Monthly Archives: November 2010

When the Machines Take Over – The Speculist

I wanted to bring your attention to an interesting post from Phil Bowermaster, a fellow blogger at The Speculist – His recent post (below) brings an interesting perspective on the future of AI. As with all of Phil’s posts, this is an enjoyable read and might help expand your overall perception of Artificial Intelligence.

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Filed under Artificial Intelligence

It’s Too Early to Be Joyful

U.S. scientists at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston say they have partially reversed age-related degeneration in mice through a controllable telomerase gene – this led to new brain and testes growth, improved fertility and the return of lost thinking skills.

I have discussed the telomerase gene and aging in previous posts and how research has indicated how low levels of telomerase leads to deterioration and shortening of the telomeres, resulting in physical and mental decline. Well the team at Dana-Farber developed mice with a controllable telomerase gene.  Creating mice with a controllable telomerase gene allowed these scientists to create prematurely aged mice. This control also enabled the team to determine that reactivating telomerase in the mice could restore telomeres and reduce the signs and symptoms of aging.

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Filed under Mechanisms of aging

Major Problem in Biogerontology

This interview potpourri covers the opinions of well-known gerontologists about the possibility of late-onset interventions to prolong life. The scientists are the authors of a paper in the Science Translational Medicine, which advocates that the funding for research is increased and interventions in aging processes are developed.

I’d like to draw your attention to Jan Vijg’s words: “People are a little afraid to confess that they want to cure aging. I think it would be a good thing to make it very clear that that is exactly what we want to do, we want to try to get rid of aging.” Dr. Vijg discerned one of the major problems in biogerontology – the fear and pretence of the scientists, who want the grant money, but don’t want to sound “inappropriate.” I have to say this approach of not saying what you have in mind is lethal. For everybody.

Why is so much money being spent on cancer research? Because cancer researchers cry out loud that cancer is a very dangerous disease that needs to be cured. They clearly state their goal. Biogerontologists, on the other hand, would never say their goal is to cure aging. This is why they don’t get the money. This is why the whole field rather survives, not lives.

I believe this attitude has to change. Researchers have to state their noble goal – to defeat aging. They should be neither afraid, nor embarrased to say this explicitly. This is the only right way to get public attention and needed grant money for studying the fundamental mechnisms of our worst disease – aging.

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Filed under Funding, Regenerative medicine

New Device Detects Cancer in Minutes

Early disease detection can save and prolong a lot of lives, especially if the disease is cancer.

Researchers at Brigham Young University have created a micro device that could both decrease the amount of blood and time needed to test for cancer-markers in a patient’s blood.

Chemistry professor Adam Woolley’s research details the device and technique that would allow for effective detection of biomarkers in a blood sample in a matter of minutes rather than days or weeks.

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Filed under Biomarkers

World’s first cellular therapy oral supplement showcased at ICAAM 2010 in Dubai

I know what you’re thinking – not one of those posts about anti-aging supplements! But wait a second….. and please read further. You’ll see that this supplement is actually a form of cellular therapy.

This weekend, a medical company that specializes in cell therapy is going to introduce a range of anti-aging treatments to Middle Eastern markets in the form of oral supplements.

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Filed under Genetics, Life Extension

New Hope for People with Spinal Cord Injuries: A Spinal Implant the Size of a Fingernail

There is some amazing news coming from researchers at the University College London. They have developed a new type of muscle stimulator implant that could allow people with paraplegia to exercise their paralyzed leg muscles.

The device is small enough so that it can actually be implanted directly into the spinal canal where it would stimulate more muscle groups than is currently possible with existing technology. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) project is being led by Professor Andreas Demosthenous . It includes engineers from Freiburg University and the Tyndall Institute in Cork.

Electrical stimulation of leg muscles is usually done by attaching electrodes to the outside of the legs and then connecting the electrodes to an external stimulator. This latest research is the first to combine the electrodes and muscle stimulator in one unit so that more nerves can be stimulated and better function achieved.

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Filed under Regenerative medicine, Tissue rejuvenation, Uncategorized

Poll – How Many Years do You Want to Live?

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Filed under Immortalism