Live Long, and Get Rich
posted on December 22, 2009
The Manhattan Beach Project is continuing to see positive publicity. Here is a new article by Ron Bailey which appeared in the Silicon Valley publication, Metro Active:
The media is much more eager to embrace ambitious projects like ours that it was even a year ago. Ten years ago, we were considered to be fruitcakes by most. Now, many have no problem at all embracing extreme longevity. The next step is for them to invest in the technologies that will make it happen in our lifetimes. That™s starting to happen as you will see in future newsletters.
Millions of early investors got rich in information technology over the past twenty years. We™ll see the same for the life extension sciences.
You might want to see some of the You Tube clips that will make this happen sooner rather than later. Click on:
The rapid advances in genome sequencing are examples of the marriage among biotech, nanotech and infotech, and how it will contribute to rapid advances in life extension and to future fortunes.
The following was reported by www.news.bbc.co.uklÂ earlier this year.
œWhile it took hundreds of scientists working in six countries over a decade, and more than $2 billion, to produce the first complete human genome sequencing, the costs and time involved have dropped significantly. In fact, one company - Complete Genomics ofÂ Silicon Valley in California - says it will have sequenced 1,000 complete genomes from last June [to] the end of 2009.
œSo what has contributed to the dramatic increase in the speed of gene sequencing? Advances in biotechnology, specifically in nanotechnology that has allowed for the miniaturization of components needed for genome sequencing, have made an enormous difference. Coding instructions for an entire genome, which is approximately six billion characters long, can now fit onto three small rectangular silicon plates less than an inch across. In addition, improved computing power has accelerated the speed at which gene mapping can be conducted.
œComplete Genomics hopes to take advantage of mass genome sequencing to ultimately offer hope for more personalized medicine in which treatments are tailored to individual patients. The company's CEO, Dr. Clifford Reid, says that if scientists can compare huge number of genomes, patterns should emerge. "As soon as we can sequence thousands of genomes, then we can understand for the first time, the genetic basis of disease [and aging] that will enable us to develop new diagnostics for the detection of disease and new therapeutics for the treatment of disease," he says. The company also believes its work will lead to a greater understanding of the extent to which illness is a result of faulty inherited genes or poor lifestyle choices.
These kinds of reports jump off the page when I read the news, because they continue to reinforce what we have been pursuing for years¦ not to mention the fact that our futures depend on these breakthroughs.
Yes, we will overcome aging, and in our lifetimes, with continued support of people like you.
LATEST HEALTHY LIFE EXTENSION HEADLINES
PROGRESS IN DENTAL TISSUE ENGINEERING (December 17 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4513
The dentists are making good progress in developing tissue engineering techniques: "Italian scientists claim to be the first to have succeeded in using implants of dental pulp stem/progenitor cells (DPCs) for autologous [facial] bone regeneration in humans. Their technique was used to repair bone defects due to wisdom tooth problems in 17 patients. Besearchers suggest that the approach could also be applied to any other area of reconstructive and orthopedic surgery. The human trial [involved] the extraction and expansion of DPCs from the maxillary third molars (wisdom teeth) of 17 patients requiring wisdom tooth extraction. The cells were then seeded onto a collagen sponge scaffold. The resulting biocomplex was used to fill in the injury site left by the removed tooth. X-ray evaluation three months after autologous DPC grafting confirmed that the alveolar bone of treated patients had optimal vertical repair and complete restoration of periodontal tissue back to the second molars. Histological observations also demonstrated the complete regeneration of bone at the injury site. Optimal bone regeneration was evident one year after grafting."
CASTING AGING AS A GLOBAL CHALLENGE (December 17 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4512
In this age of big government and multinational endeavors, most people respond favorably to the familiar language of global challenges. Here is an attempt to place aging in those terms at In Search of Enlightenment:
"Global aging is real, it's man made, and it threatens the health and economic prospects of the global population, especially the developing world. Because humans, unlike feral animals, have learned how to escape the causes of death long after reproductive success, we have revealed a process that, teleologically, was never intended for us to experience. One might conclude, therefore, that aging is an artifact of civilization. Biological aging, and population aging, bring unprecedented challenges.
Aging individuals faced increased risks of morbidity and mortality. Chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, etc. are set to ravage the aging populations of the world. This means unprecedented numbers of humans will suffer years of frailty and disease. Chronic diseases have replaced infectious diseases as the greatest threat to global health. So what are we going to do about global aging? At the end of this century our children and grandchildren will look back and ask: What were they thinking? Did they not see how dire the consequences of global aging can be? Did they not care about protecting all future generations from the chronic diseases that ravage humans in late life?"
