Your Heroes Can Sink You

Healthy Life Extension

Funding Aging Research

Your Heroes Can Sink You

Dear Future Centenarian,

When I was a teenager, I was awed by adults who attained some form of recognition through achievement, or by those who appeared to have achieved through title or self-promotion.

It took me a long time as an adult to get over being excessively impressed with those people. And it cost me dearly.

For years, I accepted what many said at face value. It wasn™t till I was past middle age that I began to question everything “ and EVERYBODY. Once I did¦ once I started peeking beneath the surface¦ I experienced true liberation for the first time in my life.

I discovered that being impressionable usually leads to reliance on others, disappointment, heartbreak and financial loss. That™s because those we usually look up to let us down more often than not. And that™s because people are¦


That goes for Nobel Laureates, heads of business empires, major scientists, heads of states, religious leaders and celebrities. They often aren™t who the public perceives them to be. Don™t get me wrong. Some are the real deal. But more often than not, those precious few generally maintain low profiles and continue to excel with humility.

It™s not just high profile people that can sink you either. We often bet on friends, relatives, business associates, consultants, coaches and referrals, whose advice sucks. All too often, they shoot in the dark, trying to look smart. Or, they have overblown and unjustified opinions of themselves and actually believe they are full of wisdom. Education grows people out of that syndrome, but some are simply uneducable.

In varying degrees and in one form or another, we all suffer from human frailties, weaknesses, hang ups, psychological disorders, complexes, fragile egos, questionable self-esteem and/or self-doubts. Ironically we™re often stronger and more capable than those from whom we seek advice and leadership.

There™s another classification that sometimes overlaps the one above and is separate from it. Con men.

We run across them all the time. They range in sophistication from Bernie Madoff types to street hustlers. The unsophisticated ones snare naïve victims. They got me, and they may have gotten you. Hopefully, as you get more experienced in the game of life, you learn to sniff them out immediately. You get street smart. Some are born with this instinct. Some never get it, either because of being sheltered, by having an overly trusting nature or just not being œout there very much.

The take home message is, when you get advice about something that is important to you, whether you ask for it, or especially when it™s unsolicited, don™t take it as your end point. See it as your starting line. Doubt it, no matter who it comes from, including me. Be a healthy skeptic. Trust, but confirm before you make any important decision.

Your most important decisions may be the ones which affect your health. We are on the dawn of a major revolution in medicine and longevity. The choices you make may be life or death decisions. At the very least, between maximum wellness and longevity¦ or avoidable misery.

Snake oil salesman abound. They always did, but now more and more of us are aware of promising technologies and are looking for shortcuts to wellness. So the public is susceptible to abuse.

Swindlers selling the newest miracle supplement can divert you from ones that do work, and they chew up your limited resources in the process. Pharmaceutical companies promoting the drugs that will set you free from your miseries may cause you side effects that might make you yearn for the condition you tried to treat.

Be careful. Do your homework. There™s lots of noise out there, so learn to separate fact from fiction. Continue to hope. But above all¦ think. It™s your body, therefore, your responsibility. Get savvy and survive. Blindly trust and sink.

More Life,
David Kekich

Latest Headlines from Fight Aging!

CARP's Radical Life Extension Poll - Monday, September 9, 2013
Following on from the recent Pew Research poll on radical life extension, the Canadian organization CARP ran their own similar poll on a selection of older people. It makes for an interesting comparison, but again it is clearly the case that advocates for longevity science - extending healthy life and eliminating the diseases and degenerations of aging - have a lot of work left to do.

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Producing a Map of Long-Lived Proteins - Monday, September 9, 2013
Some of the cells in the body are never replaced across a life span, which leads to forms of system failure and degeneration due to accumulating damage and metabolic waste products not found elsewhere.

Interestingly it appears that some of the individual proteins within those cells might not be replaced either. It is unclear as to how much of a long-term challenge that will present once researchers are past the first hurdles in extending healthy human life. Among these long-lived proteins are those that form nuclear pores, a structure that appears to become damaged in old cells in the nervous system and may contribute to age-related degeneration. Here researchers further investigate, finding that the situation is not as static as first thought.

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Towards Molecular Prosthetics  - Tuesday, September 10, 2013
This is a line of research that will come to be increasingly important as new technologies make it ever easier and more cost effective to both identify specific components of the protein machinery of biology and manufacture replacements or augmented alternative versions.

