Healthy Life Extension
I Cried Four Times
posted on July 31st, 2012
Dear Future Centenarian,
No man is an island.
Last Wednesday marked a milestone in my life. Had he still been alive, my dad would have celebrated his 100th birthday.
I planned a private commemoration “ a quiet dinner at a local restaurant where I could be alone with my thoughts. I did call my sister Carol in Virginia, and we had a coast-to-coast toast to dad.
I was fine until about noon that day. Thinking about the milestone wasn™t particularly emotional. But when I talked about it with a friend, I suddenly burst into tears and couldn™t stop. I didn™t realize how many emotions I had pent up inside of me.
The last time I cried was when he died, eleven years ago. The time before that was when my mother died in 1998. The one before that was twenty years earlier when I was paralyzed from a spinal cord injury.
There™s an old saying that goes something like œLife sucks, and then you die. I disagree. Life is what you make of it. Sure, it has its ups and downs in varying degrees among all of us. Some may think they were dealt a bad hand while everything seems to go right for others. The bottom line is, hardly anyone would trade it for the alternative. So all-in-all, life is good.
But how about the second half of that saying? No matter how your life goes, we all end up the same. Death, not space, is the last frontier to conquer.
I™m far from alone in feeling grief for a lost loved one. Right now, 100,000 people die from aging every single day. Most leave loved ones behind who often never quit mourning.
Millions of lives lost very year leaving even more millions of broken hearts in the wakes. This is tragic, and beyond the tragedy is the fact that technologies that could delay these premature deaths at worst and prevent them at best are being delayed due to lack of minimal funding. Did I mention the avoidable suffering?
Well I™m here to tell you that we are changing the landscape. Soon, 100 will be the new 50, and youthful 100th birthday celebrations will be the norm.
That old saying is going to fall by the wayside. We and others are now launching formal initiatives to raise the funds from wealthy investors that could stem the tide, and we need help to speed up progress and delay or avoid as many of those 100,000 daily deaths as possible.
Meanwhile, my dad was born too soon to benefit from the life-extending technologies that we are pursuing. But future medicine may rescue him yet. My mom too.
They are both cryonically preserved with the hope that future technologies will give them a second chance. You see, although they are both legally dead, they were placed in ultra-low temperature storage to keep their cells and hopefully their memories intact. If you are not familiar with cryonics, see www.alcor.org.
LATEST HEADLINES FROM FIGHT AGING!
A SINGLE-ISSUE POLITICAL PARTY FOR LONGEVITY SCIENCE Friday, July 27, 2012
In a number of countries one plausible path to advocacy for a cause is the establishment of a single issue political party - see, for example, the original Green Party or Pirate Party as successful examples of the type in Europe.
The Russian longevity science community is beginning to take this approach: "On July 19, we made the first step towards the creation of the Longevity Party. The initiative group of 10 people gathered together in Moscow to establish the first political party aimed at extending human lifespan using technological advances.
FDA REACHES TO REGULATE (I.E. BLOCK) SIMPLE STEM CELL THERAPIES Friday, July 27, 2012
The FDA seems to be succeeding in the courts with regard to shutting down the few groups in the US trying to offer first generation stem cell therapies, and placing a heavy burden of regulation upon them.
This most likely means that for another decade or so the only realistic way to access most of the present variety of stem cell therapies will continue to be medical tourism: "It's official: stem cells are drugs. At least, that's the opinion of the US district court in Washington DC, which has ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the authority to regulate clinics offering controversial stem cell therapies.
A REVIEW OF SKELETAL MUSCLE MITOCHONDRIA IN AGING Thursday, July 26, 2012
An open access paper: "Aging is characterized by a progressive loss of muscle mass and muscle strength. Declines in skeletal muscle mitochondria are thought to play a primary role in this process. Mitochondria are the major producers of reactive oxygen species, which damage DNA, proteins, and lipids if not rapidly quenched.
TOWARDS FUNCTIONAL BLOOD VESSELS GROWN FROM FAT CELLS Thursday, July 26, 2012
Another of the numerous different efforts to build blood vessels from a patient's own cells: "Researchers have grown small blood vessels in a lab using stem cells from fat gathered through liposuction. Such cultured blood vessels might someday play a role in transplant operations, including heart bypass surgery.
A REVIEW: PHYSICAL ACTIVITY INCREASES LIFE EXPECTANCY Wednesday, July 25, 2012
An open access review: "Physical activity reduces many major mortality risk factors including arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus type 2, dyslipidemia, coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer. All-cause mortality is decreased by about 30% to 35% in physically active as compared to inactive subjects.
REGENERATING BONE WITH SCAFFOLDS AND GENE THERAPY Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Another group working on bone regeneration: "researchers have developed an innovative scaffold material (made from collagen and nano-sized particles of hydroxyapatite) which acts as a platform to attract the body's own cells and repair bone in the damaged area using gene therapy. The cells are tricked into overproducing bone producing proteins known as BMPs, encouraging regrowth of healthy bone tissue.
MODIFYING OLD HEART STEM CELLS TO BOOST REGENERATIVE CAPACITY Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The stem cell research community is increasingly headed in the direction of finding ways to reverse or work around the age-related decline in regenerative capacity, driven by changes in stem cells and their niches: "Since patients with heart failure are normally elderly, their cardiac stem cells aren't very healthy.
We modified these biopsied stem cells and made them healthier. It is like turning back the clock so these cells can thrive again.