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Extending Life, Enhancing Life: A National Research Agenda on Aging
More species are needed, including primates and other long-lived animals, that resemble humans more closely than those short-lived rodent models having condensed reproductive schedules. There is also a need for expanded support of programs within the NIA and other institutions to make available to researchers aging cohorts of animals of contrasting maximum lifespan potentials.
Cell Line and Tissue Samples
Increased effort should be directed toward making available cryopreserved cells and tissues. Improved access to these resources has already had an important effect on the progress of tumor biology. A new initiative is required to develop the technology of cryopreservation, banking, characterization, and distribution of postreplicative cells from donors of varying ages and genotypes. Samples of both of these cell and tissue types should be derived from different human populations according to age, sex, and state of disease (including, but not limited to, Type II diabetes mellitus and Alzheimer's disease).
Cell lines should be developed from more species, including long-lived avian species such as the Japanese quail, to evaluate lifespan relationships and propensity for spontaneous transformation. Finally, cell lines should be obtained for study from species having different lifespans and from human donors with certain progeroid syndromes (Martin, 1979).
Further Development of Existing Longitudinal Studies
Although this chapter focuses on fundamental biological processes of aging, this effort is directed primarily at the problems of human aging. Therefore, the committee stresses the resource importance of epidemiological studies of how humans age. Efforts should be made to increase the accessibility of archival information, especially the data from previous major longitudinal studies. These studies include information about childhood and adolescence that may form the basis for future gerontological research (Verdonik and Sherrod, 1984) and a current NIA crosscultural study of Alzheimer's disease that compares Japanese-Japanese with Japanese-Americans. Also, data on mortality rates and incidence of disease or dysfunctions of different human and animal populations should be made available.