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
Kitchen sponges may be a ‘bacteria hotspot’ – but no need to worry – NHS – 3-Aug-2017
Sponges contain bacteria from hundreds of different operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Some risk group 2 (RG2) found that may cause disease, but only if enter body via wounds or burns. Most bacteria are harmless or have a useful role in biological processes. Heating sponges in microwaves to kill bacteria doesn’t work particularly well. Recommendation is to replacing sponges and washing up clothes weekly.
Epimorphy Sells “My DNAge” Biological Age Kit – The Scientist – 2-Aug-2017
Based on an epigenetic clock origianlly developed by Steve Horvath in 2013.
Biomarker measures analyses methylation levels at more than 2,000 CpG sites.
Proportion of chromosomes that are methylated increases with age.
Epimorphy is the direct to consumer (DTC) company of Zymo Research.
Urine or blood test kit costs USD$299.
Not yet FDA-approved, so the company cannot provide any health-related information.
Smaller, smarter, softer robotic arm for endoscopic surgery – Harvard Paulson School – 2-Aug-2017
Bioinspired approach combines pop-up fabrication with soft robotics.
Endoscopes rely on rigid surgical tools to manipulate or remove tissue.
Harvard University researchers have developed a hybrid rigid-soft robotic arm.
The arm lies flat on an endoscope until needed at the desired spot.
Research holds Promise for Future Clinical Therapies to Slow Aging – Next Big Future – 1-Aug-2017
Cells from children with progeria studied.
Progeria is a rare condition marked by rapid aging.
telomeres were shorter in children with progeria
Used RNA therapeutics to create telomerase that lengthens telomeres.
Single exposure had a substantial physiologically relevant and meaningful effect on the lifespan and function of the cells.
Improved ability to divide and reduced inflammatory proteins.
Rapid 3D printing in water using novel hybrid nanoparticles – Phys – 1-Aug-2017
Could enable the creation of bio-friendly 3-D printed structures.
Challenging due to a lack of water soluble molecules known as photoinitiators.
New technique uses semiconductor-metal hybrid nanoparticles (HNPs).
Applications include tailored medical devices, printing scaffolds for tissue engineering and artificial organs.
Atlas Biomed Launches Personalised Health Testing for UK Consumers – Business Wire – 31-Jul-2017
DNA and gut microbiome tests with integrated analysis on the company’s health platform.
Select partners will be able to provide personalised preventative guidance to users.
Tests from £125
Reports that frequent drinking prevents diabetes are inaccurate – NHS – 28-Jul-2017
Study of 70,000 people who had completed a survey about their health and lifestyle in 2007-2008. People were only asked about their drinking habits and other lifestyle choices at a single time point. Confounding factors (such as diet and exercise) may not have been recorded in enough detail to be useful. Study did not distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes (which have different causes).
Exoskeleton Adapts While It’s Worn – Scientific American – 27-Jul-2017
New approach improves endurance by lowering the wearer’s energy exertion. Software-controlled ankle brace reduces the effort needed to walk for people with physical impairments. Exoskeleton movements must be tuned to provide precisely the timing and power the wearer needs. Otherwise human and exoskeleton can get in each other’s way, canceling out the gains.
British billionaire gambles on an anti-aging upstart – Endpoints News – 26-Jul-2017
We are at an inflection point for the treatment of aging. We can generate molecules with pecific molecular properties. The biotech will also look to effect change in the mitochondria.Expects to raise $20-50 million raised from friends-and-family this year.
Tomorrow’s Mini Medical Robots Could Squirm Like Maggots – Wired – 25-Jul-2017
Franck Vernerey models his machines after maggots’ squirming movement. Robots are tiny cylinders of hydrogel that sucks up or spits out water. Can be induced to creep through tubes. Could crawl through flesh to deliver medicine or shred apart a tumour.
DARPA to Develop Wireless Brain Interface – Extreme Tech – 24-Jul-2017
Neural Input-Output Bus (NIOB) project is to create an implantable, wireless, wideband brain-computer interface. Aim is to engage more than one million neurons in parallel to enable rich two-way communication. Recording and stimulating brain activity with an effective data rate of over 1Gbps. Scheduled to go to clinical trials in 2021.
Reducing Inflammation Enhances Tissue Regeneration in Stem Cell Therapies – LEAF Science -22-Jul-2017
With aging the immune response becomes deregulated and inflammation becomes excessive. Improving healing by reducing the numbers of more aggressive and inflammatory types of macrophages present at the site of injury appears to be a viable approach. Researchers hoped to inject stem cells into an injury site to encourage regeneration. Suppressing inflammation with an anti-inflammatory drug improved the survival of transplanted stem cells.
Sea worms may live to over 1000 years old – New Scientist – 20-Jul-2017
Tube worm Escarpia laminata live between 1000 and 3300 metres below sea level.
Their environment has a year-round abundance of food and no predators.
Can measure more than 1.5 metres, and feed via symbiotic bacteria.
They don’t produce countable “growth rings” so scientiest rely on a growth model.
Worms studied estimate at 250 to 300 years and could be others over 1000 years old in nature.
Hard to put an upper limit on their age, because they grow more slowly as they get older.
Healthy Lifestyle May Increase Lifespan by 7 Years – Medspace – 20-Jul-2017
People who never smoked cigarettes, were not obese and drank alcohol in moderation had life expectancy of 87 years instead of 80.
