A Users Guide To Immortality
Historically, aging was first likened to "wear and tear": living bodies get weaker just as with use a knife's edge becomes dulled or with exposure to air and moisture iron objects rust.
How to Keep Your Muscles Strong as You Age
Experts Are Looking Into Promising Treatments for Muscle Decline. But There Are Things You Can Do About It Now
Muscle strength is one of the keys to healthy aging, yet after we achieve peak mass in our early 40s, it's pretty much downhill from there. Most people begin to lose modest amounts of muscle at that point and experience progressive deterioration as the years go by, especially if they are sedentary.
Now, with a growing population of aging baby boomers, experts are turning their attention to interventions to help stem the loss of muscle mass, quality and strength, known as sarcopenia. It is caused by a number of complex factors that are not entirely understood, including decreasing amounts of testosterone in men. Muscle decline often goes hand in hand with frailty, a decline of physical function that leads to falls, hospitalization and the need for nursing-home care.
Researchers are looking at promising treatments including inhibiting a naturally occurring protein called myostatin that curbs muscle growth. Pharmaceutical companies already have drugs in the pipeline that act by blocking myostatin or blocking the sites where it is detected in the body, potentially rebuilding muscle.
For now, however, the best medicine available to maintain muscle mass and strength is less complicated and costly—namely, exercise and a healthy diet. Yet about 60% of people over 65 are insufficiently active or overtly inactive, and many have poor nutrition, says Nathan LeBrasseur, a researcher who directs the Muscle Performance and Physical Function Laboratory and the Healthy Aging and Independent Living Initiative at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Dr. LeBrasseur estimates that most people will lose approximately 30% of muscle mass over their lifetime, and as much as 50% by the time they reach their 80s or 90s.
Keep Your Motor Running
Muscle is also central to metabolism, or the rate at which fat and calories are burned, and can help improve resiliency to the stressors of aging, Dr. LeBrasseur says. By simply stepping up activity like walking, gardening and household tasks, "we can slow the loss and prevent crossing that critical threshold that leads to functional limitations and metabolic issues."
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, which inhibits the metabolism of nutrients in the body, are believed to contribute to age-related muscle loss, and older obese individuals with decreased muscle mass or strength are at special risk for adverse outcomes, according to research funded by the National institute on Aging. Related conditions include cachexia, a state of general physical decline and malnutrition associated with chronic disease and cancer, and wasting disorders that can be associated with nerve disease or injury.
There is still debate about how best to define and measure sarcopenia, and doctors caring for the elderly may not even be aware of the term, which was derived from Greek words for poverty of the flesh and was introduced in the late 1980s. Researchers have a better handle on frailty, a syndrome of decreased strength reserves, reduced resistance to physical and psychological stressors, and cumulative decline across multiple systems of the body, including the brain. A number of frailty scales are available to help doctors evaluate patients.
Jeremy Walston, a professor of geriatric medicine and co-director of the Biology of Healthy Aging program at Johns Hopkins University's Center on Aging and Health, says a major goal of research is to understand the complex interplay of molecular and physiological declines in multiple systems of the body with advancing age—a mix that may increase general vulnerability in frail, older adults. His team is studying changes in mitochondria, the energy-generating components of cells, and the impact of chronic inflammation in the body.
The Johns Hopkins researchers are also studying whether the drug losartan, commonly used to treat high blood pressure, can slow muscle decline in adults 70 and older, after promising results in mice.
In addition to the mounting evidence of the benefits of physical activity in stemming decline, Dr. Walston says there is an emerging body of research that suggests older people should eat more protein, with a focus on leaner sources.
According to guidelines published in 2010 by the Society on Sarcopenia, Cachexia and Wasting Disorders, a nonprofit group, as many as 41% of women and 35% of men age 50-plus ingest less than the recommended daily allowance of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (0.36 grams per pound). The group recommends that total protein should be higher in that age range, or 1 to 1.5 grams per kilogram per day (0.45 to 0.68 grams per pound), spread equally through three meals.
The group also says low vitamin D levels are associated with low muscle strength, and supplementing it in those cases has been shown to increase strength and function and reduce falls. But it's best to talk to a physician before starting any supplements such as protein or vitamin D.
