the production of regulatory T cells.

I.C. Arnold et al., "Helicobacter pylori infection prevents allergic asthma in mouse models through the induction of regulatory T cells," J Clin Invest, 121:3088-93, 2011. Free F1000 Evaluation

3. Mothers...

Confirming studies in mice, researchers showed that a mother's low consumption of carbohydrates during pregnancy increases methylation of a specific site on her child's DNA that is associated with increased fat mass by age 9.

K.M. Godfrey et al., "Epigenetic gene promoter methylation at birth is associated with child's later adiposity," Diabetes, 60:1528-34, 2011. Free F1000 Evaluation

4. Pollutants damage proteins in aging mice

By testing the hearts of old mice for oxidative agents in mitochondria, researchers found that acrolein, a chemical found in cooked fatty foods and car exhaust, caused most of the damage to proteins in aged cells.

J.D. Chavez et al., "Site-specific proteomic analysis of lipoxidation adducts in cardiac mitochondria reveals chemical diversity of 2-alkenal adduction," J Proteomics. doi:10.1016/j.jprot.2011.03.031, 2011. Free F1000 Evaluation

5. Muscle strength slows aging

Old flies lose the signaling ability of their FOXO transcription factor, which removes damaged proteins from muscle fibers. Restoring FOXO signaling not only improved muscle strength, but also increased lifespan, demonstrating a link between muscoskeletal health and longevity.

F. Demontis, N. Perrimon, "FOXO/4E-BP signaling in Drosophila muscles regulates organism-wide proteostasis during aging," Cell, 143:813-25, 2010. Free F1000 Evaluation

6. Improving cataracts treatment

A review of a million cataract surgeries in Sweden shows that the procedure has become more widely used with fewer side effects.

A. Behndig et al., "A One million cataract surgeries: Swedish National Cataract Register 1992-2009," J Cataract Refract Surg, 37:1539-45, 2011. Free F1000 Evaluation

7. How the brain changes with age

Mapping the brains of 5-32 year olds, researchers noted that white matter increases as gray matter decreases with age, providing a baseline against which neurological developmental disorders can be compared.

C. Lebel, C. Beaulieu, "Longitudinal development of human brain wiring continues from childhood into adulthood," J Neurosci, 31:10937-47, 2011. Free F1000 Evaluation

The F1000 Top 7 is a snapshot of the highest ranked articles on aging from a 30-day period on Faculty of 1000, as calculated on September 8, 2011. Faculty Members evaluate and rate the most important papers in their field. To see the latest rankings, search the database, and read daily evaluations, visit


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