Tag Archives: fight against aging

First Clinical Trial of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy in the World Begins

Human embryonic stem cell therapy is being tried on a human for the first time in a new clinical trial. This is the first clinical trial of its kind in the world. The trial is designed to test the safety of the treatment, not how well it works. Nonetheless, this is a huge step for regenerative medicine, embryonic stem cell research and science in general!

Working in a handful of medical centers around the country, the biotech firm Geron is treating eight to 10 recent paraplegics. The patients will receive an injection of neurons to the site of the damage, followed by a short treatment of anti-rejection drugs. The first patient is reported as a patient in an Atlanta spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation hospital. To take part in the study, the patient had to have suffered a spinal or brain injury that resulted in paralysis from the chest down. This patient was injected with cells derived from human embryonic stem cells obtained from a fertility clinic. Researchers are optimistic that this human embryonic stem cell therapy will not only help alleviate the symptoms of the injury, but permanently repair the damage that caused the paralysis from the spinal cord injury.

Embryonic stem cell-derived neural cells have been used by researchers to treat nervous system disorders in animal models. In the case of spinal cord injuries, neural cells derived from animal embryonic stem cells and injected into the spinal cord injury site produced significant recovery of the animal’s ability to move and bear weight.

To apply those observations to humans, Geron had derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (GRNOPC1) from Human Embryonic Stem Cells (HESCs). “Initiating the GRNOPC1 clinical trial is a milestone for the field of human embryonic stem cell-based therapies,” said Thomas B. Okarma , Geron’s president and CEO. “When we started our work back in 1999, many predicted that it would be a number of decades before a cell therapy would be approved for human clinical trials. This accomplishment results from extensive research and development and a succession of inventive steps to enable production of cGMP master cell banks, scalable manufacture of differentiated cell product, and preclinical studies in vitro and in animal models of spinal cord injury, leading to concurrence by the FDA to initiate the clinical trial.”

Stem cells have attracted huge scientific and public interest, not only because they bear the promise of miracle cures for age-related diseases, but also because their medical use is so appealing: stem-cell therapies like those that have recently begun could augment the human body’s own regenerative capacity, which declines as we grow older. The appropriate source of cells for these applications is hotly debated, but the technical feasibility of generating replacement tissues and organs is now within realistic projections.

Read more about the human embryonic stem cell therapy clinical trials

Maria Konovalenko
SCIENCE FOR LIFE EXTENSION FOUNDATION
http:/mariakonovalenko.wordpress.com/
maria.konovalenko@gmail.com

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Positioning of the radical life extension idea

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There are several ways of positioning the ideas of radical life extension:

1. Defeating aging
The main objection here is that this kind of presentation of the problem scares people, since it looks non-scientific. And it does this especially to people who are in no way involved with science or to those who have never dealt with studying the mechanisms of aging.

2. Controlling aging

3. Fighting age-related pathologies
I belive if you put it this way, the message looks wrong. It’s medicine that fights diseases. We propose to fight the causes.

4. Body rejuvenation
Well, this formulation kind of associates with folk-medicine.

5. Getting rid of age-related changes in an organism
Some people, especially in the western world, believe this presentation of the issue to be the optimal one. It doesn’t seem that way to me, though. Maybe science will follow the path of improving the regenerative potential of the body. This formulation sounds more acceptable, but I’m afraid it doesn’t really motivate people to make a personal effert to solve the problem.

6. Immortalism
The majority of people state that this word sounds scary and not clear. Same thing about immortality. But on the other hand, people who support the ideas of immortalism are much more motivated to actually achieve the result.

7. Transhumanism
Oh, this one sounds even more scary. But as a matter of fact, it’s about maximum possible lifespan extension and maximum possible improvement of one’s abilities. Maybe the term should be different; maybe it’d be better to go back to the word “humanism,” but I’m not sure.

8. Healthspan increase
Sounds really formal and official, for governmental use. And it’s absolutely not clear that we speak not about jogging, but about research in genetics, biochemistry, biophysics, etc.

9. Radical life extension

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Main problems of scientific immortalism

immortalism, life extension, problem, refusal, long life, immortality, fight against aging, reason, philosophy, phycology

I’d like to tell you about the main problems of scientific immortalism and why the idea is not accepted. But let me start with the definition. Scientific immortalism is a worldview based on the striving to avoid physical death or, at least, to postpone it to the maximum with the help of the achievements of exact, natural, and technical sciences.

So, the main problems are:

1. Negative attitude to the idea of physical immortality in culture

I believe this happened, because in thinking that radical life extension is not possible people assumed it to be unnecessary and harmful. It is much more convenient to think this way: no possibility – no need.

2. Ignoring the idea of the physical immortality of a person in philosophy

Throughout the history of mankind philosophical thought was occupied by justifyng the existence of death. Seeing no real possibility of physical immortality philosophers needed to explain the inevitability of this bloodcurdling unfairness to all people.

