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Jul 6, 2020

Male fruit flies’ decline in fertility with age is not only driven by changes in sperm

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension

Infertility is one of the most striking effects of aging. The impact of aging on females’ fertility is more severe and much better understood, but it also affects males. Male reproductive aging is less researched, but of those studies that do address it, most focus on sperm. However, ejaculate contains more than just sperm. Proteins in the seminal fluid are important for fertility, and in many animals, they have a dramatic effect on female physiology and behavior. Little is currently known about the impact of male aging on these proteins, and whether any changes contribute to poorer ejaculates in older males.

To resolve these questions, researchers at the University of Oxford’s Department of Zoology conducted experiments in a model organism, the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. This species typically lives for less than five weeks, which means that researchers can very rapidly measure the impact of age on male fertility, and their and seminal fluid proteins. This species is also highly amenable to genetic studies, which allowed the researchers to genetically manipulate , to see how this impacted the decline in fertility with age.

Published this week in PNAS are their results which show that both sperm and quality and quantity decline with male age, making distinct contributions to declining reproductive performance in older males. However, the relative impacts on sperm and seminal fluid often differ, leading to mismatches between ejaculate components. Despite these differences, experimental extension of male lifespan improved overall ejaculate performance in later life, suggesting that such interventions can delay both male reproductive aging and death.

Jul 5, 2020

Posthuman Politics and Artificial-Death

Posted by in category: life extension

A better deal than any supernaturalist religion can offer; that seems to me what Julian Huxley intended. Some relief from fear of death. Morality self judged and perhaps situational – but not ethical codes forced on you by an imaginary invisible bullying tyrant(s) or a human calling upon His name…

A lot – possibly most- individuals on trans/ singul/ posthuman lists are drawn to radical futurism for specific reasons of extending life and attaining immortality (continuation of awareness) after physical death by technology. Different groups are working on different projects, but posthuman.org is concentrating on MVT analog circuits with Zenet interface. This is much less ambitious than approaches involving whole brain/ personality/ memory preservation, since there is only need to retain signals relating to game decision making. But who wants to be particularly aware of being dead?

Jul 5, 2020

Age-related heart disease linked to gut bacteria metabolite

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, food, life extension

New research from the University of Colorado Boulder has offered some of the clearest evidence to date showing how the gut microbiome produces a metabolite that, over time, contributes to age-related declines in cardiovascular health.

High blood levels of trimethylamine-N-Oxide (TMAO), a metabolic byproduct of digestion, have been strongly linked to negative cardiovascular health. When one eats red meat, eggs or other animal proteins, certain types of gut bacteria feed on chemicals in those foods and produce TMA, or trimethylamine, which is then turned into TMAO in the liver.

A number of studies have linked TMAO to heart disease, however, until now it hasn’t been clear exactly how this metabolite causes cardiovascular damage. A robust new study, published in the journal Hypertension, is offering one of the first thorough mechanistic investigations illustrating how TMAO damages the cardiovascular system.

Continue reading “Age-related heart disease linked to gut bacteria metabolite” »

Jul 4, 2020

Common Sense by Thomas Paine, with Life Extension Correlations

Posted by in categories: government, health, life extension, philosophy, scientific freedom, strategy

Before the Revolutionary war in North America, a movement in favor of establishing independence paved the way. Common Sense, written by the political activist and philosopher Thomas Paine, became a central part of it. In this paper I go over some of its points while making correlations with the movement for indefinite life extension.

The people of America’s 13 colonies weren’t in agreement on how to move forward with their disputes with Great Britain. Like Thomas Paine wrote, “The mind of the multitude is left at random, and seeing no fixed object before them, they pursue such as fancy or opinion starts.” Common Sense fixed the object of independence, rather than reconciliation with tyranny, in enough minds to help make it happen.

True freedom is about much more than things like the ability to sail the open seas or be independent from the authority of kings – it is about access to all constructive opportunities, of which there may be an infinite number, and to which there are still innumerable barriers. Every day asks us whether we want to put in work to break more of the barriers around us, and every day we either reconcile with the conventions of laissezfaire or continue the struggle for freedom.

Movements have broken many bonds over the decades and centuries. What was once a world overrun with crushing suppressions is now manageable and improving in many countries on numerous fronts. We need that “fixed object” that Paine was talking about so we can open the frontiers of industrialized peoples next most pressing freedom. That object is time, the walls of defined lifespans must come down. Nothing is more absolutely enslaving than <125 year death sentences for all, and the times are ripe and ready to take it on. The world works with and engineers biology in many ways now and gets better at it faster as the toolbox of biotechnology continues to deepen. Biological mastery is in the cards if we play them.

Paine wrote, ”O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her—Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.” In that style I would write, “O ye that love life! Ye that dare oppose, not only the symptoms of mortal afflictions, but the roots, stand forth! Every spot of the world is overrun with death. Life hath been hunted round the globe. Tradition and religion have long expelled her—politics regards her like a stranger, and trend setters have given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for this survivors blood that fights on through us.”

