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Finding Inspiration in Every Turn


September 2023

All things Remarkable, Rejuvenating with a thanks to Rats (Actually Mice but mice doesn't start with an "R")


What'zup with P&J


Much of September's PJTnews is self-serving. Our brains are in need of rejuvenation and we are on the hunt for both excuses and hope. Judy's brain has been Fibromyalgia inflamed for decades and now Peggy has experienced Covid-brain-fog.


Peggy, feeling safer than she should having not caught Covid for 3 years, dined outside with someone who was not feeling well. After several days of fever and a bit of brain fog she responded to Paxlovid but has a lingering cough. She swears her brain fog has lifted . . .

Judy, is continuing wear a mask wherever she goes. She's considering wearing a burka so people think she's just devout instead of paranoid about getting sick and exacerbating her chronic symptoms.



As always our pithy, if not always informed, comments are in RED.


 Scientists Connected Old Mice to Young Mice

It Rejuvenated Them!

"In a bizarre experiment researchers from US and Russia (even if countries can't get along on a human level perhaps mice can unite nations) connected the circulatory systems of young and old mice for a whole 12 weeks, slowing the older animals' cellular aging and increasing their lifespan by as much as 10 percent."

"The study expands on previous research showing there are components in young mammalian blood worth investigating for anti-aging health benefits.

As impressive as the results seem, they fall well short of supporting whole-blood transfusion treatments in humans."

"Putting aside the huge biological leap between mice and humans, there are numerous known and severe risks associated with such treatments for the receiver, not to mention questionable ethics of donation."

"What's more, twelve mouse weeks could equate up to eight years in humans – a rather impractical length of time to be physically connected to someone in a potentially lethal manner."


"The elements that are driving this are what's important, and they are not yet known," Duke University cell biologist James White explains.

"Are they proteins or metabolites? Is it new cells that the young mouse is providing, or does the young mouse simply buffer the old, pro-aging blood?"

To find out, Harvard University geneticist Bohan Zhang and colleagues joined the circulatory systems of pairs of young mice (3 months old), pairs of old mice (two years), and pairs consisting of an old mouse and a young mouse and compared the results."


"Tests revealed the older mice who received the young blood had higher concentrations of regulatory compounds such as tricarboxylic acid, evidence of chemical processes that are usually interrupted by aging, increased production of mitochondria 'powerhouses', reduced inflammation, and greater expression of genes associated with longer life."


"This effect correlates with a longer life span, improved physiological parameters and a globally rejuvenated" genetic regulatory and cell protein systems the team explain in their paper, confirming three month blood circulation link was far more effective than previously studied short-term blood sharing (five weeks)."


"While Zhang and colleague's study was being peer reviewed another study was also published using similar techniques that sadly revealed bad news for the young donor mice. They suffered a decrease in their lifespan as a result of the procedure."

"This means the researchers can't rule out that an exchange of entire cells themselves cause the changes, for example, by replacing and diluting the amount of old damaged cells, which the donor animal then must deal with.

But Zhang and team could not find any evidence that the younger types of cells linger anywhere, such as within the bone marrow, even though the positive impacts did remain.

The researchers are keen to find the cardiovascular components behind these incredible benefits".

Research was published in Nature Aging.


Now HERE'S a Cute RAT! *iykyk

Naked Mole Rat

We've featured this remarkable critter before. Naked Mole Rats have no external ears and they have tiny eyes, which make them virtually blind. But since they live underground in eastern Africa they have no need for glasses, clothes or dental care. If living underground extends life expectancy it's something to consider . . .

"The naked mole rat is surprisingly long-lived for a rodent.

The naked mole rat can live up to 32 years old, that’s the longest of any rodent. These remarkable rodents are also largely resistant to conditions that affect humans, from neurodegeneration to cancer, so these weird animals could offer valuable insights into our own biology."



Smelling "Stuff" in your Sleep could Improve Your Memory

"How do you keep your memory sharp in old age? Try going to bed and smelling the roses, according to scientists.

A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience details how exposing adults between the ages 60 and 85 (finally research that looks at people older than 20) to different odors while they slept dramatically boosted their cognitive capacity — providing a hopeful avenue of staving off dementia." (and maybe incentive to bathe in perfume and wash bed sheets).


"The idea is that it will keep the memory centers of your brain in good condition throughout life, and perhaps prevent memory loss older in life," said co-author Michael Leon, a professor of neurobiology and behavior at the University of California, Irvine Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory"


"You might even yourself be familiar with smell's powerful link to memory — maybe you've heard of a Proustian rush? An errant whiff of a perfume could suddenly dredge up long-forgotten episodes, the same way a taste of food can conjure up a feeling someone thought they'd lost forever, for example."


"The olfactory sense has the special privilege of being directly connected to the brain's memory circuits," explained Michael Yassa, a fellow neurobiology professor at CNLM.

