Tag Archives | Mortality

5am Film Series: The Missing Scarf

The Missing Scarf from Eoin Duffy on Vimeo.

 

The Missing Scarf was recommended to me via Disinfo tips.

“One of the year’s most successful short films is now available online. The animated dark-comedy, masquerading as a classic kid-friendly morality-tale, has racked up 16 international awards, including honours from the San Francisco Film Festival, Savannah Film Festival, Valladolid Film Festival and others, as well as a nomination for the upcoming European Film Awards. The project’s biggest triumph of the year has been landing a place on the Academy Awards shortlist. The film was then selected to participate in the Oscar theatrical release, screening in more than 300 theatres throughout N.America. The film was directed by Eoin Duffy and produced by Jamie Hogan in conjunction with Belly Creative Ltd., The Irish Film Board, RTE and The Arts Council, along with narration by pop culture icon George Takei.”

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Study Reveals That Death Occurs More Slowly Than Believed

death

Being alive or dead may not be such a black and white matter. Via Discovery:

A new study reveals how death in organisms, including humans, spreads like a wave from cell to cell until the whole individual is dead. In certain cases, scientists may be able to stop the biochemical process that leads to this death wave, reviving the individual.

Researchers focused their analysis on worms, which surprisingly possess mechanisms that are similar to those that are active in mammals. A remarkable feature of worms is that, as they die, the spread of death through their bodies can easily be seen under magnification. It’s a fluorescent blue light caused by necrosis, or the cell death pathway. This, in turn, is dependent upon calcium signaling.

The individual cell deaths trigger a chemical reaction that leads to the breakdown of cell components and a build-up of molecular debris. If this goes on unchecked, the individual is toast.

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‘Old’ News: Regeneration May Bring Youth to Elderly

“SMI²LE: Space Migration Intelligence² Life Extension”
– Dr Timothy Leary

From the sounds of things a Wolverine style regeneration trick might be round the corner for humanity, or at least those of us who can afford it. It’s in its early stages but tired and feeble laboratory mice have already had their elderly bodies regenerated according to The Guardian:

The surprise recovery of the animals has raised hopes among scientists that it may be possible to achieve a similar feat in humans – or at least to slow down the ageing process.

An anti-ageing therapy could have a dramatic impact on public health by reducing the burden of age-related health problems, such as dementia, stroke and heart disease, and prolonging the quality of life for an increasingly aged population.

“What we saw in these animals was not a slowing down or stabilisation of the ageing process. We saw a dramatic reversal – and that was unexpected,” said Ronald DePinho, who led the study, which was published in the journal Nature.

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How Psychedelic Drugs Can Help Patients Face Death

5131290095_eff7aa0895How use of psychedelic drugs can ease the difficulty of facing the most harrowing stage of life. The New York Times points towards a more enlightened future:

The power of psychedelics to mitigate mortality’s sting is not just the obsession of one lone researcher. Dr. John Halpern, head of the Laboratory for Integrative Psychiatry at McLean Hospital in Belmont Mass., a psychiatric training hospital for Harvard Medical School, used MDMA — also known as ecstasy — in an effort to ease end-of-life anxieties in two patients with Stage 4 cancer.

Grob’s setup — the eyeshades, the objects, the mystical music, the floral aromas and flowing fabrics — was drawn from the work of Stanislav Grof, a psychiatrist born in Prague and a father of the study of psychedelic medicine for the dying. In the mid-’60s — before words like “acid” and “bong” and “Deadhead” transformed the American landscape, at a time when psychedelics were not illegal because most people didn’t know what they were and thus had no urge to ingest them — Grof began giving the drug to cancer patients at the Spring Grove State Hospital near Baltimore and documenting their effects.

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