Want to live forever? Join the club!
Join the growing number of people who are committed to living forever. Now that healthcare has merged with IT the exponential growth in medical technology means immortality may be closer than you think. From drug research and diagnostics to exoskeletons and nanobots – rapid advances are increasing our life expectancy every day.
Radical life extension is a growing industry – and more and more people are putting (a lot!) of money where their mouths are:
- 5 billionaires who want to live forever – Fortune Magazine
- Understanding Calico: Larry Page, Google Ventures, and the quest for immortality – The Verge
- Oracle founder Larry Ellison has proclaimed his wish to live forever and donated more than $430 million to anti-aging research. – Washington Post
Telomerase: Downgraded by long term proponent – Josh Mitteldorf Blog – 19-Mar-2018
Josh Mitteldorf curbs his enthusiasm based on latest study.
Telomerase affects epigenetics in ways that accelerate aging.
Genome-wide association study of 9907 individuals.
People with longer telomeres tend to age faster, as measured by the Horvath clock.
No Horvath aging at all in the cell cultures that lacked telomerase.
Macular degeneration reversed with stem cell treatment – BBC News – 19-Mar-2018
Major step towards curing age-related macular degeneration.
Human embryo cells were grown into a patch and inserted into the back of the eye.
The living patch is only one layer of cells thick and 6mm x 4mm area.
Stem cell patch repairs failed retinal pigment epithelium.;
AMD is the most common form of blindness in the UK.
Two patients took part in trial at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.
Living ever longer without physical limitations – CBS – 19-Mar-2018
By the year 2040, people can expect to live 4 years longer in good health.
Remaining life expectancy of 60-year-olds will have increased by three years.
So living longer and more time of that is spent without physical limitations.
Latest projections of future healthy life expectancy by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
Scheme for mind-uploading centuries in the future – Kurzweil AI – 14-Mar-2018
Brain’s connectome contains 150 trillion microscopic synaptic connections.
Data could possibly be used, centuries later, to reconstruct a whole-brain emulation.
Startup company Nectome that has won a large NIH grant for whole-brain nanoscale preservation and imaging.
Unlike cryonics intent is to preserve the information content of the brain.
Brain’s vascular system perfuse with the toxic fixative glutaraldehyde, then frozen.
Nectome has a $10,000 (refundable) wait list.
Adding sense of presence to bionic limbs – Engadget – 14-Mar-2018
Vibrating nerves convinces the brain that the limb is really there.
Patients could perform actions without looking at their prosthetic arms.
Current prosthetics don’t provide kinesthetic feedback – a limb’s sense of presence.
Researchers intend to develop subtler signals.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Prevents Cognitive Decline – Medical News Bulletin – 13-Mar-2018
110 elderly and generally healthy participants studied.
Some assigned diet where all vegetable oils were replaced with extra virgin olive oil.
Participants underwent two neuropsychological assessments.
Greater decrease in Alzheimer’s assessment test for those on extra virgin olive oil diet.
Quality of foods in the diet is more important than the size of the diet.
Digistain offers revolution in detailed cancer diagnosis – Imperial College London – 13-Mar-2018
New imaging technology to grade tumour biopsies.
Reduce the subjectivity and variability.
Nearly all biopsies stained with same two vegetable dyes used for 100 years.
Practitioners will only agree on a slice’s grade about 70% of the time.
Digistain using mid-infrared light to photograph the tissue slices.
Measures chemical changes such as nuclear-to-cytoplasmic-ratio (NCR).
Based on a physical measurement, rather than a human judgement.
Pixium reports success with bionic vision system – Optics – 13-Mar-2018
Device has been implanted in three Age-related Macular Degeneration patients.
Miniature wireless chips implanted by a minimally invasive surgical procedure.
Prima chip placement is stable several weeks later.
All patients are perceiving light patterns where they didn’t previously.
NASA plans to use nukes against a killer asteroid – Digital Trends – 12-Mar-2018
NASA has designed Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response craft.
8.8-ton HAMMER would be able to alter the orbit of an incoming asteroid.
Either by crashing into a small one or detonating a nuclear device on a large one.
Asteroid named Bennu has a 1 in 2,700 chance of striking Earth in 2135.
Scientists inch towards answers on how dementia works – Financial Times – 12-Mar-2018
“We are getting an increasingly sophisticated understanding of what is going on in these diseases” – David Reynolds – chief scientist at Alzheimer’s Research UK.