"However, unlike with vision changes that we treat with glasses and hearing aids for hearing impairment, there has been no intervention for the loss of smell."


"In the study, researchers drew from a small pool of 43 participants not suffering from memory loss, who they divided into two groups. One group received a natural oil diffuser and seven powerful fragrance cartridges: rose, orange, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint, and lavender."

The control group, not as lucky, were given "sham" cartridges with barely any scent."


"Over the course of six months, all participants were instructed to diffuse a different cartridge before going to bed, emitting either pleasant odors or almost nothing at all for two hours while they dozed off."


"And voila: by the end of the study, the adults with the scents showed a remarkable 226 percent improvement in cognitive performance, evaluated via a word learning test, and backed-up by imaging that revealed strongly functionality in a brain pathway associated with the formation and retrieval of memories."


"It's worth noting that scientists have known that the loss of olfactory senses can predict the onset of dementia and other neurological diseases. Using smell as a memory booster in such patients has also been explored before, with one previous study finding moderate dementia patients could benefit from being exposed to 40 different smells twice per day."


"But it's not realistic to think people with cognitive impairment could open, sniff and close 80 odorant bottles daily," Leon said in the statement."

"Instead, what this new research demonstrates is that exposure can be done passively, i.e. in your sleep, using far fewer odors. In other words, it's a lot more practical — but further research using a much larger sample size and, ideally, on those with diagnosed memory loss, will be needed before any of this smell science is set in stone."


Mice to the Rescue, yet again . . .

Rejuvenating the Brain: Healthy Cells Replace Diseased Ones 

"A promising study reveals transplanted healthy glial cells can outcompete and replace diseased or aged brain cells, potentially restoring normal brain function. This breakthrough suggests a broad potential for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.


Key Facts:

  1. Healthy glial cells, when transplanted into humanized mice brains, can outcompete and replace both diseased and aged cells.

  2. This discovery opens up possibilities for treating various diseases of glial cells, including Huntington’s, ALS, and genetic schizophrenia.

  3. The researchers anticipate initiating clinical trials within the next two years, pending safety data on long-term cell transplants.

Source: University of Copenhagen

Gial Cells 

"Uncontrollable movements, memory loss, mood changes, and forgetfulness. Those are some of the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases in which cells in the central nervous system stop working or die."

"In particular, many of these conditions are caused by disease or loss of the support cells of the brain, called glial cells. These disorders are especially challenging to treat and study because the diseased cells are in the human brain."

"In the study, the researchers transplanted healthy glial cells into the brains of mice already populated with diseased human glial cells. . . . New research from the University of Copenhagen shows that the diseased and aged brain cells can be replaced with new and fresh ones, potentially helping restore normal brain function."

“When we transplant healthy human glial progenitor cells into the brains of mice that have been already colonized by diseased human brain cells, the healthy cells outcompete the sick cells. Even more remarkably, we also found that younger cells replace aged cells when transplanted into otherwise healthy brain."


“That makes the potential use of glial cell transplantation very broad, because we could go into all sorts of disease targets where we have older glial cell populations,” says Steve Goldman, who is a professor at the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Copenhagen."


"Although the study was conducted in mice, the humanized brain method developed by Steve Goldman and his group allowed the examination of human brain cells in the live adult brain, making it likely that their results will apply to human patients as well."


Healthy cells outcompete diseased cells


“We transplanted the healthy human cells into the mice that were ‘humanized’ with the mutant Huntington-expressing glia, and the healthy glial cells outcompeted and replaced the diseased glia, actually eradicating the diseased glial population,” Steve Goldman says.

The same outcome was observed when the researchers attempted to replace non-diseased, healthy but aged glial cells with new cells. The younger cells successfully outcompeted the aged cells."


“That told us that it wasn’t just a question of healthy cells outcompeting the diseased cells of Huntington’s disease, but that this was much broader in terms of its potential use, because we could go into all sorts of disease targets where we have older or diseased glial populations. The advantage is significant in terms of where this could go because there are all sorts of diseases of glial cells,” Steve Goldman says.

That includes illnesses like:

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Age-related White matter stroke

  • Neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington’s, ALS

  • Some of the genetic schizophrenias.

  • Frontotemporal dementias 

Treatments are only a few years off

The possibility of new treatments is not far off. The researchers are already proposing clinical trials to test the effect on three different brain diseases, that include Huntington’s disease as well as two diseases of white matter, progressive multiple sclerosis and Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease.

“. . . we hopefully can get the approval to go into patients, so I would hope that we could initiate trials of this approach

within two years from now.”

Dr. Goldman holds additional positions at Sana Biotechnology, Inc., and at the University of Rochester. 


*What Does 'iykyk' Mean?

