Healthy Life Extension
It's Easier than You Think
posted on July 3rd, 2012
Dear Future Centenarian,
As a population grows more long-lived, its members become wealthier:
In spite of concerns expressed by various government representatives, human longevity goes hand in hand with increased wealth. There are many economic benefits to living longer in good health beyond the immediately obvious ones.
This has been demonstrated over and again during the past few centuries, as one after another, regions of the world have moved from poor to rich, and populations from shorter-lived to longer-lived.
This bears repeating, and frequently, as the very vocal Malthusian and environmentalist camps claim that exactly the opposite will happen in the future. The Malthusian vision is of poverty and collapse brought on by longevity. This is, of course, ridiculous and just as wrong now as it has been at any time since Malthus first put forward his ideas.
The world simply doesn't work that way, as human ingenuity driven by the urge to profit continually produces new and greater resources in response to the need for them.
Nonetheless, with little regard for history, Malthusian adherents loudly oppose engineered human longevity - and their influence is grand and pervasive. When the average person on the street claims to be against longer lives and greater health, it is the hair-shirt Malthusian teachings of the environmentalist movement that inform that reaction: too many people, using too many resources, living too long, and not deserving any more of either.
Yet the world does not work that way. There is no such thing as overpopulation and no such thing as limits on resources. The arguments for more human death and suffering (and less striving for better medicine) are nothing less than evil. A banal and diffuse evil, with every person doing a little to build the monstrous whole, but still malign and terrible in its end result.
Every day the development of rejuvenation biotechnology is slowed will cost at least 100,000 lives, and another day of suffering for tens of millions of people.
Sadly, those who buy into Malthusian positions, and there are many, could very well inadvertently be committing suicide. We tend to get what we expect.
LATEST HEADLINES FROM FIGHT AGING!
AGE-RELATED VISUAL IMPAIRMENT IN DECLINE Friday, June 29, 2012
Steady progress in medicine has led to an ongoing reduction in many age-related conditions over the past few decades.
Such as this, for example: "Today's senior citizens are reporting fewer visual impairment problems than their counterparts from a generation ago, according to a new [study]. Improved techniques for cataract surgery and a reduction in the prevalence of macular degeneration may be the driving forces behind this change, the researchers said.
ALCOR 40 CONFERENCE, OCTOBER 19TH 2012 Friday, June 29, 2012
Cryonics provider Alcor is holding a 40th anniversary conference in October, and the presently announced program looks much like this:
A STEP TOWARDS BETTER BLOOD Thursday, June 28, 2012
Why not aim to improve on blood? Its primary function is to carry oxygen, and it has evolved to do the bare minimum necessary on this front - separate any part of the body from a supply of oxygen for a minute or so and you're in trouble.
It would be nice, for example, to have blood with a reserve capacity of a few hours, achieved using nanomachines that store the surplus oxygen that the body doesn't otherwise extract from air breathed in.
DEMONSTRATING GENETICALLY CORRECTED STEM CELLS AS A THERAPY Thursday, June 28, 2012
This demonstrated technology platform has wide-ranging uses beyond muscular dystrophy. The ability to generate altered versions of a patient's own stem cell populations and then deliver them as needed could be a useful therapy for many conditions:
COMMENTS ON CHEMOPRESERVATION VERSUS CRYOPRESERVATION Wednesday, June 27, 2012
There is some ongoing interest in plastination (or chemopreservation) as a possible alternative to cryonics (or cryopreservation) - though not yet enough for an initiative to arise that offers that service.
Here is commentary on this topic: "Even if chemopreservation can be demonstrated to preserve the intricate wiring of the brain, it can be safely assumed that there will not be a massive change in demand for brain preservation technologies.
CALORIE RESTRICTION REDUCES LOSS OF SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Another of the many benefits of calorie restriction is outlined in this paper: "The author focused on the functional decline of synapses in the brain with aging to understand the underlying mechanisms and to ameliorate the deficits.
ANOTHER WAY OF SEARCHING FOR LONGEVITY-RELATED MECHANISMS Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Researchers are developing all sorts of methods for sifting through the mass of data on protein machinery used in our bodies, and some groups are finding novel ways to identify possible longevity-related proteins:
"Despite a 10-100-fold difference in maximum lifespan (MLS), most known mammal species show similar phenotypes of aging. This observation suggests that the genetic determinants of mammalian aging and lifespan may be relatively plastic.
POPULAR PRESS ON ORGAN TISSUE ENGINEERING Monday, June 25, 2012
Building new organs from a patient's own cells is a goal that is gaining more attention from the wider public and the mainstream press:
"What if dying patients waiting for an organ transplant could receive a custom, lab-grown replacement rather than waiting for a donor organ?
IN SITU TISSUE ENGINEERING OF AN ARTERY Monday, June 25, 2012
The logical progression for tissue engineering is to move to building inside the body rather than building outside and then transplanting the resulting new tissue. Here is an example of that trend: "The host site, the artery in this case, is an excellent source of cells and provides a very efficient growth environment.