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
Aging Looks Are Not Just a Matter of Aesthetics – Leaf Science – 19-Apr-2018
Old people tend to have grey hair, wrinkled skin, and weak muscles.
Aesthetics are not the main problem of elderly looks.
Skin acts as a thermal regulator and barrier to reduce fluid loss.
It synthesizes vitamin D from cholesterol through sunlight exposure.
It is also the body’s first line of defence against foreign threats.
24-hour blood pressure monitoring better predictor – NHS – 19-Apr-2018
One off readings suffer from white coat and masked hypertension.
White coat hypertension is where BP spikes in doctor’s surgery.
Worse is masked, or missed, hypertension where it’s not spotted.
People with masked hypertension had a 283% increased risk of death
24-hour monitoring had the greatest power to predict chances of death.
Most GP surgeries have limited number of 24-hour blood pressure monitors.
Study of 64,000 Spanish adults with 5 year follow up.
COMMENT: particularly important for mothers who experienced pre-eclampsia
Vicarious Surgical raises $17m VR robot-assisted surgery device – Mass Device – 17-Apr-2018
Ccombines virtual reality with proprietary human-like surgical robotics.
Improves visibility and accuracy in minimally invasive surgery.
Enables surgeons to perform operations through a single micro-incision.
Proceeds are earmarked for continued development and team expansion
Third of UK believe we will live forever – Kantar – 17-Apr-2018
34% of people believe technology will keep people alive indefinitely.
4% think this will happen within their lifetime.
51% of UK believe brain backups will possible at some point.
9% think it will probably occur in their lifetime.
Lightspeed surveyed 1523 people in the UK.
Seven ways to prevent bowel cancer – The Guardian – 16-Apr-2018
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths.
One in twenty people in the developed world will develop it.
Mortality has decreased by 30% in the past 20 years.
Be aware of early warning signs (e.g. blood in stool).
Chemicals called nitrosamines in processed meats can increase the risk.
National screening programme in England kicks in aged 55.
Asteroid Almost Hit Earth Yesterday – Outer Places – 16-Apr-2018
Asteroid 2018 GE3 passed by Earth at half the distance to the moon.
Scientists only had a few hours’ warning before it closed in.
Estimated to be between 157 to 361 feet in diameter.
Three to six times larger than 10,000-ton Chelyabinsk meteor.
Influenza pandemic could infect 43 million in UK – Cambridge Independent – 15-Apr-2018
Influenza pandemic could kill almost a million people in the UK.
How people move and interact affects how a virus will actually spread.
Models designed by University of Cambridge for citizen science project.
30,000 volunteers tracked via their phone for 24 hours.
BBC Pandemic app recorded who they came into close contact.
Data used to work out how fast a new flu epidemic might spread
Nanobots Glide Through Living Cells – Spectrum – 13-Apr-2018
Corkscrew-shaped nanomotor uses small, rotating magnetic fields.
Researchers able to steer it trace out shape of letters.
Moving them in controlled fashion does so without hurting the cells.
Potential applications for targeted drug delivery and therapeutic nanosurgery.
Drinking can take years off your life – BBC News – 13-Apr-2018
2 drinks a day shortens life expectancy by up to two years.
More than 3 drinks a day could lose five years of your life.
5 to 10 drinks a week could shorten their lives by six months.
UK government guidelines say less than six pints of beer per week.
Did not find an increased risk of death for lighter drinkers.
Reduced risk of heart disease wiped out by a higher risk of other illness.
Lancet study of 600,000 alcohol drinkers in 19 countries.
Can intermittent fasting make you live longer? – Popular Science – 12-Apr-2018
No evidence intermittent fasting results in more weight loss than other diets.
Not enough studies to show if this pattern of eating could prevent disease.
Eating majority of calories earlier in the day could be better for your health.
No apparent benefit to skipping breakfast.
Nearly all types of intermittent fasting are physically and mentally harmless.
And nearly all of them can result in some weight loss.
Late risers at increased risk of early death – BBC News – 11-Apr-2018
People aged 38 to 73 self-assesses on scale of morning or evening types.
Night owls are 10% more likely to have early deaths than morning larks.
Also 90% more likely to have psychological disorders.
Whole variety of unhealthy behaviours related to being up late by yourself.
40-70% of a person’s body clock is genetic, rest can be influenced by environment.
Study of 433,000 people published in Chronobiology International.
