2022’s busiest researcher took time out this month to update progress on epigenetic clocks. If I curated every study he’s contributed to, it would require at least three blog posts a week. I’ll link to a few he’s posted in August 2022 that are more appreciated in the researcher community.
“In my lab, we are looking for clocks that apply to multiple species at the same time, for example, universal pan-mammalian clocks. It’s all about enhancing translation.
If you have an intervention that rejuvenates a mouse, a rat, a dog, and a cat according to the same clock, then chances are high that it will also work in humans. Naked Mole-Rat Hyaluronan Synthase 2 Promotes Longevity and Enhances Healthspan in Mice
Several groups, including mine, are working on single cell methylation clocks. Researchers are building clocks that respond to lifestyle interventions, such as exercise.
Moving away from methylation, it would be nice to build similar clocks for other ‘omics’ data. Many researchers build clocks on the basis of other omics data, such as for chromatin, proteomics, and gene expression.
There are different platforms, but they all attempt to measure the same thing: biological age. LINE-1 RNA causes heterochromatin erosion and is a target for amelioration of senescent phenotypes in progeroid syndromes
Epigenetic clocks are ‘life course clocks.’ I don’t know any other biomarkers of aging that applies to fetal tissues as well, because most other biomarkers measure organ dysfunction. Epigenetic profiling and incidence of disrupted development point to gastrulation as aging ground zero in Xenopus laevis
There’s this company called Intervene Immune, founded by Greg Fahy, and they are using GrimAge and other epigenetic clocks in clinical trials. They are doing a Phase II clinical trial. By the way, I’m one of the participants.
I could name several other groups who are using epigenetic clocks in clinical trials. It would be interesting if more people would measure epigenetic age in clinical trials in humans, at least as a secondary outcome, because there’s always an opportunity to make a discovery.
If you compare GrimAge to other biomarkers, such as cholesterol or glucose levels, you will see similar noise levels there. Epigenetic clocks are remarkably robust compared to what else is used in the clinic. I would say that the issue with technical noise in epigenetic clocks has been solved.
I’m really glad that different companies and researchers pursue different avenues, since it diversifies our risk. If one of these approaches works, it will change the world.”
https://www.lifespan.io/news/steve-horvath-on-the-present-and-future-of-epigenetic-clocks/ “Steve Horvath on the Present and Future of Epigenetic Clocks”