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
FDA Target Rogue Gene Therapy Clinics – NY Times – 16-Nov-2017
FDA issued new guidelines for expedited review of stem cell and gene therapies.
Will crack down on clinics offering unproven versions of those treatments.
Only two products that qualify as gene therapy have been approved.
Patients have been blinded after fat-derived cells were injected into their eyes.
Previoulsy practitioners argued that they do not come under the agency’s jurisdiction.
Cellink can 3D print human body parts – BBC News – 15-Nov-2017
Currently growing cartilage and skin cells suitable for testing drugs and cosmetics.
Within 20 years it could produce organs that are fit for human implantation.
First company to sell standardised bio-inks.
Sold alongside affordable 3D printers.
Aging tests yield varying results – Science Daily – 15-Nov-2017
1,000 people studied extensively from birth to age 38.
Telomere length did not predict physical or cognitive changes.
Different epigenetic clocks kept time with each other, but not predictive.
Collection of physiological measures found a stronger signal.
Aging happens at different rates in different tissues of the body.
First ever attempt at gene editing inside the body – The Guardian – 15-Nov-2017
Patient lacks a gene that makes an enzyme that breaks down certain carbohydrates.
Symptoms include distorted facial features, hearing loss, breathing trouble and cognitive problems.
Zinc finger nucleases work like molecular scissors that replace a specific piece of DNA.
Only 1% of liver cells would have to be corrected to successfully treat the disease.
It becomes part of your DNA and is there for the rest of your life.
There is no way to erase any mistakes the editing might cause.
Tests will confirm whether it is working in three months.
Loophole Might Allow Cryogenic Freezing While Alive – IFL science – 14-Nov-2017
Human cryogenics is legal in some countries, but you have to be dead first.
May not apply if you go to a country where euthanasia is legal.
Russian cryonics company KrioRus is hoping to fund a bunker in Switzerland.
Assisted suicide from non-selfish motives is legal in Switzerland.
COMMENT: any financial motivation for the company may contravene this exemption applied to non-profit organisations.
Bioengineered robotic hand will sense touch – Phys – 14-Nov-2017
Sophisticated prostheses can mimic almost every hand motion.
But remain unnatural for the user as they lack tactile feedback.
Bioengineered robotic hand will grow and adapt to its environment.
Will have its own peripheral nervous system linking sensors and actuators.
Creating a living pathway from the robot’s touch sensation to the user’s brain.
Gates Invests $50M in Big Data for Alzheimer’s – Health IT Analytics – 14-Nov-2017
Hoping to accelerate precision medicine research into a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
Will help to leverage big data more effectively for clinical trials and pharmaceutical development.
Targeting specific proteins in the brain have produced some promising results thus far.
Will provide more information about the genesis and trajectory of neurodegenerative diseases.
Scientists Boost Human Memory With a Brain Implant – Futurism – 14-Nov-2017
Memory prosthesis implanted in 20 volunteers with epilepsy.
Device collected data on their brain to determin the pattern associated with optimal memory performance.
Device’s electrodes then stimulated the brain using that pattern during later tests.
Short-term memory by roughly 15 percent and working memory by about 25 percent.
World’s first floating city to be built by 2020 – Independent – 14-Nov-2017
Seasteading is building autonomous, self-sustaining cities in international waters.
Blue Frontiers pilot project underway in the coastal waters of French Polynesia.
Will be first functioning ‘floating community’ by 2020 with homes for 300 people.
May sell energy and clean water back to its host nation.
Switzerland’s men no longer living the longest – Le News – 12-Nov-17
According to the OECD last years report Switzerland tied with Iceland has the longest male life expectancy.
In this year’s report, published last Friday, Switzerland slipped into second place alongside Japan.
Male life expectancy in Switzerland moved from 81.1 years to 80.8, a drop of 0.3 years.
At the same time life expectancy for men in Iceland rose from 81.1 to 81.2.
