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
Should We Die? – The Atlantic – 18-Feb-2017
Zoltan Istvan wants to be the one to decide when his life ends.
Goal is one shared by many futurists in Silicon Valley.
Will Earth become a paradise of eternally youthful artists, or a hellish, depleted nursing home?
Author admits her views would change if she could stay sharp and energetic.
This feeling of abundant possibility is one of the chief motivations of the pro-longevity crowd.
Bostrom dismisses the thought that there’s something about impending death that adds meaning or motivation to our days.
COMMENT: there will be more enthusiasm for living forever as people realise it means living indefinitely youthfully
Bill Gates warns tens of millions could be killed by bio-terrorism – Guardian – 18-Feb-2017
The next epidemic could be a genetically engineered version of the smallpox virus or a deadly strain of the flu.
Epidemiologists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year.
Reasonable probability the world will experience such an outbreak in the next 10 to 15 years.
71% of Britons are more concerned about the spread of infectious diseases than war with other nations.
Stem cells collected from fat may have use in anti-aging treatments – EurekAlert! – 17-Feb-2017
Adult stem cells collected directly from human fat are more stable than other cells.
Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) able to replicate and maintain their stability.
The rate at which these ASCs multiply stays consistent with age.
ASCs are not currently approved for direct use by the Food and Drug Administration.
Exciting Therapy To Treat Age Related Blindness Moving To The Clinic – LEAF – 15-Feb-2017
Ichor Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on developing drugs for age-related diseases.
LYSOCLEAR for age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt’s macular degeneration going into Phase I clinical trials.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among people over the age of 50.
With time, different by-products are formed that accumulate in the lysosomes of RPE cells.
LYSOCLEAR is an enzyme product that can enter the lysosomes of RPE cells and destroy toxic A2E accumulations.
We are now seeing the first SENS therapies proposed back in 2000s moving into clinical trials.
This Robot Surgeon Is Outperforming Human Doctors (VIDEO) – Vocativ – 14-Feb-2017
Dr. Peter Kim, Sheikh Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, explains STAR.
STAR = Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot
Goal is to enhance surgeons’ capacity and capability.
Uses advanced 3D infra-red imaging to see its subjects.
In future could use combined wisdom of many surgeons and operate with greater accuracy.
Academic paper: IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Why diet with olive oil is tied lower heart disease risk – Reuters – 13-Feb-2017
Mediterranean diet with added olive oil may be tied to a lower risk of heart disease at least in part because it helps maintain healthy blood flow and clear debris from arteries
Mediterranean diet rich in virgin olive oil improves the function of high-density lipoproteins (“good” cholesterol)
Dietary antioxidants may bind to HDL particles and protect them.
296 older adults at risk for cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to one of 3 diets.
‘Anti-aging’ hormone could unlock new treatments for kidney and heart disease – Medical Xpress – 13-Feb-2017
King’s College London has found that patients with diabetes suffering from the early stages of kidney disease have a deficiency of Klotho.
Klotho levels could be used as a risk marker to predict kidney disease.
Klotho protects the vascular system against changes associated with abnormal ageing.
China’s medical robots take on foreign rivals – CCTV – 13-Feb-2017
Tinavi’s Phecda surgery robot has 3D HD and can guide medical tools to within 0.8 millimeters.
Medical robots are highlighted in the country’s Made in China 2025 strategy.
By 2050, more than 400 million Chinese will be over 60 years old.
New treatment that could reverse stroke symptoms – Independent – 12-Feb-2017
Mechanical thrombectomy to be implemented in specialist centres across NHS.
Blood clot is either sucked into a tube or pulled out with a small wire.
Brings patients “back to life” who would otherwise have died or been left paralysed.
Increase the proportion of people who can function independently 90 days after a stroke by 19-35%.
Advanced robotic system will become surgeon’s right hand – Phys.org – 10-Feb-2017
University of California San Diego engineers are developing robots to be an integral part of the surgical team.
Human surgeons still needed to decide what treatment is best or how procedure should be performed.
Could reduce number of surgeons needed to operate da Vinci Surgical System.
COMMENT: looks like we’re one step closer to fire-and-forget automated robotic surgeons
New brain implant design to restore vision to the blind – Nextbigfuture – 9-Feb-2017
Until now, implanted electrodes eventually become useless, as scar tissue forms that degrades their electrical connection to brain cells.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School using new kind of implant that rests on the surface of the brain.
