Tag Archives: life extension

Hoping Two Drugs Carry a Side Effect: Longer Life

Sirtris has two drugs in clinical trials. One is being tested against Type 2 diabetes, one of the many diseases of aging that the company’s scientists hope the drugs will avert. With success against just one such disease, the impact on health “could be possibly transformational,” said Dr. Patrick Vallance, head of drug discovery at GlaxoSmithKline.

The new drugs are called sirtuin activators, meaning that they activate an enzyme called sirtuin. The basic theory is that all or most species have an ancient strategy for riding out famines: switch resources from reproduction to tissue maintenance. A healthy diet but with 30 percent fewer calories than usual triggers this reaction in mice and is the one intervention that reliably increases their life span. The mice seem to live longer because they are somehow protected from the usual diseases that kill them.

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Could this be the beginning of a massive tidlewave?

Will life extension follow the same path as solar is doing right now?

Life Extension From Caloric Restriction… In A Pill!

In 2006, Sinclair and National Institute on Aging gerontologist Rafael de Cabo, also a co-author of the Cell Metabolism study, used resveratrol to improve the health and extend the lives of obese mice on high-calorie diets. The latest study involved both obese and normal mice, fed standard, low- and high-calorie fare.

Regardless of mouse weight and diet, resveratrol worked wonders. At two years of age, or the mouse equivalent of senescence, the mice were more coordinated than their non-dosed counterparts. Their bones were thicker and stronger, their eyes free of cataracts, their hearts beating strong. At the cellular level, tissues displayed gene-level changes almost identical to those produced by caloric restriction.

The mitochondria of resveratrol-taking mice also proved healthy. Mitochondrial degeneration has been implicated in a variety of diseases, leading some researchers to believe that heart disease, cancer and dementia — all the so-called diseases of aging — have a common root.

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I can’t believe what’s possible in mice these days.

I’ve seen’em heal from spinal paralysis, get a cure for sickle cell anemia, and more. And now they’re getting longer and healthier life in which they’re allowed to eat all they want.

Makes me wish I was one of them.

Double Your Lifespan with a Drug that Mutates Your Ribosomes

Double Your Lifespan with a Drug that Mutates Your Ribosomes

It’s been known for a while that restricting your diet will increase your lifespan, but now researchers have shown one reason why: Eating less causes your ribosomes (your cells’ protein factories) to mutate. And it’s looking like mutated ribosomes (pictured here) could be one key to life extension. The good news is that you may not have to starve yourself to mutate your ribosomes anymore. Biologists at the University of Washington have managed to induce the life-extending mutation in ribosomes with a drug that doubles the lifespan of yeast cells.

Life Extension Pill Tested In Humans

Longevity Pill Tested in Humans

Sirtris Pharmaceuticals announces that its souped-up version of resveratrol has passed early tests in humans.What if I told you there was a pill that slows aging and allows you to live a healthy life to age 100?

Such a pill may exist right now. It’s being tested in people in very early-stage human clinical trials. Today, the company making the pill, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, announced its findings from preclinical testing in cells and animals, and also from tests conducted on 85 male volunteers this summer.

The verdict: so far, the pill works, although it will be years before we know how well it works, or if it can actually extend the life span of people in the same way that it has bumped up the life span of mice.

Anti Aging Molecule Discovered

Anti-Aging Molecule Discovered

A team of South Korean scientists on Sunday claimed to have created a “cellular fountain of youth,’’ or a small molecule, which enables human cells to avoid aging and dying.

The team, headed by Prof. Kim Tae-kook at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, argued the newly-synthesized molecule, named CGK733, can even make cells younger.

The findings were featured by the Britain-based Nature Chemical Biology online early today and will be printed as a cover story in the journal’s offline edition early next month.

“All cells face an inevitable death as they age. On this path, cells became lethargic and in the end stop dividing but we witnessed that CGK733 can block the process,’’ Kim said.

“We also found the synthetic compound can reverse aging, by revitalizing already-lethargic cells. Theoretically, this can give youth to the elderly via rejuvenating cells,’’ the 41-year-old said.

