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Category Archives: Immortality Medicine

THE NEW CLASSICS | ‘The Fountain’ – artsBHAM

Posted: August 8, 2017 at 3:42 am

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THE NEW CLASSICS | ‘The Fountain’ – artsBHAM

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The Elixir of Immortality May Reside Deep Within Our Brains – ExtremeTech

Posted: August 3, 2017 at 11:43 pm

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The super-wealthy have always lent a certain amount of gravitas to what others might consider foolhardy pursuits. Thus it is with the modern quest for eternal life championed by no less than Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel and ex-Googler Bill Marris. Propelled by the deep pockets of Californias tech-elites, an unholy alliance of computer scientists and biologists is making serious progress on what was previously considered one of lifes unchanging attributes: the certainty of death. Last week, a study published in the scientific journal Naturehas uncovered at least one source of aging among mammals similar to ourselves, and points in the directionof how to stop it.

At least as early 2013, with the publication of a groundbreaking study from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, it was known a connection existed between a brain structure called the hypothalamus and the rate of aging. Now, a followup study from the same institution seems to have pinpointed the exact relationship between the two and revealed how the aging process might be halted, or in some cases even reversed.

The key lies in something called neuronal stem cells, a type of undifferentiated brain cell residing within the hypothalamus. That there existed a correlation between the amount of neuronal stem cells within the hypothalamus and overall measures of aging is itself unsurprising, since many biomarkers correlate closely with aging. However, the study demonstrates this is not mere correlation, but in fact causation: Changing the amount of neuronal stem cells within the hypothalamus directly affects the rate of aging within the body.

One of theunderlying mechanisms controlling this process seems to be the release of microRNAs (miRNAs) into the cerebrospinal fluid, a process directly traceable to the quantity of neuronal stem cells within the hypothalamus. Injectingthe extracted miRNAs into the cerebrospinal fluid of mice had the effect of forestalling the aging process.

An important questionremains: To what exact degree does this regulate the aging process in humans? Is this in fact the bodys primary mechanism for regulating aging, or one of several interconnected systems? Already its been shown that transfusingblood from young mice into older mice seems to halt many of the signs of aging, but its unknown whether its because of the downstream effect of the miRNAs or a separate and unrelated system.

While questions such as the above will form thebasis of many studies to come, one thing is clear: Gerontology is now one of the hottest topics in medicine. And thanks in part to the backing of some of the worlds richest individuals.

Many observers, including this author, believe its a foregone conclusion these lines of research will yield practical therapies in the none-too-distant future. If this becomes a reality, the societal fallout is likely to be monumental. Keeping social security funded in the US is already an issue;how much worse will it become when were living to 150, to say nothing of matters like overpopulation and pollution. Questions of who would be entitled to such treatments and at what cost are likely to be highly controversial.

With many governments still struggling to come to terms with such prosaic matters as evolution and climate change, dealing with questions of eternal life looks entirely beyond their ken. But government intervention notwithstanding, the most likely outcome is a polarizing of society not only along financial lines, but biological ones as well, with individuals who can upgrade themselves bifurcating into a substantially different kind of human than those who cannot.

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The Elixir of Immortality May Reside Deep Within Our Brains – ExtremeTech

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Scientists Make Old Cells Young Again Using Groundbreaking New Technique – IFLScience

Posted: August 1, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Immortality is something that will likely elude humans. Were too complex and fragile to live normal lives without reaching some sort of biological terminus.

Regardless, science is quite keen on extending our lifespan, and one way in which we might do this is to ensure our genetic material deteriorates slower than it otherwise would. In effect, this is what a new study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, reports this week.

As our cells age, so do we. Although there isnt a linear correlation between cellular aging and actual aging in the way we commonly measure it, the degradation of our cells is a useful proxy in this regard.

Cellular aging can be measured by looking at a persons telomeres, the caps at the end of our chromosomes. They prevent the chromosomes from getting damaged or accidentally fusing with their neighbors, but over time, as they weaken, they shrink and contract. This makes chromosomes more vulnerable, and as they get damaged, so do we, generally speaking.

