Category Archives: Immortality Medicine
Posted: August 25, 2017 at 3:33 am
Lets get this out of the way first: theres very little convincing evidence that the blood of young people will slow down aging in old people. Nevertheless, theres apparently just enough evidence going around for enigmatic organizations to pay through the nose for the blood of teenagers, just in case the cure for oldness does actually exist after all.
As pointed out by The Sunday Times, teenage blood is in high demand in parts of the US right now, with individual shots of the crimson liquid going for as much as $7,940 a pop. So what the hell is going on here?
Back in 2016, a company named Ambrosia whose name derives from the mythical, immortality-granting substance from Greek legends declared that they were going to run a trial where older Americans would be given young blood, and their biological response to it would be tracked.
Although there is some evidence that this process works in mice, far more work needs to be done through peer-reviewed research to confirm the same applies to humans.
Ambrosia received some serious flak at the time for falling a fair bit short of that: specifically, there was no control group, you didnt even have to be particularly old to take part 35 was the minimum age and the volunteers joining the project had to pay $8,000 apiece just for taking part.
Either way, as you would expect, people with several grand to spare around 100 of them in fact joined the trial, and theyve been receiving injections of the young blood plasma ever since. If the original trial outline was anything to go by, they were given four rounds of weekly servingsfor their donation.
The young blood is coming from registered blood banks, and its almost certain that the money being given by the trial subjects is paying, at least partly, for these unusually valuable vials.
Speaking to reporters, the lead physician on the project Jesse Karmazin has claimed that the trial is currently successful. He said that its like plastic surgery from the inside out, which frankly sounds terrifying.
He also added, rather strangely, that Im not really in the camp of saying this will provide immortality but I think it comes pretty close, essentially.
Its probably worth pointing out that lifespan is a binary thing: you can either be immortal, or youre mortal. You cant be almost immortal, because, well, thatll still result in death.
In any case, whatever this trial reveals, assess it with considerable skepticism. Its unlikely this is proper science, and remember extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, not just a nicer way of saying vampirism and a few PR stunts.
Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:27 pm
On this weekend of hope, I thought I would offer everyone some of the messages of inspiration and hope that I received from the remarkable man whom I have been interviewing for many years.
You see, I have also found hope that anything was possible since I first heard the story of the incredible man who defied death 2,000 years ago. But like most of you, I still needed to see, hear, or better yet experience such death defying feats during our modern age to really take to heart what we were taught by those famous biblical prophets.
So when it occurred to me that there actually were people living past 125 years of age, and way beyond that number, I started to feel my heart stir to the possibility many of our ancient myths may have been much more than stories of hope. Could they conceivably be accounts of actual people who found the answers to achieving the impossible? Did these people achieve such incredible feats, because the has nothing to fear? Or because they simply decided not to allow their lives to be conquered by their fears? Or, perhaps, they discovered the secret of living a life without fears which allowed these people to accomplish all that their hearts desired?
Clearly, fear in our lives, disables us, blocks us from growing, stops us for moving forward, hampers us in attaining our lifes dreams; and in some cases, perhaps in many ways, destroys our lives from the inside out.
So, if fear is what keeps us from what we want, what we need, what we desire; then is it possible that the lack of fear or the absence of fear will allow us to obtain what we work for, what we struggle for, and what we sacrifice for?
From what what I have learned from my 2,800 year friend, and from the man who made history 2,000 years ago, is a big, blatant YES to these questions. Certainly they both had fears, but it is quite obvious from what I have heard from the both of them is simply: conquer your fears and you will achieve results.
So how did these 2 incredible men face their fears and conquer them? The simplest of answers I could ascertain from the both of them, happens to be the same message:
1. Do not believe in the fear. Believe instead in the opposite of fear which is love.
2. Do not believe in death. Believe instead in the opposite of death which is life.
3. Do not live your lives believing in fear and in death, but instead live your lives believing in love and in life.
Have you ever met a person who believes in love and in life? When you do, you automatically be moved by the presence, their words, and all that surrounds them.
Is that not how we, deep down inside, really want to live? A life of contentment without worries, fears, and experiencing life at its fullest?
We can seek out these people for guidance, we can model our lives after these people
or we can start today and simply add this simple knowledge into our lives, in everything we say, everything we do, and when we deal with all that life deals to us.
This is what I have learned from a 2,800 year man, who lives this way every day. And I am embarrassed to say, this is what I should have learned from the man who taught us all this; 2,000 years ago today.