Few studies look at the effect of multiple health behaviours.
Quitting smoking, even late in life, increases longevity.
Study from nearly 15,000 Americans aged 50 to 89 years.
Meet the film-maker with the camera eye – BBC News – 20-Jul-2017
Rob Spence is blind in one eye.
Nine years ago he replaced his eye with a tiny video camera.
It’s not connected to his optic nerve but sends its footage to a receiver.
Inspired by his bionic man toy!
Supplement can repair and rejuvenate muscles in older adults – Daily News – 19-Jul-2017
Sarcopenia is the deterioration of muscle mass and strength as part of aging.
Placebo controlled trial studied men aged 70 and older.
Combined with exercise participants gained more lean body mass than they would normally lose in a year.
Ingredients included whey protein, creatine, vitamin D, calcium and fish oil.
Could age related muscle loss be preventable? – Fight Aging – 18-Jul-2017
Sarcopenia is a significant contribution to the frailty of later aging.
A few recent papers suggest that a fair degree of the total burden of sarcopenia is actually self-inflicted.
Muscle requires maintenance, most people give up on that work too early.
Typical diet of older individuals also has a reduced protein content.
Brain implant turns ‘loser’ mice into aggressive fighters – Ars Technica – 18-Jul-2017
In tube test the mice who shoves the most wins the dominance game.
Scientists used optogenetics to trigger the dmPFC region of a low-ranking mouse’s brain.
The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex is associated with “effortful behavior” and “social dominance.”
Stimulated low ranking mice won almost every contest.
In some mice the winner effect continued after light stimulation stopped.
Rises in UK life expectancy levelling off – BBC News – 18-Jul-2017
Life expectancy has been rising for decades, but has recently slowed.
We were living an extra 2-3 months for every year passed.
‘Entirely possible’ austerity is affecting how long people live.
Other countries, such as Hong Kong, continue to see consistent rises.
COMMENT: looking at the graph its about to go negative this year
When your body becomes eligible for an upgrade – BBC News – 15-Jul-2017
What will happen when humans decide to become robots?
Sensors give prosthetic legs an awareness of what is around them.
Rich and fortunate may become physically superior, too.
Redesigning how limbs are amputated to create the right mechanical and electrical interfacing environment that would join the brain directly to the limb.
3D-printed silicone heart beats like the real thing – Engadget – 14-Jul-2017
Single solid silicone structure using a 3D-printing, lost-wax casting technique.
Doesn’t have the usual disadvantages of metallic and plastic mechanisms.
Designed to imitate the human heart as closely as possible in form and function.
Unfortunately currently only lasts for 3,000 beats – about 45 minutes.
Scan finds heart’s ticking time bombs – BBC News – 13-Jul-2017
Inflammation is linked to the build-up of unstable plaques in blood vessels.
This inflammation changes the behaviour of fat around the outside of blood vessels.
CT scans can be use to analyse the fat and inflammation around arteries.
Hoping technology could predict heart attacks in people who appear healthy.
Compound in Strawberries Slows Aging in Mice – LEAF Science – 13-Jul-2017
Fisetin is a naturally occurring plant polyphenol from the flavonoid group.
It is found in many fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, apples, persimmons, onions, and cucumbers.
Found to clear senescent cells in a petri dish.
No evidence that fisetin has a senolytic effect in mice in vivo.
When added to the diet of SAMP8 mice delays some of the accelerated aging.
New method to accurately determine functional age of cells – News Medical – 11-Jul-2017
Considers biophysical qualities of cells, such as cell movements and structural features.
Other methods work at DNA or tissue level.
Examined dermal cells taken from people between the ages of 2 to 96.
Could help evaluate health effects and improve other treatments.
Coffee drinkers live longer – perhaps – BBC News – 11-Jul-2017
Drinking three cups of coffee a day may help you live longer.
Study of almost half a million people from 10 European countries.
Effect seen even if it is decaffeinated.
Particularly linked to a lower risk of heart and gut diseases.
An extra cup of coffee could extend life by 1 or 3 months for women and men respectively.
Robots Will Soon Replace Doctors In Healthcare – Forbes – 10-Jul-2017
Current surgical robots make ths job easier for a human surgeon.
Next generation of personal healthcare robots will make use AI to act as your domestic nurse.
Reminding patients about medication, coaching them through their chronic illness and communicating with healthcare professionals.
Luxury apocalypse-safe bunkers – Independent – 10-Jul-2017
Able to withstand everything from extreme weather like tornadoes, to a full blown nuclear attack.
Luxury apartments were originally missile silos.
Survival Condo selling them for $1.5m to $4m.
COMMENT: one day I hope to offer the same for the not-so-rich, but maybe without the cinema and kids waterslide!
Peter Diamandis – Longevity Escape Velocity – Aging Reversed – 6-Jun-17
Interesting interview with Peter Diamandis – founder of the X Prize Foundation and Singularity University. Many billionaires are getting annual placenta stem cell transfusions – and feel better for it. Placental mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) do not trigger recipients immune system.
Ultra-tough antibiotic to fight superbugs – BBC News – 30-May-17
US scientists have re-engineered the antibiotic vancomycin. Appears to be a thousand times more potent than the old drug. It fights bacteria in three different ways, making it harder for them to be develop resistance. Could be ready for use within five years – but not yet tested on animals.