Wired is carring a couple of articles on recent regenerative medicine research using stem cell therapies. (The second article is here). On the one hand researchers are demonstrating successful liver and heart regeneration using adult stem cells. On the other hand, adult stem cells may not be as powerful as was hoped. Therapies may have side-effects -- such as cancer -- due to cellular abnormalities.
KurzweilAI.net is carrying a report on the recent Future of Life conference. Heady visions of the near future of medical, anti-aging and life extension technology are mixed in with other predictions. This is what we are working towards: a future of widely available, cheap biotechnologies that extend and improve our lives. (Groups like the President's Council For Bioethics are trying very hard to ensure that this future never happens: they must be stopped).
The Cryonics Society of Canada has updated their site; it's a useful resource for those who want to know more about cryonics. As noted by responsible cryonicists, cryonics is best viewed as an experiment with -- as of now -- an unknown chance of success. That said, there are currently no better chances for radical life extension available to those who will die before anti-aging and regenerative medicine become widely available.
An article from Dateline Alabama notes a recent lecture by Steven Austad, a well regarded researcher. "According to traditional medical advances, we are clearly going to live longer and longer and longer" said Austad. You may recall that Prof. Austad made a good presentation to the unreceptive and unhelpful President's Council on Bioethics.
I've mentioned cancer vaccine research before. Cancer is one of the most common and dangerous age-related conditions, so defeating cancer is an important component of the fight against aging. Researchers seem to be closer to winning this fight, as described in this article from Cancerpage.com. Cancer research is a medical success story in the making. Today cancer, tomorrow Alzheimer's!
Looks like the European Parliment may fall in with the US and French governments in trying to ban promising stem cell and theraputic cloning research. This brief piece from Betterhumans doesn't give much more information than that, but it looks like we'll be hearing more about this before the year is out. Remember that you can (and should) take action to support the research that will improve and lengthen your life!
Most major medical advances -- now and in coming years -- will be through our power to manipulate the very small. Researchers are enhanching our ability to work with genes, molecules and proteins in order to build the therapies of tomorrow. This Eurekalert article briefly discusses progress in this field of scientific endeavor.
A PDF transcript of the debate between Francis Fukuyama (pro death, anti life extension) and Ron Bailey is up at SAGE Crossroads. It covers a fair amount of ground, but includes talk on anti-aging technologies, regulation and bioethics. We've all seen Fukuyama's argument before: that a nebulous concept of "human dignity" is more important than developing new medicine that will save lives and prevent the effects of aging.
I'm a little late in noting this one from the Betterhumans event calendar. Gregory Stock debates Bill McKibben on Thursday 27th of this month in Washington. This is essentially an argument between opposing views on life extension and anti-aging medicine: those who want it versus those who want to legislate it out of existence.
The Center for Inquiry has a page up allowing you to send a message to your elected representatives. "The debate in Congress over human cloning has received scant attention with the war in Iraq raging. It means that the American public is paying little attention to one of the most important ethical issues in the history of science while it is being debated and legislated in the halls of Congress. Meanwhile, the promise of therapeutic cloning research hangs in the balance."
The Washington Times notes that Arkansas politicians signed into law a ban on theraputic cloning. This current round of anti-research legislation is very much a battle, and a battle that could hurt our health. CAMR get a few lines in this article: good to see them having a higher profile. They're doing good work in trying to prevent federal criminalization of this vital medical research.
SAGE Crossroads has officially launched. It's an impressive-looking online forum for emerging issues of human aging, aimed at a wider audience than the very reputable but more academic SAGE KE. (SAGE KE is requires registration, but is well worth exploring). SAGE Crossroads is funded by Science Magazine and the Alliance for Aging Research. I'm always pleased to see more well-backed anti-aging community ventures!
Supplements are probably the source of the most anti-aging information and misinformation that you'll find online. The best points of view usually come from those who are not trying to sell you anything. Here, MoreLife gives us an outline on the value and use of supplements. It's not too far from my own views and practices insofar as supplements go.
