Tag Archives | Anti-Aging

Can We Reverse The Aging Process By Putting Young Blood Into Older People?

The ethical debate is already aflame, but if it’s true that old people can cheat death and disease by taking on board younger people’s blood, there’s probably no stopping it. I mean if people will sell their organs, why not blood? The Guardian delivers a #longread on the research pumping up the excitement:

On an August morning in 2008, Tony Wyss-Coray sat in a conference room at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, California, waiting for his lab’s weekly meeting to begin. Wyss-Coray, a professor of neurology at Stanford University, was leading a young group of researchers who studied ageing and neurodegeneration. As a rule, the gatherings were forgettable affairs – the incremental nature of scientific progress does not lend itself to big surprises. But a lab member scheduled to speak that day had taken on a radical project, and he had new results to share.

Photo: MartinD (CC)

 

Saul Villeda, an ebullient PhD student with slick black hair and a goatee, had spent the past year engrossed in research that called to mind the speculative medical science of the middle ages.

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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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Google Ventures and the Search for Immortality

This story appears in the April 2015 issue of Bloomberg Markets.

This story appears in the April 2015 issue of Bloomberg Markets.

How would you like to live to 500? No problem, just make friends with the guys at Google. Katrina Brooker reports at Bloomberg Business:

“If you ask me today, is it possible to live to be 500? The answer is yes,” Bill Maris says one January afternoon in Mountain View, California. The president and managing partner of Google Ventures just turned 40, but he looks more like a 19-year-old college kid at midterm. He’s wearing sneakers and a gray denim shirt over a T-shirt; it looks like he hasn’t shaved in a few days.

Behind him, sun is streaming through a large wall of windows. Beyond is the leafy expanse of the main Google campus. Inside his office, there’s not much that gives any indication of the work Maris does here, Bloomberg Markets will report in its April 2015 issue.

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Hollywood Must Turn Its Head to Personalized Longevity Science instead of Anti-Aging Pseudoremedies

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I think Konovalenko hits the nail on the head when she says that celebrities are looking for quick solutions, but she fails to understand that that’s precisely why celebs don’t look to “personalized science” for answers. Our society is predicated on a fast, easy, and cheap mentality – a mentality that seems to be perpetuated by Western celebrity culture.

By Maria Konovalenko via The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies:

This attention-worthy article in The Hollywood Reporter signals that Hollywood people are ready and willing to do something about their longevity. The article mentions hormone replacement therapy, different check-ups and other things available in California, however completely misses 99% of what actually can be done about aging – science.

Why doesn’t the author talk about the work done at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, USC, UCLA and Stanford University?

People are looking for a ready solution, something that they can do today, and mistakenly dismiss science completely, because they think it is too far away for being applied to them.

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‘Vampire Therapy’ Could Reverse Aging

Blausen 0086 Blood BagLife extension is all the rage for billionaires so can we expect the likes of Larry Page and Sergey Brin to start sucking down young blood like they were actors on True Blood? The Telegraph reports that “A transfusion of youthful blood may halt or even reverse the ageing process as two studies find that the chemical make-up of younger blood has surprising health benefits”:

It may seem the stuff of gothic horror novels, but transfusions of young blood could reverse the ageing process and even cure Alzheimer’s Disease, scientists believe.

Throughout history, cultures across the globe have extolled the properties of youthful blood, with children sacrificed and the blood of young warriors drunk by the victors.

It was even rumoured that the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il injected himself with blood from healthy young virgins to slow the ageing process.

Now scientists have found that young blood actually ‘recharges’ the brain, forms new blood vessels and improves memory and learning.

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Google Backs Calico, A Company Focused On Stopping Aging

google.cover.inddFirst Larry Page and Sergey Brin hired Ray Kurzweil, who famously wants to live forever. Now they’ve started a new company, Calico, to be run by a top bioscience executive Arthur Levinson (formerly head of Genentech) and focused on anti-aging. It’s enough to make you think that the guys in the Googleplex want to live forever. The news is all over the media, but apparently only TIME had exclusive access to Larry Page which it proclaims in its cover story “Can Google Solve Death” (at right):

“In some industries,” says Page, who spoke exclusively with TIME about the new venture, “it takes 10 or 20 years to go from an idea to something being real. Health care is certainly one of those areas. We should shoot for the things that are really, really important, so 10 or 20 years from now we have those things done.”…

Unfortunately TIME is hiding the rest of the interview behind its paywall, so here’s another report via USA Today:

Google is not happy just organizing the world’s information.

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Do You Want To Live Forever?

That old chestnut “be careful what you wish for” comes to mind, but nevertheless there are those who are convinced that massive leaps in longevity are upon us. Andrew Romano reports for Newsweek on a face-off between two competing experts, Walter Bortz and Aubrey de Grey:

NEWSWEEK: My inspiration for embarking on this story was, strangely enough, a Prudential insurance billboard. “The first person to live to 150,” it reads, “is alive today.” Have you seen it?

Bortz: You can’t miss it.

De Grey: It’s all over.

prudential ad

NW: And what was your reaction to it?

Bortz: I’m sure they varied.

De Grey: Go on, Walter. You first.

Bortz: I didn’t believe it. Maybe a couple thousand years from now it might happen. One of my reference points is the International Supercentenarian Registry. It’s a list of people who are 110 or older. We know there are about 80 supercentenarians out there.

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Bones Grow In Woman’s Eye Following Cosmetic Anti-Wrinkle Stem Cell Procedure

Leap into stem cell revolution without caution, and strange things can happen. Via Popular Science:

Stem cell surgery, in which stem cells from a patient’s body are transplanted into some other part of the body, is gaining in popularity. One patient in Los Angeles found out the hard way that the surgery is largely untested and unregulated.

Stem cells are sometimes used for anti-aging purposes, the idea being that they’ll turn into brand-new tissue and help heal aging cells nearby. But her doctors also used a dermal filler largely made of calcium hydroxylapatite, which happens to trigger stem cells to turn into…well, bone, rather than new tissue.

The woman is recovering nicely, but it’s a really fascinating story of how powerful and potent stem cells are–and how we need to be careful with how we use them in these early stages of stem cell use.

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Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality?

PSM V33 D765 TurritopsisSo there might just be something positive to say about jellyfish after all. Nathaniel reports for the New York Times:

After more than 4,000 years — almost since the dawn of recorded time, when Utnapishtim told Gilgamesh that the secret to immortality lay in a coral found on the ocean floor — man finally discovered eternal life in 1988. He found it, in fact, on the ocean floor. The discovery was made unwittingly by Christian Sommer, a German marine-biology student in his early 20s. He was spending the summer in Rapallo, a small city on the Italian Riviera, where exactly one century earlier Friedrich Nietzsche conceived “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”: “Everything goes, everything comes back; eternally rolls the wheel of being. Everything dies, everything blossoms again. . . .”

Sommer was conducting research on hydrozoans, small invertebrates that, depending on their stage in the life cycle, resemble either a jellyfish or a soft coral.

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