How many injustices should we accept? How much lack of freedom should we endure? ”There are injuries which nature cannot forgive; she would cease to be nature if she did. […] The robber, and the murderer, would often escape unpunished, did not the injuries which our tempers sustain, provoke us into justice.” I often say that anger for death is there for the same reason that pain is there when touching a hot stove — it is your body prompting you to take corrective measures to end the pain. We ought endure such misfortunes when we must and take action against them when we can.

The time for life extension is now because the tools and insights are here, and also because as Paine says, “When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember, that virtue is not hereditary.” You know that the people in your life deserve to live, you understand the importance of working to get this done now, but our grandchildren might not. Humanity cannot afford to pass the buck off into the darkness. I may believe that posterity will be roughly as virtuous as us, but I’m not a prophet. Dark times tend to sweep in on their own schedules.

It is our duty to get this job done. “[N]othing can settle our affairs so expeditiously as an open and determined declaration for independance.” The Declaration of Independence was written after Common Sense, mainly by Thomas Jefferson. A life extension version of it might look something like this:


Declaration of Independence from Death

We hold this truth to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by life with certain unalienable rights, that chief among them is life itself, that is, freedom from incurring the injustice of a defined lifespan. To secure this right, science is practiced among people, deriving its just power from the purest form of the pursuit for answers, for the lifting of the veils of ignorance that hold us back from true freedom. Whenever anything becomes destructive of this end, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new practices, laying its foundation on principles and organizing its power in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their survival. The history of death is a history of repeated horrors and atrocities. Let the facts be submitted to a candid world.

Every person who dies misses out on what very well may be an infinity of incredible wonders and opportunities. This is stiflingly enormous opportunity cost. People lose their freedom, memories, goals, thoughts, themselves; others lose them; all of humanity and the universe loses them, and nothing in the universe compares to a human. The all-around suffering that death causes to the individuals it kills and the people around them is staggering and endlessly traumatic, causing stress and damage on countless levels of every part of life and society. The death process is degrading and undignified, humiliating people for decades as it reduces them to feebleness, senility and dust. Death deprives people of the ability to know what is going on in this mysterious dimension we all find ourselves in here, what we ultimately are and why we are here. It steals away our chance to know what marvels and wonders exist in the expanses of the great unknown, our ability to experience pleasures we haven’t yet, our ability to know what it’s like to experience the fulfillment of all of our goals, and the chance to work for and live in an existence of negligible or perhaps even non-existent fallacy.

We, the freedom loving members of humanity, from all around the globe, of all cultures and creeds, solemnly declare, that we are, and of right ought to be free from death in the form of defined lifespans. To this end we mutually pledge to each other our fortunes and our sacred honor.



The customs of conventions, our current mainstream traditions, are against us, and will be so, until, by a thorough awakening for independence from death, our oldest and most sacred right, takes its rightful and long overdue place among the ranks of other indispensable rights. “The custom of all courts is against us, and will be so, until, by an independance, we take rank with other nations.”

“Wherefore, if they have not virtue enough to be Whigs, they ought to have prudence enough to wish for Independance.” People do not need to want to live for thousands of years in order to want independence from death, they need only want their own freedom to choose what course they may, and the same for their friends and families. Some people don’t want to be forced to live for thousands of years, and some people don’t want to be forced to die before the age of 125. Currently, however, only the people who might choose to die at the age of 50 have the freedom to make that choice. With unlimited lifespans, we can all be free. This is about eradicating deaths tyranny, not death, in the same way that the American revolutionaries worked to break the stranglehold of tyranny that Great Britain held over them, not stop every slight and fight they might have post-independence.

“We fight neither for revenge nor conquest; […] we are not insulting the world with our fleets and armies, nor ravaging the globe for plunder.” Our war is even more dignified. It is removal of a tyranny and the installation of one of the greatest freedoms of all, all without a shedding of blood.

“[L]et a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other.” The ‘law as King’ is superior to ‘humans as Kings’ because people collectively form laws with some amount of oversight of each other’s input. “Law” as the foundation, however, can still tend to be quite arbitrary. Life is what rules us, living, the chance to do people things in a universe of endless opportunities. Let life wear the crown and guide us along our path to true freedom. “The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind.” The cause of expanding our frontiers and abilities, of expanding life, is in great measure the greatest cause of them all.

Jul 2, 2020

Stimulating production of enzyme in roundworms found to increase lifespan

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in South Korea has found that stimulating production of a certain enzyme in roundworms can increase their lifespan. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their study of the protein VRK-1 and what they learned about its impact on the longevity of roundworms.

Prior research has shown that one way to increase longevity in some species is to use techniques that slow down mitochondrial respiration. In this new effort, the researchers were looking to better understand why slowing in mitochondria has an impact on aging. As part of their effort, they looked at an energy sensor in mitochondria called adenosine 5’-monophosphate-activated (AMPK), known to play a role in controlling how much energy is used in cells in roundworms. Prior research had suggested its level of activity is controlled by the protein VRK-1. To learn more about its impact on aging, the researchers genetically engineered two lines of roundworms to force them to produce more VRK-1 and two lines of roundworms to force them to produce less VRK-1. They then monitored the roundworms to see how long they lived.

