A team led by David Sinclair, professor of genetics in the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School (HMS), has just taken another step toward this goal by developing two artificial intelligence (AI)-based clocks that use established measures of frailty to gauge both chronological and biological age in mice.
“We are working to predict mouse health spans so we can quickly assess the effectiveness of interventions intended to extend life and move toward doing the same one day in humans,” said Sinclair.
“It can take up to three years to complete a longevity study in mice to see if a particular drug or diet slows the aging process,” said co-first author Alice Kane.
The researchers went on to track frailty in two groups of mice given treatments or diets shown to extend life or health span in previous mouse studies.
We want to understand how the aging process itself works so we can find ways to reduce the incidence of all these diseases together, rather than one at a time.”
The lab has made the clocks freely available for other researchers.
“Many aspects of aging are indeed scary, and we want to find ways to prevent or reverse them so we can all stay biologically younger for longer,” said co-first author Michael Schultz.
Since frailty indices already exist for people, in principle “it would be relatively straightforward” to develop a life expectancy clock like AFRAID for humans — “if we had the proper data set,” said Schultz.
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