Life Extension and Full Age Reversal
Simple Concept That Will Change Your Life¦ and the World
posted on July 21, 2009
Do you ever get discouraged with life? Maybe you are just bothered by aging in general. Could you be experiencing financial problems, or fighting an illness, or have a relationship issue? Or have you watched the network news or read the newspaper today?
When you™re up to your eyeballs with everyday distractions and challenges, it™s hard to focus on to your long-term goals and plans. It™s especially hard to imagine things will be remarkably better in the future “ especially the distant future. Extreme life extension and full age reversal may not seem real to you, and besides, you™ve got to rush down to the hardware store to get something to fix that clogged drain.Â
That™s why, from time-to-time, it™s important to remind you of the simple concept that could make it possible to reverse the aging process by 2029. When you™re physically 25 years old again, disease-free and with perfect senses, you™ll look back on today™s œoverwhelming problems and laugh at their insignificance¦ if you remember them at all.
But is this just wishful thinking?
The possibilities are real, and a timely article explains why. Take a moment to review some excerpts. They will reinforce the fact that you do have a shot at an incredibly long, healthy youthful future, and that will make today™s challenges manageable and worthwhile.
From Technology Review, July 6, 2009:
œThe Noted Futurist Says that Exponential Advances Will Allow Us to Intervene in the Aging Process" A contribution by Ray Kurzweil
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Entropy is not the most fruitful perspective from which to view aging. There are varying error rates in biological information processes depending on the cell type, and this is part of biology's paradigm. We have means already of determining error-free DNA sequences even though specific cells will contain DNA errors, and we will be in a position to correct those errors that matter.
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The most important perspective in my view is that health, medicine, and biology is now an information technology, whereas it used to be hit or miss. We not only have the (outdated) software that biology runs on (our genome), but we have the means of changing that software (our genes) in a mature individual with such technologies as RNA interference (RNAi) and new forms of gene therapy that do not trigger the immune system.
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We can design interventions on computers and test them out on increasingly sophisticated biological simulators. One of my primary themes is that information technology grows exponentially, in sharp contrast to the linear growth of hit or miss approaches that have characterized medicine up until recently. As such, these technologies will be a million times more powerful in 20 years (by doubling in power and price/performance each year).
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[Dr. Leonard] Hayflick cites the automobile as an example to support his thesis that you cannot stop aging. Yes, automobiles will wear out if you don't maintain them adequately. However, we do have the knowledge to perfectly maintain automobiles and completely prevent aging. There are century-old automobiles around in vintage (perfect) condition that are still driven around. That is because the maintenance was sufficiently aggressive for those cars. Most people don't think it's worth the trouble with regard to an automobile, but it will be worth the trouble for our bodies.
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Our intuition is linear, so many scientists think in linear terms and expect that the slow pace of the past will characterize the future. But the reality of progress in information technology is exponential, not linear. My cell phone is a billion times more powerful per dollar than the computer we all shared when I was an undergrad at MIT. And we will do it again in 25 years. What used to take up a building now fits in my pocket, and what now fits in my pocket will fit inside a blood cell in 25 years.
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Just in recent years we have discovered that just one enzyme controls the telomeres and that cancer cells use telomerase to become immortal. Now, I realize that it is not a simple matter to just apply telomerase to overcome this particular aging limit, as we have to figure out how to administer it, and we don't want to encourage cancer, but these are all solvable engineering problems. END
Pretty encouraging, isn™t it? He says that the incredibly powerful tools we use today to tackle aging and every disease will be a billion times more powerful in 25 years with rapidly accelerating progress between now and then.
I know how hard it is to focus on all the great things going on in your life when something goes wrong. You could be having your best day ever, with everything in sync. But stub your toe, and you immediately forget all the positives. If you take the time to write them down, I™ll bet you™ll see your pluses far outweigh your minuses. Now you have another positive working for you. Keep that exponential expansion of knowledge and technology in mind if life ever seems pointless. And keep reminding yourself of all your blessings.
When I was rehabbing from my spinal cord injury, the doctors kept trying to drum into my head that I would never regain functional use of my trunk and legs. They wouldn™t even consider the possibility of future technology. When I needed encouragement, they dished out despair. Now, thanks largely to stem cell science, there is a cure on the horizon. It will be the same one day for every disease and condition, including aging. So no matter what, hang in there. When you lose hope, you have nothing.
ATEST HEALTHY LIFE EXTENSION HEADLINES
Nanoparticles as Antioxidants (July 17 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4295
The evidence to date suggests that antioxidants are only useful if specifically targeted - for example to the mitochondria, or to diseased cells. Here, RedOrbit looks at the prospects for targeted nanoparticles in the role of antioxidant: researchers have "engineered nanoparticles of cerium oxide (CeO2), a material long used in ceramics, catalysts, and fuel cells. The novel nanocrystalline form is non-toxic and biocompatible - ideal for medical applications. Since then, the researchers found that cerium oxide nanoparticles have two additional medical benefits: they behave like an antioxidant, protecting cells from oxidative stress, and they can be fine-tuned to potentially deliver medical treatments directly into cells. [Researchers] engineered special cerium oxide nanoparticles, which they call nanoceria, for tailored biomedical applications. The researchers used mice whose eyes have retinal defects similar to those found in patients with age-related macular degeneration. They treated some of the mice with nanoceria and then compared the number of lesions that occurred in their retinas. The researchers' results [indicate] that the nanoceria prevented about 85 percent of the damage to the retina."
