Tag Archives | Aging

Russian scientist says he is stronger and healthier after injecting himself with ‘eternal life’ bacteria

No doubt this story from the Telegraph will lead to a James Bond-style thriller where the bad guy injects himself with a supposed “eternal life” elixir, with predictably disastrous results:

If injecting yourself with 3.5 million-year-old bacteria could keep you looking and feeling youthful and healthy without having to fork out for a gym membership, would you do it?

Russian scientist Anatoli Brouchkov, head of the Geocryology Department at Moscow State University, is looking for the key to eternal youth.

Photo: Anatoli Brouchkov

Photo: Anatoli Brouchkov


He has therefore become a human guinea pig for some bacteria that could perhaps hold the key to longevity.

“We have to work out how this bacteria prevents ageing. I think that is the way this science should develop. What is keeping that mechanism alive? And how can we use it for our own benefits?” – Anatoli Brouchkov

The bacteria,named Bacillus F, is amazing because it has remained alive in the permafrost for millions of years.

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Tech Titans Defy Death

Peter Thiel TechCrunch50.jpg

Peter Thiel by TechCrunch50-2008 (CC)

If you had billions of dollars of wealth at your disposal and presumably all the happiness those billions can buy, wouldn’t you want to search for immortality? That’s the obsessions of many of today’s tech titans; the Washington Post dials into their latest efforts:

Seated at the head of a table for 12 with a view of the city’s soaring skyline, Peter Thiel was deep in conversation with his guests, eclectic scientists whose research was considered radical, even heretical.

It was 2004 and Thiel had recently made a tidy fortune selling PayPal, which he co-founded, to eBay. He had spent what he wanted on himself — a posh penthouse suite at the Four Seasons Hotel and a silver Ferrari — and was now soliciting ideas to do good with his money.

Among the guests was Cynthia Kenyon, a molecular biologist and biogerontologist who had garnered attention for doubling the life span of a roundworm by disabling a single gene.

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Scan Allows Scientists to Determine Biological Age From the Face Alone

You know how there’s always some ancient person emerging from a formerly “hidden” culture who’s supposed to be hundreds of years old? Well now we can just scan them to find out their real age. That’s assuming the software’s any good, mind. From the Guardian:

Scientists have created a 3D imaging system they claim can reliably predict a person’s biological age from the look of their face alone.

These 3D images are a composite of two sets of female faces, showing the average facial structure for each age group in the study. The left image shows the average of the 17-29 year-old women, the right 60-77 year-old women. Composite: Chinese Academy of Sciences

These 3D images are a composite of two sets of female faces, showing the average facial structure for each age group in the study. The left image shows the average of the 17-29 year-old women, the right 60-77 year-old women. Composite: Chinese Academy of Sciences


The researchers believe the technology could be used to judge whether proposed anti-ageing treatments have any effect, and to help doctors fine-tune advice and therapies for their patients.

They developed the technology after scanning the faces of more than 300 people aged 17 to 77 and building up a map that reveals how the human face changes over a lifetime.

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Ending Aging with Dr. Aubrey de Grey | Midwest Real

aubrey de grey

Via Midwest Real

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at the SENS Research Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to ending aging. 


The march of time spares none, neither rich, famous nor powerful. The deep, existential angst that comes part and parcel with that knowledge has, no doubt, haunted mankind from the very first moment we became self-aware. It’s also the one obstacle we’ve encountered as a species we just take for granted as the unassailable natural order of things.

It’s incredible really- we’ve walked the moon, we fly across the world and we transmit words through the air as if it’s trivial. Yet, for some reason when it comes to aging, we yield. Even the most brilliant men among us don’t consider the possibility that we might be able to circumvent becoming old and dying.

Actually, some brilliant men do.

Ending aging has become the life’s work of our guest, Dr.Read the rest

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The Richer You Are the Older You’ll Get

Rupert Murdoch - Flickr - Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer (2).jpg

Rupert Murdoch. Photo by Eva Rinaldi (CC)

No surprise that mo’ money equals mo’ life. From the Wall Street Journal:

Money may not buy love, but it appears to buy years.

Economist Barry Bosworth at the Brookings Institution crunched the numbers and found that the richer you are, the longer you’ll live. And it’s a gap that is widening, particularly among women.

Mr. Bosworth parsed this data from the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study, a survey that tracks the health and work-life of 26,000 Americans as they age and retire. The data is especially valuable as it tracks the same individuals every two years in what’s known as a longitudinal study, to see how their lives unfold.

