Longevity Meme Newsletter, January 12 2003

LONGEVITY MEME NEWSLETTER
January 12 2003

The Longevity Meme Newsletter is an infrequent e-mail containing news, opinions and happenings for people interested in life extension: making use of diet, lifestyle choices, technology and proven medical advances to live healthy, longer lives.

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COMMENTARY

CALORIE RESTRICTION

Calorie restriction as a means of life extension seems to be seeping its way into the mainstream of late. Fewer calories lead to a longer, healthy life; at least in all the experiments done to date. You're healthier because you're thinner, and -- according to at least one theory -- because your body is doing less work in processing food. It seems intuitive that an engine will last longer if you don't run the throttle wide open.

This widening awareness of calorie restriction is a good thing for all concerned, I think. There is a lot more research to be done, for one, and popular exposure usually leads to more research. We can hypothesize all we like, but we don't definitively know *why* calorie restriction works yet.

For more (much more) on calorie restriction, take a look at:

http://www.calorierestriction.org/

The CR Society members are a great crowd, very friendly and helpful. I've been practicing calorie restriction myself for a year or two. Trust me; it makes a big difference to your present health and enjoyment of life.

STEM CELL RESEARCH AND THERAPUTIC CLONING

Another ongoing topic du jour is the fight over stem cell research and theraputic cloning (cloning for medicine, not for reproduction). I do try to keep my political views absent from the Longevity Meme, but that's occasionally harder than it should be. I'll restrict myself to observing that it would be wonderful if governments stopped trying to hold back stem cell and theraputic cloning research. This research holds out the possibility of cures for many horrible, degenerative diseases. There is the possibility of real, working regenerative medicine within a decade: growing tailor-made replacement tissue to replace worn-out body parts. It would be a terrible thing if millions of people continued to suffer and die because this research was banned and criminalized. Eventually, each and every one of us will be one of those millions: that's an easy thing to forget.

Don’t Let the Government Ban Theraputic Cloning
http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2002/mar2002_report_cloning_01.html

COMING SOON

What is forthcoming for the Longevity Meme? There are a number of projects we would like to get underway in 2003:

1) Finish the Longevity Meme site redesign

The last of the Longevity Meme redesign will focus on making it easier for newcomers and casual visitors to learn about life extension. This is, after all, one of the primary purposes of our site. I realize that there is still some way to go in this regard. Your feedback on any aspect of the Longevity Meme website is always appreciated.

2) An anti-bioethics sister web site to the Longevity Meme

I feel the need to create a place for political and social commentary on bioethicists like Leon Kass and Francis Fukuyama. People have to stand up and bluntly and loudly say that U.S. government policy on medical research is heading in the wrong direction. The bleak future -- in which millions continue to suffer and die because regenerative medicine and radical life extension are illegal -- becomes ever more plausible while we stay silent.

2) A life extension advocacy letter writing campaign

Many organizations and people brave the Fukuyamas, regulators and luddites of this world to fund, research and develop better medicine. They work themselves to the bone to bring us all the choice of a longer, healthier life. Isn't it time that we let them know how much we appreciate their ongoing efforts?

3) A wider collection of life extension articles

Article reprints continue to be the most popular section of the Longevity Meme. We will continue our process of culling the best of the best for the site. If you have suggestions or pointers, you should feel free to share them with us.

FIN

On that note, I sign off until next time. If you find our newsletter helpful or interesting, please don’t hesitate to tell your friends.

DISCUSSION

Have comments for us, or want to discuss the newsletter?

Reason

Founder, Longevity Meme

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RECENT NEWS

Is There a Limit To Lifespan? (January 12 2003)
http://www.imminst.org/forum/index.php?act=ST&f=67&t=680
Bruce J. Klein at the Immortality Institute has put together an elegant commentary on the increase in lifespan with advancing technology, past, present and future. Well worth a read.

