Healthy Life Extension
Will Google Restore Your Youth?
Dear Future Centenarian,
In case you haven™t heard the news by now:
1)Â TIME - Article on Google initiative:Â Â http://business.time.com/2013/09/18/google-extend-human-life/
2)Â TIMEÂ Aubrey de Grey article: http://ideas.time.com/2013/09/18/finally-the-war-on-aging-has-truly-begun-2/
Last Wednesday, Larry Page announced a new Google venture called Calico. It aims to conquer aging as well as aging-related diseases.
This is obviously big news for those of us who have been pushing that agenda for many years and have been stymied in trying to get some of the world™s billionaires to back it. What more qualified company than Google to pull it off?
The venture is headed by Art Levinson, Chairman and former CEO of Genentech and Chairman of Apple. Mr. Levinson will assume the reigns as Chief Executive Officer.
Calico will address general health and well-being as well. This coincides with our model, since major anti-aging breakthroughs will not spring into existence overnight, even with Google™s might behind the project.Â We, and of course Art Levinson, are acutely aware of how complex the biochemistry puzzle is. That™s why general health and well-being are so critical. Improving and maintaining your health now gives you your best chance to be alive when big breakthroughs emerge.
Calico is set to take big bets on speculative and out-of-the-box projects. They are prepared to take investment risks that few billionaires are willing to assume, even if the risky projects might extend their healthy lifespans dramatically.
And who can argue with Google™s successes with unconventional enterprises?
I don™t expect them to plunge into this venture with billions. And I also don™t figure they™ll be timid at first. Are billions ultimately in the cards? I hope so, because we believe only a few billion dollars over time could set the stage for¦ and even demonstrate age-reversing capability. And Google sits on $54 billion in cash.
What returns can Calico/Google expect to make? Financially, what would a cure for aging be worth? A big chunk of the $100 billion spent every 16 days or less on the US healthcare system alone would become unnecessary. Could this undertaking end up balancing the budget? Assuming congress wouldn™t just spend that much more elsewhere¦ œWhy not?
But how about an even bigger picture¦ the social impact? What would the world gain by preserving the best minds that are ALL eventually lost to aging if something else doesn™t snatch them away first? How™d you like to have Einstein, Newton, Galileo, Da Vinci and thousands of other no longer existent brilliant minds at work on our social ills?
How about the pain, suffering and death that would cease to be issues for billions of people and their families? Did you know the leading cause of personal bankruptcy is health issues? Put simply, people would not only avoid suffering and premature death. They would prosper as well.
How much influence do you think Ray Kurzweil had on Larry Page? Do you think it™s coincidence that we™re seeing this announcement ten months after Ray agreed to be Director of Engineering at Google? And I™ll bet Aubrey de Grey™s work had an influence as well.Â
American companies don™t usually make long term investments.Â It™s so refreshing to see Google take the lead in being an exception. Let™s hope others follow.
How about you¦ and me? Is it time to relax? Not unless we want to be part of the last generation to die from aging. Let™s use this as a motivator to keep pushing, and as confirmation that we have been on the right track all along. The folks at Google aren™t exactly known for bad judgment.
P.S We are proud to announce that our new website is now on Facebook.Â Please œLIKE us
P.P.S. Upcoming Los Angeles Event œLife Enhanced “ Possibilities of Now“ Saturday, Oct. 26 in Venice, CA. An immersive experience through what is current in the scientific, medical and tech realms of enhancing life. Limits can be transcended. Three absolutely amazing speakers including Aubrey de Grey. www.syntropyla.com
Latest Headlines from Fight Aging!
Manipulating Telomere Length More Precisely - Monday, September 16, 2013
One of the hurdles in the way of better understanding the root causes of aging is that it is extremely challenging to change any one piece of cellular machinery in isolation.
Evolution has produced structures and processes that promiscuously reuse one another's building blocks, so alter a gene or add a protein and it will affect all sorts of different mechanisms inside the cell, which will in turn cascade to cause further changes. In the case of telomeres there is some debate over whether the diminished telomere length associated with aging and ill health is a primary cause of aging or a secondary effect.
Using telomerase to lengthen telomeres extends life in mice, but telomerase has other effects as well. Average telomere length can vary up and down over the short term in any given tissue in the body, and these telomere dynamics are quite different in different species. The ways forward towards a better understanding of the role of telomere length in aging include implementing rejuvenation biotechnologies such as SENS to see what the effects are on telomere length, or finding ways to extend telomeres without producing any other changes in a cell.
A DNA Repair Loss of Function Mutation that Extends Life - Monday, September 16, 2013
Metabolism is enormously complicated, even in very simple creatures such as nematode worms. So there are any number of ways in which genetic and other changes can confound the conventional wisdom, or produce results that run contrary to the well-established pattern.
In this case the well-established pattern is that loss of DNA repair capabilities shortens life: a whole class of rare diseases that have the appearance of accelerated aging result from forms of DNA repair deficiency in humans. Nonetheless, the particular loss of function mutation noted here manages to extend life in nematodes, possibly by spurring overcompensation in other forms of cellular housekeeping, despite the fact that it has most of the other expected effects in reducing viability of cells and the organism as a whole.
