Author's research blog for the medical science techno-thriller A REMEDY FOR DEATH

REMEDY new FRONT BLACK May 28 2014

It's said that we only go around once in life . . . at least that's the way it's always been.

But what if? What if the terms of life have changed . . . for an elite, self-selected few?

What if today's emerging bio-tech and regenerative medical technologies—including the ability to regrow and implant body parts and organs—offer the chance for another whole go-round in life to a select, secretive few . . . a chance to come back, as one of them puts it, into “healthy, horny 21-year old bodies complete with all our accumulated savvy from this lifetime”?

A REMEDY FOR DEATH–Frankenstein and eternal youth in the age of bio-tech, tissue engineering, cloning, and regenerative medicine.

What if the project is almost successful . . . but opens dangerous doors . . . doors that cannot be closed?

 

A REMEDY FOR DEATH is fiction, but based on a great deal of keeping-up with what's happening in the various fields that make up what we know as bio-tech, regenerative medicine, and the role of the human mind. I'll be sharing some of that here on this blog, to which I'll be adding other items that I haven't yet posted  . . . as well as news of discoveries to come.

 

To order A Remedy for Death as ebook or pbook via Amazon

To order as ebook or pbook from other retailers, using universal link

To read sample chapters of A REMEDY FOR DEATH 

To view the book trailer "RADICAL LIFE EXTENSION and A REMEDY FOR DEATH"

 

And  . . . to read my blog posts and other research materials, continue below, or check the sidebars here for "Recent Posts" and "Categories".  Here a few to get you started:

 

Tech titans’ latest: Project Defy Death. Washington Post, page 1 above the fold, April 5, 2015;

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2015/04/04/tech-titans-latest-project-defy-death/#

 

Silicon Valley is trying to make humans immortal—and finding some success.  Newsweek cover story, Mar 15, 2015;

  http://www.newsweek.com/2015/03/13/silicon-valley-trying-make-humans-immortal-and-finding-some-success-311402.html  

 

Google ventures and the search for immortalityBloombergBusiness, March 9, 2015;

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-09/google-ventures-bill-maris-investing-in-idea-of-living-to-500

 

What if aging is nothing but a mind-set?  New York Times Magazine. October 26, 2014;

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/magazine/what-if-age-is-nothing-but-a-mind-set.html?_r=2

 

The Forever Pill. Cover story, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, February 18, 2015;

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2015-02-12/does-a-real-anti-aging-pill-already-exist-

 

Can Google solve death?   Cover story, Time, September 30, 2014

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

 

Live forever: Scientists say they’ll soon extend life “well beyond” 120. The Guardian, January 11, 2015;  http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/11/-sp-live-forever-extend-life-calico-google-longevity

 

Custom organs, printed to order. Nova Next, March 18, 2015.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/body/3d-printed-organs/

 

This baby could live to be 142 years old: Dispatches from the frontiers of longevity. Time, cover story, February 23-March 2 2015

http://backissues.time.com/storefront/2015/this-baby-could-live-to-be-142-years-old/prodTD20150223.html

 

Radical Life Extension getting more mainsteam and getting more funding. NextBigFuture.com, January 11, 2015

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/magazine/what-if-age-is-nothing-but-a-mind-set.html?_r=2

 

 

 


Need a new brain? Why not grow your own?

Well, maybe not quite yet. But work is underway.

In Austria, researchers took both embryonic stem cells (i.e. from human embryos) and adult skin cells, then did some "lab magic" and in about a month the cells grew and self-orgaized into what the researchers termed "brain-like organoids" 3-4mm in size that showed "neural activity".  

Think of it!  A few flakes of skin can become the startings of a human brain. Now that's not to say that these litle bits had consciousness, that's many more steps ahead.

They have survived a year (as of when the article went to publication in the journal Nature,) but have not grown any larger, apparently because at this point there is no blood supply in. (But other research in other labs is focusing on generating bio-artificial  blood vessels.)

This work was reported on in  Britain's New Scientist , BBC News , Washington Post via Reuters , Siongularity Hub  and others .

What about the ethical issues of growing even a tiny  human brain?  The researchers are aware of the issue, and the Austrian team does not want to see larger human brain specimens grown now, as that would be "undesirable."

Gary Marcus, in a New Yorker article, looks at this same research, though taking a much longer look at the implications  of where this kind of work may lead decades or a half-century from now.

 "But we’ll also need to confront immense ethical quandaries. What rights does synthetic brain tissue have? Should a 3-D-printed brain have the right to vote? To an education? To terminate its own life? (Or to not be terminated?) For now, these questions are still just another round of thought experiments. But it’s more likely than ever that such thoughts might some day be held by just another brain in a jar."

Beyond all that, there's still one other big issue: even if we can "grow"  a complete human brain, where is the mind?   That is the biggie we tackle in  my technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH --Playing God with Body, Soul, and Biotech,  . . . though suggesting an approach other than bio-science.