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
Nanorobots used to administer anti-cancer drugs – Digital Journal – 17-Aug-2016
100 million flagellated bacteria propel drug laden nanobots through body fluids, helped by the use of magnetic fields.
Nanobots can detect the most cancerous areas and release the anti-cancer drug.
Avoids harming healthy cells and organs.
Trials in mice devised by Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal together with McGill University.
Women’s cancer risk increases time spent obese – NHS – 17-Aug-2016
Time spent overweight or obese seems to have a compounding effect on cancer risk.
Each decade of being overweight linked to 7% increased risk of obesity-related cancer.
Womb cancer most strongly linked to obesity.
The more overweight the greater the link especially for endometrial cancer.
Study of more than 70,000 women over 12 years.
Also used women’s own estimates of their weight at ages 18, 35 and 50.
Big savings in digital health skills trial – Health IT Central – 17-Aug-2016
220,000 UK residents participated in 3 year scheme to improve digital health skills.
– 21% drop in GP surgery contact
– 6% reduction in A&E visits
– Potential £6m savings to NHS
Helen Milner, Tinder Foundation CEO: “Digital has the power to affect people’s lives at scale”
Life extending drug tested on dogs – Deccan Chronicle – 15-Aug-2016
Anti-rejection drug rapamycin extend the life of mice by more than 25 per cent.
If similar effect in canines it could extend dogs’ lives by four years.
Statistically significant improvements in heart function in phase 1 trial.
Cheating death – The Economist – 13-Aug-2016
Senescence is coming under scrutiny from doctors and biologists.
Long life will exacerbate existing social and economic problems.
Humanity must avoid the trap fallen into by Tithonus.
Biological understanding is advancing apace. Greater longevity is within reach.
Living Forever Has Never Been More Popular – Motherboard – 12-Aug-2016
Zoltan Istvan reports from RAAD Fest – the biggest life extension festival in history.
1000 attendee strong festival signals the growing trend of the life extension movement.
Speakers included anti-aging leaders, CEOs and a key note by Ray Kurzweil via robot.
US government is unlikely to fund life extension science while high numbers of representatives publicly believe in an afterlife.
This is the amount of exercise you should be doing every day – Independent – 9-Aug-2016
Current World Health Organisation recommendation is 150 minutes of brisk walking or 75 minutes of running each week.
Big drop in disease risk up to 5x recommended minimum exercise.
Benefit continued to increase up to 15x the minimum, i.e. 19 hours running per week.
higher level of total physical activity is strongly associated with a lower risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, and ischemic stroke.
Meta-study of 74 studies published between 1980 and 2016.
8 Strange Hacks To Live Longer – Medical Daily – 9-Aug-2016
Article links to studies showing increased life expectancy and reduced chronic disease, based on every day activity including:
– Drink coffee
– Have more orgasms
Bookworms Have Better Life Expectancy – Pharmacy Times – 9-Aug-2016
Reading patterns of 3635 patients aged 50 and older studied.
12 years later participants who read for up to 3.5 hour a week were 17% less likely to die than those who didn’t read at all.
Study took into account education.
Book reading engages higher cognitive processes and promotes empathy, social perception, and emotional intelligence.
COMMENT: surprising results given the sedentary nature of reading
GlaxoSmithKline and Google to develop bioelectronic medicines – Wall Street Journal – 1-Aug-2016
Glaxo and Verily Life Sciences LLC, formerly Google Life Sciences, create Galvani Bioelectronics with $714 million budget.
Many biological processes are controlled by electrical signals transmitted from the nervous system to the body’s organs.
Distortions of signaling pathways involved in long-term diseases including diabetes, asthma and arthritis.
Treatments would work by attaching miniature electronic devices to individual nerves.
Cognitive speed training exercises reduce dementia – iMedicalApps – 1-Aug-2016
Brain training industry careful about claims after Lumosity was fined $50 million dollars for lack of evidence.
Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study included 2,785 over 65s without evidence of cognitive impairment at start of trial.
New results using 10-year follow-up data showed a 33% decreased incidence of dementia in subjects who utilized the speed training exercises.
The more speed-of-processing sessions the greater the impact.
15 Research-Backed Health Benefits of Coffee – Home Grounds – 26-Jul-2016
Helps Burn Fat
Protects You Against Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Regular Consumption Is Linked to Longer Life Expectancy
Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
Improves Blood Circulation
Reduce your risk of death in next decade by a third – Doctors Lounge – 15-Jun-2016
High level of physical activity in over 60s reduces risk of dying over 10 years by 35 percent compared to people who weren’t active at all.