Magnetic fields aren’t impeded by tissue forming around an implant as electric currents are.
Tests to begin in monkeys to stimulate the visual cortex – creating the sensation of sight without the eyes’ input.
Project is intended to lead to devices that can restore vision to blind people long-term.
Blood test could catch pancreatic cancer before it’s too late – New Scientist – 8-Feb-2017
Because the pancreas is deep inside the body and is difficult to image or biopsy, spotting the cancer is hard.
Only 5 per cent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are still alive five years later.
The assay uses the binding of gold nanospheres to tumour-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) captured on a sensor chip.
In a pilot study in 59 patients, it picked up early-stage pancreatic cancer in more than 90 per cent of cases.
Could differentiate between pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis.
Roam Robotics’ lightweight, inexpensive exoskeleton for the masses – New Atlas – 8-Feb-2017
Design made predominantly out of plastic and high-strength fabric.
Other companies try to convert bulky designs.
Co-founder Tim Swift was on the team that developed Ekso.
Valves within the exoskeleton push air from an attached compressor into the structured cavities
Results about an order of magnitude more than what electromechanical systems.
Entire package including battery and lightweight compressor could weigh as little as five pounds.
Scientists create first 3-D synchronized-beating heart tissue – Kurzweil AI – 8-Feb-2017
York University has created in vitro 3D heart tissue made from three different types of cardiac cells.
No external scaffold was used.
Will allow better and earlier drug testing.
Created at a millimeter scale, but larger versions could be made.
New machine-learning algorithms may revolutionize drug discovery – Kurzweil AI – 8-Feb-2017
University of Toronto Scarborough algorithms can generate 3D structures of nanoscale protein molecules.
Proteins can’t be seen directly without using sophisticated techniques like electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM).
3D structure pieced together from high-resolution 2D images.
Existing techniques often generate incorrect structures unless an expert user provides an accurate guess.
Life expectancy: 120,000 numbers in just four minutes – BBC News – 7-Feb-2017
Fascinating data visualisation of life expectancy for 200 countries over 200 years.
Charts life expectancy v income over time.
From poor and sick to rich & healthy.
Highlights significant difference between continents.
Don’t blink for the dip in 1918!
COMMENT: emerging countries closely track life expectancy for a fraction of the income
Half-century old misconception removes limits on life extension – EurekAlert – 7-Feb-2017
Strehler-Mildvan (SM) correlation was reported in 1960.
It relates to the Mortality Rate Doubling Time (MRDT) and Initial Mortality Rate (IMR), two parameters of Gompertz mortality law
It says that if the mortality rate is reduced by any interventions at an earlier age, the MRDT goes down, i.e aging accelerates.
Biotech company Gero showed that SM correlation arises naturally as a degenerate manifold of Gompertz fit.
Correlation was indeed a pure fitting artifact.
Health insurer calls analysed for signs of disease in your voice – New Scientist – 6-Feb-2017
US start-up Canary Speech using deep-learning to spot neurological conditions in voices.
Training algorithms with hundreds of millions of phone calls labelled with speaker’s medical history.
Vocal cues could distinguish someone with or without a particular condition.
Stricter UK data protection laws may prevent a similar project there.
Aims to detect vocal indicators of Alzheimer’s disease within two months, then depression, stress and dyslexia.
Injection could permanently lower cholesterol by changing DNA – New Scientist – 6-Feb-2017
People born with natural mutations that disable a specific gene have a lower risk of heart disease, with no apparent side effects.
Mutation prevents their livers from making a protein called PCSK9 – which in most people degrades a second protein that removes LDL cholesterol from the blood.
Using the CRISPR technique, a team at AstraZeneca have disabled human versions of the PCSK9 gene in mice.
First animal study trial results are due to be announced in March.
CRISPR method improving such that off-target effects occur no more often than natural mutations in cell
Moderate Drinking Effect on Health may be Explained by Wealth and Status – Fight Aging! – 6-Feb-2017
Secondary analysis of data from 2,908 participants in the New Zealand Longitudinal Study of Ageing.
Positive influence of moderate alcohol consumption on health disappeared when controlling for full socioeconomic status.