Dear Future Centenarian,
I was attending a cryonics longevity seminar years ago when I started playing with words.
The first was…
Life Stone instead of tombstone
That really makes sense for the cryonics community, since we expect to transcend death under ideal conditions.
But what should these stones be made of? A few come to mind, but you can start collecting and wearing them now as constant reminders of your extreme youthful longevity.
As traditions go, the agate stone endows the wearer with calmness, courage, eloquence, health, longevity, virtue, and wealth.
The amethyst stone symbolizes deep love, happiness, humility, sincerity, and wealth. It is believed that the aquamarine stone ensures continual happiness and constancy in love; symbolizes health, hope, and youth.
Moonstone is a crystal that helps you to re-structure your life at all levels.
Cornelian (or carnelian), Wish Stone, is highly favorable to health, long life, and good fortune.
Purple Jade is cherished as a protective talisman, assuring long life.
Diamonds are the only gemstones comprised of one pure element, carbon—the molecules of which bond in perfect symmetry and make the hardest naturally occurring substance on the planet. Due to these physical properties, they’ve long symbolized power, strength, innocence, incorruptibility, longevity, constancy, and good fortune.
There is a Buddhist teaching, one of the most important Mahayana sutras, called the Diamond sutra. The sapphire is known as a “stone of prosperity”, sustaining the gifts of life, eliminating frustration, and fulfilling the dreams and the desires of the consciousness. Blue Sapphire assists in healing all parts of the body.
Aquamarine has a rich color and has long been a symbol of youth, health and hope. Aquamarine increases one’s access to courage. This gemstone was believed to protect sailors, as well as to guarantee a safe voyage. The serene color of aquamarine is said to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded.
Its pale, cool color beautifully complements spring and summer wardrobes. For centuries, this timeless gemstone has been a symbol of youth, hope, health and fidelity.
Since this gemstone is the color of water and the sky, it is said to embody eternal life. It was long thought that Aquamarine has a soothing influence on married couples, making it a good anniversary gift.
Jade stone healing power: "Very Lucky Stone", peace, serenity, memory, increases vitality, encourages harmony, inspires wisdom, prolongs life.
Ancient Chinese used it for courage, wisdom, justice, mercy, emotional balance, stamina, love, fidelity, humility, generosity, peace, harmony, lungs, heart, thymus, immune, kidney and blood detoxification and the nervous system.
It is a very popular gemstone projecting universal love, health, wealth and long life.
Since Cryonics stores patients at ultra-cold temperatures in a state of suspended animation after being pronounced legally dead while waiting for technology to catch up that would revive them, I thought a few plays on words would be appropriate. For example:
Pauseoleum instead of mausoleum
Dreamatory instead of crematory
Renewlogy instead of eulogy
There are several paths that could lead to age reversal, cryonics being the one keeping you in a holding pattern should the others not be available to you on time.
Think of it as your Plan B. It’s mine, and both of my parents are currently suspended.
My choice of cryonics organizations is Alcor Life Extension Foundation. www.Alcor.org
The Catalytic Antibody Approach to Amyloid Aggregation
Today's paper is authored by the Covalent Bioscience science team, and is an overview of the science underlying their catalytic antibody (or catabody) approach to clearing amyloids of various sorts from aged tissues.
This Giving Tuesday, Support Rejuvenation Research at the SENS Research Foundation
It is Giving Tuesday today, a prompt for each of to think about the change that we would like to see happen in the world, and then do our parts in making it happen.
We can all be philanthropists, we can all support the projects that we believe will improve the human condition. In the sciences, it is largely exactly this sort of motivated philanthropy that funds the most important progress, that which takes place at the cutting edge of research.
The Prospects for Restoring Neurogenesis in the Aging Brain
Today's open access paper is a review of potential approaches that might be used as a basis for therapies to restore a more youthful level of neurogenesis in the aging mammalian brain.
Neurogenesis is the process by which new neurons are created by neural stem cell populations and then integrated into neural networks. In adults, neurogenesis is essential to memory, learning, and the limited degree of regeneration that the brain is capable of enacting.
Mesodermal Progenitor Cells Enable the Generation of Vascularized Organoids
Researchers have made considerable progress in the construction of small, functional tissue sections called organoids over the past decade, enabled by a combination of better understanding the mechanisms involved in regeneration and embryonic development of tissues, advances in 3-D bioprinting, guidance of cell behavior via appropriate provision of signal molecules, and the generation of environments that mimic an existing tissue environment.
Every tissue requires its own specific recipe of signals and environment in order to form a functional organoid, but researchers have demonstrated the manufacture of organoids for liver, kidney, lung, and thymus, among others.
Tryptophan Metabolism and Inflammaging
Today's open access research on tryptophan and its role in age-related immune dysfunction is particularly interesting in the context of ongoing research into the changes that take place in gut microbiota with age.
Other recent work has examined the way in which tryptophan production by gut microbes declines precipitously with age, as this is one of a number of compounds produced by bacteria, such as butyrate, indole, and proprionate, that are influential on long term health.
More Aggressive Control of Blood Pressure Modestly Extends Life in Older People
Hypertension, the widespreak age-related increase in blood pressure, is very damaging. It is one of the major ways in which low-level biochemical damage, leading to stiffening of blood vessels and consequent disruption of the feedback mechanisms that determine blood pressure, gives rise to structural tissue damage throughout the body.