Impact of Dietary AGEs on Life Span in Flies - Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) build up in our tissues over time and cause a range of issues, such as by gluing together important proteins, or triggering abnormal cell behavior. This is one of the contributing causes of degenerative aging, in fact.
Many different types of AGE exist, some of which are hardier and longer-lasting than others, and levels of the various types swing up and down to different degrees in response to diet and other circumstances. There is some debate over the degree to which dietary AGE intake is important versus the creation of AGEs through metabolic processes taking place within the body. Here at least researchers show that higher levels of AGEs in the diet of flies leads to shorter lives.
An Example to Follow: Donate to Help Fund Longevity Science - Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Here is an example to follow, an individual who decided to take the extra step beyond just reading about progress in longevity science and made a donation in support of ongoing research.
I of course would prefer to see donations going to the SENS Research Foundation (SRF) rather than the older established laboratories such as the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, as to my eyes the work underway at the SRF is much more likely to lead to significant progress, but nonetheless taking the decision to materially support this field of research is important and should be encouraged.
An Early Demonstration of Mitochondrial Gene Transfer - Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Mitochondria are the power plants of the cell, producing chemical energy stores used to power cellular activities. They come equipped with their own DNA, separate from that in the cell nucleus.
Damage to that DNA that occurs as a side-effect of the processes necessary to generating chemical energy stores is thought to be one of the root causes of degenerative aging. The SENS Research Foundation funds research to work around this problem by putting copies of the most important mitochondrial genes into the cell nucleus, where they are better protected and will provide a backup source of the protein machinery needed for correct mitochondrial operation, thus eliminating this contribution to aging.
Other approaches are possible, however: replace the mitochondrial DNA or mitochondria entirely on a regular basis, for example, or as in the research noted here use a variant form of gene therapy to deliver individual replacement genes into the mitochondria.
Chronic Inflammation Associated With Worse Outcomes in Aging - Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Chronic inflammation is not a good thing, but it becomes worse with age even for those in the best of health, a result of the decline of the immune system into progressively worse states of malfunction.
There are plenty of ways to accelerate this decline into inflammation, however, such as by becoming overweight, as visceral fat tissue generates inflammation via a range of signaling processes.
Disagreements on the Current Trajectory of Life Expectancy - Thursday, September 19, 2013
Here is another article in a popular science series on the history of human longevity and related topics. This looks at a mainstream disagreement in aging research, among researchers who do not see radical life extension as a near-term possibility.
Another Sign of the Zeitgeist in Aging Research - Thursday, September 19, 2013
The current mainstream position in aging research is still a silent majority who work on investigating aging only: no attempts to actually do anything about degenerative aging, only attempts at producing late-stage treatments for its consequences, the various named age-related diseases.
The nascent new mainstream position is a research strategy based on attempts to slow aging and postpone age-related disease; this is in the process of gaining central and widespread support. This is a step forward, but sadly it is still unlikely to produce meaningful results in terms of extended human life - though it will generate a far greater understanding of aging and metabolism at the detail level.
The better path forward is to focus on repair of the damage that causes aging. That doesn't require any alteration to metabolism, but rather just addresses the known fundamental differences between old tissues and young tissues, one by one, until old becomes young.
An Interesting Advertising Dynamic, Illustrative of the Ongoing Change in Attitudes Towards Aging and Longevity - Friday, September 20, 2013
The thing I noted about this article is that Prudential is prominently sponsoring it, as a part of a larger advertising effort to make people think about longer lives in the context of their future finances - that there is a good chance they will live longer than they expect to.
You might recall that the company was putting up provocative billboards about radical life extension not so long ago. This approach is both clever and timely on their part, and, given that it will sway public opinion and raise the profile of longevity science, I think it will aid research and fundraising. It is also one of many signs that the zeitgeist on aging and medicine is going through a phase change, right now, all around us. There is in fact great uncertainty in the degree to which healthy life will be extended over the next few decades, and this stems entirely from the fact that rejuvenation biotechnology is in its early stages.
One investor more or less, one research group joining or leaving, could swing the future timeline a decade or two in either direction. The actuarial community has been aware of this uncertainty in projections for years now, and the massive industry of insurance and pensions is one of the channels by which the public will become more knowledgeable about the prospects for developing rejuvenation therapies soon enough to matter for you and I.
Inspecting the Calico Tea Leaves - Friday, September 20, 2013
TechCrunch occasionally has its uses. Google™s entry into longevity research.
Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2013/09/inspecting-the-calico-tea-leaves.php
DISCLAIMER:Â News summaries are reported by third parties, and there is no guarantee of accuracy. This newsletter is not meant to substitute for your personal due diligence and is not to be taken as medical advice. For originating report, please see www.fightaging.org/
David A. Kekich
Maximum Life Foundation
"Where Biotech, Infotech and Nanotech
Â Â Â Â Meet to Reverse Aging by 2033"