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How to convert connective tissue directly into neurons | KurzweilAI

How to convert connective tissue directly into neurons | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Repression of a single protein in ordinary fibroblasts (connective tissue) is sufficient to directly convert them into functional neurons, scientists in the U.S. and China have discovered.

 

The findings could have far-reaching implications for the development of new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

 

 

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Reinvent Yourself: The Playboy Interview with Ray Kurzweil

Reinvent Yourself: The Playboy Interview with Ray Kurzweil | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Many think author, inventor and data scientist Ray Kurzweil is a prophet for our digital age. A few say he’s completely nuts. Kurzweil, who heads a team of more than 40 as a director of engineering at Google, believes advances in technology and medicine are pushing us toward what he calls the Singularity, a period of profound cultural and evolutionary change in which computers will outthink the brain and allow people—you, me, the guy with the man-bun ahead of you at Starbucks—to live forever. He dates this development at 2045.
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What Is Living With An Artificial Pancreas Like? - The Medical Futurist

What Is Living With An Artificial Pancreas Like? - The Medical Futurist | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Traditionally, to monitor blood sugar levels successfully, diabetes patients use insulin pumps and monitors, which send alarms if the glucose levels are too low or too high. More often than not, however, these alarms are quite inefficient. For example, they are often unable to wake up diabetes patients during the night to correct their glucose levels, risking death in their sleep.

This is exactly the reason why diabetes patients have been waiting for a long time for the so-called artificial pancreas – a closed-loop system that constantly measures blood glucose levels, that is able to administer insulin and glucagon in the right amount at the right time – so patients with this chronic illness are able to go to sleep without any worries.
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Excessive antioxidant use may interfere with cell stress response, study finds

Excessive antioxidant use may interfere with cell stress response, study finds | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Antioxidants’ effects may not be altogether beneficial as a study shows the reactive oxygen species (ROS) molecule that antioxidants are so efficient at eliminating may aid in maintaining health. 
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Harvard Biologists Just Demonstrated the Most Extensive Reengineering of a Genome Yet

Harvard Biologists Just Demonstrated the Most Extensive Reengineering of a Genome Yet | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Researchers at Harvard Medical School have "radically rewritten" the genome of bacteria E. coli. The team has replaced 7 of its 64 codons (3-letter sequences which correspond usually to a single animo acid.) The lab, led by George Church, had already proven it is possible to recode single amino acids, but this project is the first to introduce so many functional changes to a genome.

Why is this such a big step? Church says it demonstrates the kind of radical reengineering that is possible with emerging genetic engineering tools. This kind of experiment would not even have been possible just a few short years ago.
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The Oldest of Them All | The Scientist Magazine®

The Oldest of Them All | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Greenland sharks roam the cold, dark waters off the of the coasts of northeastern North America, Greenland, and northern Europe. There, they have an unusual talent for staying alive, according to a study published this week (August 11) in Science.

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Drones take medical samples to the sky in Madagascar

Drones take medical samples to the sky in Madagascar | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Many of the remote villages in the Ifanadiana district of Madagascar aren't linked to the outside world by decent roads. Among other things, this means that it can be very difficult getting medical samples to labs in a timely fashion. That's where a project led by New York-based Stony Brook University comes in. It's been using autonomous drones to get biological samples from those villages to a central testing center, where they can be checked for diseases such as tuberculosis.

The GPS-guided drones were made by project partner Vayu, Inc. They take off and land vertically, like a helicopter, but switch to faster and more efficient fixed-wing flight once they reach altitude.
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Ray Kurzweil Explains Why Radical Life Extension Will Be Better Than You Think

Ray Kurzweil Explains Why Radical Life Extension Will Be Better Than You Think | Longevity science | Scoop.it
According to Ray Kurzweil, we’re approaching a time when humans will begin to radically extend their lifespans. This sounds good on the surface, but will we have enough resources to support everyone? And won’t living indefinitely get boring eventually? Not so much, Kurzweil says.