As for exercise, the group notes that resistance exercises can improve strength, while aerobic exercise can improve overall health and quality of life. The group recommends a combination of the two for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week.
Building Up Reserves
Evidence continues to show the benefits of exercise at any age. Last month, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that an exercise program reduced the onset of major disability for at-risk older adults by 18% over about 2½ years. The study, the largest of its kind, was conducted by a consortium of major aging research centers and funded by the federal government.
Known as the LIFE study—for Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders—it compared a supervised, moderate-intensity physical activity program with a health education program on aging in 1,600 sedentary older adults. The activity portion included aerobic, strength, flexibility and balance training, based on individual levels of fitness, while the education arm had only limited focus on physical activity.
The study defined major mobility disability as the inability to walk 400 meters within 15 minutes without sitting, leaning against a wall, or getting assistance from another person or walker. Roger Fielding, a co-author of the study and director of the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at Tufts University, says the study shows that "even as we advance into very old age, physical activity can help preserve independence." The study group hopes to follow the subjects for three more years to gauge longer-term benefits.
There is some inevitability to declining strength and muscles in aging, "but whatever we can do to mitigate that by building up the health reserve can pay off in dividends later," says Karen Bandeen-Roche, another researcher at the Johns Hopkins aging center. "We can't say frailty can be prevented in all people, but we can compress it to a smaller proportion of the end of life."
But this idea was discredited in the 19th century when the second law of thermodynamics was formalized. Entropy (disorder) must increase inevitably within a closed system, but living beings are not closed systems. It is a defining feature of life that it takes in free energy from the environment and unloads its entropy as waste.
Living systems can even build themselves up from seed, and routinely repair themselves. There is no thermodynamic necessity for senescence. In addition, generic damage or "wear and tear" theories could not explain why biologically similar organisms (e.g. mammals) exhibited such dramatically different life spans.
Furthermore, this initial theory failed to explain why most organisms maintain themselves so efficiently until adulthood and then, after reproductive maturity, begin to succumb to age-related damage.
THE IMMORTALISTS - A Short Film By Jason Silva
Aging has been slowed and healthy lifespan prolonged in many disparate animal models (C. elegans, Drosophila, Ames dwarf mice, etc.). Thus, assuming there are common fundamental mechanisms, it should also be possible to slow aging in humans.
Greater knowledge about aging should bring better management of the debilitating pathologies associated with aging, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and
Seniors Hound Doctors For A Chance To Participate In New Anti-aging Study
What if there were a way to stave off the creaks and calamities of old age? Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is working on it.
With word leaking out, seniors from all over the globe have been hounding Dr. Barzilai and his colleagues to get in on the action—with many writing to prove their worthiness. Never mind that formal patient recruitment is still perhaps a year away.
One 71-year-old sent a photo of himself along with a note: “still do 100 push ups every day!” A retired engineer disclosed his schedule: “Completing 2 crosswords a day; walking for 30-45 minutes daily; playing the piano for one hour a day; consuming 1000 mg of turmeric.”
“I constantly worry, how long will I be able to work; will I ever be able to retire and will I be able to care for myself when I’m older?” another prospective volunteer wrote.
“All humankind is waiting and watching,” wrote a 76-year-old who teaches “Introduction to Twitter” at a senior center in Las Vegas.
Would-be participants—from Cherry Hill, N.J., the Four Corners area of New Mexico, the Netherlands and beyond—have inundated Dr. Barzilai with calls and letters. Other researchers in the project have been swamped as well.
Behind the mania is a widely used, inexpensive generic pill for Type 2 diabetes called metformin. Scientists are planning a clinical trial to see if the drug can delay or prevent some of the most devastating diseases of advanced age, from heart ailments to cognitive decline to cancer. To test the pill, gerontologists at 14 aging centers around the U.S. will follow 3,000 seniors for six years. Half the seniors involved would get the drug, while the others would receive a placebo.
“Clearly we have tapped into something that is fundamental to humanity,” said S. Jay Olshansky, a professor at the school of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago who is also involved in the project.
Dr. Olshanksy hasn’t seen this kind of patient interest in a medical study. “You are never contacted by the public, ever,” he said.
