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
Gene that triggers senescence identified – Buffalo – 22-Jun-2018
University at Buffalo study illuminates genes involved in cellular senescence.
Gene called CD36 is unusually active in older, senescent cells.
Can stop young, healthy cells dividing by heightening CD36 activity.
Effect spread to nearby, untreated, cells.
COMMENT: it would be interesting to see what happens in old cells if CD36 was turned off
The man who was fired by a machine – BBC News – 21-Jun-2018
Mr Diallo was escorted from the building.
His boss was confused but helpless – likewise his director.
It took three weeks to find out why he had been sacked.
Previous manager was laid off and had not renewed his contract.
Machines took over – with each order triggering the next.
No mechanism for key card to be re-enabled.
Comau Launches Spring-Based Exoskeleton – Engineering – 20-Jun-2018
Spring-based passive structure avoids failure-prone devices.
MATE uses no batteries, motors, or mechatronics.
Provides postural support during repetitive and daily tasks.
Reduces shoulder muscle activity for some muscles of up to 50%.
NASA’s plan to defend the Earth from asteroids – CNET – 20-Jun-2018
Five chief goals to defend Earth from asteroid impacts.
National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan.
Kinetic impactors would be flown into an NEO to disrupt its orbit.
Gravity tractors would fly close-by to slowly change its course.
NASA will also investigate the potential to use nuclear devices.
Over 300,000 objects larger than 40 meters could pose a hazard.
Need more detailed information from reconnaissance missions.
Google AI predicts hospital patient deaths – Independent – 20-Jun-2018
Google’s Medical Brain team is using a new type of AI algorithm.
Makes predictions about the likelihood of death among hospital patients.
Outperformed traditional, clinical predictive models in all cases.
Can crunch thousands of data points in a patient’s medical records.
Latest results published last month in the journal Nature.
Robot First: Operating On A Human Eye – Futurism – 18-Jun-2018
Clinical trial of PRECEYES Surgical System started in 2016.
Robot is designed to assist surgery on the retina.
Doesn’t suffer from hand tremors like human surgeons.
Unfamiliarity meant it took three times longer than usual.
Precision reduces risks and may enable new types of surgery.
Results of trial in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.]
Realistic Skin Made for Bionic Limbs – Business Insider – 16-Jun-2018
Has technology evolved beyond our control? – The Guardian – 15-Jun-2018
New technologies are not neutral facilitators.
They embody politics and biases, extending beyond nations.
Enlightenment ideal was distributing more information ever more widely.
Where does all this data go, who owns it, and when might it come out?
Our current planet life support systems depend on these technologies.
We have to think, and think again, and keep thinking.
DNA tests make people live healthier lives – Independent – 15-Jun-2018
DNA tests encouraged 90 per cent to adopt healthier habits.
Receiving information on their personal genetic risk triggered changes.
Estonian government is trialling genetic testing 100,000 citizens.
Web tool compares genomic information with 49,000 genetic markers.
KardioKompass delivers a risk score of developing coronary heart disease.
Gene therapy reverses rat’s paralysis – BBC News – 14-Jun-2018
King’s College London repaired damage in spinal cord of rats.
Body repairs a wounded spinal cord with scar tissue.
But scar acts like a barrier to new nerve connections.
Used a virus to alter enzyme called chondroitinase.
Animals regained use of their front paws after the gene therapy.
High BP in middle age increases dementia risk – NHS – 14-Jun-2018
Dementia risk 38% higher for 50 year-olds with 130mmHg systolic pressure.
Length of time people had high blood pressure for was important.
Risk not seen in older people, perhaps because damage already done.
High blood pressure can cause bleeding and damage to the brain.
Based on 8,639 people tracked in 30-year Whitehall II study.
Will we ever colonise an asteroid? – BBC News – 13-Jun-2018
Asteroids come in three types: stony, carbonaceous, metallic.
Carbonaceous asteroids are often 10% water.
Size can range from a small house to hundreds of metres.
No atmosphere to protect settlers from cosmic rays.
Could bury settlements to shield from radiation.
Long-term exposure to micro-gravity is detrimental to the body.
Vegetarian Diet Could Help You Live Longer – Newsweek – 11-Jun-2018
Adults replaced animal-based protein or increased plant-based protein.
Replacing protein showed reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
More plant protein cut likelihood of plaque-clogged arteries by 60%.
Vegetarians should avoid processed foods high in refined carbs, sugars and trans fats.
High-quality meat had no effect on mortality rates.
Nipah virus outbreak in India contained – Times of India – 9-Jun-2018
17 deaths due to the virus reported from Kerala, India.
No fresh cases of infection filed.
Family members of those affected were kept in isolation.
Travellers should avoid Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur.
Work stress raises risk of premature death – The Guardian – 6-Jun-2018
Study into work stress on health of people with existing medical conditions.
Men were 68% more likely to die during study if jobs were demanding with little control.
Feeling overwhelmed at work is nearly as harmful as smoking.
Neither job strain nor effort-reward imbalance impacted death rates of women.
Tracked more than 100,000 people in Finland, France, Sweden and the UK.
Gennaris bionic eye receives ethics approval – SBS News – 6-Jun-2018
Gennaris Bionic Vision System receives ethics approval for human trials.
Bionic eye user wears a miniature camera on custom designed headgear.
Images processed and sent wirelessly to surgically implanted chip.
“So it bypasses the eyes altogether,” explained Prof Rosenfeld.
Brain will have to slowly adapt to the artificial vision.
Patient recruitment will begin in the next two months.
Could dog flu be the next pandemic? – Medical News Today – 6-Jun-2018
Influenza virus can jump from pigs to canines.
Viruses in dogs and horses have less viral genetic diversity.