Kim expected that the CGK733-empowered drugs that keep cells youthful far beyond their normal life span would be commercialized in less than 10 years.

Reading things like this sometimes gives me the impression that significant life extension is closer than you’d think. I’ll bet humanity is going to see a great improvement in public health in the next decade.

And thanks to the recent change of year, the next decade is now only 3 years away. 😉

Kurzweil Predicts Longer, Healthier Life And Immersive Virtual Environments

Reprogramming Biology.

We are developing the tools to reprogram the processes involved in disease and aging, says Ray Kurzweil in his article, “Reprogramming Biology,” in the July 2006 Scientific American and available free in an extended Web version.

He also cites accelerating progress in turning specific genes off by blocking the messenger RNA; adding beneficial genes to patients’ bodies; activating and deactivating enzymes, to increase good cholesterol, for example; regrowing our own cells, tissues and even whole organs; capturing stem cells out of the bloodstream, to create new heart cells, for example; using nanoparticles that recognize and destroy cancer cells; and understanding and even reprogramming the brain.

Kurzweil is also optimistic about radical life extension. “I expect that within 15 years, we’ll be adding more than a year each year to remaining life expectancy. So my advice is: take care of yourself the old-fashioned way for a while longer and you may get to experience the remarkable century ahead.”

The New Human.

By 2020, virtual reality will allow for a full-immersion sensual encounter involving all five senses, says Ray Kurzweil in “The New Human,” an interview in the July 2005 issue of Playboy.

“You’ll feel as though you’re really with that person…. The whole idea of what it means to have a sexual relationship will be different.

“Computers used to be remote: now they’re in our pockets,” says Kurzweil. Next, they’ll make their way into our clothing, our body, and our brain. “You can’t point to a single organ for which we haven’t made enhancements or started work on them.” The latest FDA-approved neural implant even allows you to “upload software from outside the patient.

Ray Kurzweil has been making predictions for a long time now. So far, he just keeps on being right. He’s got a good track record.

His models, which are basically exponential extrapolations of technologies, seem to be quite reliable when it comes to looking into the future. That’s why I choose to take him seriously.

Life Extension In The Mainstream Again

The mainstream media is starting to catch on: our lives will be extended in the coming decades.

The more people accept the idea of holding the grim reaper at bay, the better. If the life extension meme becomes mainstream, more money is likely to flow into life extension-related research.

It used to be thought there was some built-in limit on life span, but a group of scientists meeting at Oxford University for a conference on life extension and enhancement consigned that idea to the trash can.

Paul Hodge, director of the Harvard Generations Policy Program, said governments around the world — struggling with pension crises, graying work forces and rising health-care costs — had to face up to the challenge now.

“Life expectancy is going to grow significantly, and current policies are going to be proven totally inadequate,” he predicted.

Just how far and fast life expectancy will increase is open to debate, but the direction and the accelerating trend is clear.

Aubrey de Grey, a biomedical gerontologist from Cambridge University, goes much further. He believes the first person to live to 1,000 has already been born and told the meeting that periodic repairs to the body using stem cells, gene therapy and other techniques could eventually stop the aging process entirely.

De Grey argues that if each repair lasts 30 or 40 years, science will advance enough by the next “service” date that death can be put off indefinitely — a process he calls strategies for engineered negligible senescence.

Anti Aging Breakthroughs May Add 25 Years To Life

It looks like the mainstream media is catching on to idea of dramatic life extension:

Imagine living to age 50 sans wrinkles, without relinquishing any youthful gaiety, to maybe even see your great-granddaughter’s high school education. Sounds implausible, but science is working on it.

Recent research is beginning to reveal anti-aging technologies which could prolong life-spans a full 25 years.

The War On Aging

De Grey calls the time during which the technologies will experience the most development the War On Aging.

“I use the phrase to describe the period starting when we get results in the laboratory with mice that are impressive enough to make people realize that life extension is possible, and ending when the first effective therapies for humans are developed,” de Grey said. “I estimate that the War On Aging will start 10 years from now, subject to funding of research, and will last for 15 years, but this latter estimate is extremely speculative.”

