Archive for the ‘Life extension’ tag: Page 13

Jun 22, 2013

Extreme Lifespans via Exposure to Information

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

It may be possible one day to use effective biotechnological therapies in order to achieve extreme lifespans. In the meantime, instead of just waiting for these therapies, it may be more fruitful to live a life of constant stimulation, hyper-connection and avoidance of regularity. This is something that everybody can do today, and may have a direct impact upon radical life extension, not only for the individual but also for society.

For some time now I have been advocating the notion that exposure to meaningful information may be one way of achieving radical life extension. By meaningful information I mean anything that requires action, and not just feeding your brain with routine sets of data. Examples of this include being hyper-connected in a digital world, an enriched environment (both in the personal space and in society as a whole), a hormetic lifestyle, behavioural models such as a goal-seeking behaviour, search for excellence, and a bias for action, as well as the pursuit innovation, diversification, creativity and novelty. Most importantly, the avoidance of routine and mediocrity.

This information-rich lifestyle up-regulates the function of the brain and may have an impact upon cell immortalisation. In my latest paper ( I provide an explanation of the exact mechanisms. I argue that the relentless exposure to useful information creates new and persisting demands for energy resources in order for this information to be assimilated by the neurons. If this process continues for some time, there will come a point where our biological mechanisms will undergo a phase transition, in effect creating a new biology. Not one based on sex and reproduction but one based on information and somatic survival.

One possible mechanism involves the immortalisation sequences of germ cells. As we know, the DNA in germ cells is essentially immortal because it is somehow able to repair age-related damage effectively. Recent research shows that some of these immortalisation mechanisms do not originate from the germ cells but from the somatic cells! In other words, our bodily cells create biological material such as error-free sequences of DNA and instead of using this themselves for their own survival, they pass it on to the germ cells to assure the survival of the species. This means that the germ-line remains immortal whereas the bodily cells eventually age and die.

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Jun 10, 2013

Intimations of Imitations: Visions of Cellular Prosthesis & Functionally-Restorative Medicine

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, chemistry, engineering, futurism, life extension, nanotechnology, neuroscience

In this essay I argue that technologies and techniques used and developed in the fields of Synthetic Ion Channels and Ion Channel Reconstitution, which have emerged from the fields of supramolecular chemistry and bio-organic chemistry throughout the past 4 decades, can be applied towards the purpose of gradual cellular (and particularly neuronal) replacement to create a new interdisciplinary field that applies such techniques and technologies towards the goal of the indefinite functional restoration of cellular mechanisms and systems, as opposed to their current proposed use of aiding in the elucidation of cellular mechanisms and their underlying principles, and as biosensors.

In earlier essays (see here and here) I identified approaches to the synthesis of non-biological functional equivalents of neuronal components (i.e. ion-channels ion-pumps and membrane sections) and their sectional integration with the existing biological neuron — a sort of “physical” emulation if you will. It has only recently come to my attention that there is an existing field emerging from supramolecular and bio-organic chemistry centered around the design, synthesis, and incorporation/integration of both synthetic/artificial ion channels and artificial bilipid membranes (i.e. lipid bilayer). The potential uses for such channels commonly listed in the literature have nothing to do with life-extension however, and the field is to my knowledge yet to envision the use of replacing our existing neuronal components as they degrade (or before they are able to), rather seeing such uses as aiding in the elucidation of cellular operations and mechanisms and as biosensors. I argue here that the very technologies and techniques that constitute the field (Synthetic Ion-Channels & Ion-Channel/Membrane Reconstitution) can be used towards the purpose of the indefinite-longevity and life-extension through the iterative replacement of cellular constituents (particularly the components comprising our neurons – ion-channels, ion-pumps, sections of bi-lipid membrane, etc.) so as to negate the molecular degradation they would have otherwise eventually undergone.

While I envisioned an electro-mechanical-systems approach in my earlier essays, the field of Synthetic Ion-Channels from the start in the early 70’s applied a molecular approach to the problem of designing molecular systems that produce certain functions according to their chemical composition or structure. Note that this approach corresponds to (or can be categorized under) the passive-physicalist sub-approach of the physicalist-functionalist approach (the broad approach overlying all varieties of physically-embodied, “prosthetic” neuronal functional replication) identified in an earlier essay.