Running out of water as dams shrink – The Guardian – 11-Apr-2018
Early warning satellite system reveals countries with shrinking reservoirs.
Spain, Morocco, India and Iraq at risk of taps completely drying up.
Morocco’s second-largest reservoir has shrunk by 60% in three years.
Water is now at the lowest level in a decade.
Irrigation halted in part of India to preserve drinking supply for 30 million people.
Spain has suffered a severe drought that has hit hydropower generation.
Robotic exoskeleton analyses spine deformities – The Engineer – 10-Apr-18
Dynamic exoskeleton measures the stiffness of the torso.
Could help treat spinal deformities such as scoliosis and kyphosis.
Robotic Spine Exoskeleton consists of three rings placed on the pelvis and spine.
RoSE has 12 limbs with actuators, joints and sensors that measure forces.
Columbia University braces modulates and measures in all six degrees-of-freedom.
Could lead to new spine deformity treatments using dynamic modulation.
Strawberries top list of residue pesticides – Web MD – 10-Apr-2018
98% of samples of strawberries had residue of at least one pesticide.
One sample of strawberries had 20 different pesticides.
Other major offenders include spinach, peaches, nectarines, and apples.
Avocados, sweet corn and pineapple top the clean list.
Based on analysis of nearly 39,000 samples.
Environmental Working Group (EWG) issues the Dirty Dozen report each year.
Though in general amounts of pesticides found on produce are tiny.
Getting a food-borne illness from unwashed produce is a more realistic worry.
Bionic sphincter controller close to human trial phase – Sun Sentinel – 9-Apr-2018
Precision Medical Devices have developed the Flow Control Device.
A Bluetooth-operated bionic sphincter controller.
Potential to help 40 million people with urinary incontinence.
Implanted valve designed to fit around the urethra.
Surgery to implant the device should last no longer than 35 minutes.
Already implanted in dogs – planning human trials next year.
Hoping for approval of the device for human patients by 2020.
Larger valve versions could help patients who have had colostomies.
Sugar tax could help save countless lives – Telegraph – 9-Apr-2018
Will be accusations of “nanny state” interfering in how we choose to live life.
Similar cries to public health initiatives since call for national sewage network.
Today it is non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that have become endemic.
Bands for total sugar content above 5g and 8g per 100ml.
Pure fruit juices and milk-based drinks are tax exempt.
Children are consuming three times the recommended level of sugar.
NHS could save £15bn by weaning the public off its sweet tooth.
Should we all get a health check? – The Guardian – 9-Apr-2018
May just find problems that probably don’t need treatment.
NHS offers a health check every five years to people aged 40 to 74.
British Heart Foundation says 7m UK citizens have undiagnosed high blood pressure.
Though 40% of those diagnosed don’t achieve optimal targets.
PSA test benefits are small and the risks are considerable.
The body is full of abnormalities and we don’t know how to interpret everything we see.
Whole body scanning can unearth incidentalomas – spots on organs.
Intervention might well do more harm than good.
More elderly are dying after falls as care crisis deepens – The Guardian – 7-Apr-2018
Number of deaths in men over 85 has risen by 177%.
Greater increase than the number of people reaching that age.
Falls can lead directly to someone dying when they bang their head.
Or can happen later for example if they break their hip and do not recover.
Only intervention that consistently prevents falls is having a lot of staff in an area.
This level is far above the traditional ‘safe staffing level’.
One third less over-65s receiving local council-funded social care than in 2010.
Old Brains Can Still Make New Neurons – Columbia University – 5-Apr-2018
Neurogenesis is the production of new neurons.
In mice it declines with age and virtually ceases in the mature brain.
Young and old human brains produce thousands of new neurons.
But older brains have less vascular development and form less new connections.
Neurogenesis was tracked in 28 healthy donors ranging from 14 to 79 years old.
Further study needed to investigate impact of exercise, diet, and medications.
CR Leads to Longer Life but Less Grey Matter – Geneng News – 5-Apr-2018
New study shows caloric restriction in lemurs extended lifespan up to 50%.
Grey mouse lemur is a small primate with a lifespan of around 12 years.
Fed 30% fewer calories from early adulthood lifespan up by almost 50%.
Brain imaging showed a slight loss of grey matter (neuronal cell bodies).
However, cognitive and behavioral performances were not modulated.
37% of people in the UK never exercise – Kantar – 5-Apr-2018
37% of UK respondents said they never exercise or play sport.
Just 13% say they exercise regularly (five times per week).