Also see The Quest For Immortality

The Quest For Immortality

Aubrey de Grey is a scientist with The Methuselah Foundation. He’s got a background in computer science. He has used his engineering mindset to come up with an engineering approach to stop the aging process dead in its tracks (pun intended). This will allow humanity to stay young forever and live an indefinate lifespan.

A few years ago, Aubrey began digging around in scientific publications in order to find out what exactly causes us to age. As it turns out, there are only 7 major processes that cause our bodies to become old and wither away.

Why is he so sure there are only 7? Because the last one of those 7 has been found over 20 years ago. And 20 years just so happens to be an eternity in science. Had there been more aging processes in our bodies, science would have surely found some of those more recently.

The seven things that slowly kill us over time are:

  1. Too few cells
  2. Too many cells (cancer)
  3. Chromosomal mutations (dna corruption)
  4. Mitochondrial mutations (another type of dna corruption)
  5. Junk inside cells
  6. Junk outside cells
  7. Protein crosslinking outside of cells

And that’s basically it. Tweak all of those so they don’t do damage anymore, and you’ve got yourself a non-aging human.

A huge task, but peanuts compared to the impossible task that some researchers, with the impractical researcher mindset that doesn’t aim for application in practice, would have you believe.

For details, check Aubrey’s site on SENS (Strategies for Engineering Negligible Senescence). Everything is explained there, from the technical stuff to the most basic of immortality-related concerns.

Aubrey’s SENS has had some criticism. Nobody ever manages to build a solid case against SENS, but some keep critisizing it anyway. So Aubrey has issued a challenge in July 2005. Anybody who can construct a solid case against SENS, can win 20.000 dollars. Easy money… you’d think. Strangely, nobody has picked up the challenge yet.

Gee, I wonder why. 😉

In order to get enough funds available to engineer immortality in humans, Aubrey first wants to implement it in a mouse. Once the world has seen that it is possible to seriously intervene in the aging process, the funds will surely flow. Human immortality should come no more than a few years behind rodent immortality. Aubrey thinks it is achievable in about 25 years.

In order to achieve the world’s first immortal mouse within the next 10 years, Aubrey has come up with the Methuselah Mouse Prize. The M-Prize can be donated to, and whoever demonstrates a record life extension in mice receives a financial prize.

History shows this is a very succesful model. The Ansari X-Prize for cheap spaceflights has collected several millions over several years. Those cheap spaceflights were made not too long ago.

The M-Prize is growing much faster than the X-Prize did in its day. At the moment, it is at 3.209.275 dollars. That’s impressive, especially if you consider that the M-Prize has only been around for about 2.5 years. It was at only just below 2 million not so long ago, but a generous and anonimous donater put an extra million on there and pushed it towards the 3 million. Now, it has already climbed up to 3.2 million.

Aubrey has recently had some nice exposure when he went on CBS 60 Minutes (America’s most popular news program, or so I’ve read). An inside friend of mine tells me this appearance was a really big deal, and site hits increased massively. It is fascinating to see all of this coming into the mainstream. The interviewer, Morley Safer, took Aubrey seriously. No laughing and pointing fingers at his ‘crackpot’ ideas. Not bad if you consider that the word ‘immortality’ has only been accepted in scientific circles a few years ago.

It will be extremely interesting to see this pick up even more and more in the years to come.

Statistics show that curing diseases such as cancer and diabetes will only prolong our lives by a few measly years, while intercepting aging itself will increase our lifespans with decades. We’re losing 100.000 people per day to old age. The world sorely needs a cure for aging. It’s about time we got practical and efficient, and pump our research dollars where they matter… into anti-aging research.

Wanna help turn this into a reality?

You can!

Spread the meme. That is very important. Tell all your friends and relatives. Post about it on your favorite forum.

Know any rich folks? Enlighten them and talk them into donating to the M-Prize.

Do whatever it takes to let it be known to the world that we can stop aging and live healthily for as long as we like. Let it be known that this is for real, and that the science behind immortality is as solid as a ton of bricks.

Together… we can take on death.