Betterhumans reports that the broader Senate debate on criminalizing theraputic cloning has begun; a committee has convened and debate has started. Without wishing to sound like a broken record: we need to make our voices heard, now more than ever. If the Senate votes to criminalize theraputic cloning, it will be an enormous setback to regenerative medicine: this will directly damage your health and longevity.
From Newsfactor, new of a survey showing most Americans are in favor of permitting theraputic cloning research. Looks like the advocates are getting somewhere! It's also good to see that CAMR is out there swinging. Keep up the good work! Remember that you can help to prevent a theraputic cloning ban. Take five minutes today and make your voice heard.
Here's another story on supplements (from Betterhumans) that should get you thinking. Only two supplements out of 250 live up to the advertised claims! The same sorts of numbers are almost certainly true of other types of supplements. Remember: research carefully and talk to your physician before taking supplements for any anti-aging purposes. Calorie restriction is the only currently proven method of life extension.
Transvision 2003 is inching closer: have you registered yet? It should prove to be an good conference for those interested in life extension, future medicine and possible regulation of the same. (I can't say I'm a big fan of bioethics these days, but you'll be seeing a lot of discussion on that topic). A list of speakers is up for your perusal as well.
InfoAging is reprinting another article on possible benefits of a moderate level of alcohol consumption. It's worth bearing in mind all the alternate explanations before running to the store, but there does seem to be a mounting pile of evidence for the benefits.
Newsday supplies this warning on human growth hormone: most sold online as having anti-aging effects is fake. Beware, however! This is really a deeper warning and cautionary tale about supplements in general. There is no magic bullet, no youth pill. Calorie restriction is the only proven way to slow aging. Research into regenerative medicine is the surest path to defeating aging.
Yahoo is carrying a suprising article on Geron's latest anti-cancer vaccine, based on genetic therapies. People seem to think that this one is important, a big step ahead. It made a clean sweep of cancer cells in studies. I've been saying for a while that cancer looks to be on the way out -- I hope that we can say the same about many other conditions of aging before too long.
From the BBC, Japanese doctors are regenerating damaged eyes (in actual patients) using stem cell therapy. This is amazing work, and yet more evidence that stem cell research in the US should be allowed to progress unimpeded by legislation. Transplant tissue and replacement organs cloned/grown from a patient's own cells will be a fundamental component of regenerative medicine and extended, healthy lifespans.
This article (found through Transhumanity) talks about the damage that current US legislation is doing to vital, fundamental medical research. Funding is vanishing, researchers are leaving. We are still in a hole, essentially, even without considering pending legislation that will make things worse.
From the New York Times: an article on the many organizations that back and fund stem cell research. It's about time we saw more mainstream media discussion of this side of the debate. Stem cell research is too significant -- for anti-aging, regenerative medicine, and cures for many conditions -- for us not to fight for as much research funding as possible.
Over at ScienceBlog, there is commentary on recent research using stem cells in mice. The stem cells gave rise to insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, which opens a host of possibilities. This is further confirmation of the power of stem cells to regenerate damaged organs: and why we shouldn't ban theraputic cloning.
From MSNBC: US life expectancy is at a new high and increasing by 0.2 years per year, largely due to advances in treatment and prevention of fatal conditions. Life expectancy is still way too low, of course! Anti-aging medicine is still very much underfunded and unappreciated; we have a lot of work to do yet.
This time round, the "silver fleece" awards go to Clonaid, amongst others. Those who merit a silver fleece, "are people who are trying to exploit the fear of death that almost everyone has." For monetary gain, needless to say, and without providing real, scientifically proven benefits. There is a serious message here: don't put your hopes and money on the table without first doing your research.
As the BBC reports, the House of Lords in the UK rejected a bid to ban theraputic cloning. Good for them! Theraputic cloning research is vital to the development of future regenerative medicine: cures for many diseases and the possibility of defeating aging. (Find out more about theraputic cloning at InfoAging).
New Scientist has posted an interview with Christopher Reeve that focuses on his advocacy of stem cell research and theraputic cloning. Reeve and his foundation are doing great work, all of which directly benefits us. Please take five minutes to let him know that we fully support his efforts, or help to get his words heard in more mainstream press.
