Reverse Aging, Life Extension

Reverse Aging

Funding Aging Research

Scientific Roadmap to Reverse Aging

posted on February17, 2009

I™ve been getting lots of emails from subscribers who have not been getting my letter. As it turns out, my server has not been very friendly to my growing subscriber list, so they simply respond by ignoring some of you. So I am trying a new service, and I trust everyone will get this letter. If you happen to be hungry for some of the great life extending info that you may have missed recently, go to Click on Longevity News at the bottom right of the home page for past issues. While you™re at it, check out the new website look.

Your letters will also come to you on Tuesdays instead of Mondays.

If you™re not aware that Maximum Life Foundation has a scientific roadmap to reverse the aging process, we did build it. We even have a timeline and a budget. What you might not be aware of is how this came about.

In June, 2000, we held our first of three international scientific conferences, bringing together a dozen of the world™s top scientists working in the anti-aging arena. We purposely assembled researchers from different fields to see what would happen if we took a cross-disciplinary approach to the brainstorm sessions. Experts from genomics, genetics, information technology, nanotechnology, engineering, medicine and stem cell disciplines attended. For the most part, they didn™t know what people in the other fields were doing, even though they were all researching human longevity.

Creative sparks flew the whole weekend. Geneticists were suddenly exposed to infotech tools that put their research on the fast track. The infotech people saw whole new markets open up to their technologies. Same for genomics, nanotech, engineering and all the others. The seeds were planted almost nine years ago, and now we see a clear path to open-ended lifespans and full age reversal.

Today, a similar approach is being taken on an even grander scale. Some very accomplished and powerful people have formed an institute to solve virtually every challenge facing humanity. It™s called the Singularity University, and you can find a fascinating four minute and forty second introduction here: 

In an attempt to bring together inquiring minds at the forefront of humanity's colliding technologies”Artificial Intelligence, Nanotechnology, Robotics, Biotech, and Bioinformatics”X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis and inventor Ray Kurzweil have teamed up to the school called <>.  The pair plans to meld the brightest minds from disparate technology and information fields during ten-week courses on how to bring about, and deal with a world of ever-accelerating change.
Kurzweil told The Industry Standard, "We're looking for students with insight and ideas in one field of accelerating information technology who are ready to connect to other fields and to apply the resulting synergies to tackle the major challenges facing humanity."  The school's core premise is that major problems such as global climate change, or goals such as increasing human lifespans, won't be met by simply extrapolating current trends and ongoing research. "The magic of breakthroughs occurs when you have nontraditional thinking around a problem that is stuck," Diamandis told BusinessWeek. "It's when a mathematician works on a biological problem."  The school is now accepting applications for a graduate program and an executive program this summer.
The initial class at Singularity University will be limited to 30 students, with plans to expand to 120. The faculty list <> includes Nobel Prize-winning physicist George Smoot, Google Internet evangelist Vint Cerf and British gerontologist Aubrey de Grey. The school will be located at NASA Research Park in Moffet Field, a former Navy airfield whose gigantic airship hangars from the 1930's still turn the heads of drivers on Highway 101 in California's Silicon Valley. Google's Mountain View campus is within walking distance.
The singularity, after which the school is named, is a hypothetical turning point in human society that Kurzweil believes is fewer than fifty years away. At that time, accelerating changes brought by technology will supposedly make it impossible to predict the future, even the near future, with any certainty at all. Kurzweil's 2005 book, The Singularity is Near, focused on the premise that human beings would "transcend biology" by using machines to remake our bodies, perhaps even uploading our consciences into machines instead of dying.

Not only will they be working to save and extend your life, but they are working to make your extended life easier, safer and more prosperous, whether the Singularity occurs or not. Here™s a link to the video again.


Heart Cells From iPS Cells (February 13 2009)
Another proof of principle in the bag for induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells: "A little more than a year after [scientists] showed they could turn skin cells back into stem cells, they have pulsating proof that these 'induced' stem cells can indeed form the specialized cells that make up heart muscle. The research team showed that they were able to grow working heart-muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) from induced pluripotent stem cells, known as iPS cells. The heart cells were originally reprogrammed from human skin cells. It's an encouraging result because it shows that those cells will be useful for research and may someday be useful in therapy. If you have a heart failure patient who is in dire straits - and there are never enough donor hearts for transplantation - we may be able to make heart cells from the patient's skin cells, and use them to repair heart muscle. That's pretty exciting. It's also a few more discoveries away. The researchers used a virus to insert four transcription factors into the genes of the skin cell, reprogramming it back to an embryo-like state. Because the virus is taken up by the new cell, there is a possibility it eventually could cause cancer, so therapies from reprogrammed skin cells will likely have to wait until new methods are perfected. Still, the iPS cardiomyocytes should prove immediately useful for research."

NOTE: An emerging new adult stem cell technology may be a superior alternative to iPS cells for growing new hearts, etc.

Advances in Targeting and Manipulation (February 13 2009)
Interesting research: the cutting edge is becoming quite sophisticated. "Current treatments for diseases like cancer typically destroy nasty malignant cells, while also hammering the healthy ones. Using new advances in synthetic biology, researchers are designing molecules intelligent enough to recognize diseased cells, leaving the healthy cells alone. We basically design molecules that actually go into the cell and do an analysis of the cellular state before delivering the therapeutic punch. When you look at a diseased cell (e.g. a cancer cell) and compare it to a normal cell, you can identify biomarkers - changes in the abundance of proteins or other biomolecule levels - in the diseased cell. The research team has designed molecules that trigger cell death only in the presence of such markers. A lot of the trick with developing effective therapeutics is the ability to target and localize the therapeutic effect, while minimizing nonspecific side effects."

Another Good Reason to Avoid Metabolic Syndrome (February 11 2009)
Metabolic syndrome and then type 2 diabetes appear to be the most avoidable of age-related conditions: don't get fat and exercise regularly. It's not rocket science. Here's another good reason to keep up with good health practices: "cognitive functioning abilities drop as average blood sugar levels rise in people with type 2 diabetes. The tests used in the study measured several aspects of memory function. For example, we tested one's ability to switch back and forth between memory tasks or to 'multitask,' an important skill for people needing to manage their diabetes. The results showed that a 1 percent increase in [average blood glucose levels] corresponded to slightly lower scores on tests of psychomotor speed, global cognitive function, memory and multiple task management. One of the little known complications of type 2 diabetes is memory decline leading to dementia, particularly Alzheimer's dementia. This study adds to the growing evidence that poorer blood glucose control is strongly associated with poorer memory function and that these associations can be detected well before a person develops severe memory loss."

Ouroboros on Intermittent Fasting (February 09 2009)

Intermittent fasting (IF) as an alterative approach to obtaining the health benefits of calorie restriction (CR) seems to be attracting more research interest these days, though given the comparatively sparse studies and variation in results, I think it's early to be guessing whether IF is better or worse than straight calorie restriction as a practice in humans. The most interesting result to date is that CR and IF work in quite different ways, in worms at least - not what I would have expected. From Ouroboros: researchers "established a fasting diet regimen in C. elegans to study molecular pathways involved in fasting induced longevity. They found that alternate day fasting (ADF) had a 40.4% increase in lifespan, and intermittent fasting (IF: every two days) had a 56.6% increase in lifespan over ad libitum fed worms. In contrast, chronic CR only increased lifespan by an average of 13.2%. CR and IF may have similar effects on lifespan, but results reported in this paper indicate that signals in each of these processes are distinct. skn-1 and pha-4 have been shown to be essential genes in the CR longevity phenotype, but are dispensable in IF longevity."

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