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Archive for the ‘life extension’ category: Page 572

Oct 17, 2014

Alchemy vs Networks: The cure for ageing will come — but it will not be something physical

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, complex systems, evolution, life extension, transhumanism

Since ancient times people have been searching for the secret of immortality. Their quest has always been, without exception, about a physical item: a fountain, an elixir, an Alchemist’s remedy, a chalice, a pill, an injection of stem cells or a vial containing gene-repairing material. It has never been about an abstract concept.

Our inability to find a physical cure for ageing is explained by a simple fact: We cannot find it because it does not exist. It will never exist.

Those who believe that someday some guy is going to discover a pill or a remedy and give it to people so that we will all live forever are, regrettably, deluded.

I should highlight here that I refer to a cure for the ageing process in general, and not a cure for a specific medical disease. Biotechnology and other physical therapies are useful in alleviating many diseases and ailments, but these therapies will not be the answer to the basic biological process of ageing.

Continue reading “Alchemy vs Networks: The cure for ageing will come — but it will not be something physical” »

Oct 13, 2014

2014 Longevity and Genetics Conference – Keynote Aubrey de Grey

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, DNA, events, genetics, life extension, science

Western Canada’s most futurist-oriented longevity organization, the Lifespan Society of British Columbia, has organized a first-class life extension conference, which will take place later this fall in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The Longevity and Genetics Conference 2014 offers a full-day of expert presentations, made accessible to a general audience, with keynote on the latest developments in biorejuvination by Aubrey de Grey of SENS Research Foundation. The conference will be interactive, with a panel session for audience questions, and VIP options for further interaction with speakers.

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Aubrey de Grey

Who will be there? In addition to Aubrey de Grey, there are four other speakers confirmed thus far: Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson, Head of Cancer Genetics at the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at the BC Cancer Agency, Dr. S. Jay Olshansky, Board of Directors of the American Federation of Aging Research, and co-author of The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging, Dr. Clinton Mielke, former Mayo Clinic researcher and founder of the quantified self platform “infino.me”, and lastly, one of futurism’s most experienced and dedicated radical longevity advocates, Benjamin Best, who is currently Director of Research Oversight at the Life Extension Foundation. This conference is a multi-disciplinary event, engaging several points of interest and relevance in the longevity space, from the cellular, genetic science of aging, to the latest epidemiological and even demographic research. You can also expect discussion on personalized medicine and quantified self technologies, as well as big picture, sociological and philosophical, longevity-specific topics.

All around, the 2014 Longevity and Genetics conference, set to take place Saturday November 15, has a lot to offer, as does the host city of Vancouver. A recent study has indicated that a majority of Canadians, 59%, are in favor of life extension technology, with 47% expecting that science and technology will enable living until 120 by 2050. The Lifespan Society of British Columbia is keeping that momentum and enthusiasm alive and growing, and I’m glad they have organized such a high-calliber event. Tickets are currently still available. Learn more about the event and purchase tickets here.

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Vancouver B.C.

Oct 3, 2014

What if your memories could live past your mortal shelf life?

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, futurism, innovation, life extension, posthumanism, singularity, transhumanism

Would you have your brain preserved? Do you believe your brain is the essence of you?

To noted American PhD Neuroscientist and Futurist, Ken Hayworth, the answer is an emphatic, “Yes.” He is currently developing machines and techniques to map brain tissue at the nanometer scale — the key to encoding our individual identities.

A self-described transhumanist and President of the Brain Preservation Foundation, Hayworth’s goal is to perfect existing preservation techniques, like cryonics, as well as explore and push evolving opportunities to effect a change on the status quo. Currently there is no brain preservation option that offers systematic, scientific evidence as to how much human brain tissue is actually preserved when undergoing today’s experimental preservation methods. Such methods include vitrification, the procedure used in cryonics to try and prevent human organs from freezing and being destroyed when tissue is cooled for cryopreservation.

Hayworth believes we can achieve his vision of preserving an entire human brain at an accepted and proven standard within the next decade. If Hayworth is right, is there a countdown to immortality?

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Oct 1, 2014

The Abolition of Medicine as a Goal for Humanity 2.0

Posted by in categories: biological, bionic, biotech/medical, ethics, futurism, genetics, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, philosophy, policy, transhumanism

What follows is my position piece for London’s FutureFest 2013, the website for which no longer exists.

Medicine is a very ancient practice. In fact, it is so ancient that it may have become obsolete. Medicine aims to restore the mind and body to their natural state relative to an individual’s stage in the life cycle. The idea has been to live as well as possible but also die well when the time came. The sense of what is ‘natural’ was tied to statistically normal ways of living in particular cultures. Past conceptions of health dictated future medical practice. In this respect, medical practitioners may have been wise but they certainly were not progressive.

However, this began to change in the mid-19th century when the great medical experimenter, Claude Bernard, began to champion the idea that medicine should be about the indefinite delaying, if not outright overcoming, of death. Bernard saw organisms as perpetual motion machines in an endless struggle to bring order to an environment that always threatens to consume them. That ‘order’ consists in sustaining the conditions needed to maintain an organism’s indefinite existence. Toward this end, Bernard enthusiastically used animals as living laboratories for testing his various hypotheses.

Historians identify Bernard’s sensibility with the advent of ‘modern medicine’, an increasingly high-tech and aspirational enterprise, dedicated to extending the full panoply of human capacities indefinitely. On this view, scientific training trumps practitioner experience, radically invasive and reconstructive procedures become the norm, and death on a physician’s watch is taken to be the ultimate failure. Humanity 2.0 takes this way of thinking to the next level, which involves the abolition of medicine itself. But what exactly would that mean – and what would replace it?