New Jersey To Approve Theraputic Cloning (January 12 2003)
http://www.betterhumans.com/News/news.aspx?articleID=2003-01-11-2
Betterhumans notes that New Jersey state legislators are preparing to explicitly approve theraputic cloning research. Good for them. It is worth remembering that it would be nice if we lived in a world in which governments didn't try to block and criminalize vital medical research.

Cloning Important for Life Extension (January 11 2003)
http://www.kurzweilai.net/meme/frame.html?main=/articles/art0535.html
Ray Kurzweil talks on KurzweilAI about the real and vital importance of theraputic cloning to life extension medicine. A very good article.

Unraveling the Secrets of Longevity (January 09 2003)
http://www.newsday.com/news/printedition/health/ny-dsspdn3077620jan07,0,1614397.story
Newsday is printing a good, clear overview of current trends in life extension research. Yes, calorie restriction is mentioned often. Good stuff.

CR Good For the Aging Brain (January 08 2003)
http://www.napa.ufl.edu/2002news/localoriebrains.htm
Seems that calorie restriction (CR) is very much in the news recently. UF News talks about a recent study that illuminates another way in which calorie restriction slows the aging process.

Alcor Newsletter List (January 08 2003)
http://www.alcornews.org/
Those of you with an interest in cryonic suspension may want to take a look at (and sign up for) the fairly recent Alcor newsletter distribution list. Alcor is of course the largest cryonics provider in the world.

More Calorie Restriction Science (January 07 2003)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/01/030107072609.htm
ScienceDaily comments on some interesting recent research. Scientists may have found another biochemical underpinning for the effects of calorie restriction on lifespan.

Extra Weight is a Bad, Bad Thing (January 07 2003)
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2003-01-06-extra-usat_x.htm
USA Today reports on a study showing just how many years of your life (and health) a few extra pounds are costing you. As the article says, quit smoking and cut back on calories: then we can start talking about real life extension.

Eat Less, Live Longer (January 07 2003)
http://www.lef.org/news/aging/2003/01/06/REC/0000-0300-KEYWORD.Missing.html
A news article reprinted at the Life Extension Foundation talks about Dr. Walford and his pioneering work with calorie restriction. Words to the wise: eat less, live longer. You'll find links to calorie restriction sites here at the Longevity Meme.

Transvision 2003 in June (January 05 2003)
http://www.transhumanism.org/tv/2003usa/index.htm
A reminder that Transvision this year (held at Yale in late June) has a strong focus on life extension and related matters. The World Transhumanist Association has put out a call for conference papers and participants with a February deadline.

Okinawan Diet and Longevity (January 05 2003)
http://www.msnbc.com/news/854958.asp?0cv=CB20
MSNBC is running a short article on traditional Okinawan diet and it's effects on longevity. This is a much discussed topic for calorie restriction types -- it's surmised by some that Okinawan customs of eating less have as much to do with it as what is eaten.

Future of Life Summit (January 02 2003)
http://www.thefutureoflife.com/
Time Magazine is hosting the Future of Life summit in California in February. Some interesting people will be there, so we should expect good commentary on the near future of life extension through biotechnology.

Global Stem Cell Research Cooperation (January 02 2003)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/01/01/MN82592.DTL
SFGate is covering the first steps towards an international stem cell research consortium, similar to the Human Genome Project.

Raelians Threatening Legitimate Research? (January 01 2003)
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=0000315E-AC8E-1E10-8B3B809EC588EEDF
Scientific American is carrying some commentary on the ongoing Raelian cloning story. While the truth of things is less than clear, researchers worry that cloning opponents will use the controversy as justification for banning potentially life-saving theraputic cloning research.

Longer Living Through Science (December 30 2002)
http://www.betterhumans.com/Features/Columns/Guests/column.aspx?articleID=2002-12-29-2
Betterhumans is carrying an op-ed column on the future of life extension by Stephen Mason. It's a chatty, pointed piece. Whether or not you agree with him, its worth remembering that we need to step up and choose life in order live longer. It won't just happen by itself.

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