background preloader


Facebook Twitter

The Real Secret of Youth Is Complexity. Photo collage created with images from Donald Iain Smith / Getty Image and David Vintiner / Getty Images. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!” Henry David Thoreau exhorted in his 1854 memoir Walden, in which he extolled the virtues of a “Spartan-like” life. Saint Thomas Aquinas preached that simplicity brings one closer to God. Isaac Newton believed it leads to truth. It can also be a sign of aging. Simple To Sick: Healthy bone (left) gets its strength from complex scaffolds of tissue. To understand this loss, we must first define what we mean by “complexity” in the scientific sense.

A complex process, in contrast, involves multiple different components interacting across multiple scales in time and space. The fractal-like networks of tissue in our brains, bones, kidneys, and skin all lose structural complexity as we age. We can quantify the complexity of biological systems by borrowing mathematical ideas from chaos theory and the fields of nonlinear dynamics and statistical physics. What Are the Ethical Consequences of Immortality Technology? - aeon - Pocket. Immortality has gone secular. Unhooked from the realm of gods and angels, it’s now the subject of serious investment – both intellectual and financial – by philosophers, scientists and the Silicon Valley set. Several hundred people have already chosen to be ‘cryopreserved’ in preference to simply dying, as they wait for science to catch up and give them a second shot at life. But if we treat death as a problem, what are the ethical implications of the highly speculative ‘solutions’ being mooted?

Of course, we don’t currently have the means of achieving human immortality, nor is it clear that we ever will. But two hypothetical options have so far attracted the most interest and attention: rejuvenation technology, and mind uploading. Like a futuristic fountain of youth, rejuvenation promises to remove and reverse the damage of ageing at the cellular level. The other option would be mind uploading, in which your brain is digitally scanned and copied onto a computer. Will 90 Become The New 60? - Nautilus - Pocket. Created with images from Dorling Kindersley / Getty Image and Vvoe / Shutterstock Immortality: Trust us, you wouldn’t like it. It’s a comforting message, in a sour-grapes sort of way. It sounds wise and mature, suggesting that we put aside childish dreams and accept once and for all that there can be no vital Veg-O-Matic that slices mortality and dices infirmity. Gerontologists like it, being particularly eager to put on a respectable front and escape the whiff of snake oil that clings to the field of life extension.

In 1946 the newly founded Gerontological Society of America cited, in the first article of the first issue of its Journal of Gerontology, the need to concern ourselves to add “not more years to life, but more life to years.” Around the same time noted aging researchers S. This message is particularly dire if lifespans rise over extended periods of time—which they have done. But what if long lifespans don’t necessarily mean more years of disability? References. Yes, Life in the Fast Lane Kills You - Nautilus - Pocket. Nick Lane is an evolutionary biochemist at University College London who thinks about the big questions of life: how it began, how it is maintained, why we age and die, and why we have sex.

Shunning the habit of our times to regard these as questions for evolutionary genetics, Lane insists that our fundamental biochemical mechanisms—particularly those through which living cells generate energy—may determine or limit these facts of life. Lane has been steadily constructing an alternative, complementary view of evolution to the one in which genes compete for reproductive success and survival. He has argued that some of the big shifts during evolutionary history, such as the appearance of complex cells called eukaryotes (like our own) and the emergence of multicellular life forms, are best understood by considering the energetic constraints. Nick Lane believes the secret to long life lies with the mitochondria. Sex evolved with complex cells. Yes. How does this relate to aging?

How Bulletproof Founder Dave Asprey Became the Ultimate Biohacker. Future - A high-carb diet may explain why Okinawans live so long. The search for the “elixir of youth” has spanned centuries and continents – but recently, the hunt has centred on the Okinawa Islands, which stretch across the East China Sea. Not only do the older inhabitants enjoy the longest life expectancy of anyone on Earth, but the vast majority of those years are lived in remarkably good health too. Of particular note is the number of people who reach 100 years of life. For every 100,000 inhabitants, Okinawa has 68 centenarians – more than three times the numbers found in US populations of the same size. Even by the standards of Japan, Okinawans are remarkable, with a 40% greater chance of living to 100 than other Japanese people. Little wonder scientists have spent decades trying to uncover the secrets of the Okinawans’ longevity – in both their genes and their lifestyle.

