Inside Long Long Life: the diseases of aging

Baptiste Tesson, biologist and bio-engineer, reviews his internship at Long Long Life and his work providing information on the diseases of aging.

Hello, my name is Baptiste, I am a biologist by training, so I study fundamental research at the ENS of Lyon and bioengineering at the EPFL. I am an intern here at Long Long Life where I write science popularization articles.

Diseases of aging: the goals of Long Long Life

What’s Long Long Life? Long Long Life is a popular science website focusing mainly on the fight against aging. Why do you need a website like this?

As you may realize, the world of scientific research is an extremely closed world when you don’t have direct access to it, when you’re not in the community. It’s really very hard to even read the article, and even if you get your hands on it, you don’t usually understand much.

Thanks to my training, I am able to have access to and know how to read these articles, and my goal is to help you understand them. So once a week what I do is I look for all the articles coming directly from the laboratories related to the fight against aging, and I choose among them the most interesting and I synthesize them for you so that you too can have access to these advances.

Diseases of aging: our articles

The other major part of my job is to write you a file, a kind of short course on age-related diseases, because we know them well, we imagine them, we realize that when we get older things do not go as well. But the goal of this project would be for me to make sure that you are able to fully understand them, separate them and know how they work.

Among these diseases there will be cancers, I will explain how cancers develop, why they evolve in this way, neurodegenerative diseases which are for many people a kind of black box, we just say the brain, it’s fine, it’s not. I’m trying to explain to you the mechanics behind all this. Cardiovascular diseases, likewise, we often tell ourselves: “The heart isn’t well”, no, I will really explain the mechanism: why, as we get older, our entire circulatory system stops working normally.

And finally, metabolic diseases, something we usually know even less about, where I will explain why our metabolism, the source of energy for our body, dysfunctions as we get older.

Diseases of aging: how Long Long Life works

During the last two months I was obviously not in freewheeling mode, I was very well supervised, especially from the point of view of the management of the website, as well as the scientific accuracy of my work. It is also important to add that the whole site is directly managed by Dr Guilhem Velvé Casquillas.

Bonus question: vocation

Why did I choose biology? For me it’s relatively simple, at the beginning I wanted to do physics, a field in which I was rather good, but when I was a kid, one day I came across a book where they explained that by genetically modifying a mouse with rat gene it had become twice as big. For me, it was simply a revelation, I wanted to do this with my life.

Diseases of aging: our articles

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Baptiste Tesson

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Baptiste is studying biology at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and bioengineering at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. He worked on the optimization of Cas9 as a tool for genome editing and on the emergence of blood stem cells in the zebrafish. He currently works on the patterning of the muscles, also in the zebrafish. He plans on doing a PhD in developmental biology.

More about the Long Long Life team

Baptiste étudie la biologie à l’École Normale Supérieure de Lyon et la bioingénierie à l’École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Il a travaillé sur l’optimisation de la protéine Cas9 comme outil de modification de génomes et sur le développement des cellules souches du sang chez le poisson zèbre et travaille actuellement sur la mise en place des muscles chez le même animal. Il projette de réaliser un doctorat axé vers le développement animal.

En savoir plus sur l’équipe de Long Long Life