Therefore, if there was a way to lengthen telomeres, then wed effectively reverse cellular aging in a patient. This doesnt mean the patient is technically getting younger, but it could mean that their general aging is stalled.

A team led by the Houston Methodist Research Institute (HMRI) decided to give this a try, and succeed where other research groups have failed in the past.

Explaining the implications of the study. Houston Methodist via Vimeo.

They first examined 17 children admittedly a small sample size suffering from progeria, a rare genetic disorder in which children appear to age incredibly rapidly. Those afflicted by it have abnormally shaped cell nuclei, among other things, and often die by the age of 13 through a stroke or heart attack.

The team noticed that 12 of these children (aged one to 14 years old) had significantly shortened telomeres, suggesting that this is partly why their cells are aging so rapidly.

The team then took samples of cells from these patients, and using a groundbreaking technique that introduces RNA DNAs more primitive chemical cousin into cells directly, the team stimulated them into manufacturing more telomerase.

This is a key building block protein of telomeres; its appearance ultimately had the effect of lengthening the aged cells telomeres. Cellular aging stalled and was effectively reversed by this procedure, if only for a few days. Previously malfunctioning and corrupted cells began to proliferate and replicate like healthy ones.

The cells were not implanted back into the patients, and this is only a proof-of-concept experiment. At this point, it cannot be said that progeria or cellular aging, in general, can be reversed in a person but it can be in a petri dish.

Its not immortality, or an effective treatment for progeria but its a start.

[H/T: Motherboard]

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Science says it might actually be possible to live forever – The Loop (blog)

Posted: at 5:42 pm

If youre planning on living forever, or at least past 115, weve got good news for you: biologists at McGill University have found that there is no detectable limit to the human lifespan. Analysis by Siegfried Hekimi and Bryan Hughes critiques a study published last year claiming that no matter the advances in the medical field, humans cannot live past 115 years old. By going through the same data, Hekimi and Hughes found that it was insufficient to make such a claim.

The original study,by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, claimed that though life expectancy has increased through history, the age of the oldest person at any given time had not increased since 1995. They concluded from their research that the maximum lifespan of humans is likely fixed and subject to biological constraints. When Hekimi read the paper, he immediately questioned such an assertion.

In going over the published research, Hekimi and Hughes found that the data was arbitrarily split in two chronologically. When the split was removed, the trends that the Einstein College had found to suggest the 1995 plateau disappeared. By Hekimi and Hughes analysis, the data actually suggested a steady and long-term increase in maximum life expectancy.

Hekimi theorizes that maximum life would follow the same trend as average lifespan. With the average lifespan steadily increasing, it stands to reason that maximum lifespan would do the same without plateauing. He is careful to mention that no detectable limit to human life is not the same as it being limitless. So its not that you can live forever, its just that we still dont know if there is a biologically determined maximum.

Hekimi cites the increasingly comfortable and sheltered environment in which people in places like Canada grow up as the main factor behind the increase in life expectancy. The average age Canadians live to has doubled over the past hundred years to reach our current life expectancy of 82. If our bodies are under less stress, it stands to reason that a person living now will live longer than someone who is currently 100, because they still experienced the stresses of life 100 years ago.

Dont worry, living longer and longer doesnt have to mean more time spent sick and frail before you die. Hekimi says that statistically, the people who live the longest are also in good health the longest.

The fact is that, mostly the people who live a very long time, they were always healthy, he told the National Post, They didnt have heart disease or diabetes. So you dont have to worry about that old age being painful. It looks like increased life expectancy just means more good years of life.

Next, Hekimi and experimental biologists like him are trying to understand if life-expectancy is something written in a persons DNA. Hekimis lab has already modified a gene in a type of worm that can lengthen its life by up to five times. While the purpose of research like this is understanding the aging process, not extending it, its possible that work like this will lead to potentially altering humans to live even longer.

If this trend continues and our life expectancy of the average person becomes 100, the longest person might make it to 150, Hekimi said, Probably not you or me. But maybe our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, because its an ongoing process.

So which do you think will happen first? Human immortality by gene modification or immortality by downloading our consciousnesses onto computers? Only time will tell.

