"Are myths about the rejuvenating powers of young blood true?""-- from Aeon

The article raises this question: "Are myths about  the rejuvenating powers of young blood true?"

The answer, as I discern it from this and other literature: Definitely yes and no.

Not long ago here we posted about some research in Lund, Sweden attempting to rejuvenate blood (of mice) by reprogramming stem cells.  Link to that post and the article on rejuvenating blood    The broader topic there, of course, is the search for methods of achieving radical life extension.

My point is that the idea of recapturing youth by somehow rejuvenating via young blood is very new-- witness the Swedish research.  But it is also very old, as recounted in this article in the Briish AEON, which begins way back in the myths of ancient times and carries through to what's happening now. Oh yes, vampires are covered in it, as well.  Here's the link to that AEON article


Excellent article on radical life extension and girls who never seem to age

I check out Zite (an app on my Ipad) at least once every day, and it's a rare day that I don't come upon at least one excellent article.  Today it was "Arrested Development: The Girls Who Never Seem to Age," by Virginia Hughes.

For one thing, it gives one of the best short overviews what's being done in researching human aging and the concept of radical life extension.

But it also covers the work of Dr. Richard Walker (and his book, Why We Age).

Dr. Walker has had a career-long fascination with those issues, and went down a variety of not-so-productive paths until he came upon the strange, sad phenomenon of young girls who basically never really age, at least not as we know it.  

"Aging is usually defined as the slow accumulation of damage in our cells, organs, and tissues, ultimately causing the physical transformations that we all recognize in elderly people. Jaws shrink and gums recede. Skin slacks. Bones brittle, cartilage thins, and joints swell. Arteries stiffen and clog. Hair greys. Vision dims. Memory fades. The notion that aging is a natural, inevitable part of life is so fixed in our culture that we rarely question it. But biologists have been questioning it for a long time."

 I'll leave you to the article for the rest.

As I said, I found it on Zite, which is a compiler. The origin of the article is not totally clear to me. It apparently appeared August 7, 2014 on Pacific-Standard: The Science of Society, which I had never run upon before, but seems to be filled with fascinating stuff.  And, if I read the attribution correctly, the article, under the title "Arrested Development" earlier appeared in Mosaic.

Article in Pacific Standard

 

 

 

 

 


"Stem cells" created in less than 30 minutes in "groundbreaking" discovery--London Daily Telegraph

"Scientists have turned adult cells back to their embryonic form in under 30 minutes by simply treating them with acid in a breakthough which could revolutionise personalised medicine"-- this from the sub-head of the article by Sarah Knapton in London's Daily Telegraph.

This has so far only been done with the cells of mice. But there seems to be no reason why it should not work equally well with human cells.  And if it does? Well, one possibility is using those stem cells as the basis for skin grafts.  Or in regenerating organs (which is already being done by other methodologies.)  

Here's a link to other blog posts here on human stem cells.

Also apropos this, my recent post on "  "Vampire therapy"  experiments on using transfusions of fresh young blood to rejuvenate oldsters. (These "oldsters" are mice. But maybe before long . .  . who knows?)

And another related link on experiments in Sweden on "rejuvenating the blood of mice by reversing, or reprogramming, the stem cells that produce blood."  This from the Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence News.


We need new blood! 'Vampire therapy' could reverse aging, scientists find

"It may seem the stuff of gothic horror novels, but transfusions of young blood could reverse the ageing process and even cure Alzheimer's Disease, scientists believe." -- This the lead item in an article by Sarah Knapton in London's Daily Telegraph. (I used the spelling 'ageing' there, as such is the British way.)  

By the way, I misspelled Sarah Knapton's name in a previous version of this post. Sorry.

Now, before going on, let me say that the experiments so far have only been done on mice, not humans.  

Also, these experiments havebeen done, not in a spooky castle in Transylvania, but rather at Harvard and Stanford. (Does that make the idea less spooky?)

The research, primarily reported in the journal Science, involved eight blood transfusions over a three-week period.

Here's the link to that Daily Telegraph article

Now what they are doing with this finding in the (fictional) Hauenfelder Clinic in the remote mounntains of a certain Eastern European dictatorship I have no idea. (FYI: that Hauenfelder Clinic is the setting for my science technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH.  Not to worry, this is not a plot spoiler: I can tell you they don't use Vampire Therapy there . . . at least not yet!  But they do lots of other thing that push the limits of medical ethics  under the guise of  questing for eternal youth and human immortality for the chosen few!  The Hauenfelder Clinic is, one might say, a Jurassic Park for rich old guys who want to stick around . . . forever.)


"Scientists get closer to rejuvenating aging muscles"-- Health Day News

Rejuvenating  aging muscles -- I was really feeling the need for something like that this weekend in the course of my first-ever kayaking trip.  I felt my age then . . . NO, correction! I felt my age twice over.  But good news-- no after-effects the next day.

Which leads into an article I came upon, "Scientists get closer to rejuvenating aging muscles" by Mary Elizabeth Dallas, in Health Day News (which I had never run across before).