Automating histology for the busy pathologist – Digital Journal – 11-Nov-2017
Aquaro Histology obtains investment to commercialize automated microtomy technology.
Plan to to automate section cutting, relaxing, and mounting on slides.
Histopathology is an important tool for disease diagnosis.
Temperature and time controls lead to improved consistency of sectioning.
Also lowers risk of cross-contamination occurring.
Why Some People Age Faster Than Others – Newsweek – 11-Nov-2017
Genetic pathway identified that may regulate the rate at which we age.
Longevity and behavioral aging aren’t necessarily related processes.
C. elegans show diverse age-related declines in virility, pharyngeal pumping, and locomotion.
Variation in neuropeptide-mediated glia–neuron signalling modulates the rate of ageing.
UK most overweight country in Western Europe – BBC News – 11-Nov-2017
Britain is the most obese nation in Western Europe, with rates rising faster than any other developed nation.
The UK’s comparatively high adolescent drunkenness rate is also a key concern.
British obesity rates have grown to 27% of people with a body mass index (BMI) above 30. The OECD average is 19%.
Obesity means higher risk of chronic illnesses, particularly hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases.
Airbubbl aims to clean air inside our cars – BBC News – 9-Nov-2017
Cars trap nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and soot-like particles.
Air intake ir near the exhaust of car in front of you.
Airbubbl removes nitrogen dioxide and pollutants.
Kickstarter campaign launched – 50% to early birds.
What The Heck Are Nootropics? Everything You Need To Know – The Chalkboard Mag – 9-Nov-2017
Answer: a controversial category of substances designed to enhance cognitive function.
Dave Asprey provides a personal guide to the top 10 smart drugs.
Includes modafinil, racetams, Adderall and LSD.
Also covers naturally occuring components such as L-theanine in green tea.
Others contain relatively normal supplements like CoQ10.
First international asteroid tracking exercise proves a success – New Atlas – 8-Nov-2017
An international team led by NASA has tested the International Asteroid Warning Network, which successfully tracked a potentially dangerous asteroid.
In addition, scientists were able to deduce the asteroid’s shape and clock its rotation, giving it a “day” of 12 minutes as it tumbles as well as spins.
The odds of the Earth being struck by a large asteroid are small, but fact that even a small asteroid can deliver the impact of a tactical nuclear weapon, preventing or at least predicting such impacts is a high priority in the space community.
Probe record activity of hundreds of neurons simultaneously – Kurzweil AI – 8-Nov-2017
Neuropixels probes are similar to electrophysiology probes, but…
1. thinner than a human hair with 960 electrical sensors
2. incorporate a nearly complete recording system — reducing hardware size
Will improve understanding of how large coalitions of nerve cells coordinate,
Genetically modified skin in life-saving treatment – BBC News – 08-Nov-2017
Junctional epidermolysis bullosa DNA lacks the instructions to stick epidermis to the dermis.
Genetic disease leaves skin as fragile as a butterfly’s wings.
4 sq cm patch of skin was taken and its DNA repaired in the laboratory.
Genetically modified skin cells were grown to make skin grafts totalling 0.85 sq m.
After 21 months skin is functioning normally with no sign of blistering.
Anti-aging breakthrough could extend healthspan by making old cells young again – New Atlas – 8-Nov-2017
Instead of clearing out senescent cells scientists have found a way to rejuvenate them.
New treatment uses compounds called resveratrol analogs, resveralogues.
Within hours of being treated senescent cells started to display more splicing factors.
Cells also expressed longer telomeres, re-entered cell cycle and resumed proliferation.
Surgical dressing fights infections with electricity – The Engineer – 7-Nov-2017
Electroceuticals are an effective platform technology to combat wound biofilm infection.
Bacteria rely on electrostatic interactions to adhere to surfaces.
Wireless electroceutical dressing (WED) generates a weak electric field.
No need for an external power supply.
Not subject to the mechanisms that may promote drug resistance.
