Healthy Life Extension
What is Most Important if You Were Dying?
posted on November 27th, 2012
Dear Future Centenarian,
I™ll bet it™s not your most current pressing issue.
We have seen people around us age, degenerate and die all our lives, so we naturally take it for granted. They did too, until it happened to them. Then, their conditions œsuddenly became the most important thing in their lives.
They so considered aging a natural part of life that they pushed the consequences so far back in their minds that most of them seemed to be caught off guard when their time came. The only preparations most took were getting their wills and life insurance policies in place. Then they went merrily along the deadly path of deterioration until it was too late to do anything about it.
As Dr. Andrew Galambos said, œNobody gets old by surprise.
You might say, œIt™s inevitable, so why should I worry about aging when I can be enjoying life? There are lots of variations of that thought process. But in essence, most throw in the towel when there™s lots of fight and life left in them.
Well I™m here to tell you that this whole degenerative process is not so inevitable after all. But it will be if we let it.
On a personal level, what can you do about your own aging process? As it turns out¦ plenty! First, let me explain my rationale for new subscribers.
We know how people can add 5-20 healthy active years to their lives depending on factors such as your current state of health, lifestyle habits and age. You can find how to do so in Smart, Strong and Sexy at 100? We knew a lot of these œsecrets for over a century, and of course we know more now. But a century ago, extra years simply meant you lived better and died later.
Now, for the first time in history, those extra years could bring you close to the time when radical life-extending technologies will be available to you. So those bonus years could be the difference between your being part of the last generation to suffer and die from aging instead of being part of the first generation with a shot at open-ended youthfulness.
It takes effort to get these technologies developed, and we are pitching in. One counterproductive effort though, is overcoming inertia and even resistance to extreme longevity.
Many dubious arguments support aging and involuntary death: every status quo, no matter how terrible, gathers its supporters. This is one of the deeper flaws inherent in human nature, the ability to mistake what is the most desirable for what is possible. A hundred thousand deaths each and every day and the suffering of hundreds of millions is the proposal on the table whenever anyone suggests that human aging should continue as it is.
Over a trillion dollars have been thrown at aging symptoms while ignoring the cause of most of the diseases that kill us¦ aging itself. We™re so used to fighting symptoms, that we lose sight of the causes.
One reason is, we didn™t know enough about what causes various symptoms. Until we learn, we do the best we can do ease suffering. You break a leg, have your bone reset, and you get a splint. You get sick, and the doctor waves magical bones and feathers over you. Then as medicine started getting more œscientific, doctors practiced bloodletting. Now you get cancer, and doctors poison your whole body with massive doses of radiation and chemicals. Someday this will seem as barbaric as witchdoctors and bloodletting.
Once we identify the causes of diseases and learn how to treat them proactively, the symptoms quit manifesting themselves. That™s what we™re closing in on now “ how to treat and prevent aging, the root cause of most diseases. And we™re called heretics for doing so, because we™re taking people out of their comfort zones. We dare to obsolete the familiar.
But in this age of biotech, nanotech and infotech, a small but rapidly growing number of rejuvenation advocates will eventually drown out the philosophers, ethicists and other deathists who are currently sacrificing hundreds of millions of lives by delaying what should be a no-brainer international priority.
Meanwhile, progress is painfully slow, since the majority spend their lives chasing short-term gratifying dreams and pursuits and seemingly necessary responsibilities¦ instead of temporarily taking themselves out of their comfort zones to accomplish long-term satisfaction.
As Reason so eloquently states, œGiven many more healthy years of life in which to do so, we would lead quite different lives. Arguably better lives, not diverted by necessity into a long series of tasks we do not want to undertake, carried out for the sake of what will come. We could follow desire rather than need: work to achieve the aims that we want to achieve, not those forced on us.
œBecause of aging and death, we are not free while we are alive “ and in any collection of slaves there are those who fear the loss of their chains. The longer they are enslaved, the less their vision of freedom. Sadly, in the mainstream of our culture, it is those voices that speak the loudest."
See more on this topic at:
LATEST HEADLINES FROM FIGHT AGING!