The field of synthetic ion channels is also referred to as ion-channel reconstitution, which designates “the solubilization of the membrane, the isolation of the channel protein from the other membrane constituents and the reintroduction of that protein into some form of artificial membrane system that facilitates the measurement of channel function,” and more broadly denotes “the [general] study of ion channel function and can be used to describe the incorporation of intact membrane vesicles, including the protein of interest, into artificial membrane systems that allow the properties of the channel to be investigated” [1]. The field has been active since the 1970s, with experimental successes in the incorporation of functioning synthetic ion channels into biological bilipid membranes and artificial membranes dissimilar in molecular composition and structure to biological analogues underlying supramolecular interactions, ion selectivity and permeability throughout the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s. The relevant literature suggests that their proposed use has thus far been limited to the elucidation of ion-channel function and operation, the investigation of their functional and biophysical properties, and in lesser degree for the purpose of “in-vitro sensing devices to detect the presence of physiologically-active substances including antiseptics, antibiotics, neurotransmitters, and others” through the “… transduction of bioelectrical and biochemical events into measurable electrical signals” [2].

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Jun 7, 2013

Methuselah Foundation Just Donated $5,000 to L. Stephen Coles Fundraiser — Please Support This Campaign To Save A Life

Posted by in category: life extension

UPDATE: A generous contribution of $5,000 from the Methuselah Foundation has been received! This will put the fundraiser over the top of the cost and pay for the advanced Champions Oncology treatment described below.

However, Dr. Coles still has other medical expenses outstanding, and more will be coming in.

To cover these as well as Dr. Coles’s many other personal expenses, the fundraiser will now have an extended timeframe and the limit has been raised to $20,000.

We are currently at $13,385 of our 20,000 goal! Help us make it all the way!

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Jun 3, 2013

Stephen L. Coles is DYING and NEEDS your Help!

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

*** PLEASE alert your friends—Our own continued health and longevity may depend on Steve continuing his work.***

This call for support was also posted by Ilia Stambler on the Longevity Alliance Website, and organized on by John M. Adams. Eric Schulke has also helped tremendously in spreading the word about the Fundraiser.

Since founding the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group in 1990, Dr. L. Stephen Coles M.D., Ph.D., has worked tirelessly to develop new ways to slow and ultimately reverse human aging.

Everyone active in the LA-GRG or the Worldwide GRG Discussion Group have benefited from his expertise. His continual reporting of news about the latest developments to the List and his work in areas such as gathering blood samples for a complete genome analysis of the oldest people in the world (supercentenarians, aged 110+) is ground breaking and far ahead of anything that has ever been accomplished before. Publication of this work is expected in collaboration with Stanford University before the end of the year. Other accomplishments are equally notable

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Jun 1, 2013

Longevity’s Bottleneck May Be Funding, But Funding’s Bottleneck is Advocacy & Activism

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, human trajectories, life extension, policy

The following article was originally published by Immortal Life

When asked what the biggest bottleneck for Radical or Indefinite Longevity is, most thinkers say funding. Some say the biggest bottleneck is breakthroughs and others say it’s our way of approaching the problem (i.e. that we’re seeking healthy life extension whereas we should be seeking more comprehensive methods of indefinite life-extension), but the majority seem to feel that what is really needed is adequate funding to plug away at developing and experimentally-verifying the various, sometimes mutually-exclusive technologies and methodologies that have already been proposed. I claim that Radical Longevity’s biggest bottleneck is not funding, but advocacy.

This is because the final objective of increased funding for Radical Longevity and Life Extension research can be more effectively and efficiently achieved through public advocacy for Radical Life Extension than it can by direct funding or direct research, per unit of time or effort. Research and development obviously still need to be done, but an increase in researchers needs an increase in funding, and an increase in funding needs an increase in the public perception of RLE’s feasibility and desirability.

There is no definitive timespan that it will take to achieve indefinitely-extended life. How long it takes to achieve Radical Longevity is determined by how hard we work at it and how much effort we put into it. More effort means that it will be achieved sooner. And by and large, an increase in effort can be best achieved by an increase in funding, and an increase in funding can be best achieved by an increase in public advocacy. You will likely accelerate the development of Indefinitely-Extended Life, per unit of time or effort, by advocating the desirability, ethicacy and technical feasibility of longer life than you will by doing direct research, or by working towards the objective of directly contributing funds to RLE projects and research initiatives. (more…)

May 28, 2013

4 ways Google Glass makes us Transhuman

Posted by in categories: evolution, futurism, media & arts, philosophy, robotics/AI, singularity


Transhumanism is all about the creative and ethical use of technology to better the human condition. Futurists, when discussing topics related to transhumanism, tend to look at nano-tech, bio-mechanical augmentation and related technology that, for the most part, is beyond the comprehension of lay-people.