You might also like: So could the “Okinawan Ratio” – 10:1 carbohydrate to protein – instead be the secret to a long and healthy life? Genetic jackpot. What Are the Ethical Consequences of Immortality Technology? - aeon - Pocket. Future - Can we cheat ageing? As she headed to her lab one sunny Texan morning, molecular biologist Meng Wang couldn’t yet guess what would be waiting for her when she arrived: tens of thousands of worms, wriggling around in different boxes. As she peered into each box, slowly it dawned on her. What she saw could cure the most debilitating condition known to humanity: ageing. Diseases related to ageing – like cancer, rheumatism and Alzheimer’s – kill 100,000 people every day around the world.

But a growing number of scientists say it doesn’t have to be this way. BBC World Service podcast The Inquiry quizzed some of the world’s leading researchers about the nature of ageing – and about the cutting-edge science that could ‘cure’ it, from the role of microbiomes to 3D-printed organs. Long tooth What exactly is ageing? “Then when we can’t keep up with the repairing, the ageing starts” explains Danish physician Kaare Christensen. He points out that we’ve seen some progress. He believes that this progress will continue. Seeking Clues to Longevity in Lonesome George’s Genes. When Lonesome George, the only survivor of the Pinta Island tortoises of the Galápagos, died in 2012, the news landed with a blow. Rationally, people had time to prepare for the reality that George would one day fade away, and with him, an entire lineage. He had lived for a century or more, a common life expectancy for giant tortoises, and all attempts to mate him during his last few decades were unsuccessful.

But emotionally, it’s hard to brace oneself for the realization that something that was once there is finally, completely gone. It’s the kind of stuff that makes you ponder life, our fleeting stint in the universe and the unrelenting, forward march of time. Similar feelings drive longevity research. In a paper published Monday in Nature Ecology & Evolution, the researchers reported preliminary findings of gene variants in George linked with a robust immune system, efficient DNA repair and resistance to cancer. Giant tortoises helped launch the theory of evolution. Dr. Finally, the drug that keeps you young. Judith Campisi has been a leading figure in the biology of aging since the early 1990s, when her research on the basic mechanisms of cancer revealed an unexpected finding—that cells enter a phase known as senescence that prevents them from becoming cancerous. More than 25 years later, the insight has led to a new kind of drug that may slow or modestly reverse human aging.

Campisi’s research is on the role of cellular senescence in cancer and other age-related diseases. Senescent cells undergo a transition into a twilight state where they are still active but no longer dividing; research by Campisi and others showed that this was a strategy to derail incipient cancers, which are characterized by runaway cell division and growth. But she and others also discovered that these senescent cells accumulate as we grow older, secreting an array of molecules that promote the tissue degradation associated with aging. She recently discussed her work with Stephen S. Well, it’s religion. No. How Long Can People Live? The most common risk factor for serious disease is old age. Heart disease, cancer, stroke, neurological conditions, diabetes — all increase radically with advancing years. And the older a person is, the more likely he or she is to have multiple chronic illnesses. Some scientists hope one day to treat all of them at once — by targeting aging itself.

There is considerable dispute, however, over how long humans might live under optimal circumstances. In animal studies over the last few decades, scientists have begun to understand the specific cellular and molecular processes that cause the deteriorations of old age. [Like the Science Times page on Facebook. | Sign up for the Science Times newsletter.]

In an essay in the journal JAMA last month, Tamara Tchkonia and Dr. Old cells, researchers have found, secrete proteins, lipids and other substances that increase inflammation and tissue destruction. Could there be any remedy that removes these old cells while leaving young cells? Dr. David A. What to Eat to Live to 100 - Andrew Merle - Pocket. I aspire to live an incredibly long, happy, and healthy life. That is why I recently read the The Blue Zones Solution, in which New York Times best-selling author Dan Buettner reveals the eating and living habits of the world’s longest-lived people. For over a decade, Buettner (along with the National Geographic Society and a team of researchers) studied the 5 locations around the globe that have the highest concentrations of 100-year-olds, as well as exceptionally low rates of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart problems.

In the book, Buettner lays out the specifics for each of these “Blue Zones” locations, analyzes the trends, and then prescribes a plan for people looking achieve the same level of health and longevity. The book is fantastic and I highly recommend it for anyone who is looking to live a longer, happier life. According to The Blue Zones Solution: The best-of-the-best longevity foods are (Include at least 3 of these daily): The 4 best beverages are: The Future of Aging Just Might Be in Margaritaville. Off a vacant stretch of highway in Daytona Beach, Fla., a line began to form outside the sales center for the first Latitude Margaritaville “55 and better” community. Those waiting dragged folding chairs, coolers, tents and dog-eared brochures featuring numbered sites that, in just over 24 hours, they could stake a claim to for a $10,000 deposit.

