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Archive for the ‘homo sapiens’ category: Page 4

Nov 21, 2013

Do unemployed people age faster?

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, economics, homo sapiens, life extension, science

By Avi Roy, University of Buckingham and Anders Sandberg, University of Oxford

Men who are unemployed for more than two years show signs of faster ageing in their DNA, according to a study published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

Researchers at the University of Oulu, Finland and Imperial College, London arrived at this conclusion by studying blood samples collected from 5,620 men and women born in Northern Finland in 1966. The researchers measured the lengths of telomeres in their white blood cells, and compared them with the participants’ employment history for the prior three years, and found that extended unemployment (more than 500 days in three years) was associated with shorter telomere length.

Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes, which protect the chromosomes from degrading. With every cell division, it appears that these telomeres get shorter. And the result of each shortening is that these cells degrade and age.

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Jun 17, 2013

Help Conquer Death with Grants & Research Funding from LongeCity!

Posted by in categories: biological, finance, homo sapiens, life extension

LongeCity has been doing advocacy and research for indefinite life extension since 2002. With the Methuselah Foundation and the M-Prize’s rise in prominence and public popularity over the past few years, it is sometimes easy to forget the smaller-scale research initiatives implemented by other organizations.

LongeCity seeks to conquer the involuntary blight of death through advocacy and research. They award small grants to promising small-scale research initiatives focused on longevity. The time to be doing this is now, with the increasing popularity and public awareness of Citizen Science growing. The 2020 H+ Conference’s theme was The Rise of the Citizen Scientist. Open –Source and Bottom-Up organization have been hallmarks of the H+ and TechProg communities for a while now, and the rise of citizen science parallels this trend.

Anyone can have a great idea, and there are many low-hanging fruits that can provide immense value and reward to the field of life extension without necessitating large-scale research initiatives, expensive and highly-trained staff or costly laboratory equipment. These low-hanging fruit can provide just as much benefit as large scale ones – and, indeed, even have the potential to provide more benefit per unit of funding than large-scale ones. They don’t call them low-hanging fruit for nothing – they are, after all, potentially quite fruitful.


In the past LongeCity has raised funding by matching donations made by the community to fund a research project that used lasers to ablate (i.e. remove) cellular lipofuscin. LongeCity raised $8,000 dollars by the community which was then matched by up to $16,000 by SENS Founation. A video describing the process can be found here. In the end they raised over $18,000 towards this research! Recall that one of Aubrey’s strategies of SENS is to remove cellular lipofuscin via genetically engineered bacteria. Another small-scale research project funded by LongeCity involved mitochondrial uncoupling in nematodes. To see more about this research success, see here.

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May 24, 2013

Dirrogate Singularity — A Transhumanism Journey

Posted by in categories: ethics, evolution, futurism, homo sapiens, media & arts, philosophy, robotics/AI, singularity

dirrogate_background_website

A widely accepted definition of Transhumanism is: The ethical use of all kinds of technology for the betterment of the human condition.

This all encompassing summation is a good start as an elevator pitch to laypersons, were they to ask for an explanation. Practitioners and contributors to the movement, of course, know how to branch this out into specific streams: science, philosophy, politics and more.

- This article was originally published on ImmortalLife.info

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May 19, 2013

Who Wants To Live Forever?

Posted by in categories: business, ethics, existential risks, futurism, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, philosophy, sustainability

Medical science has changed humanity. It changed what it means to be human, what it means to live a human life. So many of us reading this (and at least one person writing it) owe their lives to medical advances, without which we would have died.

Live expectancy is now well over double what it was for the Medieval Briton, and knocking hard on triple’s door.

What for the future? Extreme life extension is no more inherently ridiculous than human flight or the ability to speak to a person on the other side of the world. Science isn’t magic – and ageing has proven to be a very knotty problem – but science has overcome knotty problems before.

A genuine way to eliminate or severely curtail the influence of ageing on the human body is not in any sense inherently ridiculous. It is, in practice, extremely difficult, but difficult has a tendency to fall before the march of progress. So let us consider what implications a true and seismic advance in this area would have on the nature of human life.

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Apr 11, 2013

The Life Extension Hubris: Why biotechnology is unlikely to be the answer to ageing

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, evolution, futurism, homo sapiens, life extension

It is often said that empiricism is one of the most useful concepts in epistemology. Empiricism emphasises the role of experience acquired through one’s own senses and perceptions, and is contrary to, say, idealism where concepts are not derived from experience, but based on ideals.

In the case of radical life extension, there is a tendency to an ‘idealistic trance’ where people blindly expect practical biotechnological developments to be available and applied to the public at large within a few years. More importantly, idealists expect these treatments or therapies to actually be effective and to have a direct and measurable effect upon radical life extension. Here, by ‘radical life extension’ I refer not to healthy longevity (a healthy life until the age of 100–120 years) but to an indefinite lifespan where the rate of age-related mortality is trivial.

Let me mention two empirical examples based on experience and facts:

1. When a technological development depends on technology alone, its progress is often dramatic and exponential.

Continue reading “The Life Extension Hubris: Why biotechnology is unlikely to be the answer to ageing” »

Apr 4, 2013

An Open Letter to Death

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, homo sapiens, life extension, media & arts

lifebFreedom fironically found in flesh, not knowing whe’er I’m foul or fowl… tickly bound neath trickly form twisting and more unfresh as dawn upon dawn dies in menstrual skyfire like blood made light — a mocking microcosm of my own transubstantiation from rotting viscera to lightstorm infinity?

Just what sick joke is this? To wake and ache and dream and be and become! – and then to die..? To culminate the very universe itself!.. and then to simply die?! For what I ask you! What! Death… what audacious greed! What reckless squander and heedless extravagance!