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Letters to the Editor – July 30 – Herald-Mail Media

Posted: July 30, 2017 at 1:44 pm

Columnist makes a leap comparing health care systems

I read with interest the column by Richard Kocur (July 26), wherein he makes a leap that Evel Knievel wouldnt attempt. The assumptions he makes indicting Britains public health systems (his dog-whistle term is socialized health care system) that he claims on several moral and ethical levels are suspect. He evidently uses the U.S. system as the benchmark for ethical and moral comparisons.

Kocur apparently believes that the American system that rations health care on ability to pay and has medical treatments rationed by insurance company actuarial decisions is somehow superior to a system where the medical profession and the courts make the ultimate decision. For every Charlie Gard anomaly in America, you can point to thousands of medical treatments that are denied by the insurance gatekeepers as experimental or medically unjustified.

Kocur says that a 2014 U.K. survey indicates that British physicians feel rationing has negatively affected their ability to effectively practice. Has he talked to his doctor lately?

Perhaps Kocur should look at the medical outcomes between the American system and the public health programs in other industrial countries. The Commonwealth Fund published a report in 2014 that listed the top 10 industrial countries health care programs the U.S. was 11th. A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine listed the U.S. as 37th in the world. Other countries spend less and get better outcomes.

To use an extraordinary case like Charlie Gard as a benchmark for the entire health care program is intellectually dishonest. If we keep justifying our extraordinarily expensive and questionably effective health care based upon cases that fall at the extreme of statistical analysis, we will continue to have a poor system.

Bob Ayrer, Falling Waters, W.Va.

Richard Kocur (July 26) presents a heart-wrenching and well-written argument in favor of better health care for all, using Charlie Gard as an example. What seems to be missed in all these arguments is the main problem: What makes health care so expensive? The answer is simple and painful: hubris.

Hubris (also hybris, from ancient Greek) describes a personality quality of extreme or foolish pride or dangerous overconfidence.

Any effort and any expense to save a life is the argument for endless research, testing, protocols and drugs. Sometimes it works. And often it simply produces lengthy misery.

Countries with national health plans now have several generations worth of information to indicate in most humane fashion when money should be spent. A little secret rarely mentioned: Medicare limits treatment after the age of 85 for many conditions.

Frightening reality: The Gards had the great misfortune to have a child with a lethal mutation. For those who might not be aware, mitochondria are the sites of energy production in every cell in your body. Nature has generally kept the gene pool strong and healthy by eliminating such mutations. The carriers simply do not live to reproduce. As painful as it is for the parents of the afflicted, it is also necessary for humanity as a whole.

Back to hubris. We humans think that we can and should control everything, that immortality should be achievable, all disease eliminated, cost no objective. Then dont complain about the economy falling apart because of health care costs. And dont believe that there is any system that can support such an attitude.

The end result will be as it is clearly developing: extensive care for the very wealthy and minimal to none for those in the lower echelons of the economic structure.

Amy Schmersal Paradise, Hagerstown

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Letters to the Editor – July 30 – Herald-Mail Media

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Websites launched to help people live forever through social media –

Posted: July 21, 2017 at 11:42 am

Dont worry, when you die, youll still be able to update Facebook.

IF your heart stops beating, youll keep tweeting.

Suggesting you can still communicate through social media once youre dead sounds like an episode of futuristic series Black Mirror, but living forever through our Facebook pages could happen within the decade.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne have studied how social media and death relate to each other and discovered the concept of social immortality.

Currently Google and Facebook use an algorithm to create a profile of us, to target us with certain marketing campaigns that match up with our interests.

This same algorithm could work with other softwares to generate posts from our profiles after we die, allowing us to update our statuses and participate in online conversation.

Its a scary thought, but a number of sites have been launched dedicated to maintaining your social presence once you die.

We all pass away sooner or later. We only leave behind a few photos, maybe some home videos, or in rare situations, a diary or autobiography, it says on website EterniMe.

But eventually, we are all forgotten.

People can sign up to the website and it collects your thoughts, stories and memories.