The mood, shortly after 8 a.m. one Sunday last November, was festive, ecstatic even. Drinks flowed, pizza appeared, a steel-drum band played into the balmy night. Some neighbors in the 300-person queue liked each other so much that they decided to become actual neighbors, switching their site choices to live closer together. A sense of destiny seemed to guide many of their decisions. Karen Goodwin, 55, a homemaker, had won the exact amount of the down payment a few weeks earlier in a Domino’s sweepstakes. “I never thought I’d be in a 55-plus community,” Ruth Kelly, 61, a former real estate agent and Matt’s wife, said the following September.

Redirect?&url= Human self-awareness means that, from a relatively early age, we are also aware of death. In his Pulitzer prize-winning book, The Denial of Death, Becker hypothesized that the fear of death–and the need to suppress that fear—is what drives much of human behavior. This idea went on, in social psychology, to the form the basis of Terror Management Theory. Ancient humans must have decided, once their bellies were full, that there was more to life than mere survival and staring mortality in the face. They went on to build things in which they could find distraction, comfort, recreation, and meaning. The act of ingestion is embroidered with so much cultural meaning that, for most people, its roots in spare, brutal survival are entirely hidden. By creating and following diets, humans not only eat to stay alive, but they fit themselves into a cultural edifice that is larger, and more permanent, than their bodies. The Key to a Long Life Has Little to Do With ‘Good Genes’

Want to live for ever? Flush out your zombie cells | Science. In a lab just south of San Francisco I am looking at two blown-up images of microscope slides on a computer screen, side by side. The slides are the same cross-sections of mouse knees from a six-month-old and an 18-month-old animal. The older mouse’s image has a splattering of little yellow dots, the younger barely any.

That staining indicates the presence of so-called senescent cells – “zombie cells” that are damaged and that, as a defence against cancer, have ceased to divide but are also resistant to dying. They are known to accumulate with age, as the immune system can no longer clear them, and as a result of exposure to cell-damaging agents such as radiation and chemotherapy. And they have been identified as a cause of ageing in mice, at least partially responsible for most age-related diseases. Seeing the slides, it makes me worried about my own knees. That discovery and others made some people wonder what would happen if you cleared these cranky cells away. Metformin Rapamycin. A compound found in apples can slow down aging. Opinion | He Got Schizophrenia. He Got Cancer. And Then He Got Cured. Modern doctors have also observed that people who suffer from certain autoimmune diseases, like lupus, can develop what looks like psychiatric illness. These symptoms probably result from the immune system attacking the central nervous system or from a more generalized inflammation that affects how the brain works.

Indeed, in the past 15 years or so, a new field has emerged called autoimmune neurology. Some two dozen autoimmune diseases of the brain and nervous system have been described. The best known is probably anti-NMDA-receptor encephalitis, made famous by Susannah Cahalan’s memoir “Brain on Fire.” These disorders can resemble bipolar disorder, epilepsy, even dementia — and that’s often how they’re diagnosed initially. But when promptly treated with powerful immune-suppressing therapies, what looks like dementia often reverses.

Psychosis evaporates. Dr. Studies on the role of genes in schizophrenia also suggest immune involvement, a finding that, for Dr. Is fasting the fountain of youth? Since the Taylors have been intermittently fasting, often called just IF, they've maintained a healthy body weight, been more alert and energetic, experienced less stress, and are less prone to getting sick. While Taylor admits that whether or not he will live longer as a result of his eating pattern is a "good question," but he feels optimistic. "I already feel as though I am younger," said Taylor. "And if I am showing objective signs of being younger -- more vigor and positivity -- then I think it is logical to assume that I have already lengthened my lifespan by moving to IF.

" A much more recent study, published this month, found that mice who fasted, whether because they were fed all of their calories only once per day or because their calories were restricted, which naturally caused them to eat all of their limited food at once -- were healthier and lived longer compared to mice who had constant access to food. So far, research has revealed promising results. Extreme biohacking: the tech guru who spent $250,000 trying to live for ever | Science. Can young blood stem the ravages of old age? – Jess Zimmerman.

Does Life End at 35? | Google’s New Company Calico To Try to Cheat Death. Meet Bill Andrews: The Man Who would be Immortal. Chinese "mushroom of immortality" genome mapped.