The report is on a study conducted at Stanford's Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology.  The study takes a very different approach than the fictional lab in my technothriller A REMEDY FOR DEATH, but I thought you'd find it of interest.

One thing struck me: "the muscle stem cells in 2-year old mice are the equivalent of those found in 80-year old humans." Implication: maybe there's a market for canes and walkers for old mice!  

Seriously, the process involves taking muscle stem cells from the oldsters (only mice, so far) and treat them in a certain way, then reimplanting in those muscle groups.  Two months later, those muscles were essentiall equivalent to those of young, uninjured mice.

Link to the article "Scientists get closer to rejuvenating aging muscles"


"The Race for Immortality"-- article in Slate

I came on still another article about the new drive on anti-aging and the quest for human immortality funded and directed by some of the rich guys at Google. Slate terms it "the race for immortality."  Subtitle: "Ray Kurzweil thinks we can stay one step ahead of death."   Link to the Slate article

The article in Slate is by Will Oremus, and joins other articles we've referenced here, which I'll link to below.

My context for interest in articles on the quest for immortality flows from my techno-thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH.  The book is done and out in the world, but I'm still keeping up with the literature.

In a nutshell, A REMEDY FOR DEATH is about a kind of Jurassic Park for rich old guys . . . and about the unforeseen consquences that flow.  (More info on A REMEDY FOR DEATH.)

One key difference between my approach in A REMEDY FOR DEATH and the main trend covered in these articles: Ray Kurzweil's approach is directed to staying alive long enough to be around for what he terms "the singularity," when we have computers and other devices smart enough to in effect download "us" to the cloud.

Without spoiling the plot, in REMEDY the characters take a more bio-tech approach, including printing out replacement organs (which is actually under way right now in labs around the world); other bioartificial organs and organ fabrication; the use of stem  cells; tissue engineering; and the use of human-animal chimeras.

In both REMEDY and the proposed Kurzweil approach arises the small matter of how do you move "consciousness," or "the soul," or whatever you term it across to the new?

Here are my links and comments on some other recent articles on that theme of a Jurassic Park for rich old guys  (and not so old yet). Topics include anti-aging, reversing aging, human immortality, fear of aging and death, regenerative medicine, eternal youth, eternal life, and the regenerative medicine industry:

Business Insider article, "These Tech Billionaires Are Determined to Buy Their Way Out of Death"

See my previous post "New Google division, along with TIME Magazine, follow trail blazed by technothriller A REMEDY FOR DEATH!"   That will link you to the TIME cover story on Calico, a new division or subsidiary, of Google. Calico is exploring much the same issues as in my technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH.

 See also Adam Gollner's article in the Daily Bookbeast, "The Immortality Financiers: The Billionaires Who Want to Live Forever"


"Meet the Google executive who plans to cheat death: Ray Kurzweil"-- article in London DAILY MAIL

TIME Magazine ran a cover story a few weeks ago , which we covered here in the post: New Google division, along with TIME Magazine, follow trail blazed by technothriller A REMEDY FOR DEATH!

Now London's DAILY MAIL  has an article on one of those Google executives, futurist Ray Kurzweil, who joined Google a few months.  His aim, it seems,  is to hold his existing body together long enough for robots and computers to be developed to provide a surrogate kind of life.

From the DAILY MAIL article by a writer named "Daily Mail Reporter." (Guess his folks gave him a really unique name, or he's one of the robots Kurzweil is thinking of!)  Anyway:

"Kurzweil says he hopes the supplements will keep him healthy enough to reach the 'nanotech revolution'.

"'I can never say, “I’ve done it, I’ve lived forever,” because it’s never forever,' he said.

"'We’re really talking about being on a path that will get us to the next point."

 For more on the same topic. see my post here, "Tech billionaires determined to buy their way out of death"

See also  my post here, "Google and a brief history of immortality", which links to a video by TIME Magazine


"Tech billionaires determined to buy their way out of death"--UPDATE

Seems another instance of fact following (my) techno-fiction. My science techo-thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH, centers around a conspiracy of the elite, a secretive cabal of the rich, powerful and politically-connected, that is funding an analogue to Michael Crichton's JURASSIC PARK . . . to recreate themselves, and hence gain the chance to go around again in life, as one of them put it, in "healthy, horny 21-year old bodies complete with all our accumulated savvy from this lifetime."

But that's no longer just some wacko author's fantasy: Check out the Business Insider article, "These Tech Billionaires Are Determined to Buy Their Way Out of Death"

And see my previous post "New Google division, along with TIME Magazine, follow trail blazed by technothriller A REMEDY FOR DEATH!"   That will link you to the TIME cover story on Calico, a new division or subsidiary, of Google. Calico is exploring much the same issues as in my technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH. (But, hey, let's face it: they've got a bigger budget!)

 Seems the same mindset as in my book.  Want more proof? Check out Adam Gollner's article in the Daily Bookbeast, "The Immortality Financiers: The Billionaires Who Want to Live Forever"

Incidentally, that article quotes Global Industry Analysts, which suggests that "the anti-aging industry generates more than $80 billion per year." I expect that includes aging lotions and potions, and not just regenerative medicine. TIME estimates the regenerative medicine industry is now about $1.5 billion annually. likely to grow to $20 billion by 2025.

