Tag Archives: aging

Hacking Aging

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What would you say if I told you that aging happens not because of accumulation of stresses, but rather because of the intrinsic properties of the gene network of the organism? I’m guessing you’d be like: o_0.

So, here’s the deal. My biohacker friends led by Peter Fedichev and Sergey Filonov in collaboration with my old friend and the longevity record holder Robert Shmookler Reis published a very cool paper. They proposed a way to quantitatively describe the two types of aging – negligible senescence and normal aging. We all know that some animals just don’t care about time passing by. Their mortality doesn’t increase with age. Such negligibly senescent species include the notorious naked mole rat and a bunch of other critters like certain turtles and clams to name a few. So the paper explains what it is exactly that makes these animals age so slowly – it’s the stability of their gene networks.

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Judy Campisi – Cancer and Aging: Rival Demons?

Enjoy Judy Campisi’s plenary talk about the relationship between aging and cancer.

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Video from the Genetics of Aging and Longevity Conference – Andrzej Bartke

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.

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Journey to the Future

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.

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New Genetic Factors Identified in Successful Aging of Amish Population

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.

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I refuse the invitation to my grave

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».

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Emergency Response Service Launched to help Improve Revival Chances for Cryonicists – EUCRIO

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.

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