Is Immortality Possible? It is for some animals – LEAF Science – 7-Nov-2017
Some animals are in a state of negligible senescence.
They see no decline of strength, mobility or senses, and no age-related increase in mortality.
They are still vulnerable to predation, accidents, starvation, environmental dangers.
Hydra appears to have no lifespan limit as it regenerates very quickly.
SENS Research Foundation is pursuing Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence.
US government gives away 10,000 Fitbits for precision medicine study – Tech Radar -7-Nov-2017
All of Us program was originally called the Precision Medicine Initiative.
Will collect biometric data to learn how individual activity affects health.
Data collection is being handled by the The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI).
Devices track a combination of physical activity, sleep and heart rate parameters.
Chosen for ease of use, including battery life and smartphone compatibility.
Human Exposome Project to decode how environmental factors damage health – Science Business – 7-Nov-2017
Will look at diet, lifestyle, occupational and environmental factors.
How do they contribute to the development of non-communicable diseases?
Moving research away from the ‘one exposure, one disease.’
Requires more complete and accurate individual-level exposure data.
Test could diagnose oesophageal cancer 8 years earlier – Cancer Research UK – 6-Nov-2017
Researchers looked at tissue samples from people with Barrett’s oesophagus that develop into cancer in around 5% of people.
Retrospectively identified predictive genetic markers in 94% of people who developed signs of oesophageal cancer.
People with high risk genetic patterns can be closely monitored for early signs that cancer will develop.
Here are the ways Silicon Valley plans to conquer death – National Post – 3-Nov-2017
Billionaires are now pouring millions into longevity research.
Upgrading the human immune system with tiny bloodborne robots.
Senolytics to sweep the body’s senescent cells.
Replacing organs whenever they wear out.
Funding to quickly determine if cancer treatment is working – Evening Express – 2-Nov-2017
Cartridge would quickly extract small fractions of circulating tumour DNA in the blood
Currently risks involved in sending to labs with no standard procedures.
Heriot-Watt University to spend 4 years designing and piloting a credit card-sized device.
Scientists decipher mechanisms underlying the biology of aging – Phys – 2-Nov-2017
Used a combination of engineering, computer science and biology to analyze molecular processes.
Chromatin silencing helps protect DNA from damage.
Also stops RNA expression so excessive silencing could derail normal cell physiology.
Cells switch their DNA between states periodically during aging.
When cells grow old, they lose their ability to maintain this periodic switching.
Blueprint for extraordinary Human Cell Atlas unveiled – Cambridge Independent – 2-Nov-2017
Atlas will be a comprehensive collection of reference maps of the human body.
Will enable a deeper understanding of human health.
First draft will map between 30 and 100 million cells from several organs and tissues.
Gene expression profiles from the first one million immune cells will be available in a public online resource.
Long-term goal is to profile 10 billion cells covering all tissues, organs and systems.
Drug ‘melts away’ fat inside arteries – University of Aberdeen – 2-Nov-2017
Drug being trialled for treating breast cancer and diabetes shows interesting side effect.
Trodusquemine reduced fatty plaques in arteries of mice.
Drug works by stopping an enzyme called PTP1B.
Also stimulated another protein (AMPK) which mimics exercise and reduces chronic inflammation.
Why Eradicating Age-related Diseases is Unlikely to Create Immortal Dictators – LEAF Science – 2-Nov-2017
Interesting analogy by Nicola Bagalà
Would you let a whole population die of disease to kill a dictator?
Death of a tyrants is not granted to put an end to the tyranny.
History teaches us that dictatorships rarely end due to natural death.
Generally other people, in one way or another, make it stop.
Young blood does little to reverse Alzheimer’s in first test – Science Mag – 1-Nov-2017
16 people with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s disease received weekly injections of young plasma.
Patients did no better on cognitive tests administered by researchers.
Caregivers reported that their charges performed slightly better at daily tasks.
Startup company Alkahest is “encouraged” to run more trials.