Kurzweil suggests that by the time we've significantly extended our average lifespan, we'll no longer be in a scarcity-driven world competing for finite resources. Take energy, for example. Kurzweil notes solar is on an exponential curve and has been doubling every two years.
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Eating more plant protein associated with lower risk of death | KurzweilAI

Eating more plant protein associated with lower risk of death | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Eating more protein from plant sources was associated with a lower risk of death, while eating more protein from animals was associated with a higher risk of death — especially among adults with at least one unhealthy behavior such as smoking, drinking, and being overweight or sedentary — according to an open-access survey article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Mingyang Song, M.D., Sc.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and coauthors used data from two large U.S. studies, with repeated measures of diet through food questionnaires and up to 32 years of follow-up of 131,342 participants.

The authors report:

After adjusting for major lifestyle and dietary risk factors, every 10 percent increment of animal protein from total calories was associated with a 2 percent higher risk of death from all causes and an 8 percent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease death.
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Decoding Human Accelerated Regions | The Scientist Magazine®

Decoding Human Accelerated Regions | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Chimps are our closest living relatives on the tree of life. While their biology is largely similar to ours, we have many striking differences, ranging from digestive enzymes to spoken language. Humans also suffer from an array of diseases that do not afflict chimpanzees or are less severe in them, including autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain cancers. I had long been fascinated with hominin fossils and the way the bones morphed into different forms over evolutionary time. But those skeletons cannot tell us much about the history of our immune system or our cognitive abilities. So I started brainstorming about how to extend the statistical approaches we were using for cancer research to compare human and chimpanzee DNA. My immodest goal was to identify the genetic basis for all the traits that make humans unique.
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Drug-delivering microrobots swim closer to reality

Drug-delivering microrobots swim closer to reality | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Over the years, scientists have come up with all manner of new ways to deliver medication, from sophisticated dual-sided pills to drug-packed nanoparticles. Now, researchers at Drexel University in Philadelphia are working on something even more sophisticated, developing tiny bead-shaped robots controlled by magnetic fields.

It sounds like something from a sci-fi movie – tiny robots swimming through the body and delivering medication exactly where it's needed most – but it's actually something scientists around the world have been working to make a reality. We've seen the concept in the past, in a Max Planck Institute study using scallop-like robots, and in a University of California, San Diego project, which made use of magnetically propelled helical microswimmers.
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Antibiotic resistance: 'Snot wars' study yields new class of drugs - BBC News

Antibiotic resistance: 'Snot wars' study yields new class of drugs - BBC News | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A new class of antibiotics has been discovered by analysing the bacterial warfare taking place up people's noses, scientists report.

Tests reported in the journal Nature found the resulting drug, lugdunin, could treat superbug infections.

The researchers, at the University of Tubingen in Germany, say the human body is an untapped source of new drugs.
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New crop of robots to vie for space in the operating room

New crop of robots to vie for space in the operating room | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Even though many doctors see need for improvement, surgical robots are poised for big gains in operating rooms around the world.

Within five years, one in three U.S. surgeries - more than double current levels – is expected to be performed with robotic systems, with surgeons sitting at computer consoles guiding mechanical arms. Companies developing new robots also plan to expand their use in India, China and other emerging markets.

Robotic surgery has been long dominated by pioneer Intuitive Surgical Inc, which has more than 3,600 of its da Vinci machines in hospitals worldwide and said last week the number of procedures that used them jumped by 16 percent in the second quarter compared to a year earlier.
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Gene "reboots" stem cells to slow or reverse the aging process

Gene "reboots" stem cells to slow or reverse the aging process | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A new study, centering on an embryonic stem cell gene known as Nanog, was found to restore the regenerative properties of adult stem cells, which naturally diminish over time. According to the researchers, this process has the potential to slow or even reverse the effects of aging, as well as combat premature aging disorders such as progeria.

Previous research into slowing the aging process has involved blocking pathways in the brain that produce certain protein complexes, switching back on genes that have been turned off due to epigenetic regulation, and activating a gene that increased the lifespan of common fruit flies.
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Orlando V. Gonzalez MD's curator insight, July 28, 10:25 AM

Working hard on getting people to slow down their aging!

