Healthy Life Extension
"Immortality" or "Ammortality?"
posted on October 09th, 2012
Dear Future Centenarian,
The word œimmortal is loosely tossed around among people who want more life. One of Greta Blackburn™s friends coined an appropriate term, œammortal.
Let™s make the definition something along the lines of œan open-ended youthful lifespan. Maybe we could expand it to include the concept of never dying from aging. That™s our goal.
Immortality is often linked to living forever or eternally, and eternal is outside of time “ no beginning or end. That could of course mean outside the universe. That™s why I don™t like to use the word œimmortality as one of our goals. It™s also linked to mythology.
But people have been using ™immortal and œforever both accurately and to mean not dying from aging¦ to who knows what for so long that a new precise word may be timely.
Unless you know speakers™ definitions of their words, how do you communicate? For example, you may be trying to convince someone of the positive aspects of œammortality by using terms such as immortal and forever, and they know, at least subconsciously, that your argument is absurd, they shut you out and consider you to be a freak. They are also probably programmed to reject any radical concept that interferes with their core beliefs.
For example, as subscriber James Boanerges points out, the reason so few people want to live œforever is that we feel a need for time structuring. Each of us, at a young age, writes our œlife script, and then live it out and die accordingly.Â Generally we get the life script from our family tradition, and die at about the same time as our parents of the same disease or condition. Unless we are aware of our life script, we may follow itÂ unconsciouslyÂ to the end. Â
Vitamins, diet and exercise may help, but to keep from dying "on schedule," it is vitally important to rewrite our life script to allow for more time, and you can always change it later. So if an unlimited lifetime is unacceptable (as it is to 98% of the people), you can make it !00, or 120 and then up it to 150, etc.
And to turn that 98% into say 49%, a real life demonstration or proof of concept of reversing aging will probably be needed, since open-ended lifespans may not be as objectionable as we think. It may not be unacceptable, just unbelievable.
Tom Murtaugh, another subscriber, and I maintain that it will be a visual treatment for some aspect of aging: erasing wrinkles, reversing grey hair, hair regrowth... etc. that will open the minds of the billions.
In the film ET, there is a scene towards the end when ET is thought to be dead¦ but he is not.Â The boy Henry comes to realize this when he sees a dead pot of flowers returning to life.Â Growing younger and basically returning from death visually.Â
People grasp what they see.Â The word œunderstand does not speak to this but the words "insight" "I see" "clarification" "vision" and others are integral to our language because so much of our languages are based on the visual.Â The eyes.Â Even radio ads, which are purely sonic, try to evoke images in the mind of the listener.Â
LATEST HEADLINES FROM FIGHT AGING!
NOTING PROGRESS IN ARTIFICIAL CORNEA DEVELOPMENT Friday, OctoberÂ 5, 2012
The development of artificial replacements proceeds in parallel with tissue engineering as a way to build replacement parts for damaged corneas. Here, publicity materials tout recent progress in artificial corneas:
"ArtCornea is based on a polymer with high water-absorbent properties. [Researchers] have added a new surface coating to ensure anchorage in host tissue and functionality of the optic.
A CRYONICS PHOTO ESSAY AT WIRED Friday, OctoberÂ 5, 2012
Wired is running a photo essay on cryonics, the low-temperature preservation technique that intends to preserve the structure of the mind sufficiently well for patients to be restored to life by future technology: "The Prospect of Immortality is a six-year study by UK photographer Murray Ballard, who has traveled the world pulling back the curtain on the amateurs, optimists, businesses and apparatuses of cryonics.
SHARED MECHANISMS FOR LONGEVITY VIA CALORIE RESTRICTION AND AC5 KNOCKOUT Thursday, OctoberÂ 4, 2012
One of the handful of genetic alterations shown to extend life in mice is removal of adenylyl cyclase 5 (AC5).
Researchers have noted in the past that this seems to share mechanisms with the longevity induced by calorie restriction - indeed, it is suspected that many of the varied known ways of altering laboratory animals to extend healthy life are in fact different methods to activate the same few base changes in metabolism.
REPORTING ON A RECENT PRESENTATION BY AUBREY DE GREY Thursday, OctoberÂ 4, 2012
SENS Foundation cofounder Aubrey de Grey is a tireless advocate for engineering the end of aging, and steers the work taking place on the foundations of rejuvenation biotechnology at the Foundation's research center and in a halo of allied laboratory groups.
He gives a great many presentations on the work and goals of the Foundation in the course of any given year, and here is an article noting one such recent event at Princeton University: "The seminar, called "The Science and Ethics of Eliminating Aging," was sponsored by the University's Center for Human Values and chaired by bioethics professor Peter Singer.
TELOMERE LENGTH ALONE IS NOT A GOOD BIOMARKER OF AGING Wednesday, OctoberÂ 3, 2012
Different people age at different rates. Efforts have long been underway to find a reliable, effective way to measure physiological age in order to relate that to remaining life expectancy and mortality rate.
Without a biomarker of aging that can be easily measured, it will remain very challenging to evaluate future therapies that intervene in the aging process: how do you know whether a particular medical technology worked, or whether it worked better or worse than a competing therapy?
MANIPULATING IMMUNE RESPONSE TO BOOST NERVE REGENERATION Wednesday, OctoberÂ 3, 2012
One of the reasons that nerves regenerate poorly has to do with the way in which the immune system responds to traumatic injury.
In essence its behavior tends towards the formation of scar tissue that blocks nerve regrowth rather than allowing for regeneration. With greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms, researchers can try to change this state of affairs:
NOTES ON ALCOR'S 2012 STRATEGY MEETING Tuesday, OctoberÂ 2, 2012
Cryonics provider Alcor is becoming more transparent and communicative under CEO Max More, which I see as a good thing.
One of the long-term challenges faced by Alcor (and all cryonics providers, for that matter) relates to the common model for customer membership and setting prices, insofar as that is impacted by increasing costs brought on by inflation that takes place over the decades that elapse between a customer initially signing up and later being cryopreserved.
SEVERAL VITAL CELL POPULATIONS COULD GROW IN LYMPH NODES Tuesday, October Â 2, 2012
A replacement liver (or thymus or other organ) doesn't necessarily have to look like or be structured in the same way as the original - it just has to do the same job as the original.
This is perhaps more obvious in the development of wholly artificial electromechanical organs than for tissue engineering, but it's still the case there as well. Here is some interesting research that illustrates this point.
WHAT FAILURE WILL LOOK LIKE: A PILL FOR HEALTHY AGING Monday, OctoberÂ 1, 2012
There is a forking of the way in aging research, and it matters greatly which path comes to dominate: whether the mainstream (a) continues as in the past, ignoring all mention of engineered longevity and doing nothing more than investigating aging, (b) focuses on limited ways to slow aging, largely in the name of compression of morbidity while trying to minimize talk of extended life spans, or (c) works on ways to reverse and repair the root causes of aging, with the explicit goal of extending healthy and maximum human life spans.
Of these options only (c) will greatly help those of us who will need ways to repair the damage caused by aging a few decades from now.
INROADS INTO MAKING OLD IMMUNE CELLS MORE RESPONSIVE Monday, OctoberÂ 1, 2012
One of the reasons that the adaptive immune system declines with age is that too much of its limited resources become devoted to uselessly chasing persistent herpesviruses like CMV.
But there are other mechanisms at work too - not just a depletion of cells ready to act, but a decline in these cells' ability to act. So we have research such as this, in which scientists chase down age-related molecular mechanisms that hold back the effectiveness of immune cells, and try to reverse them: