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
Health of more than 90% of world’s population affected by air pollution – Independent – 27-Sep-2016
Interactive map produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Vast areas of the world are bathed in tiny particles from pollutants such as sulphate, nitrates and black carbon.
These PM2.5 and PM10 particles can cause heart attacks, strokes and lung cancer.
In England, only the rural north-west and parts of Cornwall and Devon are below WHO safety limit.
ClientEarth is using the courts to force governments to uphold people’s right to clean air.
COMMENT: its surprising that there isn’t a big orange patch over London
Can an uploaded brain live forever? – TechRadar – 24-Sep-2016
Today’s supercomputers are nowhere near the complexity and power of the brain.
But lots of teams are working on it
2045 Initiative – spearheaded by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov.
Brain Preservation Foundation (BPF) – mission covers everything from brain-friendly diets to advancing cryogenic brain storage.
Blue Brain Project – run from EPFL it’s starting with rodents before moving on to humans.
Also need to pin down the mystery of consciousness.
Technology will gradually augment our biological forms and then eventually phase them out.
Preventable accidents stymie US life expectancy – Inquisitr – 24-Sep-2016
2008 saw first drop in average life expectancy since 1993.
Why are new treatments being discovered yet overall life expectancy rate makes very modest gains, if any, each year?
An often overlooked reason for lowered life expectancy in Americans is accidental death.
Motor vehicle accidents, firearms deaths, and drug overdoses combined were responsible for 6 percent of deaths among U.S. men and 3 percent among U.S. women.
Me And My Quantified-Self – ELLE – 23-Sep-2016
Commissioning Editor at ELLE reviews her experience with FitBit Charge 2.
At times I feel utterly ruled by the flashing digits and the regular wrist vibrations.
It can differentiate between running, cycling, training and everyday activity.
It tells me when I’ve been sitting down for too long with vibrations.
Wearing a tracker has made me choose stairs over lifts and walk up escalators.
My tracker spurs me on and is a fun addition to my routine.
How Machine Learning, Big Data And AI Are Changing Healthcare Forever – Forbes – 23-Sep-2016
IDC predicts that 30 percent of providers will use cognitive analytics with patient data by 2018.
Computers and deep learning algorithms are getting more and more adept at recognizing patterns.
Pathway Genomics is developing a simple blood test to determine if early detection or prediction of certain cancers is possible.
CareEdit tool helps create the best course of treatment for different types of cancers.
Muddled Link Between Booze and Cancer – Wired – 22-Sep-2016
World Health Organization has recognized alcoholic beverages as a Group 1 carcinogen since 2012.
Early studies criticized for sick quitters bias – teetotallers included former alcoholics people already too sick to drink.
Meta-analysis of recent epidemiological and biological research estimates that alcohol-attributable cancers make up 5.8% of cancer deaths.
Journal Addiction has highlighted often-cozy relationship between alcohol academics and industry.
UK Department of Health has changed its alcohol guidelines from “safe to drink moderately” to “there is no level of regular drinking that can be considered as completely safe.”
Men who marry smart women live longer – Indy100 – 22-Sep-2016
Lawrence Whalley, Professor emeritus of mental health at Aberdeen, clarifies his assertion that men marrying intelligent women decrease their chance of dementia.
Correct diet and an intellectually stimulating environment act as a bulwark against dementia.
Wives make many food purchase decisions and are powerful influences on family dietary habits.
4 Foods That Will Make You Live Longer – M2 – 20-Sep-2016
M2 Magazine have highlighted some major studies supporting regular consumption of the following:
Fish – omega-3s in fatty fish play a key role in reducing inflammation
Spices – huge Chinese showed a 14 percent lower risk of mortality
Nuts – but no more than a handful of nuts per day
Seaweed – can suppress inflammation and boost your immune system
Fitness trackers don’t promote weight loss – BBC – 20-Sep-2016
Activity trackers that count steps did not improve the chances of losing weight in 2 year study.
500 overweight volunteers who were asked to diet and take more exercise.
The half with a fitness tracker had lost 2kg less weight by the end of the trial.
Drop off in the usage data as the study went on.
Certain people may be more likely than others to benefit from using the technology.
Crowd funding success for OncoSENS Control ALT Delete Cancer – SENS Research Foundation – 18-Sep-2016
$72,000 raised for high-throughput screening of a library of diverse drugs to find treatments for ‘ALT’ cancers.
ALT cancers rely on Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres.
Telomere shortening acts as a biological mechanism for limiting cellular life span.
Most cancer cells bypass this failsafe by synthesizing new telomeres using the enzyme telomerase.
There are currently no ALT-targeted anti-cancer therapeutics.
These six plant extracts could delay aging – Kurzweil AI – 16-Sept-2016
Each targets a different anti-aging or pro-aging signaling pathway.
Health Canada classifies them as safe for human consumption
Most effective is Salix alba, more commonly known as white willow bark.
Study used budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as its cellular aging model.
Plant extracts tested were:
Valeriana officinalis L.
Passiflora incarnata L.
Apium graveolens L.
Women dying needlessly due to not attending cervical screening – NHS – 16-Sep-2016
347 deaths per year in England could be prevented if all eligible women attended cervical screening.
Introduction of screening has reduced the number of cervical cancer in England by around two thirds.
Analysis looked at screening history for more than 11,000 women.
Sound wave technology to blast plaque in arteries – MedCity News – 16-Sep-2016
Combines lithotripsy (used to break up kidney stones) with the commonly used angioplasty balloon catheter.
Spares soft tissue in arteries that are severely calcified.
FDA has cleared Shockwave Medical’s Lithoplasty System for use in peripheral artery disease (PAD).
One in 20 Americans over the age of 50 has PAD.
Highest-resolution map of the entire human brain created – KurzweilAI – 16-Sept-2016
Digital human brain atlas allows researchers to investigate the structural basis of brain function.
Combines neuroimaging with cellular resolution histological analysis and expert structural mapping.
Digitized the histological data at true cellular microscopic resolution.
Allen Human Brain Reference Atlas is a freely accessible online resource – visit brain-map.org
Clinical research seeks fountain of youth – Japan News – 15-Sept-2016
Keio University running a human trial orally administered nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN).
NMN indirectly activates sirtuins which is known to inhibit aging.
In previous mice trials muscles have been rejuvenated from the equivalent of 60 year old to 20 year old.
Life expectancy of mice increased and gap with healthy life expectancy reduced.
Difference between average life expectancy and healthy life expectancy is about 10 years in Japan.
NMN is found in animals and plants but it would be difficult for humans to get enough in their diet to make a difference.
Nanofish could swim through body to deliver medication – MedGadget – 12-Sep-2016
Made from gold and nickel nanowire sections the devices flex like a fish when powered by a magnetic field.
200 nm in length they can achieve speeds of 30 μm per second.
The technology has potential to travel through the body and deliver medication or perform a procedure.
Developed by University of California and Harbin Institute of Technology.
Robot operates inside eye in world first – BBC News – 9-Sep-2016
Surgeon controlled robot via a joystick to remove a membrane one hundredth of a millimetre thick.
Robot has seven motors and filters out surgeon’s hand tremors.
Normally the operation causes some haemorrhage to the retina.
In future hope to do more complex and delicate operations that are impossible with the human hand.
Developed by Dutch company Preceyes – aiming for market entry in 2018.
COMMENT: still a glorified instrument rather than a self-driven robot – but the more its used the more likely it could be automated in future.
Obesity link to cancer not well known by public – BBC News – 9-Sep-2016
Three out of four people are unaware being overweight increases the risk of developing 10 different types of cancer.
Men and people from poor backgrounds most likely to no know.
Bowel, kidney, breast and womb cancer are most commonly linked to obesity.
Contributes to more than 18,000 cases of cancer each year in the UK.
Survey of more than 3,000 people by Cancer Research UK.
NHS sets out vision for personalised medicine – PHG Foundation – 8-Sep-2016
Improving Outcomes Through Personalised Medicine report launched at Health and Innovation Expo 2016.
Vision for the next five years:
– Whole genome sequencing for specific conditions
– Improved diagnosis of rare conditions
– Better understanding of cancer
– Strengthened and integrated informatics capability
By 2025 disease will be classified by its underlying genetic cause.
Stem cell tourism may end your life – Labiotech – 8-Sep-2016
Desperate patients are ready to do everything to access to new treatments.
Easily misled by headlines reporting early stage successes.
Quantitative and qualitative inconstancy in products availability worldwide.
European Committee for Advanced Therapy (CAT) has raised concern about absence of rigorous scientific and ethical requirements.
variability even within Europe where many products only authorized in individual nations.
Deaths and serious complications have occured in Germany and Italy.
Most home wrist blood pressure monitor readings incorrect – MobiHealthNews – 7-Sep-2016
Blood pressure measured at home and in the doctor’s office with both a wrist monitor and upper arm device.
Many patients were resting the wrist device below heart level which gives falsely high numbers.
Over half had reading more than 10 mm/hg out.
Study in Hypertension Journal of 720 patients.
Health apps to inform patient records – BBC News – 7-Sep-2016
Data from NHS approved health apps will feed directly into health records
Jeremy Hunt : “we want [apps] to be developed by entrepreneurs who have the specialist knowledge and creativity”
Also, new online triage system will allow patients to enter symptoms online and receive tailored advice or a call back from a health professional.
Cool your beverages to reduce risk of cancer – Harvard University – 6-Sep-2016
Nonalcoholic beverages consumed above 65° C (150° F) may contribute to the risk of esophageal cancer.
Applies to tea, coffee and even hot water.
It can take 8 minutes for coffee to cool to 65 degrees in normal mugs (see https://marco.org/2011/08/10/coffee-joulies-review for more info)
Research also determined that these beverages are not, at cooler temperatures, carcinogenic.
Metastudy of 1,000 studies conducted in the past 20 years.
Nanobots could swarm like bats to hunt out brain tumours – New Scientist – 2-Sep-2016
National Technical University of Athens working to develop nanobots that could be injected into the brain and then crawl along neurons, pinching them to see if they are healthy or not.
Brain damage can occur deep in the brain and be difficult to see in scans.
Team has created a computer simulation using bat swarming behaviour to direct nanobots by following acoustic signals.
Just four bots would be needed to find a small tumour within a matter minutes.
Theoretical at the moment as uncertain how tiny devices could sense these acoustic signals.
Poor Correlation Between Telomere Length and Health – Fight Aging! – 2-Sep-2016
Telomeric DNA decreases with age and when they get too short cells self-destruct or become senescent.
No association found between telomere length and current health status.
Study of 351 blood samples at age 49-51.
Variation in length is large between individuals and is fairly dynamic for any individual in response to circumstance and illness.
COMMENT: when telomere length testing is cheap enough it might still be worth monitoring long term averages in case they turn out to be important
Robots Are Working 24/7 To Cure Cancer – Gizmodo – 2-Sep-2016
Specialised robots work non-stop to rapidly testing hundreds of treatments for kids with high-risk cancers.
Suite of tests analyse the samples and test them against libraries of drugs.
Also includes several advanced gene sequencing tests.
Drug sensitivity tests performed to better tailor treatment to the child’s individual cancer.
Identifies drug combinations most likely to be effective in stopping the growth of each individual patient’s cancer cells.
Australian Cancer Research Foundation Child Cancer Personalised Medicine Centre is headquarters for the Zero Childhood Cancer program.
Heavy Isotopes and Slowed Aging – Fight Aging! – 1-Sep-2016
Raising short-lived species on a low dosage of heavy water appears to modestly slow aging.
May provide greater resistance to oxidative damage or may be a the effect of hormesis.
As yeast cells age the overall heavy isotopic content declines in their amino acids.
Studies have shown:
– transient exposure to heavy water at juvenile stages extends lifespan of fruit flies
– deuterated polyunsaturated fatty acids can protect yeast and mammalian cells from reactive oxygen species (ROS) damage to mitochondria
– 25% heavy water normalized high blood pressure in rats
Heavy isotopes are atoms with extra neutrons, for example deuterium (present in heavy water) and carbon-14 (used in carbon dating)