3. Awkwardness and uneasiness of people to openly declare and promote immortality ideas

This one’s clear. No one wants to sound crazy. If one speaks about fighting age-related negative changes in a body – that’s taken all right. But this interpretation does not motivate a lot of people. Everybody agrees that it’s a bad thing to be sick, but they are not ready to make some personal effort in order to accelerate  scientific progress.

4. Lack of qualitative materials on immortalism. There are no outstanding bestselling books, no great films, no extremely popular websites.

There are a couple of books, of course, but it’s not enough. The idea has to be available to a much larger group of people.

5. Practical absence of philosophical substantiations of immortalism

Although there are works of 2 Russian philosophers, Igor Vishev and Nikolai Fedorov.

6. Marginalization of immortalism

It’s no wonder that people with unstable mentality tend to reach to this idea. They create a negative background for it. But the situation has been changing lately, slowly, but changing.

7. Psychological protection against scary thoughts about aging and death

A person doesn’t think about this problem, so it’s like it doesn’t exist. There’s this phychological construct that protects the person from thoughts about death, about their mortality. Otherwise one would develop manias, phobias and suicidal thoughts.

8. Absence of understanding the “psychological keys”

It is now not obvious what arguments can be used in order to persuade people that they have to make a substantial effort to prolong life. It’s hard to prove to them that the expences are nothing compared to this result. If it doesn’t work – well, we’re going to have what we already have.

9. Negative historical experience

People have always been dying. Everyone is used to it.

10. Domination of current problems over the prospective ones

Today’s problems that require immediate actions take up a lot more space in one’s consciousness than some kind of contemplative fight against aging.

11. Absence of scientific outlook, an overall worldview in the majority of people

People quite often have some kind of mess in their heads that consists of sorcery, astrological forecasts, black cats and the migration of souls. Oh, and even more often there’s simply no worldview – just the routine troubles.

12. Ritual character of the realization of authorities’ power. Constant following of stereotypes

Do the authorities really have a goal of making people happy?

13. An uncontemporary position of scientists. Excessive enthusiasm about regalia, ranks, and other attributes

I sometimes have this impression that most researchers do not care about the discoveries, only about the citation idex and budgets.

14. Egoism of the senior generation. Unwillingness to solve a problem with a product that, in their opinion, they cannot take advantage of. Not always, but it happens quite a lot.

15. People do not understand the stage-by-stage approach of problem
solving. The fears of possible risks hinder people to realize their
personal interest in solving scientific problems.

Why do I all the time hear about overpopulation??? Is an imaginary risk a reason to die?

16. Absence of understanding of the unity of personal interests and the
interests of society.

Substantial life extension is a global problem, solving which requires joining the efforts of the majority of people. In this case the maximal personal gain is possible only when one acts on behalf of society, solving the problem both for everybody and for himself or herself.

17. A lot of false information. Swindlers’ activity

Quite many offer the solution, but such a thing doesn’t exist yet.

18. Antagonism against new ideas due to conservative ways of thinking
19. Laziness
20. Low awareness in the population of scientific achievements and of immortality ideas
21. Low levels of humanism, philanthrophy in society

People often wish for somebody else’s death.

22. Low level of communication and cooperation between people sharing the ideas of immortalism
23. Absence of an authoritative leader
24. Absence of generalization and analysys of immortality organisations’ activity
25. Negative, consciousness-absorbing influence of commercial and public brands
26. Unimportance of the «meaning of life» question in the minds of people
27. Practical impossibility of public initiatives’ implementation
28. Lack of public, political debates
29. Greed, egoism
30. Alcoholism as refusal of reality, of the necessity of solving essential problems
31. Personal enthusiasm in one concrete area, unwillingness to be engaged
in anything else, as consequence, absence of open-mindedness
32. Mistrust to idea’s supporters, suspicion of ulterior motives
33. Absence of immortalists in the public “elite”
34. Disillusionment with the possibility of changing anything in a great number of the supporters of immortalism ideas
35. Super complexity of the problem
36. Absence of any action strategy or plan

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Lab Work

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A shoot for a Russian fashion magazine Aeroflot Style. There’s something more about science than everybody thinks.

A young scientist, Maria Konovalenko, fights against aging. Having thoroughly studied genetics and gerontology, she, as well as many of her collegues, came to the conclusion that eternal life is the future of the mankind.

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fashion, photo shoot, photo, aeroflot, aeroflot style, lab work, lab, science, experiment, fight against aging, aging, maria konovalenko, life extension

fashion, photo shoot, photo, aeroflot, aeroflot style, lab work, lab, science, experiment, fight against aging, aging, maria konovalenko, life extension

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fashion, photo shoot, photo, aeroflot, aeroflot style, lab work, lab, science, experiment, fight against aging, aging, maria konovalenko, life extension

Photo – Irina Bordo,

Style – Julia Mashnish,

Stylist assistant – Olga Maltseva,

Hair and make-up – Irina Lakhanskaya,

Model – Maria Konovalenko.

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