Medical researchers often practically have to beg for volunteers, and sometimes offer them big money. A plea for subjects for a National Institute on Aging-funded sleep study, for instance, makes participation sound fun. “37-day Sleep Research Study! Needs Healthy Participants Ages 55-70!” Participants “receive up to $10,125,” the notice says.
The metformin study has a more natural appeal, acknowledges Dr. Olshansky. “We’re talking about the most valuable commodity on earth: life itself.”
Senior sleuths have dug up his cellphone number and called it repeatedly. “What’s your story?” the doctor asked a California man who kept phoning. The caller, a 70-year-old entrepreneur, told the doctor he is enjoying life and doesn’t want it to end.
A few people said they craved significant life extensions—complete with retirement benefits. “The thought of living on until 120 years old fills me with great excitement, and also the thought of drawing my pensions until then would be an amazing gift,” a 71-year-old British man wrote.
Others seem motivated by their dread of an emotionally and financially challenging decline. “It’s not so much a fear of dying, it’s a fear of living in pain and agony and being a burden to everyone else and my wife and so forth,” said Bill Thygerson, 70, a retired missile-systems engineer.
Many who raised hands, including Mr. Thygerson, of Huntsville, Ala., already live carefully. He has cut way down on sugar and red meat. He’s a gym regular. A few years ago, he got back to his college weight. (“I did have three vegan cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday,” he confessed.)
While life expectancy has increased dramatically in the last century, aging also boosts one’s chance of developing cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and more.
Gerontologists’ interest in metformin dovetails with research by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which is also testing ways to postpone or prevent debilitating and costly conditions. The idea behind the effort is to target pathways in the body, at the molecular level, that when defective can trigger chronic disease or death, said Rafael de Cabo, chief of the agency’s Translational Gerontology Branch.
In the past dozen years, his lab and others identified multiple compounds, including metformin, that affect these pathways and have led to a healthier old age, and in some cases longer life, in mice.
Researchers consider metformin the best choice of the bunch to try first on humans because of its history of causing little to no side effects.
Also encouraging the researchers: A large British study, published in 2014, reported that older diabetics on metformin on average lived longer than their healthier peers.
The team planning the U.S. study is working to raise about $64 million. No pharmaceutical company is involved, and none of the doctors have a financial stake in the pill.
“I just think we need to think out of the box,” said Vicki Hayes, a 61-year-old retired school principal in Wilmington, N.C., who asked to volunteer for the clinical trial. She may be out of luck: researchers are planning to select subjects between the ages of 65 and 79.
Some prospective participants have already had brushes with an illness. “You don’t think about mortality until something like that hits you straight in the face,” Randolph von Gans, of Marbella, Spain, said by phone. The 72-year-old semi-retiree relishes the outdoors and socializing, and recalled feeling somewhat “shattered” during a setback from a blocked coronary artery.
Even Dr. Olshansky’s older sister is nudging him to get her into the study. (He instructed her to write a letter, same as the other wannabes.)
The sister, 64-year-old Arlene Schultz, did just that. She shared her concerns during a phone call, during which she was simultaneously walking on a treadmill.
“I don’t want to look old. I don’t want to feel old,” said Ms. Schultz, a retired skin care technician who lives in Farmington Hills, Mich. “I’m trying my darndest to fight it.”
Therefore, this blog is a call to action for greater funding and research into both the underlying mechanisms of aging and methods for its postponement. Such research may yield dividends far greater than equal efforts to combat the age-related diseases themselves.
Collaborations Provide Major Advance in Cancer Treatment
Researchers may have solved a puzzle about which patients will
benefit from immunotherapy
A collaboration between an immunologist helping his stepmother fight cancer and the oncologist who treated her led to a discovery that could help many more patients benefit from a transformative new therapy.
A new class of drugs called checkpoint inhibitors works by releasing a molecular brake that stops the immune system from attacking tumors. So-called immunotherapy has been approved for several types of cancers and found to extend lives of patients with advanced disease for many years. The problem is that for most patients immunotherapy
The researchers, from University of California, San Francisco, said
they identified a unique type of immune-system cell that "robustly"
predicts whether patients will respond to one of the medicines-an
achievement has the potential to significantly expand the number of
cancer patients who benefit from checkpoint inhibitors.