Sites like Facebook could post on your behalf once you die.Source:Supplied is another website people sign up to so they can write emails to be sent out after they die.

You store your emails and the website prompts you to respond with a password. If you fail to respond a number of times it assumes youre dead and sends out the emails youve prepared to the recipients you nominated, University of Melbourne History and Philosophy Science Associate Professor Michael Arnold told

It can send emails to relatives or data to business partners or emotional content.

Professor Arnold said another website, DeadSocial, also allowed people to manage their social media from beyond the grave.

It takes it a step further, he said.

Its not simply emails but also social media posts on anything like Twitter, Facebook or blogs.

You can nominate when you have a social presence, whether that be immediately after your death or later on. You might prepare media to be sent out on the first anniversary of your death or on the wedding of your young child, 10, 15 years down the track.

Not only can you leave posts for websites to publish, but social media will be able to generate its own content. Looking at your social media activity, your sense of humour and language, algorithms could create a social media post so you can continue to participate in discussions online. More advanced technology could even mimic your voice and make phone calls on your behalf and virtual reality could generate images of you.

Twitter could generate tweets once youre dead by using past social media activity.Source:istock

Professor Arnold said there could be issues with social immortality.

Theres the problem of trolling from beyond the grave and bullying. How do we control that? Services encrypt everything and they cant determine if its malicious, he said.

On a more philosophical level, it makes you question how important our body is to our social life. Many younger people in particular will know a great deal of their social life is online and it is not uncommon for people to be in front of a screen for 16 hours a day.

People interact and form communities. Given thats the case and given we have all kinds of social relations entirely online, sometimes we never meet face-to-face with people we communicate with regularly, the question arises, is it important for a body to be there, given its not part of our social lives?

Professor Arnold said people would want to use this type of technology to be remembered and leave a legacy, but he believes people should carefully consider and assess what the technology means.

Dont blindly fall into it, be prepared to assess it, reject it, or embrace it and do so in a thoughtful and knowing way rather than being sucked in, he said.

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Aspen Times Weekly: How Long Do You Want to Live? – Aspen Times

Posted: July 20, 2017 at 2:42 am

Aging in Aspen is different than in other places.

Walk the malls or the streets, and you’ll see people of a certain age, call it 60-plus, who glow with life. Take to the steep roads or trails just after dawn and you will be passed by geriatric joggers and cyclists, mixed in with the millennials and Gen-Xers, riding or running up the substantial hills, getting miles in before breakfast.

Aspenites of all ages embrace their physicality. They are in shape and they are either living the later years of their lives to the fullest, on their own terms, or actively pursuing healthy practices so that their futures will also be bright.

At a plethora of events like last week’s Aspen Brain Lab and the Aspen Institute’s Spotlight Health, presented earlier this summer, Aspenites engage with each other and with new, sometimes revolutionary ideas in health care. Make no mistake, the outsized financial resources of the community allow many to benefit from the best health care that money can buy.

Human Longevitys intentions, if successful, would transform the status quo of the medical, pharmaceutical and health insurance industries.

Let’s face it, this is an amazing place to grow old.


Last week, in a lovely private home at the base of Smuggler Mountain, a small group of Aspenites gathered to hear of a budding revolution in health care. As the assembled, ranging in age from late 30s to their mid 70s, relaxed in chairs and on sofas in the well-appointed living room, sipping wine and sampling spring rolls, they listened to a presentation that proposed the potential to change the way they look at their own health. And their future, as well.

While the first nourishing rain in months pelted the roof and shrouded the Aspen Mountain views from the house, J. Craig Venter, who gained fame, acclaim and fortune in the early 2000s for his role in the quest to sequence the human genome, explained how his latest creation, Human Longevity, Inc., in La Jolla, California, is working to turn the world of health care upside down.

Venter, a vibrant 70-year-old, co-founded Human Longevity to provide people with the most complete and intensive genetic and physical assessments of their health that has ever existed. These “road maps” show clients, in intimate detail, the exact condition of their bodies at a given moment in time, and what pitfalls may exist for the future based upon their genetic makeup.

