Researchers at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg have discovered a particular molecule, named Dickkopf-1 or Dkk1, that seems to have a positive effect on cognition in the elderly. Typically, as humans (and rats) age, they produce fewer neurons, which inhibits cognitive abilities. But when Dkk1 is blocked, older rats tested just as well as younger rats on memory and recognition tests.
With their strange 60-atom structures, buckyballs could have potential as drug carriers, medical tracers, cancer fighters and other interesting applications in the human body, but studies examining their impact on the body have had mixed results. A group of French researchers set out to study its toxicity and other effects, and came up with a surprising find — not only are buckyballs safe, a buckyball diet doubled the lifespan of lab rats.
It takes only 48 hours to distill a barrel of whiskey. The next decade is spent making it taste good. The liquor undergoes constant chemical changes, some from the charred oak of the barrel itself, which acts like a sieve, trapping the large-molecule forms of alcohol (methanol, butanol) that give young whiskey such a rough edge. The process takes years, and as a result good whiskey is old and expensive.
I have a vague memory of an exercise in elementary school in which, among other contrivances, the students smeared Vaseline on a pair of non-prescription glasses in order to simulate the effects of old age. As good as that science was, some researchers over at MIT created an impressive full-body aging simulation, complete with bungees (to bend the body and make everyday tasks more difficult) and a jumpsuit (because old people like jumpsuits (I think)).