Can Your Body Be Hacked to Achieve Radical Longevity?
Could humans someday live to be 1,000 years old? Life extension and radical longevity are rising topics of conversation among futurist circles... and wealthy tech entrepreneurs are listening.
Could humans someday live to be 1,000 years old? Life extension is a rising topic of conversation among futurist circles (including several prominent Big Think experts). What's important now is that wealthy tech entrepreneurs are beginning to listen and the promise of major potential breakthroughs in the coming decade has their ears ever-widening. Christian Borys writes over at The Daily Beast about several current projects in place that hope to achieve what is commonly called radical longevity:
"One of the new leaders of the movement is Joon Yun, a hedge fund manager who has created a $1 million prize called the Palo Alto prize to initiate the development of breakthroughs in the science of human longevity. Instead of accepting that humans all have to die by the age of 120, he wants people to consider the possibility of maintaining the wellness of our 20s far past our 120s. In other words, he believes we can be as healthy in old age as we are in youth."
Yun's focus is on homeostatic research. You're likely familiar with the concept of homeostasis. If not, Borys explains:
"Homeostasis is like a control system for the human body and as you age, this control system naturally erodes. It’s like an old engine that gradually loses strength, until one day, it stops working."
If you think of homeostasis like the utilities that feed a house: As a house ages, the pipes begin to rust, wires fray, and suddenly your radiator decides it doesn't want to work anymore. What Yun wants is a way to maintain upkeep of the body's utilities so that everything still works at 100 like it did at age 20.
Meanwhile, Borys writes that The Singularity is Near author Ray Kurzweil shares this sense of optimism:
"Kurzweil says scientists have the opportunity to work on the fundamental structure of the body in the same way that an engineer can develop software. Armed with genetic code, scientists may have the ability to reprogram humans."
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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