Dear Future Centenarian,
To continue last week’s discussion of nanomedicine, here’s why you’d be interested in living long enough to see it get fully developed:
Nanotechnology refers to the control of matter on a scale normally between 1-100 nanometers. One nanometer is a billionth of a meter or 80,000 times smaller than a human hair.
We work with the world’s recognized authorities on medical applications and implications of molecular nanotechnology, or Nanomedicine. They have launched a program aimed at developing a provable nanomedical life extension technology. This may be the ultimate technology which can cure aging and reverse its effects.
They constructed a preliminary R&D roadmap and have already achieved some of their objectives. They have even established six currently active collaborations.
The technology should have commercially useful early applications. If successful, the company will eventually own a must-have product – indefinite life extension and aging reversal. In a nutshell, nanomedicine could eventually build or repair almost every cell in your body, from the bottom up, atom by atom. When we get to the 2020s, we will ultimately have perfected the machines of nanotechnology, nanobots, which are blood cell-sized devices that can go inside your body and brain to perform therapeutic functions, as well as to advance the capabilities of our bodies and brains.
If that sounds too futuristic, I'll point out that we already have blood cell-size devices that are nano-engineered, working to perform therapeutic functions in animals. For example, one scientist cured type I diabetes in rats with this type of nanoengineered device. And some of these are now approaching human trials. The 2020s will be the "golden era" of nanotechnology.
If you want to see who is at the hub of nanomedicine, visit these two websites:
Nanomedicine promises to give us complete control of matter and a very efficient way to cure aging damage, injuries and diseases. So keep fit and lean in the meantime. You don’t want to miss this boat.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE
Some food for thought on the way in which you approach the health basics - exercise, diet, supplementation, and relationships with physicians:
"Following up on growing evidence that higher levels of conscientiousness are associated with greater health protection, the authors conducted a meta-analysis of the association between conscientiousness-related traits and longevity. Higher levels of conscientiousness were significantly and positively related to longevity. Associations were strongest for the achievement (persistent, industrious) and order (organized,
disciplined) facets of conscientiousness. Results strongly support the importance of conscientiousness-related traits to health across the life span."
The persistent application of good habits and good choices pays well. The basics are not rocket science, but they do make a significant difference over the years.
LATEST HEALTHY LIFE EXTENSION HEADLINES
More on Comparative Longevity (October 03 2008) http://www.bucknell.edu/x45446.xml
Researchers continue to try to learn from differences in longevity and metabolism between species: "Haussmann studied cacti and turtles before zeroing in on a small, marine bird that contradicts traditional assumptions about aging. Leach's storm-petrels should die young but live a long life and break the conventional rules. First of all, they're small, and there tends to be a relationship between body size and life span. Elephants live longer than humans. Humans live longer than mice. So this bird shouldn't live long, but it does. His studies of storm-petrels have shown that certain characteristics of DNA - specifically lengths of the protective telomeres at the tips of DNA - are associated with species that live longer lives and possibly with how susceptible they are to cancer-causing tumors. [Bird species] with shorter life spans, such as zebra finches, lost their protective telomere caps quickly over time. Species such as the common tern, which lives to be about 30 years old, had less shortening over time." The petrels apparently produce more antioxidants as well - which may tie into the evidence suggesting that mitochondrial damage is the cause of shortened telomeres. Antioxidants slow the rate of that damage. The question remains as to where telomere length sits in the spectrum of cause and effect.
The Novel Paradigm of Longevity Science (October 01 2008) http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/people-blog/?p=2366
Over at Future Current, one of the presentations from Aging 2008: "What can each of us do to advance a new paradigm for health promotion and disease prevention in the 21st century that makes as its central tenet the slowing of aging? Recently, the board of directors of [the Alliance for Aging Research] committed to an aggressive effort to speak out for longevity science, which I think is a more elegant way of saying biogerontology, in order to hasten the social benefits extending healthy aging, a goal that we have referred to as 'pursuing the longevity dividend.' Now, the members of my board are not naive. They know very well that longevity science continues to be a tough sell. Let's face it, call it by any name, the quest for significantly extended lifespan has an image problem. Most established scientific leaders have been brought up to believe that aging is not only unchangeable, but not even very interesting. Now let's move to lay people. Most of them think there is not anything you can do about aging. They believe that even if you could, it would be a social and an economic catastrophe. Too many sick, old people sitting around, not pulling their weight. Even if people believed there could be some scientific breakthrough that would make it possible to extend the healthy years of life, many will set themselves up in opposition because it sounds unnatural or upsetting to social norms or religious beliefs. What will it take to overcome negative assumptions among the public?"
Life is the Road to Utopia, If You Can Stay on It (September 30 2008) http://jetpress.org/v19/bostrom.htm
From JET, a Nick Bostrom fiction in the spirit of the Fable of the Dragon Tyrant: "Your body is a deathtrap. This vital machine and mortal vehicle, unless it jams first or crashes, is sure to rust anon. You are lucky to get seven decades of mobility; eight if you be fortune's darling. That is not sufficient to get started in a serious way, much less to complete the journey. Maturity of the soul takes longer. Why, even a tree-life takes longer. Death is not one but a multitude of assassins. Do you not see them? They are coming at you from every angle. Take aim at the causes of early death - infection, violence, malnutrition, heart attack, cancer. Turn your biggest gun on aging, and fire. You must seize the biochemical processes in your body in order to vanquish, by and by, illness and senescence. In time, you will discover ways to move your mind to more durable media. Then continue to improve the system, so that the risk of death and disease continues to decline. Any death prior to the heat death of the universe is premature if your life is good. One day you or your children should have a secure home. Research, build, redouble your effort!" The road to Utopia is to continue to live well - which, as Bostrom notes, will require great labor devoted to new medical technologies of engineered longevity.
Axolotl Biochemistry as a Goal to Aim for (September 29 2008) http://pmid.us/18814845
It is plausible that mechanisms of unlimited tissue regeneration will be learned from lesser species and then ported to humans: "Urodele amphibians such as the axolotl are the champions of tissue regeneration amongst vertebrates. These animals have mastered the ability to repair and replace most of their tissues following damage or amputation even well into adulthood. In fact it seems that the ability of these organisms to regenerate perfectly is not affected by their age. In addition to being able to regenerate, these animals display a remarkable resistance to cancer. They therefore represent a unique model organism to study regeneration and cancer resistance in vertebrates. The need for this research is even more pressing at the dawn of the 21st century as we are faced with an ever aging world population which has to deal with an increase in organ failure and cancer incidence. Studying tissue regeneration in salamanders could yield significant knowledge to help regenerative medicine achieve the desired goal of allowing humans to repair and regenerate some of their own tissues as they age."
Mechanisms of Osteoarthritis (September 29 2008) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-09/uorm-nsp092508.php
Researchers continue to learn more about the underlying biochemistry of common age-related conditions: "Until relatively recently, osteoarthritis was believed to be due solely to wear and tear, and an inevitable part of aging. Recent studies have revealed, however, that specific biochemical changes contribute to the disease, changes that might be reversed by precision-designed drugs. Our study provides the first solid proof that some of those changes are related to pain processing, and suggests the mechanisms behind the effect. The study revealed that pain signals originating in arthritic joints, and the biochemical processing of those signals as they reach the spinal cord, worsen and expand arthritis. In addition, researchers found that nerve pathways carrying pain signals transfer inflammation from arthritic joints to the spine and back again, causing disease at both ends. We believe this to be a vitally important process contributing to orthopaedic and neurological diseases in which inflammation is a factor."
Hub of NanoMedicine
Dear Future Centenarian,