The new discovery is based on a high-tech analysis of melanoma tissue from 40 patients treated with a checkpoint inhibitor from Merck And Co. called Keytruda, which targets an immune-system brake called PD-1. Although researchers say it will take further research to determine its value in treating patients, the finding offers fresh insight into the complex relationship between the immune system and tumor cells.
"This tells us a lot of important biology," said Jedd Wolchok, chief
of the melanoma and immunotherapies service at Memorial Sloan
Kettering Cancer Center, New York, who wasn't involved with the
research. "It fits with many hypotheses many of us have had about who these treatments work best in." A report on the finding was published online August 15 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The discovery might not have occurred at all had two researchers not met. In 2012, Michael Rosenblum, a physician-scientist who runs a basic-science immunology lab at UCSF, learned his stepmother, Jackie Rosenblum, now 65, had been diagnosed with a rare form of advanced melanoma in her lung, a recurrence of cancer that originally appeared as a skin lesion and had been removed a few years earlier. She was given six months to live.
Dr. Rosenblum had heard about Adil Daud, another UCSF clinical
researcher who was treating patients with skin cancer, and the
exciting results Dr. Daud was seeing in clinical trials with
checkpoint inhibitors. "I cold-called him," Dr. Rosenblum says. The
two men were both in UCSF's dermatology department, although Dr. Rosenblum interest is in inflammatory skin diseases, not cancer.
After initial conversations between the two researchers, Ms.
Rosenblum flew in from her home in North Carolina to see Dr. Daud. He treated her initially with Yervoy, a checkpoint inhibitor marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. that targets an immune-system brake called CTLA-4. She stopped taking it after developing colitis, one of that drug's potential serious side effects.
In June 2013, Dr. Daud enrolled her in a clinical dose-escalation
trial in which she would be treated with Merck's Keytruda, then known as pembrolizumab.
The two scientists' collaborated on research that focuses on PD-1, a
protein that appears on the surface of immune cells and the target of
the two most popular checkpoint drugs, Keytruda and Bristol-Myers's Opdivo. A biomarker for PD-1 already exists but it has limitations: Patients whose tumors have high levels of a PD-1 related protein called PD-L1 appear to have a better response to therapies targeting PD-1. But some patients with low PD-L1 levels also benefit-meaning that it can help guide some treatment decisions but isn't useful for ruling out anti-PD-1 therapy.
Dr. Rosenblum's lab had developed a technique for analyzing immune cells in tumors and other tissue that he says is more comprehensive than conventional methods. At the beginning of their collaboration he invited Dr. Daud to "send me some samples."
The prevailing theory of how checkpoint inhibitors work is based on evidence that immune-system fighters called CD8 cells, which are normally primed to kill enemy cells, initially see and infiltrate
tumors but can end up in a state of chronic activation, too exhausted to mount an effective attack.
Using the lab's laser-based flow cytometry technology, Dr. Rosenblum and his colleagues identified a candidate CD8 cell that had infiltrated tumors marked by levels of not only PD-1 but also of a second immune-system brake called CTLA-4.
The researchers analyzed results of a study involving Keytruda before it was approved. They looked at the CD8 cells that had infiltrated the melanoma tumors of 20 patients treated with the drug and found that if at least 30% of those cells were marked by PD-1 and CTLA-4, the patient responded to treatment. When fewer than 20% of the infiltrated cells had those markers, not one patient responded.
They did a second similar study on 20 more patients and got the same result. Results varied for patients whose CD8 cells fell between 20% and 30%, making them prime candidates, Dr. Daud suggested, for a combination immunotherapy regimen to potentially increase their chances of a response.
Further analysis showed that the anti-PD1 drug reactivated the
exhausted CD8 cells, and when they were in sufficient numbers, they were able to mount an effective attack on the tumor.
Memorial Sloan Kettering's Dr. Wolchok called the study "a really
important piece of work," but cautioned that among other things, it
needs to be further validated in more patients. Dr. Rosenblum
acknowledged that few hospitals or labs are equipped to perform the analysis, suggesting further work is necessary for it to be easily
adapted to patient care.