Implication: if these billionaires' investment pays off as they hope, then they get to live again and again.  Or, worst case, it doesn't work for them, but odds are it will be a profitable niche with good payback for their investment. But they can't take it with them.

Or can they? In my A REMEDY FOR DEATH, the crusty old media billionaire, at a drunken dinner, shouts out "If I can't take it with me, then hell no, I won't go!"  (Not to spoil the plot, but at about the point he says "hell no" all hell does break out there.)

BTW, Adam Gollner has recently published THE BOOK OF IMMORTALITY.  i'll look for a copy and report back here.  It's straight reporting, not a techn-thriller.


"Google and a brief history of immortality"-- TIME video

In a previous post -- "New Google division, along with TIME Magazine, follow trail blazed by technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH"    ( link  ) I referenced a TIME article. on Calico, Google's new enterprise to explore anti-aging, life extension, and slowing or reversing the aging process.

I hadn't noticed at the time that TIME has also posted a short (about 2 minute) video "Google and the Brief History of Immortality," ( link )  which is interesting in itself. (The video follows a few paragraphs of text)

Some figures I had not seen: last year, the regenerative medicine industry was estimated at $1.5 billion, which is expected to grow to $20 billion by 2025.

I also saw today, but doggone can't find where, that Google's research budget is bigger than that of the US government's DARPA--the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.

 

Linked to the article I commented on     is this short vid


New Google division, along with TIME Magazine, follow trail blazed by technothriller A REMEDY FOR DEATH!

"New Google division, along with TIME Magazine, follow trail blazed by technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH" 

Really? I have no way of knowing if Googlers or Timers have actually read A REMEDY FOR DEATH, but that does make a good headline . . . and makes the point that it's not just wacko writers of technothrillers who are exploring the possibilities of life extension, anti-aging methods, regenerative medicine, and the implications of a quest for human immortality.

And is it just a coincidence that the TIME cover -- Can Google Solve Death?-- even echoes the title of A Remedy for Death, even to the use of color changes in fonts? (TIME is lacking the butterfly emblem of REMEDY, as in, "What a caterpillar calls death we call a butterfly")

A REMEDY COVER white 3 w black border 7-19 Time cover-Google+Death


Well, no, seriously I don't believe that TIME has been listening into my computer (though I'm not so sure about Google . .  . but, if so, Google would only do so to help me. Of course. As would the NSA!))

Anyway, what TIME reports is this: Google, ever exploring new possibilities, has set up a company called Calico, with the aim of perhaps finding a way to defeat death itself.  Then this from TIME:

The unavoidable question this raises is why a company built on finding information and serving ads next to it is spending untold amounts on a project that flies in the face of the basic fact of the human condition, the existential certainty of aging and death. To which the unavoidable answer is another : Who the hell else is going to do it?

 It's early still, but what TIME gathered is that the Google/Calico approach will likely involve data collection and crunching rather than brewing up new potions. Which makes sense:

Medicine is well on its way to becoming an information science: doctors and researchers are now able to harvest and mine massive quantities of data from patients. And Google is very, very good with large data sets. While the company is holding its cards about Calico close to the vest, expect it to use its core data-handling skills to shed new light on familiar age-related maladies.

 The article also reminded that. . .

The idea of treating aging as a disease rather than a mere fact of life is an old one--at least as a fantasy. And as a science? The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine has been around since 1992, but the discipline it represents has yet to gain much of a foothold in mainstream medicine. Research has been slow to generate results. Consider Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Mass., company built around a promising drug called SRT501, a proprietary form of resveratrol, the substance found in red wine and once believed to have anti-aging properties. In 2008, GlaxoSmithKline snapped up Sirtris for $720 million. By 2010, with no marketable drug in sight and challenges to existing resveratrol research, GlaxoSmithKline shut down trials. Other anti-aging initiatives exist purely as nonprofits with no immediate plans

Read more: http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2152422,00.html#ixzz2fMq3cHhF

 It seems Calico will be centered around thet Googleplex in California, a much less secretive and less spooky spot than the remote mountain location in the middle Europe dictatorship where the Hauenfelder Clinic of A REMEDY FOR DEATH is situated.

Of course, the Hauenfelder Clinic is fictional, part of a technothriller, but doggone, it does seem that fact is beginning to follow that piece of fiction.

For another take on TIME and GOOGLE and the quest for immortality, see:

http://valleywag.gawker.com/time-magazine-wonders-if-google-can-solve-death-ques-1342379627

Also, valleywag.gawker.com posted this related item not long ago: "Billionaires will disrupt death if it's the last thing they do."  Seems it makes some billionaires really angry to think they might die! Poor guys! (To quote billionaire Parsons Coulter from my A REMEDY FOR DEATH: "If I can't take it with me, then hell no, I won't go!")   Here's the link to that article:

http://valleywag.gawker.com/billionaires-will-disrupt-death-if-its-the-last-thing-1183186314