Enjoy Judy Campisi’s plenary talk about the relationship between aging and cancer.
Enjoy Judy Campisi’s plenary talk about the relationship between aging and cancer.
This is the plenary lecture of Dr, Andrzej Bartke at the Genetics of Aging and Longevity conference that took place in Moscow on April 22-25. I will be posting the upcoming videos of the talks on the Youtube channel of our Foundation. Please, subscribe and enjoy the power of genetics of aging.
Every year there is a Davos Video Contest where participants tell about the causes that they believe are most important to deal with in order to make the world a better place. The winner gets a chance to discuss their cause with a panel at the Davos Economic Forum. I took part in this contest last year, but unfortunately, I didn’t win. I believe the world leaders have to pay attention to the problem of aging, because it is the cause of diseases, poverty and it simply leads to death of every person in every country. Aging is not considered as the major threat to the population. That has to be changed.
Avoiding disease, maintaining physical and cognitive function, and continuing social engagement in late life are considered to be key factors associated with what some gerontologists call “successful aging.”
First and foremost, let me strongly disagree here with those gerontologists. I believe the term “successful aging” is absolutely intolerable. Just think about it. How on Earth can aging be somewhat successful? Aging brings diseases, mental incapacity and other deteriorating effects on the human body. We cannot call that successful under any circumstances. So for the purpose of this article, we have replaced the term “successful aging” with “less destructive aging.”
While conducting studies of Amish families in Indiana and Ohio, a group of researchers led by William K. Scott, PhD, Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, began to notice that a significant number of people over age 80 in these communities demonstrated the three main factors associated with less destructive aging.
In the September issue of Scientific American, Tom Kirkwood came out with an article about human aging named “Why can’t we live forever?” His disposable soma theory says that the body is mortal because its cells are specialized. He believes the Body makes a choice where to allocate resources: to immortality or reproduction. However, right now people have unlimited resources and evolution is faster as it has switched to a large extent to the intellectual level.
It’s not obvious how the disposable soma theory explains the fact that women live longer on average, although reproduction is much more expensive as compared to men in terms of resources. Another remarkable example is the queen of social insects (bees, termites, ants). Despite devoting a huge portion of resources to reproduction of thousands of offspring, the queen can live hundreds of times longer than sterile female workers that serve to her needs.
I fundamentally disagree with the following idea made by the author: “The goal of gerontology research in humans, however, is always improving health at the end of life, rather than achieving Methuselean life spans.”
This is a traditional stance taken by the hawks of the conservative wing of gerontologists: to oppose the quality of life to longevity. This is the biggest mistake in gerontology. The quality of life and longevity are closely related. If the quality of life is high in the biomedical sense, then why would the person suddenly die? Besides, many experiments on model animals show that the interventions leading to life extension also led to improved reproduction and increased activity. Essentially, an improved quality of life for the animal.
The reasoning behind such statements is based on an “acceptance of one’s own death”, which the author is calling for. Since we cannot radically increase longevity right now, then let’s consider it as ‘unnecessary’.
Fighting for longevity automatically means fighting for an increase of the quality period of life. Human life is the absolute value. Therefore a decrease in viability and declined health cannot serve as consent to die. Just because a man is unable to walk, doesn’t mean he should give up on life. Quite the opposite, our goal should be to find a way to restore living functions.
Denial of the radical life extension idea amounts to intellectual cowardice or fear to be perceived as a ‘black sheep’, and ignoring the advances of modern science. Nematode, drosophila and life spans in mice were significantly increased. Yes, human anatomy / biology is way more complex, but no sensible person would claim that life extension is a simple task. Tom Kirkwood says: “Solutions will not come easily, despite the claims made by the merchants of immortality who assert that caloric restriction or dietary supplements, such as Resveratrol, may allow us to live longer.” One shouldn’t confuse supporters of human immortality with the merchants of curative elixirs.
We, the supporters of radical human life extension, are the first to affirm that solving the problem of aging is an extremely complicated task. Implementation of a complex interdisciplinary research program into aging, significantly enlarging the scope of the field and also increasing public awareness about the goals of biogerontology are urgently needed. We believe that development of regenerative medicine and research into genome regulation can generate impressive results within a relatively short period of time – as soon as the next decade. The pace of this important research is to a large extent dependant on the position, the definition of objectives and overall mutual agreement within the global scientific community that:
«The goal of gerontological research on humans is radical human life extension».