Medical technology is a complex, layered concern. Every breakthrough depends on an entire array of carefully developed tools and procedures. Eurekalert describes the creation of an institute focusing on one such set of tools for future regenerative medicine. In not too many years from now, our current medical sophistication will look positively Medieval!
The BBC carries this article on the development of an artificial liver. If progress in artificial hearts in recent years is any guide, we could soon expect devices small enought to fit inside the body. It is interesting to see mechanical prosthetics keeping pace with genetic and cellular research into regenerative medicine.
Slate is running a series of articles on how medicine and technology will improve the human body and overcome our physical failings. Most of this has little direct relevance to anti-aging medicine, but this article on memory (and loss of memory and Alzheimer's) is worth reading.
My attention was drawn today to this PDF article from 2001. It is an interesting and very accessible look at the near future of anti-aging medicine. It includes some enlightening insights into the current poor state of research funding -- unfortunately, not much has changed there in the last couple of years. (Can't read PDF? Get the free Acrobat PDF Reader).
CAMR reprints a pointed essay on the possible criminalization of theraputic cloning research. Again, this is another good example of something standing up to say obvious things that have to be said: that this is politics on the back of human lives and human suffering.
It is very good to see influential advocates like Christopher Reeve speaking out against current government and bioethics council positions. (Article from Newsfactor). We need more people like Reeve to stand up and say the obvious. I urge you all to use the following link to congratulate Christopher Reeve and his staff on his recent stem cell advocacy.
Wired carries commentary on the recent use of stem cells to treat serious heart damage. As the article points out, legislative opposition to stem cell therapies could be muted by demonstrations of new life-saving medical technology. I certainly hope so.
A solid, informative article on life extension research from Newsfactor. Some good quotes and good advice on what to expect in the near future.
Here is an excellent example of the way in which the members of the President's Council on Bioethics think. It's a paper on life extension technologies and techniques. The first half outlines the tremendous promise for lengthening healthy life and ending suffering. The second half is airy, dangerous philosophical nonsense that attempts to justify preventing research and use of life extension medicine. Pah! These people need curbing.
The President's Council on Bioethics attacks life extension in the article over at biomedcentral.com. This isn't unexpected, given previous comments from the council. Still, one has to wonder what world the council members are living in. To them, getting old, losing your health, becoming crippled and dying are all good things! Given that this council reflects and steers the legislative policies of the US government (such as the current criminalization of theraputic cloning research), I think that we have to be worried.
Here's another good pro-life-extension article from a small local press (and reprinted in the Life Extension Foundation News). Some great quotes and a positive can-do attitute make this a very welcome sight. It really is wonderful to see the concept of near-term scientific life extension spreading into journalism as a whole. Now if we could just speed things up a little...
The event calendar at Betterhumans is stocked with a lot of upcoming life extension and related events at the moment. It's worth a look to see if there's anything in your area that you'd like to check up on.
(From ctnow.com). Sorting out good from bad is one of the biggest problems facing new life extensionist. Sad to say, but it's best to assume that anyone trying to sell you information, supplements, medicine or advice online is in the snake oil business. Start from this assumption, and then research carefully. Remember that nothing other than calorie restriction has (yet) been proven to extend life, and CR costs nothing!
A short article from Business 2.0 on a side of medicine I haven't talked about all that much. Artificial implants and replacements are expected to become better, more versatile and cheaper as the years go by. They'll be competing with grown-to-order replacement organs, however. (Assuming that the wave of anti-research legislation doesn't continue, that is).
LEF News is reprinting a short life extension research piece from a small news outlet. It is encouraging to see more unbiased articles like this in print. Seeing reporters becoming aware of the life extension community (scientific and otherwise) is very gratifying.
The Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research has put up an action page that will allow you to make your views known on the forthcoming senate theraputic cloning vote. Folks, this is important -- life extension medicine worldwide will take a big, big hit if the senate passes this bill. Your future health and lifespan is on the line.