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PLOS Collections: Article collections published by the Public Library of Science

PLOS Collections: Article collections published by the Public Library of Science | Longevity science | Scoop.it
This Focus Feature led by Rachel Karchin and Ruth Nussinov highlights strategies to predict the phenotypic disease consequences of human germline and somatic variation. The rapid growth in genomic data from large patient cohorts and healthy control populations calls for development of novel, capable and efficient strategies to derive and interpret the phenotypic consequences of germline and somatic variation. The Focus includes network approaches to uncover genotype-phenotype effects in cancer, strategies to bridge the gap between molecular function and the macro level of disease, and in silico methods to predict pathogenic missense variants.
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The Future of Healthcare Is Arriving—8 Exciting Areas to Watch

The Future of Healthcare Is Arriving—8 Exciting Areas to Watch | Longevity science | Scoop.it
As faculty chair for Medicine and Neuroscience at Singularity University and curator of our annual Exponential Medicine conference (apply to join us this Oct 8–11th), I cross paths with many technologies which have potential healthcare applications. Some are still nascent and not yet close to clinical use (nanobots in our blood, 3D printed organs from your own stem cells), but many others are gaining traction and appearing in our homes, our pockets, and entering clinical settings faster than many might imagine.

There remain significant regulatory, reimbursement, data privacy and adoption challenges (to name a few), but below are eight examples of fast moving, often convergent technologies which are already beginning to be applied effectively to health, prevention, diagnosis, therapy, clinical trials and beyond.
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Multivitamins Reduce Risk for Heart Disease and Diabetes

Multivitamins Reduce Risk for Heart Disease and Diabetes | Longevity science | Scoop.it
C-reactive protein, or CRP, is a compound produced primarily by the liver in response to acute inflammatory processes, such as bacterial infections. Studies have shown that blood levels of CRP remain chronically elevated, however, in many inflammatory, infectious, and neoplastic (abnormal growth) diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.3

CRP levels are now being used to determine the extent of heart damage during and after heart attacks. One recent study showed that a high CRP level in people who suffer their first heart attack is a strong predictor of future heart attacks, while lower CRP levels suggest less chance of having another heart attack.4 Furthermore, it has now been shown that, even in people who have normal cholesterol levels, high CRP levels can help predict asymptomatic heart disease.5
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Heat-responsive bandage helps heal wounds

Heat-responsive bandage helps heal wounds | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Over the years, scientists have come up with bandages to detect bedsores before they appear, paint-on bandages that tell doctors how the healing process is coming along, and dressings that change color when an infection is present. Now, a team of researchers from Northwestern University has created a stem cell-attracting bandage with a single purpose in mind – giving the body a helping hand in healing diabetic wounds.
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Wanted: Transcriptional Regulators | The Scientist Magazine®

Wanted: Transcriptional Regulators | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
REVEALING RIBOSWITCHES: RNA is isolated from bacteria and tagged with a 3’ adapter, to which a complimentary oligonucleotide binds for reverse transcription and sequencing. Sequence analysis then reveals those transcripts that have been fully transcribed versus those prematurely truncated. The reproducible presence of similarly truncated transcripts for a given gene suggests the presence of a riboswitch in the mRNA.
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Ultrasonic wireless ‘neural dust’ sensors monitor nerves, muscles in real time | KurzweilAI

Ultrasonic wireless ‘neural dust’ sensors monitor nerves, muscles in real time | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
University of California, Berkeley engineers have designed and built millimeter-scale device wireless, batteryless “neural dust” sensors and implanted them in muscles and peripheral nerves of rats to make in vivo electrophysiological recordings.

The new technology opens the door to “electroceuticals” — bioelectronic methods to monitor and record wireless electromyogram (EMG) signals from muscle membranes and electroneurogram (ENG) signals from local neuron electrical activity, and to stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, and treat disorders such as epilepsy.