40 per cent of non-demented individuals had fully fledged Alzheimer’s disease pathology.
ApoE-2 protects against dementia even in people whose brain is full of amyloid.
Inflammation associated with an unbalanced immune response contributes to Alzheimer’s.
Anti-inflammatory medication for arthritis cuts risk of developing dementia by half.
Blood test for amyloid formation came closer last month with a Japanese study.
We Need a Different Approach to Drug Discovery – Fortune – 12-Mar-2018
Discovery of new cardiovascular medicines at lowest point in decades.
Need a more focused medicines approach.
Trials should combine technology and real-world evidence to accelerate development.
Current ecosystem doesn’t readily recognize scientifically robust subgroup data.
Payers, regulators, policymakers, and industry need to challenge old paradigms.
High-density, stretchable grid for neural recording and treatment – Kurzweil AI – 12-Mar-2018
Soft, elastic, high-density stretchable electrode grid developed.
Suitable for long-term, stable neural recording and treatment of neurological disorders.
Avoids the usual damage to neurons from rigid metallic components.
Consists of gold coated titanium dioxide nanowires embedded into silicone rubber.
Uses very little material so can use gold without becoming too costly.
Common infections raise risk of heart attacks and strokes – Telegraph – 12-Mar-2018
Study tracked 34,000 patients admitted to hospital with urinary or respiratory tract infections.
Three times as likely to die if they suffered heart disease than without previous infection.
Twice as likely to die they had a stroke.
Dangers could be greater than those posed by obesity.
Infections that lead to hospitalisation may present a delayed risk.
Elon Musk still thinks a Mars colony will save us from a future dark age – The Verge – 11-Mar-2018
Elon Musk talks about all the ways humanity may be doomed in the future.
Thinks there is such a strong need to colonize Mars and maybe the Moon.
A Mars colony would stay away from a nuclear war on Earth.
“AI is far more dangerous than nukes.”
Disease X Could One Day Kill Millions – Newsweek – 11-Mar-2018
Disease X has been added to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of maladies.
Could cause a worldwide epidemic-even though it doesn’t actually exist yet.
Represent a “known unknown” that could be created by biological mutation.
Blueprint list identifies diseases with epidemic potential and limited countermeasures.
App Aims To Put Your Lifespan In Your Hands – Forbes – 11-Mar-2018
Eterly works with wearables to derive insight about lifestyle habits.
Uses a chatbot that prompts users for information about their diet, vitamin intake, and mood.
Algorithmically determined ‘Longevity Score’ is updated on a daily basis.
AI-driven chatbot acts like a virtual personal trainer.
Gene Therapies to Greatly Reduce the Incidence of Cardiovascular Disease – Fight Aging – 9-Mar-2018
Gene therapy could disable genes that sustain levels of lipids in the bloodstream.
Number of credible targets including PCSK9, ANGPTL3, ANGPTL4, and ASGR1.
Reducing lipid levels in the bloodstream slows the development of CVD.
Treatments will initially have a low effectiveness in terms of proportion of cells transfected.
Exercise in old age prevents immune system from declining – BBC News – 8-Mar-2018
Cyclists in their 80s had the immune systems of 20-year-olds.
Immune system decline makes older people more susceptible to infections.
Endurance cyclists were producing the same level of T-cells as adults in their 20s.
Did not lose muscle mass or strength, nor see an increase in body fat .
Could prevent conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and, potentially, cancer.
Harvard’s David Sinclair Treats Aging as a Disease – W Xpress – 7-Mar-2018
WuXi interviews Harvard University’s David Sinclair
There is no maximum human life span.
What is it about a whale that can live 300 years?
Worked with FDA on guidelines for a clinical trial on aging.
Pledges to make anti-aging medicines available to the entire world.
Aging defined as deterioration of the body occurs over half the population.
DARPA’s Biostasis program looks to slow down the golden hour – Business Insider – 7-Mar-2018
Molecular biology could alter the speed at which living systems operate.
Goal is to extend time between a damaging event and the collapse of those systems.
Such an extension would expand the “golden hour.”
Battlefield casualties have a nearly 98% survival rate.
Would you hack your own body? – BBC News – 6-Mar-2018
Putting a chip under your skin is similar to getting a piercing or tatto.