Hypertension harms delicate tissues in the brain, kidneys, and elsewhere. Hypertension also speeds the development of atherosclerosis, the formation of fatty lesions in blood vessel walls, and makes it more likely that blood vessels weakened by plaques will rupture, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
These and other mechanisms are why control of blood pressure, without controlling the underlying causes of hypertension, has a measurable effect on life expectancy.
Potentially Significant Gut Microbiome Changes Occur in Younger Adult Life
Researchers here provide evidence for detrimental changes in the composition of gut microbiota, and thus the compounds they secrete, to occur quite sharply at a threshold age as early as mid-30s.
It is well known that the microbial populations of the gut change with age, and there are several identified mechanisms by which compounds secreted by beneficial gut microbes improve health over the long-term, or by which harmful gut microbes can spur chronic inflammation.
It has been suggested that supplementation with some of these secreted compounds might be useful, or engineering of the microbial population to minimize harmful microbes and expand beneficial species.
IL-15 as an Exercise Mimetic that Improves Wound Healing in Old Mice
Researchers here demonstrate that providing the cytokine IL-15 to older mice improves wound healing. The surrounding context suggests that this is a part of the stress response systems that link exercise to health benefits, acting through at least mitochondrial function, and no doubt other pathways as well.
Since the mitochondria in cells throughout the body undergo a series of detrimental changes with age, faltering in their ability to deliver energy store molecules to power cellular processes, most methods of intervening in this decline might be expected to produce some degree of benefit.
This is the case even when, as here, the intervention is essentially compensatory, addressing only a proximate cause rather than the underlying accumulation of damage that drives the manifestations of aging.
Fibrosis as an Important Contributing Cause of Atrial Fibrillation
Researchers here argue that fibrosis of cardiac tissue is an important contribution to the development of atrial fibrillation in older patients.
Fibrosis is a feature of many age-related conditions, a dysfunction in tissue maintenance processes that involves the generation of scar-like deposits of collagen by overactive fibroblasts.
This scarring disrupts normal tissue structure and function in many organs, including the heart, and there is no good approved therapy to treat the progression of fibrosis: even slowing it is haphazard and unreliable.
This may soon change.
A Demonstration of Small Molecule Inhibition of Tau Aggregation
Researchers here demonstrate a small molecule approach to the inhibition of tau aggregation in neurodegenerative conditions.
The tau protein is one of the few in the human body that can become altered in a way that leads to the aggregation of ever more molecules of the protein into solid deposits.
These aggregates and their surrounding halo of harmful biochemistry cause cell dysfunction and cell death. Once the aggregation process starts, it spreads from cell to cell like an infection. This form of pathology is characteristic of a number of neurodegenerative conditions, designated as tauopathies, including later stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Discovering New Mechanisms of Action for Metformin
Metformin is a terrible approach to slowing aging in comparison to, say, mTOR inhibition. Slowing aging in this way, by manipulating the operation of an aged cellular metabolism without repairing the underlying damage that causes aging, is in turn a terrible approach to the treatment of aging.
Yet metformin attracts a great deal of interest. I believe that most people simply don't care about effect size and reliability. Most popular science materials don't discuss these points, thus putting every intervention on the same footing in the minds of much of the public. Yet effect size and reliability are the very heart of the matter.
The animal data on metformin shows it to be unreliable when it comes to effects on life span;
On Making Philanthropy in Support of Rejuvenation Research Attractive to Investors
In this interview, Aubrey de Grey of the SENS Research Foundation talks about how the foundation has sought to make philanthropy in support of the development of rejuvenation therapies an attractive prospect for high net worth investors, people who are usually much more interested in deploying capital into for-profit programs.
Since the goal of the SENS community is to move projects from the lab to clinical development, particularly those promising projects in rejuvenation research that have previously lacked funding and moved more slowly than we'd all like, it should be quite compatible with the goals of investors. It makes sense to offer philanthropic support to programs that will later lead to startup biotech companies that are looking for investment.
The Latest on Cellular Senescence in Type 2 Diabetes
One of the more unexpected recent findings relating to cellular senescence is that it appears to be an important part of the mechanisms that lead to loss of the pancreatic ?-cells responsible for insulin secretion in both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes - which are very different conditions, despite the shared name.
The authors of the brief open access commentary noted here discuss the present state of this research.
Evidence for Exercise to Slow Cognitive Decline
A sizable body of evidence, both mechanistic and epidemiological, supports the idea that exercise slows age-related cognitive decline.
The report here is an example of the type, noting the results of a study in which some of the participants were assigned to an exercise program. The exercising participants exhibited a slower decline in cognitive function, particularly memory, in comparison to the others.
This is a representative result: in general, the consensus in the scientific literature is that regular exercise is beneficial to cognitive function over the long term.
Reviewing the DNA Damage Response in Aging
Nuclear DNA damage is considered a contributing cause of aging, though at this stage the research community is still proposing and debating processes by which this damage might cause metabolic dysfunction throughout the body.
Mutations to nuclear DNA evidently increase cancer risk, but setting this aside, how does random damage to random cells contribute to the declines of age?
There are a few possibilities; firstly that the vast majority of nuclear DNA damage, occurring as it does in somatic cells, or in unusued portions of the genome, is irrelevant.
Harms are done when mutations affecting function occur in stem cells and progenitor cells, allowing that mutation to spread widely throughout a tissue.