The technology could also improve neural control of prosthetics (allowing a paraplegic to control a computer or a robotic arm, for example) by stimulating nerves and muscles directly, instead of requiring implanted wires.
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Miniature portable device produces biopharmaceuticals on demand at point-of-care | KurzweilAI

Miniature portable device produces biopharmaceuticals on demand at point-of-care | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
MIT researchers with DARPA funding have developed a portable device for manufacturing a range of biopharmaceuticals on demand, virtually anywhere.

For medics on the battlefield and doctors in remote or developing parts of the world, getting rapid access to the drugs needed to treat patients can be challenging.
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GSK and Google parent forge $715 million bioelectronic medicines firm

GSK and Google parent forge $715 million bioelectronic medicines firm | Longevity science | Scoop.it
GlaxoSmithKline and Google parent Alphabet's life sciences unit are creating a new company focused on fighting diseases by targeting electrical signals in the body, jump-starting a novel field of medicine called bioelectronics.

Verily Life Sciences - known as Google's life sciences unit until last year - and Britain's biggest drugmaker will together contribute 540 million pounds ($715 million) over seven years to Galvani Bioelectronics, they said on Monday.

The new company, owned 55 percent by GSK and 45 percent by Verily, will be based at GSK's Stevenage research center north of London, with a second research hub in South San Francisco.
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Why prolonged sitting may increase risk of death | KurzweilAI

Why prolonged sitting may increase risk of death | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The researchers found that compared to participants who watched TV less than 2.5 hours each day, deaths from a pulmonary embolism increased by 70 percent among those who watched TV from 2.5 to 4.9 hours; by 40 percent for each additional 2 hours of daily TV watching; and 2.5 times among those who watched TV 5 or more hours.

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It is notable that an hour of moderate exercise seemed to be enough to counteract this risk increase. The message is clear- stay active to live longer in good health.

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Ray Kurzweil: To Merge With Technology Is to Enhance Our Humanity

Ray Kurzweil: To Merge With Technology Is to Enhance Our Humanity | Longevity science | Scoop.it
“At some point, we’ll be literally a hybrid of biological and nonbiological thinking, but it's a gradual transition,” Kurzweil says.

Instead of happening overnight, he predicts we’ll steadily enhance ourselves using technology, not by replacing the parts that make us human but by building on them over time.
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Exercise Boosts Telomere Transcription | The Scientist Magazine®

Exercise Boosts Telomere Transcription | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
When healthy individuals perform a cardiovascular workout, their muscles increase transcription of telomeres, according to a study published today (July 27) in Science Advances. The team also identifies a novel transcription factor that appears to promote telomere transcription and provides the first direct evidence that telomere transcription is linked to exercise and metabolism in people.

“The novelty and merit of this work is that the authors demonstrate, for the first time, that [telomere transcription] occurs in response to physical exercise in a physiological system—human muscle,” Claus Azzalin, who studies telomere transcription at ETH Zurich in Switzerland but was not involved in the work, wrote in an email to The Scientist.

“This is a new link between metabolism and telomeres,” said study coauthor
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Placenta-on-a-chip models what is "arguably the least understood organ in the human body"

Placenta-on-a-chip models what is "arguably the least understood organ in the human body" | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The organ-on-a-chip concept has been around for a while now, providing researchers with working, lab-based models of heart disease, the human gut, and more. Now, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have created the first ever placenta-on-a-chip that can simulate the flow of nutrients between mother and fetus. The device accurately simulates the development of the organ, and could provide insights to help prevent preterm births.

The concept of an organ-on-a-chip is to provide scientists with a device that closely mimics the function of a living human organ, providing a means of studying and developing new treatments that's both safer and potentially more accurate than animal testing. The placenta is an ideal candidate for such a device, as we know comparatively little about it.
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Americans worried about gene editing, brain chip implants, and synthetic blood | KurzweilAI

Americans worried about gene editing, brain chip implants, and synthetic blood | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A majority of Americans would be “very” or “somewhat” worried about gene editing (68%); brain chips (69%); and synthetic blood (63%), while no more than half say they would be enthusiastic about each of these developments.
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