5 years ago an avian flu virus was found in farmed dogs in China.
H1N1, H3N2, and H3N8 in dogs are starting to interact with each other.
Culling domestic dogs to prevent an outbreak would be an unpopular solution.
NASA’s plan for an aerial colony above Venus – NBC News – 5-Jun-2018
HAVOC is NASA’s High-Altitude Venus Operational Concept.
Would enable long-term atmospheric habitation and colonization of Venus.
Venus is the closest planet to Earth – with nearly identical size and mass.
Surface temperatures above 400 C and nearly 100x atmospheric pressure.
But 30 miles up, above the acidic clouds, conditions are more tolerable.
Heliem filled airship could unfurl to 3x size of a Boeing 747.
Immunotherapy beats terminal breast cancer – BBC News – 4-Jun-2018
Patient originally given three months to live.
Secondary cancers included tennis ball-sized tumours in liver.
Patient’s tumour genetically analysed to identify immune system targets.
90 billion white blood cells grown in lab and re-injected.
Two years later there is no sign of cancer in her body.
The technique remains experimental and needs more testing.
Cyborgs: Living Cells In A Robotic Finger – Futurism – 31-May-2018
Biohybrid robot joins living tissue with mechanical skeleton.
Robotic device remained functional for more than a week.
3D-printed resin skeleton had anchors added to attach living tissue.
Myoblasts incorporated into hydrogel sheets grown between the anchors.
Bot’s fingertip can bend up and down.
Able to pick up a tiny ring and place it on a peg.
Testing drugs on biohybrid robots could reduce animal testing.
First 3D-printed human corneas – Kurzweil AI – 31-May-2018
Bio-ink solution mixed from stem cells, alginate and collagen.
Stem cells (corneal stromal) from a healthy donor’s cornea.
3D bio-printer created shaped concentric circles in under 10 minutes.
Could build a cornea to match a patient’s unique specifications.
Antibiotic supply problems hasten resistance – The Guardian – 31-May-2018
Unavailable antibiotics lead to less appropriate drugs being prescribed.
One common antibiotic was unavailable in 39 countries in 2015.
Resulted in an uptick in babies born with congenital illnesses.
Shortages due to a number of factors including low profits.
New products rarely widely used for fear of resistance developing.
Production of ingredients can sometimes be produced by just one factory.
Machines may replace traditional medical stitching – Nursing Times – 31-May-2018
Sutrue has developed a handheld device and an endoscopic robot.
Can produce rows of sutures, tie knots and sew around corners.
Handles tissues as they stretch and twist unpredictably.
Claims devices cut human error by making the process simpler and more accurate.
Reduces suturing from 25 seconds to a one-third of a second per stitch.
No Heart Benefits From Common Dietary Supplements – Fight Aging – 30-May-2018
No significant effect on CVD outcomes and all-cause mortality from taking vitamins A, B6, and E; β-carotene; zinc; iron; magnesium; selenium; and multivitamins.
Niacin and antioxidants were associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality.
Folic acid alone and B-vitamins with folic acid, B6, and B12 reduced stroke.
Multivitamins were taken by 31% of the US population in 2012.
Visceral fat dependent on gut bacteria – NHS – 30-May-2018
Bacteria that live in the gut may influence our weight.
Study of metabolites in more than 300 pairs of UK twins.
Most of the variation (68%) was down to gut bacteria.
Genes responsible for only 18% of the variation.
Gut bacteria is partly inherited but strongly influenced by what we eat.
No association between age and the levels of 915 of the metabolites.
Developing the right material for brain implants – The Verge – 30-May-2018
The Verge interview Christopher Bettinger from Carnegie Mellon University.
Devices use electrons to pass information.
Neurons use ions like sodium and potassium.
Small movements of the probe can damage the tissue over time.
Damage doesn’t cause disease but does reduce life of the device.
Polymer gels can bend and stretch so may last longer.
Could attach devices to other places, e.g. spine or bladder.
Reversing aging by removing wrinkles inside our cells – Science Daily – 29-May-2018
Fatty liver disease may result from our cells’ nuclei getting wrinkly.
Disfiguration of our DNA compartment could cause other unwanted effects of aging.
Genes that are turned off are shoved up against the nuclear membrane.
Aged nuclear membranes become irregular and prevent turning off.
Wrinkling stems from a lack of cellular protein lamin.
Could use viruses to deliver lamin back to cells.
3D printing: risks vs. benefits for the pharma industry – Pharma Times – 29-May-2018
Prices coming down – more so for printers than inks.
3D printed pills are still being researched.
Faster pre-clinical evaluation of new drugs
Times Book Review: Too Many Pills – The Times – 27-May-2018
Polypharmacy can have more complications than the illnesses prescribed for.
When a doctor discontinued 320 nursing home drugs the number of deaths halved.
Big Pharma supports academic theory that you need to treat people who might get sick.
You have to treat 1,000 people with mild hypertension to prevent one stroke.
Low-calorie diet prevents age-related molecular changes – Medical Xpress – 25-May-2018
Epigenetic changes strongly influence the way the genes operate.
Methylation in humans changes in different areas with age.
Harvard Medical School studied methylation in mice as they aged.
Changes become more evident at an older age.
Long-term low-calorie diet displayed slower age-related changes.
Short-term cuts in calories instead made them even faster.
Interview with Juvenescence author Jim Mellon – Medium – 17-May-2018
Wrote “Juvenescence: Investing in the Age of Longevity” in 2017.
Believes that some people today will live to be over 150.
Juvenescence Ltd. has raised $62.5m and invested in 9 biotech companies.
Some technologies now in the process of phase 3 human trials.
Drugs become much cheaper after 10 year patents expire.
Personal supplement regime includes metformin, NMR precursors and mini aspirin.