Biggest jump in benefit was achieved at the low level of exercise – even low levels of activity reduced risk by a fifth.
Research included 123,428 people, aged 60 and older.
study presented at the European Society of Cardiology’s EuroPRevent 2016.
Genomics’ potential to transform healthcare – Health IT Central – 15-Jun-2016
100,000 Genomes Project is sequencing genomes from patients with rare diseases, cancers and infectious diseases.
Leading to better diagnoses, new drugs and treatments.
Challenge is getting enough tumour DNA of the right quality to sequence.
Opportunity for individuals to gain an understanding of her/his health drivers and take control of their own well-being.
Interview with Sir John Chisholm, Executive Chair of Genomics England.
Nokia investing in digital health – ZDNET – 15-Jun-2016
Nokia has been developing health technology for both regulated and unregulated use.
In April, Nokia acquired French digital health company Withings for €170m.
Its hardware monitors biomarkers and elements of their environment, e.g. air quality and sound levels.
Digital health market is set to be worth between $61bn and $233bn by 2020.
Of which, devices for monitoring patients around $25bn.
Interview with Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia’s Technologies unit.
Vitamin myths debunked: what should you be taking? – The Guardian – 14-Jun-2016
Sales of vitamins are higher than those of painkillers.
If you’re well with no symptoms and a reasonable diet, it’s very unlikely that you’ve got a significant vitamin deficiency.
The question is whether taking them will do you any harm.
Many of us will have lowish vitamin D levels after a long winter.
COMMENT: consider taking vitamin D supplements in the UK while the weather is so cloudy
Whole grains associated with lower risk of death – Kurzweil AI – 13-Jun-16
Whole grain foods reduce risk of chronic diseases and premature mortality.
Greatest benefit from first two 30g servings per day.
Further reductions in risks up to 7.5 servings a day.
Relative risk reduced for cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, respiratory and infectious disease.
Meta-analysis of 45 studies (64 publications) of consumption of whole grain by Imperial College London
$160 million to develop artificial organs – Engadget – 13-Jun-16
Limited number of donors and organs have to be used within a matter of hours.
US government has announced $160 million in public-private investments for a new Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
Organization will develop techniques for repairing and replacing tissues that could lead to artificial organs.
Link Between Air Pollution and Stroke Risk – Fight Aging! – 10-Jun-2016
10 leading risk factors for stroke:
– high blood pressure
– diet low in fruit
– high body mass index (BMI)
– diet high in sodium
– diet low in vegetables
– environmental air pollution
– household pollution from solid fuels
– diet low in whole grains
– high blood sugar
10% of disability associated with stroke is linked to air pollution.
This is only half of the risk attributed to smoking.
Data from the Global Burden of Disease Study to estimate the disease burden of stroke associated with 17 risk factors in 188 countries.
COMMENT: consider buying a PM2.5 air filter for your home
Man lives 555 days without a heart – CNN – 10-Jun-2016
9 years ago 25-year-old Stan Larkin suddenly collapsed with undiagnosed arrhythmogenic dysplasia.
Eventually progressed to heart failure and cardiogenic shock.
His heart was removed and replaced with SynCardia artificial heart with chambers and four valves.
Backpack contains Freedom Driver that powered the artificial heart delivering pumps of compressed air.
Many patients waiting for a transplant have hearts that are so weak, the kidneys, liver and other critical organs fail.
FDA approves new medical robot from Auris Surgical – IEEE Spectrum – 7-Jun-2016
Teleoperated ARES robot (Auris Robotic Endoscopy System) was cleared by the FDA at the end of May.
ARES navigated the airways of all 15 trial patients without adverse effects.
Robotics can add more precision and maintain good ergonomics for the surgeon.
Stealthy startup is led by Frederic Moll – co-founder of industry leader Intuitive Surgical.
Looking to expand the applicability of robotics to a broad spectrum of medical procedures.
Focusing on endolumenal surgery which involves surgeons introducing flexible robots via the body’s natural openings.
Target Genes for Slowing Aging – Fight Aging! – 6-Jun-2016
75 potential targets for gene therapy in the near future.
Rapid advances in genetic editing technologies have made gene therapies cheaper and easier.
Focus is on compensatory therapies for aging.
List omits inherited disorders based on single faulty genes.
