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  • Elder abuse has been recognized as a serious problem for decades. Yet rigorous studies are rare. Burnes and colleagues move the field forward by identifying how pervasive the problem is, the factors that increase and decease vulnerability, and how these factors change over a three-year period.

    • Kathleen Wilber
    • Kelly Marnfeldt
    News & Views
  • While C. elegans males are known to induce demise of hermaphrodites, the mechanism underlying this phenomenon is poorly understood. Through transcriptomic analyses, Booth et al. identify specific hermaphrodite gene sets that respond to male pheromones, sperm and seminal fluid and can mediate premature death of hermaphrodites.

    • Deniz Sifoglu
    • Joy Alcedo
    News & Views
  • Mouse frailty can be measured with a frailty index by manually counting health deficits. Vivek Kumar and colleagues use machine learning to extract physical performance deficits from video data to create a ‘visual frailty index’. This automated technique may facilitate high-throughput research into new frailty interventions.

    • Elise S. Bisset
    • Susan E. Howlett
    News & Views
  • Lee and colleagues reveal a previously unrecognized population of astrocytes in the aged brain with disrupted proteostatic signaling that generates defects in astrocyte morphology, protein trafficking and synapse maintenance in the aging hippocampus.

    • Ryan Baumert
    • Nicholas Brose
    • Cagla Eroglu
    News & Views
  • Genetic variation linked to lower levels of soluble ST2, a decoy cytokine receptor for IL-33, may protect against Alzheimer’s disease in women carrying the APOEε4 allele by increasing microglial plaque removal. This discovery advances our understanding of the immune system’s role in Alzheimer’s disease and underscores the importance of sex-specific disease processes.

    • Michael R. Duggan
    • Keenan A. Walker
    News & Views
  • The microenvironment can regulate adult stem cell function during tissue homeostasis and regeneration, but whether and how this is altered in aging is unclear. Ichijo et al. find that increased dermal stiffness, as a result of vasculature atrophy, activates cation channel PIEZO1, leading to interfollicular epidermal stem cell dysregulation.

    • Chae Ho Lim
    • Mayumi Ito
    News & Views
  • Muscle function decreases with age, and there are few preventative treatments. Zhang et al. find that different cell types in aging muscle express different senescence markers, giving insight into the complexity of senescence biology. They also show that aspects of muscle aging can be improved with senotherapeutic intervention.

    • Matej Durik
    • William M. Keyes
    News & Views
  • Transcription factors can control cell identity and function in health and disease. However, how they do so during aging is incompletely explored. Maity and colleagues identify age-related changes in gene regulation by analyzing the expression patterns of transcription-factor target genes in single-cell transcriptomics data.

    • Cyril Lagger
    • João Pedro de Magalhães
    News & Views
  • Compromised clearance of dysfunctional mitochondria, through the process of mitophagy, has garnered attention as an essential contributor to aging and neurodegeneration. Schmid and colleagues1 reveal that genetic enhancement of mitophagy via neuronal overexpression of BNIP3 alleviates brain aging and prolongs healthspan in fruit flies.

    • Sofie Lautrup
    • Evandro F. Fang
    News & Views
  • Tau neuropathology is a defining feature of Alzheimer’s disease. For decades, its progression throughout the cortex has been captured post mortem using Braak stages. A new study replicated Braak staging in living patients using positron emission tomography, showing associations with other biomarkers and clinical deficits.

    • Maura Malpetti
    • Renaud La Joie
    News & Views
  • Aging is accompanied by a gradual decline of cell proliferation potential. FOXM1 is a transcription factor involved in cellular proliferation and cell cycle progression. Ribeiro et al. show that cyclic expression of a truncated form of a FOXM1 transgene in vivo can delay senescence-associated progeroid and natural aging phenotypes in mice.

    • Yasuo Ouchi
    • Sanjeeb Kumar Sahu
    • Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte
    News & Views
  • Public health policies recommend maintaining a body mass index below 25, after which individuals are considered to be overweight or obese. A new study looked at optimal BMI in adults in China in their ninth decade or older, and concludes that these recommendations need to be revised upwards in this age group.

    • Jean Woo
    News & Views
  • Neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, are linked to the accumulation of defective mitochondria in the brain and to microbial dysbiosis in the gut. However, the interplay between these factors is incompletely understood. Fedele et al. reveal how gut mitochondrial dysfunction activates intestinal inflammation to drive neurodegeneration in a Parkinson’s disease model.

    • Ricardo Aparicio
    • Edward T. Schmid
    • David W. Walker
    News & Views
  • Frailty is an important age-related prognostic for mortality, and little is known about its immune landscape. Luo et al.1 use single-cell profiling to gather a comprehensive understanding of immune changes that happen from birth to old age, and provide new insights into the often-overlooked state of frailty.

    • Roel P. H. De Maeyer
    • Arne N. Akbar
    News & Views
  • Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is an important regulator of lipid metabolism and is genetically associated with longevity and age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. However, the molecular mechanisms that link APOE and aging are incompletely understood. Now an article in Nature Aging reveals that nuclear APOE promotes senescence by destabilizing heterochromatin.

    • Lu Wang
    • Zhixun Dou
    News & Views
  • While investigating sex differences in T cell aging, Mkhikian et al. identified a role for excessive IL-7 signaling and N-glycan branching in age-related T cell dysfunction in women and female mice. These findings point to the increasingly recognized importance of the effects of biological sex on immune aging, and delineate new targetable pathways in age-related immune dysfunction.

    • Cassandra J. McGill
    • Bérénice A. Benayoun
    News & Views
  • In cohorts of young and older adults who were comprehensively phenotyped, Janssens and colleagues traverse an important translational gap by providing compelling evidence for the purported link between elevated NAD+ levels and the healthy aging muscle phenotype in humans.

    • Stephen J. Gardell
    • Paul M. Coen
    News & Views
  • In cultured cells and in mice with accelerated aging, brief bursts of Yamanaka reprogramming factors reverse some molecular and functional deficits of aging without inducing pluripotency or teratomas. Browder et al. show that partial reprogramming regimens rejuvenate some tissues of physiologically aged mice without overt safety concerns.

    • Arianna Markel
    • George Q. Daley
    News & Views
  • Vascular senescence has been implicated in atherosclerosis. By characterizing SNPs in the p16-encoding CDKN2A/B locus, a new study in Nature Aging identifies CUX1 as a binding protein of an atherosclerosis-associated functional SNP, which activates CDKN2A expression and senescence in endothelial cells, thus providing a mechanism of transcriptional senescence regulation.

    • Adelyne Sue Li Chan
    • Masashi Narita
    News & Views
  • Telomeres, the caps of chromosomes, shorten with age. Using qPCR, Nilhesh Samani, Veryan Codd and colleagues measured leukocyte telomere length in close to half a million individuals from the UK Biobank, confirming several previous associations. This dataset offers many new opportunities to explore associations between leukocyte telomere length and other traits relevant to human aging and health.

    • Sara Hägg
    • Yiqiang Zhan
    News & Views