The good news is that men of all incomes are living longer. Yet the data shows that the life expectancy of the wealthy is growing much faster than the life expectancy of the poor.

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What People Who Don’t Age Can Teach Us

File-Oocyte_granulosa_cellsInteresting story, but those who wish for eternal youth should consider the implications for society as a whole. I believe that life-extending technology will not be evenly or fairly distributed; no more than good health care or equal justice under the law is now. I can easily imagine a long-lived moneyed elite whose lifespans stretch well over a century ruling over a short-lived plebeian working class: A vampiric neo-aristocracy.

Perhaps you’ve seen them on Dateline, or Good Morning America. Gabrielle Williams and Brooke Greenberg are girls who don’t seem to age at the same rate as the rest of us. Nine-year-old Williams weighs just 12 pounds and needs care like an infant does. By the time she was 16, Greenberg weighed 16 pounds, was 30 inches tall, still had baby teeth, and didn’t speak. She died last year, at age 20.

Now a new feature in the online magazine Mosaic takes a longer look at the Williams family… and at the scientific hypotheses about Gabby’s condition that have put them in the spotlight.

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Wealthy Entrepreneur Launches Company Aimed at Radically Expanding Human Lifespan

Pic: HLI (C)

Pic: HLI (C)

Sure, radically expanded lifespans sound great on paper, but just because the technology works it doesn’t mean that it will be affordable to anyone but the incredibly wealthy. Near-immortal Koch brothers, anyone? Rupert Murdoch the Undying?

Via The New York Times:

J. Craig Venter is the latest wealthy entrepreneur to think he can cheat aging and death. And he hopes to do so by resorting to his first love: sequencing genomes.

On Tuesday, Dr. Venter announced that he was starting a new company, Human Longevity, which will focus on figuring out how people can live longer and healthier lives.

To do that, the company will build what Dr. Venter says will be the largest human DNA sequencing operation in the world, capable of processing 40,000 human genomes a year.

The huge amount of DNA data will be combined with huge amounts of other data on the health and body composition of the people whose DNA is sequenced, in the hope of gleaning insights into the molecular causes of aging and age-related illnesses like cancer and heart disease.

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Why do Goths Stay Goth?

Pic: Rama (CC)

Pic: Rama (CC)

Spooky kids sometimes grow up to be spooky adults, according to the Guardian. I can’t claim to have done the same, although my zillions of black t-shirts may suggest otherwise. PS: Bela Lugosi is still dead.

Via The Guardian:

What happens when a teenage goth grows up? Gets a job, takes on a mortgage, has a couple of kids…? Can you combine elaborate Frankenstein make-up and a lace-up bustier with getting a toddler ready for nursery and yourself to work on time?

Dr Paul Hodkinson, deputy head of Surrey University’s sociology department and an expert in youth music subcultures, has been re-interviewing a group of goths he first studied in the late 1990s to find out. “They were teenagers and in their early 20s then, and I thought it would be interesting to go back because a number of people do stay involved in the goth scene,” he explains.

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DisinfoCast: 81: Russ Kick – “Death Poems”


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Legendary editor Russ Kick returns to the DisinfoCast to discuss his new collection Death Poems, an anthology of verse both modern and classic dedicated to all aspects of death: Funerals, the death penalty, serial killings, the Underworld and more. Funny, sad, atheistic, spiritual, mythic, wise and morbid, this is the perfect collection for anyone who needs a little “memento mori”.

Additional subjects discussed: Near-death experiences, morbid thoughts, the afterlife or lack thereof, “the 357 test”, the role of art, post-modernism and more.

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Health Advice from 1500s: Stay Youthful By Sucking the Blood of the Young



C’mon, don’t be a baby! The vein is “scarcely-opened.”

Via Ask the Past:

“There is a common and ancient opinion that certain prophetic women who are popularly called ‘screech-owls’ suck the blood of infants as a means, insofar as they can, of growing young again. Why shouldn’t our old people… likewise suck the blood of a youth? — a youth, I say who is willing, healthy, happy and temperate, whose blood is of the best but perhaps too abundant. They will suck, therefore, like leeches, an ounce or two from a scarcely-opened vein of the left arm; they will immediately take an equal amount of sugar and wine; they will do this when hungry and thirsty and when the moon is waxing. If they have difficulty digesting raw blood, let it first be cooked together with sugar; or let it be mixed with sugar and moderately distilled over hot water and then drunk.”

Marsilio Ficino, De vita libri tres (1489)


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