Increase in disability-free life expectancy – Science Daily – 6-Jun-2016
Difference in life expectancy for a 65-year-old:
1992: 17.5 years with 8.9 years free from disability
2008: 18.8 years with 10.7 years free from disability
Mainly due to improvements in cardio-vascular health and declines in vision problems.
As much as half of the improvement is because of medical care, especially statin drug treatment.
Improvement in vision health almost entirely down to improvement and availability of cataract surgery.
COMMENT: this goes against the general thinking that healthspan wouldn’t increase as fast as lifespan
Work Longer, Live Longer – Forbes – 3-Jun-2016
People who retire after age 65 reduce the risk of dying by 10 percent.
Both healthy and unhealthy late retirees live longer.
People in Boston College study had “meaningful work” – though this isn’t defined.
Often the transition from high engagement in challenging tasks to a leisure mode isn’t healthy
COMMENT: maybe those who chose to work longer were in fulfilling jobs and so had better mental health.
Trading Modern Medicine for Cheap Meat – IEET – 3-Jun-2016
A superbug resistant to all known antibiotics has surfaced in the United States for the first time.
Rate of new antibiotic development has not kept pace with this growing problem.
Number of new antibiotic agents approved by the FDA has declined steadily over time.
In depth article discusses:
– Regulatory Hurdles
– Economic Hurdles
– Scientific Hurdles
– Antibiotic Misuse in Livestock Production and Policy Solutions
Chronic stroke patients safely recover after injection of human stem cells – Kurzweil AI – 3-Jun-2016
Stanford University School of Medicine studied 18 patients who had suffered a stroke between six months and three years before receiving the injections.
Gary Steinberg: “At six months out from a stroke, you don’t expect to see any further recovery.”
Procedure involved injecting SB623 mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow of two donors.
Substantial improvements were seen in patients’ scores on several widely accepted metrics of stroke recovery.
Improvement was independent of their age or their condition’s severity
The injected stem cells don’t survive for more than a month yet patients’ recovery is sustained for more than one year.
A new randomized phase-2b trial is now actively recruiting patients.
3 Reasons To Believe The Singularity Is Near – Forbes – 3-Jun-2016
Ray Kurzweil published The Singularity Is Near in 2006 – as technology accelerates at an exponential rate, progress would eventually become virtually instantaneous — a singularity.
Predicted that computers would merge with other technologies, namely genomics, nanotechnology and robotics.
Reason #1: We’re Going Beyond Moore’s Law
– shrinking transistors is getting harder but the next technologies are on their way
Reason #2: Robots Are Doing Human Jobs
– new robots can work safely around humans and can learn new tasks in minutes
Reason #3: We’re Editing Genes
– new tools allow cheap and easy gene editing opening up avenues to render viruses inactive and create disease resistant crops
Technologies that are hundreds of times more powerful than what we have today will open up completely new possibilities as well as dangers.
Eat fibre for a healthier life – Global News – 2-Jun-2016
Westmead Institute for Medical Research looked at people’s eating habits, including fibre intake, glycemic index, glycemic load and sugar intake.
Dr. Bamini Gopinath: “Fibre intake had the strongest influence”
Almost 80 per cent greater likelihood of living a long and healthy life over a 10-year follow-up.
Studying of over 1,600 over 50s.
Dietary fibre is a type of carbohydrate that the body – found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
It can also help with lowering cholesterol levels, controlling blood sugar levels and maintaining a healthy weight.
Universal cancer vaccine breakthrough – Independent – 2-Jun-2016
Nanoparticulate RNA immunotherapy puts pieces of cancer’s genetic RNA into tiny nanoparticles of fat and injects into the bloodstream.
Patient’s immune systems respond by producing T-cells designed to attack cancer.
Successful safety trial in three patients in the advanced stage of disease – also saw positive results.
Vaccine also effective in fighting aggressively growing tumours in mice.
Such vaccines are fast and inexpensive to produce and could target virtually any type of cancer.
Smart outfit to diagnose epilepsy – New Scientist – 1-Jun-2016
BioSerenity has developed Neuronaute – a shirt and cap embedded with biometric sensors.
Records the electrical activity of the wearer’s brain, heart and muscles.
Also records movements to help determine what activities trigger someone’s seizures.
Approved for use by European health services.
Epilepsy is difficult to diagnose as seizures rarely coincide with hospital appointments.
30 per cent of people with epilepsy in Europe are misdiagnosed