Provoking Stem Cells into Action (July 17 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4294
From the Technology Review: "Fate Therapeutics, a startup based in La Jolla, CA, aims to harness the body's ability to heal itself by developing drugs that stimulate resident stem cells. Rather than developing cell transplants to replace diseased or damaged tissue, which is the focus of a great deal of stem-cell research, Fate is searching for molecules that can control the behavior of adult stem cells in different parts of the body. The human body is full of adult stem cells - small populations of tissue-specific stem cells that are capable only of developing into the cells of their resident tissue, and whose job is to help maintain and repair that tissue. While they lack the flexible fate of embryo-derived stem cells, adult stem cells come in a variety of flavors, including those capable of making liver cells and immune and blood cells, among others. Fate Therapeutics believes that, with a little pharmaceutical prompting, these cells can be nudged to repair tissue and organ systems, or even fight back against cancer."
NOTE: Could be a big breakthrough, but what about the accumulated damage to stem cells in the elderly?
On Longevity Gurus (July 15 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4290
From the LA Times: "Live a life without frailty and disease, and enjoy lasting youth, both physical and mental. Purveyors of longevity have been cashing in on that promise for centuries -- never mind that not one of the people prescribing a life-extension plan has ever delivered one that worked. Â Longevity gurus share one characteristic. Most are dead. And they all died at about the same age and of the same causes as the rest of the population. People think if you simply inject a substance that wanes with age, all will be well again, and it just isn't so. Replacing hormones has been something physicians have been trying for centuries to promote virility, youth and longevity. The concept has proven over and over again to be false, and sometimes detrimental." When engineered longevity arrives, it will arrive from a broad scientific community and a wealth of responsible, well-funded companies. There will be no secrets, no hidden methodologies, and no gurus - it will simply be new medicine, no different in its introduction than the way in which stem cell therapies are presently coming into use.
NOTE: Sure, you can extend your life and be much healthier with lifestyle changes. But the only way they are going to extend your maximum lifespan is to keep you alive long enough to be here when science comes to your rescue. That™s why it™s so important to support the research.
Damage and Cellular Signaling (July 14 2009)
Our cells talk to one another constantly, and much of the damage of aging involves harmful changes to those signals - cells instructed to behave in ways that cause further detrimental effects. For example: "When cells experiencing DNA damage fail to repair themselves, they send a signal to their neighbors letting them know they're in trouble. The discovery, which shows that a process dubbed the DDR (DNA Damage Response) also controls communication from cell to cell, has implications for both cancer and aging. .The discovery of the extracellular signaling mechanism, which sets off an inflammatory response, explains how unsuccessful DNA repair at the cellular level impacts tissues. With regard to cancer, we found that if there is a mutant and potentially cancerous cell in the vicinity of the damaged cell, the signals from the damaged cell can encourage that mutant cell to behave more aggressively cancerous. With regard to aging, we think the inflammatory signals from damaged cells propagate an aging 'field' whereby damage builds up over time, impacting not only the individual damaged cells, but the function of the tissue itself. Damaged cells that survive the activity of the immune system are sending out continuous danger signals to surrounding cells. That constant alarm drives inflammation, which helps drive aging."
Exercise and Longevity (July 13 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4287
A suprisingly sensible article on the benefits of regular exercise from the LA Times: "You may have heard the advice 'If you exercise, you'll live longer.' The good news - or the bad news, if you hate doing anything more active than downloading iTunes - is that it's true. Research backs this up. Most of the negative changes to our bodies over time can be chalked up to two things: normal aging and disease-related aging (that is, changes accelerated by illnesses and conditions such as diabetes and heart disease). Exercise [can] reduce the severity of both types. The research leaves no doubt that activity isn't just meant for the younger years. Human beings were active animals on the grassy savannas of Africa with high levels of energy expenditure. That's the kind of critter we are. But we're at the point now where we've engineered energy expenditure out of our lives, and that isn't good for us. Studies linking exercise to living longer sometimes leave off the important message that being physically active improves the quality of life as well."
On Local Cryonics (July 13 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4286
From Depressed Metabolism: "Real estate is all about location, location, location. Location matters in cryonics as well. The objective of standby and stabilization in cryonics is to limit injury to the brain after pronouncement of legal death. Unfortunately, many cryonics patients have not been stabilized promptly after pronouncement of legal death because the cryonics organization did a poor job of tracking the health condition of its members, was not made aware of the pending death of a member, or the case was one of rapid decline or sudden death. In other cases, the cryonics organization was aware of the critical condition of the patient but was faced with the challenge of providing services in a geographical area where few other cryonics advocates live. It should not be surprising, then, that some people who have recognized this problem advocate that cryonics organizations should be local in nature. Not only in the sense of building a strong local community and emergency response system, but also by strictly confining itself to members in that area. A technical criterion to determine the area of coverage for such a cryonics organization is that the distance between the service area of the cryonics facility should not exceed the distance that, in principle, permits stabilization of the patient without loss neurological viability of the brain by contemporary criteria."