"IYKYK" stands for "if you know, you know." The abbreviation is used in relation to a statement, image, video or content, alluding to an inside joke or reference for a certain group, such as a fandom."


The slang denotes an insider perspective: You understand (or get) the reference.


Examples of how to use "#iykyk" in your social media posts

  • I subscribe to PJTnews, It's a smart thing to do. #iykyk

  • I just love PJTnewsletters; it's brilliant. #iykyk

Celery deserves Rejuvenation too iykyk

Is your celery sad, limp, lifeless?

  1. Cut off the bottom layer of the celery bunch

  2. Fill a large glass with cold water and submerge the stalks directly into the water with the leaves hanging out of the glass at the top.

  3. Store the glass of celery in your refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, a few hours or overnight and . . .

. . . watch your celery cheer up, crisp up and hear it pray it's not eaten. 

Speaking about celery . . . You CAN account for taste: How your dislike of certain flavors is baked into your genes

Judy can't conquer her aversion to cilantro - tastes like castile soap. Peggy can't abide asparagus and won't eat cooked carrots but likes cauliflower and cabbage. (please notice all the alliteration)

Chances are it’s DNA! 

"A large proportion of food tastes are acquired. Take the different types of starchy carbohydrates, which make up more than 50 per cent of calories consumed throughout the world. The love of carbs is largely universal, but the ‘tastes’ for its different forms are culturally embedded from an early age." Some love it in the form of bread, others rice, some sweet, others savory.


What is less well known is that there are genes that influence our ‘taste’ for certain types of food.


"One of the key genes that play a role in the control of food intake is the melanocortin 4 receptor or MC4R, which forms part of the circuit in our brain that senses how much fat we are carrying."


"Why? Because people with mutations in MC4R have brains that are less sensitive to the amount of fat in their bodies; their brains think they are carrying less fat than they actually are. As a result, they eat more, and end up heavier."


But the MC4R doesn’t only influence how much we eat, but also what we eat.


"What happened was those carrying a mutation in MC4R ate almost twice the amount of high-fat curry than the lean individuals ate, and 65 per cent more than individuals with non-MC4R obesity."


"Paradoxically, in contrast to the fat choice experiment, individuals with a mutation in MC4R liked the high sugar dessert less than their lean and obese counterparts and in fact, ate significantly less of all three desserts compared to the other two groups. It turns out that people with a defective MC4R preferred higher fat food but had a decreased preference for sugary foods."


 Peggy's Genetic Code - She's not a "supertaster"

How about the taste or distaste for specific types of food?

A demonstration at London's Royal Institution about the genetics of feeding behaviour gave 12 people from the audience a little blank bit of paper and were told to put it on their tongue.

Half of the volunteers encountered an acutely bitter taste, while the other half tasted nothing.

All the pieces of paper were infused with a little drop of phenylthiocarbamide, the chemical responsible for the bitter taste found in brassicas, plants in the cabbage and mustard family.


However, only around 50 per cent of people, known as ‘supertasters’, carry a variation of the gene TAS2R38, that allows them to detect the bitterness. The ability to taste this bitterness doesn’t automatically mean you hate sprouts, but it certainly influences the taste sensation you get from eating them and other related vegetables.


Judy's Genetic Code

Then there is the Marmite reaction of different people to the herb coriander (or cilantro, depending on where in the world you hail from), which many people consider tasty but some, famously, the chef Julia Child, find disgusting. This dislike may, of course, simply reflect preference."

"However, for those coriander-phobes amongst you, for whom the herb has a strong soapy taste, it is indeed genetic.

Some people have a genetic variation in the olfactory-receptor gene OR6A2, allowing them to strongly perceive the aldehydes in coriander leaves, which are the source of the soapy-flavour. Interestingly, the prevalence of this genetic variation varies geographically, with regions where coriander is more popular, such as Central America and India, having fewer people carrying this ‘soapy’ variation."


Want to read how research was conducted? 


A Drug For Regrowing Teeth Could Be Available

Within The Next Decade

"Teeth don't grow back once we become adults: any wear and tear is permanent – as those of us with fillings will know."

However, this is something scientists are now looking to change.

"It's been announced that clinical trials for a potential tooth regrowth treatment are set to begin in July 2024, building on decades of research in the field. If those trials are successful, therapeutic drugs could be available by 2030."(by 2030 Peggy & Judy will need more than new teeth . . . iykyk)

"A team from the Medical Research Institute at Kitano Hospital in Japan is in charge of the trial, which is targeting people with anodontia, a rare genetic condition that prevents baby teeth and adult teeth from growing in the normal way.

The treatment would initially target young children with the condition, but further down the line, the researchers think it could also be used more broadly – with people who have more common dental problems, such as gum disease, for example."

"Here's how it works: having found a link between a specific gene called USAG-1 and limits on tooth growth in mice, the researchers then moved on to tests that tried to block the expression of USAG-1.