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Sep 10, 2014

“Immortal” Cells from Henrietta Lacks Lead to Updated Rules on Genomic Data Sharing

Posted by in category: life extension

By Richard Van Noorden and Nature magazine — Scientific American

Scientists who work on genomics and are funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) must post their data online so that others can build on the information, the agency has said in an update to its guidelines.

The change, which expands the remit of an earlier data-sharing policy, is not expected to drastically alter research practices — many genomics researchers are accustomed to sharing their data. But the latest policy, released on 27 August, gives clearer instructions for gaining the informed consent of study participants. The NIH will now require researchers to tell study participants that their data may be broadly shared for future research.

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Sep 2, 2014

Virtually Human, by Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D.

Posted by in categories: life extension, transhumanism

In Virtually Human, you’ll have the privilege of meeting Bina48, the world’s most sentient robot, commissioned by Martine Rothblatt and created by Hanson Robotics. Bina48 is a nascent Mindclone of Martine’s wife that can engage in conversation, answer questions, and even have spontaneous thoughts that are derived from multimedia data in a Mindfile created by the real Bina (be sure to check her out on Twitter too – @iBina48!).

If you’re personally active on Twitter or Facebook, share photos through Instagram, or blog regularly, you’re also already on your way to creating a Mindfile – a digital database of your thoughts, memories, feelings, and opinions. And soon, this Mindfile can be made conscious with special software—Mindware—that mimics the way human brains organize information, create emotions and achieve self-awareness. Virtually Human is the only book to examine the ethical issues relating to cyberconsciousness and Rothblatt, with a Ph.D. in medical ethics, is uniquely qualified to lead the dialogue. On sale Sept 9th, I wanted to be sure everyone at Lifeboat knew about it, and you can pre-order your copy today: http://smarturl.it/vhaz and http://smarturl.it/bnVh.

Aug 18, 2014

Against the Biological Clock — A Gameplan to End Age-Related Diseases

Posted by in category: life extension

Written By: — Singularity Hub
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To Aubrey de Grey, the body is a machine. Just as a restored classic car can celebrate its hundredth birthday in peak condition, in the future, we’ll maintain our bodies’ cellular components to stave off the diseases of old age and live longer, healthier lives.

Dr. de Grey is cofounder and Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation and faculty at Singularity University’s November Exponential Medicine conference—an event exploring the healthcare impact of technologies like low-cost genomic sequencing, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, gene therapy, and more.

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Aug 2, 2014

Can Compounds in Young Blood Fix Aging?

Posted by in category: life extension

By Susan Young Rojahn — MIT Technology Review

Researchers and investors are already dreaming up ways to devise medical treatments based on the near-fantastical findings that the blood of young mice can rejuvenate older mice. In some cases, a single protein found circulating in the blood is sufficient to restore muscle tissue and improve brain activity.

The excitement is spurred by three newly published studies that showed that components of blood from young mice were able to repair damage and improve the function of the muscles and brains of older mice. Previous work from one of the research teams involved has also shown that a specific component of young blood can repair the damaged hearts of older mice.

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Jul 12, 2014

Online anonymity, privacy, and longevity

Posted by in categories: life extension, privacy

Or: Relinquish your privacy if you want to live longer

At first, it may appear strange to suggest that living longer has something to do with using pseudonyms online. However, it is true. I am suggesting that people who are well known online, those who are hyper-connected, and those who facilitate others to have access to relevant and meaningful information, are more likely to live longer.

It works like this: Humans are continually evolving and adapting to their environment. Our current environment is one of technology, digital communication, intense information-sharing and hyper-connection. Within this society we are exposed to vast amounts of both trivial and relevant information, which reaches our brain and may alter our basic biology causing a series of beneficial cellular and molecular changes which promote healthy lifespan (http://benthamscience.com/journal/abstracts.php?journalID=ca...=122290").

Looking at this from a different perspective, it is known that agents which are useful to the collective are retained longer within the system (http://xxx.tau.ac.il/abs/1402.6910). This can be true of any agent (i.e. any autonomous actor) such as a computer node, a human neuron, or an entire human. In this case, humans are digitally connected to other humans within a higher entity called the Global Brain (http://hplusmagazine.com/2011/03/16/francis-heylighen-on-the…l-brain/). The more well-connected you are, and the more useful you are to the evolution of the Global Brain, the more likely it is that you will be retained by the system, i.e. you will live longer within this system.

Continue reading “Online anonymity, privacy, and longevity” »

Jul 1, 2014

The Immortalists: New doc explores the radical life extension movement

Posted by in category: life extension

By — Geek

immortalists head

What if you knew of the greatest tragedy in human history, one that’s been ongoing since the dawn of life itself, and what if nobody would even believe that it was happening? That seems to be the situation for people like Bill Andrews and Aubrey de Gray, biologists and life extension theorists who believe (loudly) that human beings have the capacity to end the process of aging. Under this way of thinking, the people alive today are racing against a clock they cannot see; if mankind advances far enough, quick enough, you might just live forever.

A new documentary called The Immortalists is making its way from festivals to wider distribution, picking up cred as it goes. The two aforementioned scientists are the topic of this focused argumentative piece, which sets out to show you the life extension movement and two of its most successful exponents. They take you through the science and philosophy of death, and you may be surprised at just how close we really are to radically extending the human lifespan — if you can pay for a full court press of treatments and procedures. There’s a definite Occupy vibe to much of the life extension crowd, which follows rather logically from the idea that more and more people are going to be around and consuming resources for longer and longer periods of time.

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