EUCRIO (European Union Cryonics Rapid Intervention Organization) with a head office in Braga, Portugal has officially launched today, on the 1st of October 2010, and will start providing their services on the 1st of November 2010.
Thanks to recent advances in the Vitrification Process, cryonics members now have better chances of being revived by future technologies. With good vitrification in place, the quality of human cryopreservation now depends on the speed and quality of the stabilization procedures and body transport. To address this need, EUCRIO was formed to provide state-of-the-art cryonics emergency standby, stabilization, and transport services throughout Europe. EUCRIO itself does not provide cryogenic ‘storage’ of any kind however their service does include secure transportation to cryonic storage facilities.
Meet Matthew Cardiff, a bright, young science student from the UK. Like most young adults, he is into music, football, and online gaming. Unlike his peers however, Matthew is on a health mission – To live well into his 100s and beyond! Matthew got off to an early start at age 17 and for the past 6 years, has been following the CRON-Diet to stay healthy, boost his immune system and to ensure his longevity.
‘The Calorie Restriction with Optimum Nutrition (CRON) Diet’ involves calorie restriction towards improving health and retarding the aging process while still attempting to supply the recommended daily amounts of various nutrients that the body needs.
Matthew says: “I’m 5ft 8″ and weigh 125 lbs. I eat 1750k/cal – 1800 per day. Through the practice of calorie restriction I hope to be alive when there are true anti-aging therapies available so that I can live even longer. An early start, with hopes of a big pay off, my aim now is to be involved in studying aging.”
Editor: Gregory M. Fahy
Technical Editors: Michael D. West, L. Stephen Coles, Steven B. Harris
To my mind this is a must-read book for anybody who cares about themselves and their future. An outstanding panel of authors brings their expertise to the audience in 23 chapters of what I’m sure is terrific reading. Take a look at the table of contents below and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Just as the health costs of aging threaten to bankrupt developed countries, this book makes the scientific case that a biological “bailout” could be on the way, and that human aging can be different in the future than it is today. Here 40 authors argue how our improving understanding of the biology of aging and selected technologies should enable the successful use of many different and complementary methods for ameliorating aging, and why such interventions are appropriate based on our current historical, anthropological, philosophical, ethical, evolutionary, and biological context.
There’s this quite simple idea: to take two species similar in size and basic biology, but having a substantial difference in longevity, and figure out what’s the reason for this difference. What are the distinctions in the mechnisms of aging and stress resistance? It’s desirable to carry out this work in various species. However, not a lot of people are excited about this simple idea. Even the genome of the famous naked mole rat has not been sequenced yet, although many people believe it’s got “negligible” senescence.
For now all that we have is negligible funding of evolutionary-comparative biology of aging. Moreover, previously obtained results are put into cold storage.
In 1962 George Sacher began laboratory breeding of wild-caught house mice (Mus musculus) and white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) trapped near the Argonne Laboratory site in northeast Illinois. The maximal lifespan of the white-footed mouse turned out to be more than 8 years, contrary to 3,5 years in either wild-caught or laboratory house mice. Sacher’s laboratory publiched about a dozen papers comparing house and white-footed mice, as did Ron Hart’s laboratory in the National Center for Toxicological Research.
There’s no need to say that George Sacher was given grants mostly for works in the area of radiological protection, and aging research was mostly funded by means of the lab’s own resources.
Since the beginning of the 1980s research was just middling, but still something was found out.
Below are some data from the works of Ungvary et al. and Labinskyy et al. Basicly this table shows the major known differences between the species. The autors claim that these data correspond with the oxidative stress theory of aging.
Still a lot of questions can be addressed to the white-footed mouse. For example, what is the destinction in the stress resistance mechanisms? What’s with its regeneration capacity? What if we compare it with the naked mole rat? And here comes the main question in Biogerontology. Why is the research into the fundamental mechanisms of aging so scarcely funded?
Here is the updated edition of the Roadmap to Regenerative Medicine; the first one can be found here. Cell therapy and tissue engineering are described in more detail, than the rest of the scientific issues. I welcome everybody to take a look and add what’s missing and/or change what’s wrong. I’d also like to note that the organizational issues aren’t described at all, but this is probably the most important part of the roadmap. There should be an implementational plan of how exactly the Roadmap should work included in the organizational part. To do that, we need to address the specialists in the given fields.
But at least for now the question is – what’s missing in the scientific part?
Here you can download the Renerative Medicine Roadmap.