An antibody was discovered that could safely block some of the activity of USAG-1 in mice and ferrets without leading to any serious side effects, leading to induced tooth growth."

The next step is to see if the same chemical reactions can be controlled in humans.

We're talking about potential rather than reality at the moment, but it might be possible to use the new drug to prompt the growth of a third generation of teeth in the mouth, after baby teeth and full-sized adult teeth.

As the researchers point out in a recent scientific review, the benefit of the approach is that teeth growth is being triggered in a natural way, through a process known as bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling.

Our bodies are naturally doing the work, without any complicated engineering of stem cells required.


Resource: DAVID NIELD, A paper on the research was published in Nature in July 2021.



Speaking of TEETH . . .


(P-G Warning: We are directly quoting BBC Science Focus. We TRY to abstain from referring to male anatomy . . . in print)


"Have you ever seen a fish with human teeth? Often mistaken for a piranha, these weird animals are omnivores, eating both plants and meat. The pacu’s square, straight teeth are used mainly to crush nuts and fruits that drop down into Amazonian rivers and streams from the trees above."

"But swimmers, beware! These nut-crunching fish have also been rumoured to mistake human testicles for their favourite snacks, earning them the nickname ‘testicle-eating fish’ or ‘ball-cutter fish’. Ouch."


Did you know . . .

How You Breathe Affects How You Memorize Things?


"Our breathing patterns, and their resulting impacts on the brain, can strengthen or weaken our memory-forming powers, new research reveals – and the findings could potentially help in the treatment of brain disorders and mental health problems."


"The body's natural and spontaneous breathing behavior is known as medullary respiratory activity, after the medulla oblongata – the breathing control center of the brain. Of particular importance are a small cluster of neurons in what is known as the Pre-Bötzinger Complex (PreBötC), which sit inside the medulla oblongata."

"Although details of respiratory function on brain states remain unclear, recent studies suggest that respiration may play an important role during online brain states."

"In this new study, scientists interfered with the PreBötC in genetically modified mice. (YEA! MICE to the rescue!) They found that when they temporarily stopped the mice from breathing, the animals were less able to form important memories during object recognition and fear conditioning tests."


"What's more, pauses in breathing also seemed to affect the activity of the brain's hippocampus (key to long-term and short-term memory storage) during memory recall. In further tests, forcing irregular breathing patterns improved the memories of the mice, while slowing the breathing down worsened the mice memories."


"Previous research from the same team had already demonstrated that switching from breathing out to breathing in at the start or in the middle of a memory task – technically known as the expiratory-to-inspiratory (EI) transition or inspiratory onset – made people slower and less accurate when recalling the information."


"We're already aware of various links between breathing and the brain – the way that breathing exercises can help calm us down, for example – and the team behind the new paper suggests that deliberately adjusting our breathing patterns could help in other therapeutic ways."


"The way of breathing manipulation and application of breathing exercises will be crucial for treatment and therapy of depression and neuropsychiatric disorders."


Want to read the whole article?



Speaking of Breathing

We believe that slugs must have exceptional memory because, unlike ours, their "noses" are multi-functional . . . iykyk

Slug Breath 

They possess two pairs of tentacles located on the head, with the upper, longer pair known as optical tentacles, which house the eyes and the lower, shorter pair known as oral tentacles responsible for their sense of smell. The oral tentacles can be considered the slug’s “noses,”They use them not just for smelling but also see and touch through these noses or tentacles.


We're not using a picture of a real slug because we don't want to slime up our PJTnews




“L'Shana Tovah tikatevu,”*

Rosh Hashanah 2023 begins on the evening of Friday, September 15, and ends at sundown on Sunday, September 17, 2023. Rosh Hashanah is a religious and festive time when family and friends gather together for meals and worship and grow closer to God.


"The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah actually means “Head of the Year.” Just like the head controls the body, our actions on Rosh Hashanah have a tremendous impact on the rest of the year.

As we read in the Rosh Hashanah prayers, each year on this day “all inhabitants of the world pass before G‑d like a flock of sheep,” and it is decreed in the heavenly court “who shall live, and who shall die ... who shall be impoverished and who shall be enriched; who shall fall and who shall rise.”'

"It is a day of prayer, a time to ask the Almighty to grant us a year of peace, prosperity and blessing. But it is also a joyous day when we proclaim G‑d King of the Universe. The Kabbalists teach that the continued existence of the universe depends on G‑d’s desire for a world, a desire that is renewed when we accept His kingship anew each year on Rosh Hashanah."


*Meaning: May you be inscribed for a good year, or just “Shana Tovah,” which means “a good year.”

“How can I begin anything new with all of yesterday in me?”
―Leonard Cohen

"The world is new to us every morning—and every man should believe he is reborn each day."
—Baal Shem Tov



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