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See original here: Immortality Medicine Part 8456
Originally posted here:
Immortality Medicine Part 8456 | Prometheism.net
Posted: at 11:27 pm
A Hindu devotee prays after a holy dip at the Sangam, the confluence of three holy rivers the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad, India, on Sunday.
Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP
Pilgrims make their way over pontoon bridges.
Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
A father dips his son into the holy waters.
Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
The Kumbh Mela is one of the rare times that sadhu nagas make themselves known. Many of these ascetics live in forests and villages, and have little contact with ordinary Indians. Their population is dwindling, as young devotees prefer not to pursue a life of deprivation.
Anoo Bhuyan/for NPR
A man blows a horn in celebration during the daylong procession that drew 30 million devotees Sunday, the most auspicious day of the 55-day-long Hindu festival.
A naga sadhu smeared in ash serves up the early morning tea for his akhara, or sect, one of 13 that has its own camp on the 20-square-mile grounds.
Naga sadhus, naked holy men, walk in procession after bathing on the auspicious day of Mauni Amavasya on Sunday.
Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
An Indian devotee holds an offering at the Sangam.
Hindu devotees cram as they board their train Monday at Allahabad train station, the site of Sunday's stampede. Thirty-seven people were killed in the stampede.
Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
Hindu devotees wait Monday to board a train at the site of Sunday's stampede. Survivors blamed the tragedy on baton-charging police and the slow response of medics.
The Hindu gathering known as Kumbh Mela is on a scale difficult to fathom: The world's largest religious festival is millions of feet shuffling, millions of mantras chanted, countless sales of firewood to ward off the night cold. Millions of incense sticks will be burned and bells rung in devotional rituals called aartis.
An officer guards the purses of pilgrims who came to pay homage to the holy waters at the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers. Anoo Bhuyan for NPR hide caption
An officer guards the purses of pilgrims who came to pay homage to the holy waters at the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers.
Jet-setting swamis, naked holy men and foreigners fascinated by Eastern mysticism joined tens of millions of pilgrims for a dip in river waters believed to be holy.
Tragedy struck Sunday on the biggest day of the 55-day-long festival, when a stampede killed 37 people at a train station ferrying pilgrims home from the Kumbh Mela.
In a single day this past Sunday an estimated 30 million people celebrated on the river banks of the city of Allahabad. It's as if the combined populations of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota showed up at the same place, at the same time. These pilgrims have converged on the Sangam the confluence of three rivers, the Ganga or Ganges, the Yamuna and the so-called mythical Saraswati.
American-born Sadvhi Bhagawati Saraswati is a sanyasi, or a nun in the Hindu tradition. She is a disciple of Swami Chidanand Saraswati and the managing editor of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism, which was released last year.
"Once every 12 years, when the stars, the planets, the moon and everything is in proper alignment, it is considered the most auspicious and divine and sacred time to have a bath in the confluence of these sacred water," she explains, referring to the three holy rivers of India.
In Hindu mythology, Saraswati says, the kumbh of Kumbh Mela is a pot that contained sacred nectar.
"Drops of the sacred nectar of immortality actually fell upon this land and into these rivers, and so people who have come have come to bathe in the nectar of immorality. But nobody thinks that what it means is that cells of their body won't die. Of course they will. Everybody knows that," she says. "So we go home from here with an awareness of our divine and eternal nature. And that's what the nectar of immortality is."
Saints Are Stars Of The Show
The Kumbh attracts all manner of devotees, from the simplest souls looking to wash away their sins to Bollywood film celebrities looking for an angle to promote their movies.
But the real stars of this show are India's holy men: sadhus, or saints, and naga sadhus. These naked ascetics, smeared in nothing but ash, are often the postcard image of religious India.
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, a Hindu nun, edited the Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Julie McCarthy /NPR hide caption
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, a Hindu nun, edited the Encyclopedia of Hinduism.
One holy man confided that the life of deprivation naga sadhus lead is more than today's initiates are willing to endure, and that as a result, the nagas are becoming an endangered species.
But millions of pilgrims lined a route in the cold pre-dawn hours Sunday to catch a glimpse of these normally secluded holy men, who kicked off a procession parading naked on horseback. Surrounded by heavy security, they made a dash for a dip in the chilly waters and millions of pilgrims followed suit.
C.T. Gautam, a retired teacher from the state of Haryana, was among them. What did he pray for?
"For peace of the whole world," he says. "Nothing for myself, only this."
We go home from here with an awareness of our divine and eternal nature. ... That's what the nectar of immortality is.
