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
Immunobiotic helps wipe out deadly bacteria – The Guardian – 5-Jul-2018
Lehigh University fused an existing antibiotic with an antibody attracting molecule.
Targets bacteria often become resistant to last-resort antibiotics.
Based on polymyxin which damages the outer surface of bacterial cells.
Drug can inflict direct damage while acting like a beacon for antibodies.
Nematode worms infected with Pseudomonas had the bacteria wiped by drug.
Routine cancer DNA tests coming to NHS – The Guardian – 3-Jul-2018
From 1 October, hospitals will analyse and interpret patient DNA.
Precision medicine offers therapies tailored to individual patients.
Tumour DNA will be screened for key mutations.
Can identify best drug to use, or appropriate clinical trials.
Knowing how many mutations a lung tumour has indicates how it will respond.
Air pollution directly linked to child’s death – BBC News – 3-Jul-2018
Nine-year-old girl suffered a fatal asthma attack.
Attack linked to illegally high levels of air pollution.
Child lived 25m (80ft) from a notorious pollution hotspot.
Local air pollution levels breached EU legal limits.
No individual death has previously been directly linked to air pollution.
Striking association between her admissions and spikes NO2 & PM10s.
Mother says no one explained that air pollution worsen the asthma.
Coffee reduces risk of premature death – NHS – 3-Jul-2018
Approximately 10% less likely to die during 10 year study.
Study of 500,000 UK adults included genetic data.
Not dependent on how quickly the body metabolises caffeine.
Same benefits for caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.
Biobank participants filled out a comprehensive questionnaire.
New Telescope To Scan For Collision Course Asteroids – Space – 30-Jun-2018
NASA is required to search for near-Earth objects.
Will identify 90% of NEOs greater than 140 meters in diameter.
Potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) would devastate the region hit.
Construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope is nearly complete.
LSST will search for objects that change position in just one hour.
Telescope in Chile should find around 65% of PHAs on its own.
Five times more fast food outlets in poor areas – BBC News – 29-Jun-2018
PHE compared level of deprivation with number of takeaways.
Deprived areas have 5x more fast food outlets than affluent areas.
Tasty and cheap food is hard to resist.
Children exposed to fast food on school route more likely to eat unhealthily.
Public Health England wants authorities to limit new takeaways.
COMMENT: equality in longevity begins with people’s diet
Mortality rate flattens among the oldest of the old – NY Times – 28-Jun-2018
Number of supercentenarians to study is a major statistical challenge.
It is also a problem to make sure the reported age is real.
McGill University found all Italians reaching 105 between 2009-2015.
Among extremely old Italians the death rate stops rising.
Improvements in mortality means even this rate is lowering.
Magnetic Microrobots Deliver Cells Into Living Animals – The Scientist – 27-Jun-18
Computer model worked out ideal dimensions for a microrobot.
Spiky, porous & spherical best for transporting living cells.
Devices were 3D printed and coated with nickel and titanium.
Magnetic field applied to the animal then leads the microrobots.
Tested in vivo in zebra fish to deliver cells at a specific spot.
Hair-width vehicles could be used in regenerative medicine & cell therapy.
Naked Mole Rats Repair DNA Super Efficiently – Fight Aging – 27-Jun-2018
Spontaneous tumors are extremely rare in naked mole rats.
Cancer is a consequence of mutation in nuclear DNA.
Several genes involved in DNA repair are up-regulated in NMRs.
Proteins involved in redox processes are more resistant to denaturing agents.
Have more efficient base excision & nucleotide excision repair systems.
UNITY Treats First Patient with UBX0101 – UNITY Biotechnology – 25-Jun-2017
UNITY develops therapeutics to slow, halt or reverse diseases of aging.
Treated first patient in Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating UBX0101.
Patient suffers from moderate to severe osteoarthritis of the knee.
Osteoarthritis is one of the main reasons why it hurts to get old.
Treatment selectively eliminates senescent cells in the joints.
Phase 1 clinical trial of single ascending dose evaluates safety.
Interview with OneSkin Technologies CEO – Thrive Global – 25-Jun-18
Carolina Reis Oliveira’s startup mimics human tissues to understand how they age.
OneSkin’s mission is to reverse skin aging.
As a PhD student she focused on stem cell and tissue engineering.
Growing 3D human skin tissues from human cells in the lab.
Decreasing senescent cells in the skin promotes its rejuvenation.
Precursor cells identified in spinal cord repair – Medical Xpress – 22-Jun-2018
Movement restored in zebra fish severely damaged spinal cords.
Zebrafish are master-regenerators; able to regenerate many tissues.
Monash University researchers identified precursor cells that colonised injury.
Able to track and image the regeneration of living nerves in real time.
Stem cells were activated in areas surrounding the injury site.
It may be possible to turn these same switches on in humans.
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.
Average desire for eternal youth is 130 years – Psychological Science – 20-Jun-2018
People around the world aspire for moderate levels of nirvana.
On average people want to live until they were 90 years old.
This only increases to 120 with a magic eternal youth pill.
Participants from holistic cultures chose ideal levels lower than nonholistic ones.
Two studies questioned 10,000 people over 27 countries.
COMMENT: as life expectancy keep increasing so too will people’s expections
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.
Why doughnut are like a drug addiction – Independent – 16-Jun-2018
Foods containing fats and carbs don’t generally exist naturally.
Brain seems to overestimate the energetic value of the food.
These foods act like drugs of abuse on the brain.
Extreme low carbohydrates v low fat diets studied.
No ability to predict which diet better for an individual
Main tip: get rid of added sugar and refined grains.
Food seen as more rewarding when fat and carbs are combined.
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.
100 people needed to start trip to another star – Phys – 15-Jun-2018
Would take 630 years to reach Proxima Centauri b.
Need a minimum of 98 crew members would be needed to sustain a multi-generational voyage.
Factors include fertility rates, birth rates, and reproduction window.
Allows for accidents and catastrophic events, and prevents inbreeding.
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.