The researchers found those roundworms expressing more than the normal amount of VRK-1 tended to live longer than average, while those expressing less than average amounts of VRK-1 had shorter lifespans. More specifically, control worms representing the normal lifespan of a lived on average 16.9 days. In their experiments, one of the lines expressing more VRK-1 lived on average 20.8 days, while the other lived on average 23.7 days. And one of the lines producing less VRK-1 lived on average just 12.7 days and the other just 15.9 days. The researchers suggest this finding indicates that VRK-1 has a direct impact on roundworm longevity.

Jul 1, 2020

Age research: A low level of the stress hormone cortisol contributes to the ageing process

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Why do we age? What exactly is happening in our bodies? And can we do anything about it? Mankind has sought answers to these questions since time immemorial. While the pharmaceutical scientists Alexandra K. Kiemer and Jessica Hoppstädter from Saarland University are not claiming to have solved this ancient problem, they have uncovered processes within our immune system that contribute to aging. Kiemer and Hoppstädter have shown that low levels of the hormone cortisol and the protein known as GILZ can trigger chronic inflammatory responses in the body. The results have been published in the journal Aging Cell.

The phenomenon of human aging is the result of a complex interaction between numerous factors, with our own immune system playing a critical role. As we get older, our body’s own defense mechanisms age, too. The adaptive or specific immune system that each of us acquires over the course of our lives and that protects us from the pathogens that we came into contact with gradually deteriorates as we age. In contrast, however, our innate or non-specific immune system, which is the first line of defense towards a wide variety of pathogens, becomes overactive. The result is .

A persistent state of inflammation can cause serious damage to our bodies. One consequence is that chronic inflammatory diseases, such as atherosclerosis or arthritis, are far more prevalent in older patients. “This has been well-known for a long time. In fact, the refers to this phenomenon as ‘inflamm-aging’—a portmanteau word that combines the two inseparably linked processes of inflammation and aging,” explains Alexandra K. Kiemer, Professor of Pharmaceutical Biology at Saarland University.

Jul 1, 2020

Pilot Study Results Suggest Epigenetic Age Reversal

Posted by in categories: genetics, life extension

3 things:

1. The company claims that it has been successful in reducing the epigenetic age of participants(17 people) by an average of 8.5 years with its dietary supplement Rejuvant.

2. Obviously, this has yet to be proven conclusively in human trials, and the company is busy preparing to launch a larger-scale trial later this year to that end.

Continue reading “Pilot Study Results Suggest Epigenetic Age Reversal” »

Jun 29, 2020

Nanotechnology applied to medicine: The first liquid retina prosthesis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, evolution, life extension, nanotechnology

Research at IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology) has led to the revolutionary development of an artificial liquid retinal prosthesis to counteract the effects of diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration that cause the progressive degeneration of photoreceptors of the retina, resulting in blindness. The study has been published in Nature Nanotechnology.

The study represents the state of the art in retinal prosthetics and is an evolution of the planar artificial retinal model developed by the same team in 2017 and based on organic semiconductor materials (Nature Materials 2017, 16: 681–689).

The ‘second generation’ artificial retina is biomimetic, offers and consists of an aqueous component in which photoactive polymeric nanoparticles (whose size is 350 nanometres, thus about 1/100 of the diameter of a hair) are suspended, and will replace damaged photoreceptors.

Jun 29, 2020

Cash is dying as startups swoop in

Posted by in category: life extension

The death of cash is still some way off, but a tipping point is fast approaching helped by consumer realisation that contactless payments are more secure and more convenient.

Jun 29, 2020

Circular RNA found to make fruit flies live longer

Posted by in categories: biological, genetics, life extension, neuroscience

Ribonucleic acid, or RNA, is part of our genetic code and present in every cell of our body. The best known form of RNA is a single linear strand, of which the function is well known and characterized. But there is also another type of RNA, so-called “circular RNA,” or circRNA, which forms a continuous loop that makes it more stable and less vulnerable to degradation. CircRNAs accumulate in the brain with age. Still, the biological functions of most circRNAs are not known and are a riddle for the scientific community. Now scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging have come one step closer to answer the question what these mysterious circRNAs do: one of them contributes to the aging process in fruit flies.

Carina Weigelt and other researchers in the group led by Linda Partridge, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging, used to investigate the role of the circRNAs in the aging process. “This is unique, because it is not very well understood what circRNAs do, especially not in an aging perspective. Nobody has looked at circRNAs in a longevity context before,” says Carina Weigelt who conducted the main part of the study. She continues: “Now we have identified a circRNA that can extend lifespan of fruit flies when we increase it, and it is regulated by signaling.”

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