Guttural red fringed black a bulbous muck death bastphelgmy! We cannot comprehend the sheer stature of death and so hurriedly cover the unknown with a word to hold it in hand and at a distance, to doubt no doubt.

O pallid heavens! O incessant sun undaunted by my barrenaked finitude! O fetid sanctity wet and redragged as the sickly bloom of jagged flesh! O putrid night sky serene despite my spat fury; as I ebb and ember a’roil withinside my sadness unbelieving and hysteric animal heat that vile sun and auster night jaunt their jeer and mock the rude squall of my panicstrewn death nonetheless.

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Mar 19, 2013

Ten Commandments of Space

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biological, biotech/medical, cosmology, defense, education, engineering, ethics, events, evolution, existential risks, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, lifeboat, military, neuroscience, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, robotics/AI, singularity, space, supercomputing, sustainability, transparency

1. Thou shalt first guard the Earth and preserve humanity.

Impact deflection and survival colonies hold the moral high ground above all other calls on public funds.

2. Thou shalt go into space with heavy lift rockets with hydrogen upper stages and not go extinct.

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Mar 4, 2013

Human Brain Mapping & Simulation Projects: America Wants Some, Too?

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, complex systems, ethics, existential risks, homo sapiens, neuroscience, philosophy, robotics/AI, singularity, supercomputing

YANKEE.BRAIN.MAP
The Brain Games Begin
Europe’s billion-Euro science-neuro Human Brain Project, mentioned here amongst machine morality last week, is basically already funded and well underway. Now the colonies over in the new world are getting hip, and they too have in the works a project to map/simulate/make their very own copy of the universe’s greatest known computational artifact: the gelatinous wad of convoluted electrical pudding in your skull.

The (speculated but not yet public) Brain Activity Map of America
About 300 different news sources are reporting that a Brain Activity Map project is outlined in the current administration’s to-be-presented budget, and will be detailed sometime in March. Hoards of journalists are calling it “Obama’s Brain Project,” which is stoopid, and probably only because some guy at the New Yorker did and they all decided that’s what they had to do, too. Or somesuch lameness. Or laziness? Deference? SEO?

For reasons both economic and nationalistic, America could definitely use an inspirational, large-scale scientific project right about now. Because seriously, aside from going full-Pavlov over the next iPhone, what do we really have to look forward to these days? Now, if some technotards or bible pounders monkeywrench the deal, the U.S. is going to continue that slide toward scientific… lesserness. So, hippies, religious nuts, and all you little sociopathic babies in politics: zip it. Perhaps, however, we should gently poke and prod the hard of thinking toward a marginally heightened Europhobia — that way they’ll support the project. And it’s worth it. Just, you know, for science.

Going Big. Not Huge, But Big. But Could be Massive.
Both the Euro and American flavors are no Manhattan Project-scale undertaking, in the sense of urgency and motivational factors, but more like the Human Genome Project. Still, with clear directives and similar funding levels (€1 billion Euros & $1–3 billion US bucks, respectively), they’re quite ambitious and potentially far more world changing than a big bomb. Like, seriously, man. Because brains build bombs. But hopefully an artificial brain would not. Spaceships would be nice, though.

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Feb 8, 2013

Machine Morality: a Survey of Thought and a Hint of Harbinger

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, engineering, ethics, evolution, existential risks, futurism, homo sapiens, human trajectories, robotics/AI, singularity, supercomputing

KILL.THE.ROBOTS
The Golden Rule is Not for Toasters

Simplistically nutshelled, talking about machine morality is picking apart whether or not we’ll someday have to be nice to machines or demand that they be nice to us.

Well, it’s always a good time to address human & machine morality vis-à-vis both the engineering and philosophical issues intrinsic to the qualification and validation of non-biological intelligence and/or consciousness that, if manifested, would wholly justify consideration thereof.

Uhh… yep!

But, whether at run-on sentence dorkville or any other tech forum, right from the jump one should know that a single voice rapping about machine morality is bound to get hung up in and blinded by its own perspective, e.g., splitting hairs to decide who or what deserves moral treatment (if a definition of that can even be nailed down), or perhaps yet another justification for the standard intellectual cul de sac:
“Why bother, it’s never going to happen.“
That’s tired and lame.

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Dec 7, 2012

Solving Complex Problems

Posted by in categories: complex systems, education, homo sapiens

Solving complex problems is one of the defining features of our age. The ability to harness a wide range of skills and synthesise diverse areas of knowledge is essentially integral to a researcher’s DNA. It is interesting to read how MIT first offered a class in ‘Solving Complex Problems’ back in 2000. Over the course of a semester students attempt to ‘imagineer’ a solution to a highly complex problem. There is a great need for this type of learning in our educational systems. If we are to develop people who can tackle the Grand Challenges of this epoch then we need to create an environment in which our brains are allowed to be wired differently through exposure to diverse areas of knowledge and methods of understanding reality across disciplines.

When I look at my niece who is only 4 years old I wonder how I can give her the best education, and prepare her to meet the challenges of this world, as she grows up in a world which fills my heart with great anxiety. It is fascinating to read about different educational approaches from Steiner education to Montessori education to developing curriculums and school design upon cognitive neuroscience and educational theory. However when I look at the thinkers of insight, and contrast it with educational policy in the developed world, there is quite clearly a huge disconnect between politics and science.

We need to develop a culture of complexity if we are to develop the ability and insight to solve complex problems. When we look at the world from the perspective of complexity it builds a very different mindset in how we think about the world, and how we go about trying to understand the world, and ultimately how we go about solving problems.

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