But often fail as hardware reads are designed for a flat surface.
Magnets in fingers allow sensing of electromagnetic radiation.
Gene editing tools are available and relatively cheap and easy to use.
“There is a continuum between therapy and enhancement” – Prof John Harris.
Some believe transhumanism is a crucial part of the advancement of society.
Pay-to-participate young-blood transfusion clinical trial – Stat News – 6-Mar-2018
Bill Faloon inviting people to join a pay-to-participate clinical trial.
Will test transfusions of young blood.
Potentially live longer and some chronic problems may disappear.
People considering enrolling may have to pay $285,000.
Virtual Cell Can Simulate Cellular Growth – R & D Mag – 5-Mar-2018
Virtual yeast cell model can learn from real-world behaviors.
Simulates growth nearly as accurately as a real cell grown in a laboratory.
DCell is a machine learning model of a functioning cell.
Created using a hierarchy of approximately 2,500 cellular components.
Brewer’s yeast is commonly used in basic research.
Lassa fever: The killer disease with no vaccine – BBC News – 5-Mar-2018
Nigeria has been gripped by an outbreak of a Lassa fever.
Current outbreak is spreading faster and further than ever before.
Lassa fever is a viral haemorrhagic fever and is difficult to treat.
Currently no vaccine exists.
Most people who catch Lassa will have only mild symptoms.
But has a fatality rate of about one per cent.
People should wear protective gloves when caring Lassa fever patients.
Australia could eradicate cervical cancer – The Guardian – 3-Mar-2018
In 2007, Australia began providing free HPV vaccine to girls aged 12-13 years.
HPV rate among 18-24 women dropped from 22.7% to 1.1% between 2005 and 2015.
Within 40 years, number of new cases is projected to drop to almost zero.
In 2013 program was extended to boys.
Human papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted infection that causes 99.9% of cervical cancers.
Robotic labs for high-speed genetic research are on the rise – Economist – 1-Mar-2018
In the basement of Imperial College sits the London DNA Foundry.
Similar biofoundries are being set up around the world.
Biotechnology companies can outsource their own laboratories.
A robotic arm shuttle small plastic dishes between the machines.
The foundry can mix 150,000 samples of DNA in a morning.
Transcriptic allows storage of entire cell lines.
Obesity paradox debunked – Northwestern University – 1-Mar-2018
Previous findings showed that overweight people diagnosed with CVD live longer.
Cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular risks associated with obesity.
Normal weight middle-aged men live 1.9 years longer than obese men.
Study examined individual level data from 190,672 in-person examinations.
A massive study of family trees finds no gene for longevity – Technology Review – 1-Mar-2018
Birth and death dates of more than 86 million people compared.
Studied family trees over the last several hundred years.
16 percent variation in how long people live is due to genes.
Project led by MyHeritage and published in Science.
Deprivation reduces life expectancy by nearly a decade – Independent – 1-Mar-2018
Office for National Statistics says life expectancy of most deprived males is 73.9 years.
Compared with 83.3 years among the least deprived in 2014 and 2016.
Gap has risen by nearly five months in the last three years.
For females, deprivation gap is 7.4 years.
Growth in inequality is a result of longevity gains among less deprived.
AI cheats at video game to win – The Verge – 28-Feb-2018
Researchers taught AI agents how to play old Atari video games.
Software discovered a bug that allowed it to rack up near infinite points.
Exploit not discovered by any human before.
COMMENT: how will control AIs if they decide to work around our controls?
Bionic larynx sounds more natural than artificial voice boxes – Digital Trends – 26-Feb-2018
MARCS Institute has demonstrated a groundbreaking noninvasive artificial larynx.
Pneumatic Artificial Larynx (PAL) doesn’t require invasive surgical implantation.
Utilizes a patient’s own respiratory system in order to work.
Patient’s own breath creates a humming sound.
Sound is then converted into speech through the movement of the lips and tongue.
World War 3 could be overdue – Metro – 26-Feb-2018
Current period of “peace” may feel remarkable to us but isn’t unusual.
Computer scientist analysed 95 wars in the period 1823 to 2003.
Considered what the world was like before, during, and after a long period of conflict.
It’s been more than 70 years since the last major world war.
To be statistically significant it would need to persist for 100-140 years.
Predicts a civilization-ending conflict between 383 to 11,489 years from now.