If Transhumanism as a movement is to succeed, we have to explain it’s goals and benefits to humanity by addressing the common-man. After all, transhumanism is not the exclusive domain, nor restricted to the literati, academia or the rich. The more the common man realizes that (s)he is indeed already transhuman in a way — the lesser the taboo associated with the movement and the faster the law of accelerating returns will kick in, leading to eventual Tech Singularity.

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May 25, 2013

“Radical Life Extension: Are You Ready to Live 1,000 Years?” — Public Speaking Event in Washington D.C. 09/13

Posted by in categories: events, life extension


Immortal Life is presenting a public event in Washington D.C., titled “Radical Life Extension: are you ready to live 1,000 years?”

It will take place in the historic Friends Meeting House on September 22 (Sunday). The event will be from 5:30–7:30.

We will have 10–12 speakers discussing Immortality / Life Extension from a wide variety of perspectives: scientific, political, social, poetic, religious, atheistic, economic, demographic, moral, etc.

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May 24, 2013

Dirrogate Singularity — A Transhumanism Journey

Posted by in categories: ethics, evolution, futurism, homo sapiens, media & arts, philosophy, robotics/AI, singularity


A widely accepted definition of Transhumanism is: The ethical use of all kinds of technology for the betterment of the human condition.

This all encompassing summation is a good start as an elevator pitch to laypersons, were they to ask for an explanation. Practitioners and contributors to the movement, of course, know how to branch this out into specific streams: science, philosophy, politics and more.

- This article was originally published on

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Apr 12, 2013

Killing Deathist Cliches: “Death Gives Meaning to Life” is Meaningless!

Posted by in categories: ethics, life extension, philosophy

Le Petit Trépas

One common argument against Radical Life Extension is that a definitive limit to one’s life – that is, death – provides some essential baseline reference, and that it is only in contrast to this limiting factor that life has any meaning at all. In this article I refute the argument’s underlying premises, and then argue that even if such premises were taken as true, its conclusion – that eradicating death would negate the “limiting factor” that legitimizes life — is also invalid.

Death gives meaning to life? No! Death makes life meaningless!

One version of the argument, which I’ve come across in a variety of places, is given in Brian Cooney’s Posthuman, an introductory philosophical text that uses various futurist scenarios and concepts to illustrate the broad currents of Western Philosophy. Towards the end he makes his argument against immortality, claiming that if we had all the time in the universe to do what we wanted, then we wouldn’t do anything at all. Essentially, his argument boils down to ‘if there is no possibility of not being able to do something in the future, then why would we ever do it?”.

This assumes that we make actions on the basis of not being able to do them again. But people don’t make decisions this way. We didn’t go out to dinner because the restaurant was closing down… we went out for dinner because we wanted to go out for dinner… I think that Cooney’s version of the argument is naïve. We don’t make the majority of our decisions by contrasting an action to the possibility of not being able to do it in future.

His argument seems to be that if there were infinite time then we would have no way of prioritizing our actions. If we had a list of all possible actions set before us, and time were limitless, we might (according to his logic) accomplish all the small, negligible things first, because they’re easier and all the hard things can wait. If we had all the time in the world, we would have no reference point with which to judge how important a given action or objective is, which ones it is most important to get done, and which ones should get done in the place of other possibilities. If we really can do every single thing on that listless list, then why bother, if each is as important as every other? In his line-of-reasoning, importance requires scarcity. If we can do everything it were possible to do, then there is nothing that determines one thing as being more important than another. A useful analogy might be that current economic definitions of value require scarcity. If everything were as abundant as everything else, if nothing were scarce, then we would have no way of ascribing economic value to a given thing, such that one thing has more economic value than another. What we sometimes forget is that ecologies aren’t always like economies.

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Apr 11, 2013

The Life Extension Hubris: Why biotechnology is unlikely to be the answer to ageing

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, evolution, futurism, homo sapiens, life extension

It is often said that empiricism is one of the most useful concepts in epistemology. Empiricism emphasises the role of experience acquired through one’s own senses and perceptions, and is contrary to, say, idealism where concepts are not derived from experience, but based on ideals.

In the case of radical life extension, there is a tendency to an ‘idealistic trance’ where people blindly expect practical biotechnological developments to be available and applied to the public at large within a few years. More importantly, idealists expect these treatments or therapies to actually be effective and to have a direct and measurable effect upon radical life extension. Here, by ‘radical life extension’ I refer not to healthy longevity (a healthy life until the age of 100–120 years) but to an indefinite lifespan where the rate of age-related mortality is trivial.

Let me mention two empirical examples based on experience and facts:

1. When a technological development depends on technology alone, its progress is often dramatic and exponential.

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