Sitting comfortably with his toy poodle, Darwin, on his lap, the bearded Venter detailed his vision for the company that has raised over $300 million in capital from investors, including Celgene and GE Ventures. The goal is to give people, and eventually health care companies, advance information about pre-existing health issues so that the focus can be on prevention as a health care option, rather than continuing the long entrenched tradition of “fixing” people after they have already developed maladies or life threatening diseases.

Perhaps because of Venter’s earlier success with the human genome, his project is receiving much attention. Last year he was here in Aspen to address the Ideas Festival and speak at the Charlie Rose Weekend event. This spring he was the subject of a Forbes Magazine cover story on the project and has also been featured in documentaries produced by production companies as disparate as NOVA and Red Bull TV. Though he is not without his detractors, some of whom find him arrogant and infused with an outsized disrespect for established medical conventions, Venter is once again on a quest for change.

Like Amazon revolutionizing shopping, Tesla challenging the automotive industry and Uber disrupting transportation, Human Longevity’s intentions, if successful, would transform the status quo of the medical, pharmaceutical and health insurance industries.


The product of the Human Longevity is knowledge on a disk.

Clients currently come to a luxurious facility in La Jolla for a physical assessment unlike any that has previously been available to human beings. Called the Health Nucleus, the procedure calls for a complete review and analysis of a client’s physical health. When completed, clients walk away with a disk that details both their DNA and their current state of health.

The first element of the Health Nucleus, and perhaps most revolutionary, is the process of a whole genome sequencing of each client, the actual mapping of their personal genetic code, or their DNA. Every cell of a person has 23 pairs of chromosomes. In each chromosome there are millions of pieces of information. Think of these as individual words or letters that are unique to any and every individual. This is the genetic story of our lives. “Add it all up and there are 6.4 billion characters of code in each of us,” Venter said.

This data tells us everything about our physical makeup. The color of our eyes and hair, how tall we will grow, whether we are right-handed or left-handed. And it also tells us what diseases we may be susceptible to, or even pre-ordained for. From cancers to cardiovascular issues, which combined account for two-thirds of all deaths in this country, to metabolic and neurological issues, the genome sequencing provides insights into what potential health issues we should be aware of.

At the completion of the whole genome sequencing, the information is analyzed and cross-referenced with the largest database of full genotypic information that currently exists. A 500-page report is prepared, including with a short summation, for each client. “When we did the first genome sequencing in 2000 we built a $50 million computer and the cost of the process was $100 million. Today, thanks to the progress in computing power, we are able to do a sequence in 12 minutes at a cost of closer to $1,000,” Venter said to the intrigued group. “The computing power we have today is 1,350 times greater than when we first started sequencing the genome.”

The second component of the Health Nucleus is a full body and brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI. This state of the art technology uses high frequency radio waves to produce vivid, vibrant and previously unimaginably clear images of internal organs. And, in contrast to previous technologies like cat scans, it requires no radiation.

This MRI will show, with a multitude of cross sections, what is inside your body and the state of health it is in. Ever want to see the size of your hippocampus in full Technicolor? How about your kidney in 3-D? At the conclusion of the session, as many as 18,000 images of the client’s body can be accessed.

These exams are not just for the aged. In fact, the ability for the Health Nucleus examinations to offer a base line of health information can change the way younger people plan for their health care throughout their lives. “We have performed assessments on people from 18 to 99 years old,” Venter said. He recommended that the procedures are appropriate for people, beginning in their 20s and 30s.


But beyond just the novelty and wonder of seeing what the inside of your body looks like, the MRI has the capability of identifying real life-threatening issues that may go undetected in other types of physicals. “Forty percent of the people who undergo the assessments have something to address. Two-and-a-half percent who come in have cancers,” Venter said. “We see lots of aneurysms that are treatable and incidents of prostate cancers in men.”

“Early detections are extremely rewarding,” Venter said with a degree of irony, before explaining his own experience with the assessments. “Last year I underwent a physical with my doctor and showed no indications of any issues. I then went through our Health Nucleus assessment and discovered, to my shock, that I had high-grade prostate cancer.” After undergoing treatment last November, Venter is now cancer free.