Sadvhi Bhagawati Saraswati, Hindu nun
He adds wistfully that this occasion, on the same date with the same astrological alignment "will not come around again for another 147 years."
Movies have been made about getting lost at the Kumbh Mela, where India's richest and its poorest inhabit the same noisy, unsanitary conditions, living under the stars along the river banks in this megatent city. To accommodate them, 35,000 toilets were built and 500 miles of electric wires were installed.
Gyanesh Kamal, a saint from Allahabad, calls the Kumbh "the great leveler."
"There is no discrimination at all," he says. "We are getting everyone here full of simplicity. This is the purpose, to make equality."
It is expected that by the final dipping day on March 10, more than 100 million people will have experienced the Kumbh Mela.
Read the original post:
Seeking A Glimpse Of Immortality In The Waters Of India's ...
Posted: August 20, 2017 at 5:46 pm
Humans have wanted to live forever for as long as we've lived at all. It's an obsession that stretches back so far that it feels like it's somehow hard-coded into our DNA. Over the years, immortality (to a greater or lesser extent) has been promised by everyone from religions and cults to the cosmetics industry, big tech companies and questionable food blogs.
It's also a staple of fiction, all the way back to the earliest surviving great work of literature. The Epic of Gilgamesh, carved onto stone tablets in 2100 BC, depicts its titular king hunting for the secret of eternal life, which he finds in a plant that lives at at the bottom of the sea. He collects the plant by roping stones to his feet, but then a snake steals it while he's having a pre-immortality bath. Gilgamesh has a little cry, then gives up.
A cuneiform tablet containing part of The Epic of Gilgamesh.
The reason why we age is still the subject of major scientific debate, but it basically boils down to damage accumulating in our cells throughout our lives, which eventually kills us. By slowing that damage - first by making tools, then controlling fire, inventing writing, trade, agriculture, logic, the scientific method, the industrial revolution, democracy and so on, we've managed to massively increase human life expectancy.
There's a common misconception that to live forever we need to somehow pause the ageing process. We don't. We just need to increase the rate at which our lifespans are lengthening. Human lifespan has been lengthening at a constant rate of about two years per decade for the last 200 years. If we can speed that up past the rate at which we age then we hit what futurist Aubrey de Grey calls "longevity escape velocity" - the point we become immortal.
There's a common misconception that to live forever we need to somehow pause the ageing process. We don't. We just need to increase the rate at which our lifespans are lengthening.
That all sounds rather easy, and of course it's not quite that simple. It's all we can do at the moment to keep up with the Moore's Law of increasing lifespans. But with a major research effort, coordinated around the world, who knows? Scientific history is filled with fields that ticked along slowly and then suddenly, massively, accelerated. Computer science is one. Genetics is another recent example.
To understand what we need to do to hit longevity escape velocity, it's worth looking at how life expectancy has increased in recent history. The late statistician Hans Rosling made a powerful case that average lifespans rise alongside per capita income. Take a couple of minutes to watch this video and you'll be convinced:
Reducing the gap between the global rich and poor, therefore, is probably the fastest way to boost the world average life expectancy figure, but it's limited. And it won't do much for people in rich countries.
To boost the lifespans of the people living in countries that are already pretty wealthy, we need to look closer at the countries that are forecast to have the highest life expectancies in the coming years. A study published earlier this year in the Lancet shows what life expectancy might look like in 2030 in 35 industrialised countries, using an amalgamation of 21 different forecasting models.
South Korea tops the chart with women living on average beyond 90, while France, Japan, Switzerland and Australia are not far behind. Most of the countries at the top of the chart have high-quality healthcare provision, low infant deaths, and low smoking and road traffic injury rates. Fewer people are overweight or obese. The US, meanwhile, is projected to see only a modest rise - due to a lack of healthcare access, and high rates of obesity, child mortality and homicides.
The study results are interesting, not only because they're the best possible guess at our future but because they clearly show how social policies make a massive difference to how long people live. There are unknowns, of course - no-one could have predicted the 80s AIDS epidemic, for example, and no doubt further pandemics lurk in humanity's future. But ban smoking, fight obesity, and introduce autonomous cars and personalised medicine, and you'll see lifespans rise.
The US is projected to see only a modest rise in lifespan - due to a lack of healthcare access, and high rates of obesity, child mortality and homicides.
The other interesting thing is that the study's results are a shot across the bows of scientists who claim that there are hard limits to human lifespan.