VACUOLE CHANGES AS A CONTRIBUTING CAUSE OF YEAST CELL AGING Friday, November 23, 2012
The type of vacuole found in yeast cells is somewhat analogous to the lysosome that we animals possess in that it is involved in breaking down waste products and recycling broken cellular components (via the process of autophagy) that would otherwise harm the cell.
It is an agent of cellular housekeeping, in other words. There the similarities end, however, as the vacuole performs many other vital tasks that the more specialized lysosome does not. So here, researchers show that they can extend life in yeast by reversing a change that occurs in the vacuole.
IMPROVEMENTS IN PRINTED CARTILAGE SCAFFOLDS Friday, November 23, 2012
Cartilage is a deceptively complex tissue to build, due to the small-scale structure that determines its mechanical and load-bearing properties - getting that structure right has proven to be a challenge. Researchers have nonetheless been making progress towards this goal in recent years, and the lessons learned will be carried forward to other tissue engineering projects:
TOWARDS AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHY DOPAMINE NEURONS ARE VULNERABLE IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE Thursday, November 22, 2012
The most visible signs of Parkinson's disease are caused by the progressive destruction of a comparatively small population of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain. But why these cells? A full answer to that question might lead to ways to block progression of the condition:
"Neuroinflammation and its mediators have recently been proposed to contribute to neuronal loss in Parkinson's, but how these factors could preferentially damage dopaminergic neurons has remained unclear until now.
LOOKING AT IMMUNE FUNCTION IN LONG-LIVED CLK1 MUTANT MICE Thursday, November 22, 2012
Reducing expression of clk1 (known as Mclk1 in mice) is one of the few known single-gene alterations that can slow aging enough to extend life in mice by as much as 30%.
First impressions were that it works by altering mitochondrial function - and regular readers will know by now that mitochondria and the pace of their self-inflicted damage is very important in aging and longevity.
TREATING SPINE INJURY IN DOGS VIA STEM CELL TRANSPLANT Wednesday, November 21, 2012
A pleasant example of what can sometimes be achieved with even comparatively crude autologous stem cell therapies: "Scientists have reversed paralysis in dogs after injecting them with cells grown from the lining of their nose.
TELOMERE LENGTH AND LIFE EXPECTANCY IN WARBLERS Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Researchers are making better progress of late in finding ways to use changes in telomere length that occur with aging as a marker for biological age and life expectancy - though it remains an open question as to whether telomere shortening is a cause of aging versus a secondary consequence of causes of aging.
You might look at work in mice published earlier this month, for example. Or moving to birds, a few years back researchers noted that pace of telomere shortening over time correlated with lifespan differences between species. Here researchers consider telomere length in a species of warbler:
AGING IS GLOBAL, SO EXPECT CORRELATIONS Tuesday, November 20, 2012
The body is a web of overlapping systems, many of which depend upon one another for effective function. If one system begins to weaken, so do many others.
Degenerative aging is a global affair, occurring throughout the body, and so we should not be surprised to find strong correlations between specific forms of age-related decline in many different organs. That doesn't necessarily mean that there is anything profound hiding behind such an association “
AN EXAMPLE OF STEM CELL RESEARCHERS TACKLING AGING Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Much of the output of the regenerative medicine and tissue engineering fields will be of greatest use to old people: repair and replacement of worn, damaged, and diseased tissue.
Unfortunately the cellular environment in an old body works to suppress stem cell activity, and this seems to be a more important factor in the decline of regenerative capacity than age-related damage to stem cells themselves, or the size of the stem cell population.
ASTROCYTES AS A POTENTIAL TARGET FOR ALZHEIMER'S THERAPIES Monday, November 19, 2012
The brain is made up of far more than just neurons; its functions and complex structures require the support of a wide range of specialized cells types.
Prominent amongst these supporting cells are the astrocytes. You might recall research from a few months back that indicated a role for age-related changes in astrocytes in the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Following on from that, researchers here report on the use of gene therapy to target astrocytes and potentially reduce the scope of any harmful behavior:
INTUITION, MORTALITY RATE, AND LIFE EXPECTANCY Monday, November 19, 2012
Here is a short post with graphs on the relationship between mortality rates and life expectancy:
"I read a few weeks ago about a study where vitamin D supplementation reduced all-cause mortality rates by 6%. How many years would that add to life expectancy?