Choking up in front of the group, Venter also told the story of his science mentor, partner and friend, Nobel laureate in medicine Hamilton Smith, 85, who found he had a deadly lymphoma while undergoing an evaluation using the Health Nucleus assessment. He, too, underwent treatment and is doing well. “Ham would likely not be alive today if we had not begun this project.”

The Health Nucleus project is still in its development stages and there are issues to be reckoned with. Colon cancers, for example, cannot be identified reliably as of yet, so colonoscopies are still recommended. Stat News, an online health journalism site produced by Boston Globe Media, recently presented an article stating that there are components of the human genome that have yet to be decoded that could affect the accuracy of current sequencing. Finding physicians who have the capability to review the data properly can be a challenge. And the costs of the Health Nucleus screenings are not currently covered by insurance and must be paid out of pocket.

But Venter is aggressively moving forward. It was announced that Human Longevity will be opening 10 new clinics throughout the nation; unfortunately Aspen is not currently on the docket. And perhaps most importantly, HLI has introduced two new versions of its consumer assessments at price points of $4,900 or $7,500, considerably less than the original Health Nucleus Platinum program that costs $25,000. Expectations are those costs will come down in the future as the program scales up.

While immortality may never be an option, increasing one’s life span by a number of years by predicting and preventing treatable disease may well be the wave of the future. When I asked J. Craig Venter how long he wants to live, he looked wistfully across the room toward his wife, Heather. “Well, I’d like to see this project through,” he said with a stiff upper lip. Then, in a much softer voice, “And I’d like to spend as much time with my wife as I possibly can.”

For those who can afford it and are interested in knowing as much about their health options as is possible, and potentially reducing the onset of preventable disease, the Health Nucleus testing may be very attractive. As Aspenite Joe Nevin, who hosted the gathering, asked, “Why wouldn’t you want to know?”

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Aspen Times Weekly: How Long Do You Want to Live? – Aspen Times

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WELLBEING: Seven reasons to fall in love with aloe vera this summer – NW Evening Mail

Posted: July 19, 2017 at 3:42 am

ITS not historically known as the miracle plant for nothing

REMEMBER when the only thing aloe vera was known for was that awful dad joke? Where any mention of the plant would quickly be echoed with a loud exclamation of, Allo, Vera!, in a terrible cockney accent.

Well, aloe vera has recently become a lot more mainstream, so mention the plant now and youre just as likely to hear the likes of, Ooh its so good for your skin, or, So healthy!

Not said allo to this super succulent yet? Aloe us to introduce you. Here are seven reasons to add aloe vera to your wellness radar…

Ever been on holiday to the Caribbean and been offered aloe vera gel squeezed straight out of the plant to rub on sun-parched or sunburnt skin? Naturally cooling and soothing, its often hailed for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities. It can help to speed up new cell growth and repair damaged tissues, says nutritionist Cassandra Barns. Thats why its an excellent soother for irritated and burnt skin.

Ultra-refreshing and naturally sweet, aloe vera is making its mark in the healthy drinks market. Whether youre glugging an aloe-based drink, or topping up homemade smoothies and juices with an aloe supplement. Aloe vera is what we call a functional food. In other words, it has health benefits that can enhance our wellbeing, says Simplee Aloe nutritionist Libby Limon, who lists helping to balance energy levels and supporting our immune systems among its properties.

Thought superfoods were a new concept? Throughout history, people have turned to nature in a bid to bolster their health. The ancient Egyptians dubbed aloe vera the plant of immortality. In reality, its probably not going to make you live forever, but it is packed with vitamins. Aloe vera, often called a miracle plant, has been used in herbal medicine for over 2,000 years, adds Cassandra.

Cravings, energy slumps, mood swings, tiredness… our body has lots of ways of letting us know when were consuming too much sugar. Sometimes, poor blood sugar balance can contribute to weight gain too, often due to a diet high in carbohydrates with a lack of fibre, healthy fats and protein, notes Libby. Aloe vera has healthy polysaccharides, which have been shown to aid blood sugar balancing, and therefore can be a great tool to help weight management alongside reducing refined carbohydrates and sugars in the diet.