It is not just important for genetic diseases, in which specific proteins are missing or malformed, but also in patching over the changes of aging and enhancing the human body to better resist aging.

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An Early Step Toward a Future of Implanted Biomedical Factories - Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Much of the future of medicine will involve altering the mix of protein machinery and signals that drive our metabolism, instructing cells to take specific actions, and delivering new protein machines that can perform tasks that our existing biology cannot, such as clearing out otherwise resistant metabolic waste products.

The current model in medicine is for the work of mixing up the necessary new materials to take place outside the body, which are then delivered in the form of infusions, injections, pills, and so on. In the future, we will probably see the creation of therapeutics move inside the body, in the form of increasingly sophisticated, reactive, and programmable implanted medical factories.

The work noted here is an early step in this direction: a single-function implant that alters the behavior of immune cells on an ongoing basis, an alternative to periodically drawing cells from a patient, altering them in culture, and then returning them to the body.

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Membrane Composition and Longevity in Flies - Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The membrane pacemaker hypothesis suggests that the composition of cell membranes - such as those that wrap mitochondria - is an important determinant of species longevity because of consequent differences in resistance to oxidative damage. Here researchers find correlations between membrane composition and longevity within one species, but not for the same reasons.

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An Example of How Far Longevity Science Advocacy Has Come - Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Unlike the case ten to fifteen years ago, it is now mainstream and acceptable within the research community to talk openly about slowing aging.

That is half of a very necessary change that has to take place in order to speed work on extending healthy human life. The other half is for the scientific community to move their focus and the public discussion from merely slowing aging to the aim of actual rejuvenation of the old and an acknowledgement that maximum human life span will grow greatly. That is still a work in progress, and researchers remain reluctant to talk about radical life extension.

But talk they must if there is to be a good change of raising large-scale funding and creating dedicated research programs at scale to achieve this goal. Large-scale research only comes into being in an environment of widespread public support and understanding. Here is an article that wouldn't have existed in the late 1990s, because the people in higher level positions in a noted research institute would not have openly talked about slowing human aging, for fear of a negative impact on their fundraising.

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Attempting a Crowdfunded Mouse Lifespan Study - Thursday, September 12, 2013
A European and Russian group of researchers are attempting to crowdfund a modest amount for a short-term mouse life span study, using mice that are already old to see if various compounds have much of an effect on slowing aging in old mice. This sort of study design has the advantage of being comparatively cheap as it only runs for half a year or so.

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MicroRNA Expression Changes in Old Muscle Reversed by Calorie Restriction - Thursday, September 12, 2013
In the course of improving health and extending life - to a lesser degree in long-lived species, unfortunately - the practice of calorie restriction produces sweeping changes in near every aspect of metabolism. The deeper you look the more there is to find. Here is one of many examples.

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Thoughts on Persuasion and Advocacy for Human Longevity - Friday, September 13, 2013
Large scale research requires widespread support to raise the necessary funds and gather a sizable scientific community, and this is just as true of work on human rejuvenation as anything else.

When it comes to the persuasion needed to gain that support, there is some debate over whether the incremental softly-softly approach of advocacy for a living a little longer and tackling age-related disease is better or worse than talking about the end goals of agelessness and radical life extension of centuries or more of health and vigor. Here are comments from someone more in favor of toning down the rhetoric.

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Measuring the Recent Rate of Growth in Adult Life Expectancy - Friday, September 13, 2013
Adult life expectancy is a little more interesting than life expectancy at birth as a measure of modern medical progress towards healthy life extension. Much of the innovation now is in ways to treat age-related conditions rather than in ways to reduce childhood mortality and control the more obvious infectious diseases.

Removing childhood from the picture when considering the data narrows the focus to the effectiveness of medical technologies deployed in later life. Here is a recent study that measures gains obtained in the past couple of decades, none of which is really due to any attempt to deliberately extend human life or tackle aging.

Progress here stems from the deployment of incrementally better medical technology across the board. Once the research community begins to address aging in earnest, I'd expect the pace of growth in life expectancy to accelerate considerably - especially if the better path of SENS, rejuvenation, and repair of cellular damage is chosen over efforts to slow aging via metabolic manipulation.

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DISCLAIMER:  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

David A. Kekich
Maximum Life Foundation

"Where Biotech, Infotech and Nanotech
     Meet to Reverse Aging by 2033"


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