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Archive for the ‘life extension’ category: Page 345

Aug 27, 2011

Sciencewatch.com Pays Tribute to Mark A. Smith Special Topic of Alzheimer’s Disease, June 2011

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

http://sciencewatch.com/ana/st/alz2/11junSTAlz2Smit/

Aug 27, 2011

Calorie Restriction: A Cell Signaling Diet!

Posted by in categories: biological, life extension

Some people say that a calorie restriction (CR) diet is difficult to follow. It used to be. But things have changed: Thanks to great work by leading scientists, current approaches to calorie restriction are just as much about cell signaling as about limiting calories.

It is known, for example, that serious long-term CR dramatically lowers insulin levels.1 Another hormone, with a similar molecular structure, insulin-like growth factor one (IGF-I), shares the same pathway with insulin and is downregulated by CR in animal studies and by calorie restricted humans who do not follow high protein diets.2

And there’s the rub. For if you hope to benefit from calorie restriction and do not pay attention to the special properties of macronutrient intake, individual foods, and food preparation, you may get an unpleasant surprise: excessive stimulation of the insulin/IGF-I pathway. For example, in a study using healthy volunteers, just 50 grams of white potato starch sends glucose and insulin soaring3 to levels associated with increased risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.4

Back in the 1930s, when the term calorie restriction was first applied to Dr. Clive McCay’s rat and mouse experiments,5 it was entirely appropriate because the focus was on calories since he was looking at growth retardation. Of course, little was known about the signals involved in the life-extending effects of the diet. All that changed as scientists discovered important cell-signaling patterns that produce the phenomenal life-transforming effects.6

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Apr 13, 2011

“You are What you Don’t Eat!”

Posted by in categories: biological, life extension

As leaders of calorie restriction research and practice, Meredith Averill and I often participate in media events. A recent news conference covered rapidly evolving aspects of calorie restriction research that anyone could benefit from, whether they choose to follow a low-calorie lifestyle or not. Therefore, we thought it appropriate to share the details of the event with the Lifeboat Foundation audience.

The conference was hosted by the American Federation of Aging Research (AFAR). AFAR is a forward-looking organization that provides financial support for early- and mid-career scientists who are developing careers in the study of aging.

This conference, entitled “You are What you Don’t Eat!” presented two world-famous CR scientists, Drs. Luigi Fontana and Donald Ingram. After an introduction from AFAR’s board member, Dr. Jack Watters, both scientists shared many profound insights that could extend healthy lifespan for millions of people.

Dr. Fontana first reminded us how important calorie restriction research is for the health and financial viability of the health care system: “Cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, stroke and diabetes account for nearly 70% of the deaths in the United States and Europe. About 80% of adults over 65 years of age have at least one chronic disease, and 50% have two or more of these chronic diseases that accelerate the aging process1 .” The point he makes is that health care systems, especially with our rapidly aging population cannot sustain this large number of people with disease.

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Mar 24, 2011

The Existential Importance of Life Extension

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, ethics, existential risks, life extension
The field of life extension is broad and ranges from regenerative medicine to disease prevention by nutritional supplements and phytomedicine. Although the relevance of longevity and disease prevention to existential risks is less apparent than the prevention of large-scale catastrophic scenarios, it does have a high relevance to the future of our society. The development of healthy longevity and the efficiency of modern medicine in treating age-related diseases and the question of how well we can handle upcoming issues related to public health will have a major impact on our short-term future in the next few decades. Therefore, the prospect of healthy life extension plays important roles at both a personal and a societal level.
From a personal perspective, a longevity-compatible lifestyle, nutrition and supplementary regimen may not only help us to be active and to live longer, but optimizing our health and fitness also increase our energy, mental performance and capacities for social interaction. This aids our ability to work on the increasingly complex tasks of a 21st-century world that can make a positive impact in society, such as work on existential risk awareness and problem-solving. Recently, I wrote a basic personal orientation on the dietary supplement aspect of basic life extension with an audience of transhumanists, technology advocates with a high future shock level and open-minded scientists in mind, which is available here.
On a societal level, however, aging population and public health issues are serious. A rapid increase of some diseases of civilization, whose prevalence also climbs rapidly with advanced age, is on the march. For example, Type-II-Diabetes is rapidly on its way to becoming an insurmountable problem for China and the WHO projects COPD, the chronic lung disease caused by smoking and pollution, as the third leading cause of death in 2030.

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Feb 17, 2011

The Global Brain and its role in Human Immortality

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, complex systems, futurism, life extension, neuroscience

It would be helpful to discuss these theoretical concepts because there could be significant practical and existential implications.

The Global Brain (GB) is an emergent world-wide entity of distributed intelligence, facilitated by communication and the meaningful interconnections between millions of humans via technology (such as the internet).

For my purposes I take it to mean the expressive integration of all (or the majority) of human brains through technology and communication, a Metasystem Transition from the human brain to a global (Earth) brain. The GB is truly global not only in geographical terms but also in function.

It has been suggested that the GB has clear analogies with the human brain. For example, the basic unit of the human brain (HB) is the neuron, whereas the basic unit of the GB is the human brain. Whilst the HB is space-restricted within our cranium, the GB is constrained within this planet. The HB contains several regions that have specific functions themselves, but are also connected to the whole (e.g. occipital cortex for vision, temporal cortex for auditory function, thalamus etc.). The GB contains several regions that have specific functions themselves, but are connected to the whole (e.g. search engines, governments, etc.).

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