Aloe Vera helps to improve the bodys digestion, beating the all too common bloat which is linked to an imbalance in the digestive tract, says Libby. Aloe Vera has been long known for its digestive benefits, which include anti-inflammatory properties and helping to support friendly bacteria.

Aloe vera has a special, hidden quality which allows the body to absorb vitamin C and E from other foods. The body uses vitamin C to make collagen which helps keep skin healthy and elastic, says Libby. And both vitamin C and E are antioxidants, which protect skin against damage and ageing. Beautiful glowing skin is also linked to your digestion, hormone balance and detoxification. The aloe vera inner gel also has components which help with all three of these.

On the look-out for more natural beauty products? It doesnt get much more natural than this: scoop out the gooey insides of the plant, whizz through a blender and then apply to your hair for luscious, conditioned locks, or use as a soothing, replenishing face mask.

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WELLBEING: Seven reasons to fall in love with aloe vera this summer – NW Evening Mail

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A Son’s Race to Give His Dying Father Artificial Immortality – WIRED

Posted: at 3:42 am

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We Will Extend Our Lives but Not Attain Immortality, Says Anti-Aging Researcher – Futurism

Posted: July 18, 2017 at 3:42 am

In BriefEric Verdin, a world-leading researcher on aging, recentlyshared what he has learned about the future of growing old. WhileVerdin views immortality as a fairy tale, he said that manypromising methods for extending life are being studied. The Future of Getting Old

The Population Reference Bureau has projectedthat the percentage of the population over the age of 65 will rise from the current 15 percent to a staggering 24 percent by 2060. This means that research into aging has never been more important.

Eric Verdin is at the forefront of this research and has become thePresident and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. The institute is the worlds biggest independent research facilitystudying the causes of growing old and how to combat them. Recently, he conducted an interview with Nautilus to discuss how aging is effecting our lives.

Verdin believes that the explosion in age-related research is due to researchers discovery in the 1990s that aging is not necessarily an inevitability. Instead, it is caused by mutations and scientists could make changes to the genome of other species that led to a lifetimes of up to twice as long. Verdin stated in the interview this resulted in a belief that there might be pathways to regulate aging, and if there are pathways that means there are proteins, and that means you can eventually develop drugs.

Despite this, he says, if you hear the word immortality, just run. There is no drug that can give you that. While Verdin believes we can increase the average human lifetime significantly, the fountain of youth is still just a fairy tale. Its just nonsense from my perspective, and I think we should really resist the I-word.

The best way to maximize your lifespan, he said in the interview, is to maintain your body well. Good nutrition and exercise are incredible anti-aging medicine. His general advice is to treat the cause rather than the symptom with a combination of lifestyle and pharmaceutical treatments to fight aging itself rather than dealing with Alzheimers, Parkinsons, or macular degeneration when they occur.

The human attraction to immortality has been present in our cultural landscape since the beginning of time the human mind seems to be unable to resist its lures. There are countless myths and stories based on it: the fountain of youth, the Wandering Jew, the philosophers stone, and the Bibles Enochare a few examples.

Recently, this mystical desire has birthed amyriad of promising methods forreversing the aging process which are currently underinvestigation: from transfusing young peoples blood into older people to give them more osteopontin, to digging into the role telemores play on the aging process, to developing anti-aging, bacteria-based pills.

However, when our increasing life expectancy is combined with the decrease in fertility that many nations are facing, the results arean aging population.In an interview with CNN, Elon Musk pointed out why this is undesirable, saying it causesa very high dependency ratio, where the number of people who are retired is very high relative to the number of people who are net producers an economically detrimental state of affairs.

Due to technological and therapeutic advancements, aging is looking less like an ugly inevitability of our condition and more likea new and exciting epoch in our lives. However,we must ensure that longer lives for people do not come at the expense of the environment, economy, orwellbeing of others.

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We Will Extend Our Lives but Not Attain Immortality, Says Anti-Aging Researcher – Futurism

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