"As recently as the turn of the century, many researchers believed that life expectancy would never surpass 90 years, lead author Majid Ezzati of Imperial College London told the Guardian back in February.
That prediction mirrors another, published in Nature in October 2016, that concluded that the upper limit of human age is stuck at about 115 years.
"By analysing global demographic data, we show that improvements in survival with age tend to decline after age 100, and that the age at death of the worlds oldest person has not increased since the 1990s," wrote the authors - Xiao Dong, Brandon Milholland & Jan Vijg.
"Our results strongly suggest that the maximum lifespan of humans is fixed and subject to natural constraints."
The maximum length of a human lifespan remains up for debate.
Other researchers, however, disagree. Bryan G. Hughes & Siegfried Hekimi wrote in the same journal a few months later that their analysis showed that there are many possible maximum lifespan trajectories.
We just dont know what the age limit might be. In fact, by extending trend lines, we can show that maximum and average lifespans, could continue to increase far into the foreseeable future, Hekimi said.
Three hundred years ago, many people lived only short lives. If we would have told them that one day most humans might live up to 100, they would have said we were crazy.
That's all big-picture stuff, so let's dive down to a more personal level. Assuming that you can't change your genetics or your life up until the point that you're currently at, what can you personally do to live longer?
Here's the list: Don't smoke. Exercise your body and mind on a daily basis. Eat foods rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and unsaturated fat. Don't drink too much alcohol. Get your blood pressure checked. Chop out sources of stress and anxiety in your life. Travel by train. Stay in school. Think positive. Cultivate a strong social group. Don't sit for long periods of time. Make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D. Keep your weight at a healthy level. And don't go to hospital if you can help it - hospitals are dangerous places.
All of those things have been correlated with increased lifespan in scientific studies. And they're all pretty easy and cheap to do. If you want to maximise your longevity, then that's your to-do list. But there are also strategies that have a little less scientific merit. The ones that people with too much money pursue when they realise they haven't been following any of the above for most of their life.
Inside the Cryonics Institute.
Cryonics is probably the most popular. First proposed in the 1960s by US academic Robert Ettinger in his book "The Prospect of Immortality", it involves freezing the body as soon as possible after death in a tube kept at -196C, along with detailed notes of what they died of. The idea is that when medicine has invented a cure for that ailment, the corpse can be thawed and reanimated.
Calling someone dead is merely medicines way of excusing itself from resuscitation problems it cannot fix today, reads the website of top cryogenics firm Alcor.
The problem is the brain. First, it's so dense and well-protected that it's extremely difficult for the cryonics chemicals to penetrate it. It's almost impossible that it doesn't get damaged in the freezing process.
The 21,000,000,000 neurons and ~1,000,000,000,000,000 synapses in the human brain means that it'll be a while until we have the computational resources to map it.
Secondly, your neurons die quickly - even if you're immersed within minutes of death, you're still likely to suffer substantial brain damage. To which cryonics proponents argue: "What do I have to lose?" If the choice is between probably never waking up again and never waking up again, and it's your money to spend, then why not give it a shot?
An alternative to deep freeze is storing your brain in a computer. Not literally a lump of grey matter, but a database detailing in full all of the connections between the neurons in your brain that make you you (known as your connectome). Future doctors could then either rewire a real or artificial brain to match that data, resurrecting you in a new body (or perhaps even as an artificial intelligence).
A close look at a slice of mouse brain. Credit: Robert Cudmore
So far, we've only managed to map the full connectome of one animal - the roundworm C. elegans. Despite the worm's mere 302 neurons and 7,500 or so synapses, the resulting data is about 12GB in size - you can download it in full at the Open Connectome Project, and even install it in a robot, which will then act like a worm.
Unfortunately the human brain is a somewhat larger undertaking. The Human Connectome Project is making a start, and AI is helping, but the 21,000,000,000 neurons and ~1,000,000,000,000,000 synapses in the human brain means that it'll be a while until we have the computational resources to get it done. It's worth noting that this isn't an unassailable goal, especially if we can somehow figure out which bits are actually important to our personality and who we are as individuals and which bits are just used to remember the lyrics of Spice Girls songs.
For now, though, my recommendation would be to stick to the list of simple life extension strategies above. It's probable that in time we'll have new ways of augmenting our bodies that will extend our lifespans (we've already started with cyborg technology - just look at pacemakers and artificial hips).
But if you want to be at the front of the waiting list then you'll need to arrive at that point with as youthful a body as possible.
Continue reading here:
How to live forever - TechRadar
Posted: at 5:46 pm
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