Biogerontology 101

Created on Dec. 7, 2013, 7:45 p.m. by antonkulaga & updated by antonkulaga on May 20, 2017, 12:11 a.m. Hevok on May 20, 2017, 12:11 a.m.

Biogerontology 101 - Science Against Aging


The main challenge of aging activism is a gap between aging researchers and people interested in longevity and radical lifespan extension. Lack of understanding of biogerontology as well as molecular biology often does not allow most of longevity activists to effectively help the researchers, do longevity citizen science and differentiate real achievements in biogerontology from marketing mess.

This course is for everybody! From scientists outside of biogerontology - to ordinary people who just want to live longer or to become immortal. In the course you will play with interactive protein visualizations and genome editors, you will analyze and reason out of real aging research data. We will provide optional lectures for those of you who do not have any biological or computational background. We will invite famous aging researchers and to become guest speakers and share breaking new discoveries directly from their labs.

This course will allow you to understand the ins and outs of longevity research and advocacy. So it will help you to contribute to the advancements that lead to radical lifespan extension and rejuvenations in variety of forms: from just doing promotion, programming, design and advocacy up to choosing the path of an aging researcher or investor.

Need in Funding

We need funding to partially compensate our own expenses and time spent on the course, as we will have to:

  • buy wearable microphone for better sound as many people complaint
  • buy new camera + tripod at least for Kiev. The intro video that you saw was recorded on camera of one of our friends and it will be better to have our own camera for the rest of the course as it is not convenient to ask others each time we shoot.
  • buy green screen to record "green-screened" (where lecturer's background is substituted with our images/video) lectures easier
  • compensate part of our time spent on the course, as all those course planning and video editing are extremely time consuming


Official Course Description

Aging appears to be an extremely complex multifactorial process that is tightly regulated. There are dozens of theories about the mechanisms of the aging process, but no theory fully explains aging in its entirety. This course will focus on the study of the basic concepts of aging research and its consequences. The course covers the historical development of theories of aging, the primary molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern the aging process as well as the emergence of modern advances in the study on the age-related changes in the body including cutting-edge computational approaches. It allows you to master the basic knowledge regarding modern ideas about theories of non-programmed and programmed aging, age-related disorders on the level of individual cells and the entire organism, the molecular mechanisms of age-related dysfunction, the identification of genes responsible for aging, the impact of epigenetic changes on life expectancy, and the basic models considered to provide experimental approaches to the extension of the human lifespan. Be prepared to enter the most exciting scientific field of the 21st century which will change the life of all of us and enable us to live a longer and perhaps indefinitely long life in youth.

Course Format

This course is one of a kind. Here you will get skills and expertise from three different interconnected domains, three dimensions of longevity research: biological, computational and social.

Course materials are designed to guide students on their own distinctive paths of discovery.

Together with watching video lectures you can answer quizzes, play with interactive simulations and make simple programming assignments on real aging research data. We will also invite famous aging researchers to become guest speakers and share ground-breaking new discoveries directly from their labs.

We want to make it interactive, so we will use forums and communities to get feedback and improve lectures, quizzes, simulations and other course materials

Course Plan

Biological Mechanisms of Aging

  1. Introductory lecture. How and why we age?
  2. Theories of aging
  3. Role of reactive oxygen species in aging.
  4. Processes of damage and repair of DNA and proteins during the aging process
  5. Identification of aging genes
  6. Models for the study of aging
  7. The lifespan in animals of different species
  8. The aging process at the cellular level
  9. Violation of cell activation processes during aging
  10. Epigenetic mechanisms of lifespan regulation
  11. Basic approaches to lifespan extension
  12. Mechanisms of influence of calorie-restricted diet on the lifespan
  13. Experimental lifespan extension in transgenic animals

Laboratory Lectures

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  1. Parabiosis
  2. Longevity-promoting substances
  3. Genetic engineering. Transfection

Historical, Ideological, Philosophical and Social Implications of Increasing Life Expectancy

  1. Historical development of research of aging and lifespan extension
  2. Individual desirability of lifespan extension
  3. Social desirability of lifespan extension
  4. Implications for research, economics and public health policy
  5. The role of advocacy and activism. How you can help?

Computational Approaches to Decipher Aging

  1. Web Resources
  2. Systems Biology
  3. Networks
  4. Molecular Signatures
  5. Ontologies

Lectures for Non-Biologists (optional)

  • Biochemistry introduction (shorthand notations, bonds)
  • Amino acids and proteins
  • Basics of genetics: transcription, translation and replication
  • Preview on Epigenetics

Lectures for Non-Programmers (optional)

  • Basics of Python (variables, loops, functions, classes)
  • Introduction to graph theory and network analysis

Tags: biogerontology, course, education
Categories: News, reST

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