Slightly better than European average.
Participation have not changed substantially since 2013.
Informal settings more popular than clubs and gyms.
Men engage in physical activity more than women.
Amount of regular activity that people do tends to decrease with age.
COMMENT: discounting “I was going to” respondents it’s probably even less
New South Korea university lab could lead to killer robots – The Guardian – 5-Apr-2018
KAIST has partnered with defence manufacturer Hanwha Systems.
New centre will focus on AI-based command and decision systems.
Including navigation for undersea vehicles and aircraft training systems.
50 academics signed the letter calling for a boycott.
Concerned that goal is to develop autonomous weapons.
No Benefits of Higher Protein Intake in Older Individuals – Fight Aging – 4-Apr-2018
Possible cause of sarcopenia impaired processing of the essential amino acid leucine.
Study suggests effect of reduced protein intake is small compared to other factors.
Protein intake over RDA had no significant effect on body mass, muscle or function.
Few rigorous studies have evaluated whether higher protein intake among older adults.
OPTIMen was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel group trial.
Seventy-eight participants completed the six-month trial.
Aerobic Fitness Correlates with Better Memory in Later Life – Fight Aging – 4-Apr-2018
Brain is reliant on the vascular system in many ways.
Reduction in capillary formation reduces supply of nutrients & oxygen.
Raised blood pressure pummels delicate tissue structures in the brain.
Most people’s activity below that required to age at slowest possible rate.
Age-related differences in high-interference memory observed across the lifespan.
Differences in general recognition were not observed until after 60 years of age.
Older adults with higher aerobic fitness had better high-interference memory.
Robotic device revolutionises knee surgery at London hospital – Evening Standard – 4-Apr-2018
Hand-held robot is revolutionising knee replacement surgery.
Uses 3D infra-red technology to improve accuracy.
Being pioneered at Central Middlesex hospital in Harlesden.
Navio system combines a drill with an infra-red sensor.
Beams an image from inside the knee on to a screen.
18% increase in NHS obesity admissions in a year – Independent – 4-Apr-2018
617,000 obesity related admissions in 2016-17.
Two-thirds of the admissions were women.
10,705 cases where obesity was recorded as the primary diagnosis.
“Obesity is the new smoking” – head of NHS England.
Obesity is associated with heart attacks, cancer, Type 2 diabetes and other illnesses.
See what the bionic body of the future looks like – Med-Tech News – 4-Apr-2018
RS Components infographic of future medical technologies for our bodies.
Some are availalble today such as battery powered hearts.
Organ transplants may be replaced with 3D printed organs by 2030.
By 2035, we may be able to upgrade our senses.
By 2050 we be able to create exact replicas of the human brain.
One-stop shops to speed up cancer diagnosis – BBC News – 3-Apr-2018
Patients often face delays when they have non-specific symptoms.
NHS England is introducing 10 specialist rapid diagnostic and assessment centres.
Patients will receive all the necessary investigations under one roof.
Patient will either be diagnosed or given the all-clear within 28 days.
New centres in Airedale, Leeds, London, Oxford, Romford and Southend.
Wall of moss to fight air pollution – The Argus – 3-Apr-2018
CityTree to sit above a bench in Edward Street, Brighton, UK.
Wall incorporates varieties of moss which naturally absorb pollution.
CityTree has same air purifying power as 275 real trees.
Powered by solar panels and collects rainwater for inbuilt irrigation.
My Brain Implant Made Me Do It – Scientific American – 3-Apr-2018
Deep brain stimulation sends electric impulses to specific targets in the brain.
DBS may influence an individual’s behavior and perception of the world.
During DBS treatment for severe OCD one patient developed a distinct and entirely new music preference for Johnny Cash.
Where does responsibility lie if a person acts under the influence of a brain implant?
Historically, ethics have largely focused on the autonomous individual.
Potential for malicious interference of these implants by criminals.
Poor children now overweight, not underweight – Telegraph – 20-Mar-2018
Poor children in Britain are now fatter than wealthy youngsters.
Total reversal in weight of the two social classes in 70 years.
Poverty has been associated with malnutrition and thinnness.
In 1957, deprived 11-year-olds were 2 kgs lighter than well off kids.
By 2015, the poorest children were 2 kgs heavier than the richest.
Due to considerable changes to diets and physical activity levels.
During rationing diets were high in vegetables and low in fat and sugar.
One in five children are now obese by the time they leave primary school.