RAISING THE BAR ON BAD OVERPOPULATION ARTICLES (December 16 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4511
I see that the work of the Gavrilovs on population trends with large increases in human longevity, funded by SENS Foundation, is reaching a wider audience. It is good to envisage a future in which we see less hysteric nonsense propagated about overpopulation: "In computer simulations, Gavrilov concluded that 'population changes are surprisingly slow in their response to a dramatic life extension. For example, we applied the cohort-component method of population projections to 2005 Swedish population for several scenarios of life extension and a fertility schedule observed in 2005. Even for very long 50-year projection horizon, with the most radical life extension scenario (assuming no aging at all after age 50), the total population increases by 35 percent only (from 9.1 to 13.3 million).' In other words, a population of immortal reproducing organisms can grow indefinitely in time, but not necessarily indefinitely in size, because asymptotic growth is possible. The startling conclusion is that fears of overpopulation based on lay common sense and uneducated intuition are, in fact, grossly exaggerated. In brief, we found that defeating aging, the joy of parenting, and sustainable population size are not mutually exclusive. This is an important point, because it can change the current public perception that life extension necessarily leads to overpopulation."
A YEAR-END MESSAGE FROM THE METHUSELAH FOUNDATION (December 16 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4510
From the Methuselah Foundation: "The black market for human organs made headlines in 2009. What didn't make the daily news were the men, women and children who died each day because they did not get an organ or because the transplant they had failed. Failed to give them a long, healthy life. We can't stand by and let people die, or live in poor health, when an alternative is possible. That's why Methuselah Foundation invested in Organovo this year. We believe that [the] team at Organovo are creating a better way to replace aging or diseased organs. When Thomas Klauset Aurdal, a 23 year old student in Norway, heard we were supporting the work of Organovo, he sent a $1000 contribution. According to Thomas, who had a heart transplant when he was only 16 years old: 'I can see a world where dying patients don't have to risk death while waiting for a donor organ from a dead person and where the patient doesn't have to take a heavy immunosuppressant drug. Future generations of transplantation patients will have a better chance of getting the organs and they will have a better quality of life and life expectancy than I have.'
We share Thomas's dream and know the discoveries and breakthroughs that lead to new organs will be fabulously useful in regenerative medicine all along the way. We call our long term strategy MLife Sciences. Simply stated, it is where your donations go to be sure there is money available to turn promising research into practical solutions [that] lead to the possibility of you - of Thomas - of your family, living a long, healthy, vibrant and productive life. Thomas liked the idea of investing in proven research and development but knew his donation was too small to invest directly in a regenerative medicine company. $1000 is a very small amount to a venture capitalist but it's a lot of money to a student. But making a donation to Methuselah Foundation allows you to give whatever amount you choose. No donation is too small. If each of us makes a contribution, together we can become major contributors to a new, better, promising way to extend the lives of everyone suffering from organ failure."
GENE THERAPY AND STEM CELLS VERSUS LIMB ISCHEMIA (December 15 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4508
From ScienceDaily: "Blood vessel blockage, a common condition in old age or diabetes, leads to low blood flow and results in low oxygen, which can kill cells and tissues. Such blockages can require amputation resulting in loss of limbs. Now, using mice as their model, researchers [have] developed therapies that increase blood flow, improve movement and decrease tissue death and the need for amputation. In a young, healthy individual, hypoxia - low oxygen levels - triggers the body to make factors that help coordinate the growth of new blood vessels but this process doesn't work as well as we age. Now, with the help of gene therapy and stem cells we can help reactivate the body's response to hypoxia and save limbs. Our results are promising because they show that a combination of gene and cell therapy can improve the outcome in the case of critical limb ischemia associated with aging or diabetes. And that's critical for bringing such treatment to the clinic."
MORE MANHATTAN BEACH PROJECT COVERAGE (December 14 2009) http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/vnl.cfm?id=4506
From the tech blogs this time: "Human life expectancy may see a hockey stick growth curve in the coming years as a result of leaps made in fields such as molecular nanotechnology, gene therapy, robotics, and regenerative medicine. Seizing the potential for radical longevity, an effort dubbed the 'Manhattan Beach Project', is a focused and targeted 'all-out assault on the world™s biggest killer - aging,' according to its founder David Kekich, President/CEO of Maximum Life Foundation. It consists of a group of researchers and entrepreneurs that have for years been collaborating on a scientific road-map to intervene in the human aging process and are disclosing their plan 'to start saving up to 100,000 lives lost to aging every day, by 2029.' In November '09, Kekich organized a Longevity Summit that brought together a number of leading scientists, visionaries, and experts on human aging and longevity for a discussion on the state-of-the-art research and the implications of their discoveries. Their goal is to develop a scientific and business strategy to make human life extension a real possibility within the next two decades."