Today’s Headlines: Aging, Beauty Rest and HIV

Lifestyle changes may reverse aging in cells: A new study led by Dr. Dean Ornish suggests that certain lifestyle changes, including a plant-based diet, an exercise regimen, and meditation and yoga, may “turn back the biological clock and reverse aging on a cellular level.” Subjects of the study (all men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer) who adopted this better lifestyle over several years had a 10% increase in the lengths of their telomeres, “the caps at the ends of chromosomes that protect them from deterioration.” In men who did not adopt these new changes, telomere length shortened by 3%. Telomere length is thought to significantly impact the aging process. (Fox News)

Beauty rest is a real thing, study shows: Can sleep really make you more attractive? A new study says yes. The study used a “face mapping” technique to track the facial appearance of 20 middle-aged people with sleep apnea both before and after they began treatment. Sleep apnea “affects millions of adults and is characterized by snoring and breathing interruptions, which result in reduced quality of sleep.” After treatment with a CPAP machine, which acts as a breathing mask, “patients’ foreheads were less puffy and faces less red.” Subjects also benefited from “a reduction in forehead wrinkles after treatment.” (Nature World News)

Vaccine seems to clear monkeys of HIV-like infection; humans next?: A new vaccine appears to help protect monkeys from “simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV, offering fresh hope that a similar vaccine can save humans from HIV.” The study, published in Nature, showed that “when the monkeys were intentionally infected with SIV, the new vaccine cleared the infection and kept the animals virus-free for up to three years.” The researchers hope to start early-stage human clinical trials as early as 2015. (Los Angeles Times)