But the findings did show that the particular CD8 cells identified
"are the guys that are doing all the work to kill the tumor," Dr.
Rosenblum noted. Researchers are already exploring whether it's
possible to retrieve such cells from the tumor, expand them into huge quantities outside the body and infuse them back into
patients-possibly using a PD-1 inhibitor-to increase the number of
patients who respond.
As for Ms. Rosenblum, 12 weeks after she began treatment with
Keytruda, a CT scan showed that her tumors had shrunk by 70%. She recalls Dr. Daud delivering the news to her by phone while she was on a train. He told her she was "a golden child"; she burst into tears. Her tumors ultimately disappeared. She stopped treatment in June of 2014, about a year after she started, and remains free of any
evidence of disease.
Genomics and Disease
“Cancer is the most clinically applicable domain of genomics in medicine today. A cancer cell is clearly identifiable as the problematic cause of the disease and genetic profiling has identified key cellular pathways to target with specific drugs. Similarly, infectious disease cells can also be genetically fingerprinted for a specific disease, and this is the next exciting application of genomics. Other diseases are proving to be more complex to fingerprint.”
Faster Time to Market
Inventing the Rules
Transending Human Capabilities
Bone Marrow Stem Cells
The Keys of Life and Death (Thoth, The Atlantean)
"List ye, O man, whilst I give the secret so that ye, too, shalt taste not of change.
One hour each day shalt thou lie with thine head pointed to the place of the positive pole (north).
One hour each day shalt thy head be pointed to the place of the negative pole (south).
Whilst thy head is placed to the northward, hold thou thy consciousness from the chest to the head.
And when thy head is placed southward, hold thou thy thought from chest to the feet.
Hold thou in balance once in each seven, and thy balance will retain the whole of its strength.
Aye, if thou be old, thy body will freshen and thy strength will become as a youth's.
This is the secret known to the Masters by which they hold off the fingers of Death.
Neglect not to follow the path I have shown, for when thou hast passed beyond years to a hundred to neglect it will mean the coming of Death."
Next-Generation Bug / Microwave / ELF / Spy Phone / GSM And Camera Detectors (Buy, Rent, Layaway) tinyurl.com/2eo8mlz Open...
— Spy Store Rentals (@MontyHenry1)
Nanny IP (Internet) Cameras, GPS Trackers, Bug Detectors and Listening Devices, etc, (Buy / Rent / Layaway): tinyurl.com/396jlw6...
— Spy Store Rentals (@MontyHenry1)
• Video is Recorded Locally To An Installed SD Card (2GB SD Card included)
• Email Notifications (Motion Alerts, Camera Failure, IP Address Change, SD Card Full)
• Live Monitoring, Recording And Event Playback Via Internet
• Back-up SD Storage Up To 32GB (SD Not Included)
• Digital Wireless Transmission (No Camera Interference)
• View LIVE On Your SmartPhone!
* Nanny Cameras w/ Remote View
* Wireless IP Receiver
* Remote Control
* A/C Adaptor
* 2GB SD Card
* USB Receiver
FACT SHEET: HIDDEN NANNY-SPY (VIEW VIA THE INTERNET) CAMERAS
* Transmission Range of 500 ft Line Of Sight
* Uses 53 Channels Resulting In No Interference
* 12V Power Consumption
* RCA Output
* Supports up to 32gig SD
* 640x480 / 320x240 up to 30fps
* Image Sensor: 1/4" Micron Sensor
* Resolution: 720x480 Pixels
* S/N Ratio: 45 db
* Sensitivity: 11.5V/lux-s @ 550nm
* Video System: NTSC
* White Balance: Auto Tracking
* You Buy Our DVR Boards And We'll Build Your Products! (Optional)
Our New Layaway Plan Adds Convenience For Online Shoppers
Phone: (1888) 344-3742 Toll Free USA
Local: (818) 344-3742
Fax (775) 249-9320
Google+ and Gmail
AOL Instant Messenger
Yahoo Instant Messenger
Alternate Email Address
Join my Yahoo Group!
My RSS Feed