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Aug 11, 2019

Artificial Intelligence Based Approaches to Identify Molecular Determinants of Exceptional Health and Life Span-An Interdisciplinary Workshop at the National Institute on Aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension, robotics/AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful approach for integrated analysis of the rapidly growing volume of multi-omics data, including many research and clinical tasks such as prediction of disease risk and identification of potential therapeutic targets. However, the potential for AI to facilitate the identification of factors contributing to human exceptional health and life span and their translation into novel interventions for enhancing health and life span has not yet been realized. As researchers on aging acquire large scale data both in human cohorts and model organisms, emerging opportunities exist for the application of AI approaches to untangle the complex physiologic process(es) that modulate health and life span. It is expected that efficient and novel data mining tools that could unravel molecular mechanisms and causal pathways associated with exceptional health and life span could accelerate the discovery of novel therapeutics for healthy aging. Keeping this in mind, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) convened an interdisciplinary workshop titled “Contributions of Artificial Intelligence to Research on Determinants and Modulation of Health Span and Life Span” in August 2018. The workshop involved experts in the fields of aging, comparative biology, cardiology, cancer, and computational science/AI who brainstormed ideas on how AI can be leveraged for the analyses of large-scale data sets from human epidemiological studies and animal/model organisms to close the current knowledge gaps in processes that drive exceptional life and health span. This report summarizes the discussions and recommendations from the workshop on future application of AI approaches to advance our understanding of human health and life span.

Aging is often described as the outcome of interactions among genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors with wide variation in life and health span between and within species (Newman and Murabito, 2013; Partridge et al., 2018; Singh et al., 2019). Exceptional life and health span represents an extreme phenotype characterized by exceptional survival (well-beyond average life expectancy), delayed onset of age-related diseases (before 80 years of age) (Pignolo, 2019) and/or preservation of good health/function relative to their peers (Perls et al., 2000, 2002; Kaeberlein, 2018). The identification of SNP associations with exceptional life and health span is a starting point for identifying targets for interventions that could potentially promote healthy human aging.

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