MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
Have you ever had one of those days where you try and wake up and when you finally have, the eyes open and you walk to the bathroom to shower, the body just doesn’t cooperate?
I had one of those days today. I even laughed out loud because I realized that I wasn’t getting any younger and I thought — aging is all the rage everyone no matter who they are — are doing it.
That is why this whole lockdown, fear the plague routine is unfair, because we are wasting so much time waiting for the fear to subside — painting a Mu symbol on the door with blood so that the Covid Angel of Death passes over our house.
Dark humor for dark times, I guess.
It’s been said that young people dream of being rich, and rich people dream of being young.
Age is an unfair mission creep. Eventually, it can become a catastrophic dysfunction of everything, all at once. Our mitochondria sputter, our endocrine system sags, and our DNA snaps. Our sight and hearing and strength diminish, our arteries clog, our brains fog, and we falter, seize, and fail. Every research breakthrough, every announcement of a master key that we can turn to reverse all that, has been followed by setbacks and confusion.
I take supplements to slow down the process and they work but sometimes I feel like they slow down the inevitable. It is like, I want to live forever and I am going to die trying.
One hundred and fifty thousand people die every day. Most check out well before what is considered the maximum age of 115, and some of them could afford to keep going far longer if only science would allow it.
The urge to combat aging, especially among the rich, is an old one, but new technological breakthroughs can make the prospect seem tantalizingly close.
There are now millionaires that are hell-bent on an Immortality Investment where they seek the sorcerer’s stone or hire the right alchemist to get the job done.
Investing in biotech breakthroughs is one way the super-rich are trying to stay young and healthy, indefinitely. Others in the community are settling for cryogenic freezing, in the hopes that they can be thawed once regenerative science has sufficiently advanced.
Bank of America analysts say that companies focused on immortality and longevity, extending the human lifespan as much as possible, are going to grow in coming years, with the market expected to be worth $600 billion by 2025.
If these financial experts are correct then biotech companies are poised to start bringing unprecedented increases to the quality and length of the human lifespan, then we may start seeing serious results out of the industry.
Bank of America’s predictions would mean a six-fold increase in the amount of money in longevity companies. In a report to clients reviewed by CNBC, analysts wrote that the human lifespan may soon extend to 100 years.
This has enabled a new frontier in precision medicine to further extend life expectancy, the report reads.
The analysts identified four key areas of longevity research that they expect to grow in the coming years: genomics, big data and artificial intelligence, futuristic foods and nutrition, and healthcare companies working to eradicate diseases.
60 Minutes recently did a story about a DARPA program that is aimed at eradicating viruses, In fact. it was suggested that the vaccines that are being doled out right now were part of that secret program.
Many of the innovations deployed to counter the coronavirus were once obscure Pentagon-funded projects to defend soldiers from contagious diseases and biological weapons.
They interviewed retired Colonel Matt Hepburn, an Army infectious disease physician–and he spilled the beans on what DARPA was up to and what their plans are to ensure longevity in humans that can pay the bill for a healthier and longer life.
Again the solution was shown to be a small green sensor that was suspended in liquid that can be injected under the skin that sends a signal when the body is showing signs of disease. When doctors are alerted to the problem — all the patient has to do is go to a center and get an RNA shot and that will get rid of what could be a potentially deadly disease.
What the sensor tells you is that there are chemical reactions going on inside the body that signals you are going to have symptoms tomorrow.
Hepburn compares it to a check engine light.
RNA, is the genetic tool DARPA helped pioneer that was used to make the coronavirus vaccine in record time. In the next outbreak — RNA would allow factories like this to churn out millions of doses a day.
All they do is take a blood sample from a survivor analyze it synthesize an RNA treatment and be done with all of this and be giving you an injection of the cure within the 60 days.
With their promise of speed, immediate protection, and a cure, Dr. Hepburn says RNA antibodies could stop the next Wuhan-like outbreak cold.
I thought again that chip technology will be the secret to transhuman immortality.
If you want to live a long life it appears that a chip in the body will be an inevitability.
But then came a very creepy moment when the interview focused on someone named Patient 16. Patient 16 was laying in bed with tubes and a ventilator coming out of her.
“Patient 16”, a military spouse, was in the ICU, near death with organ failure and septic shock when she was entered into a Defense Department COVID-19 study.
She received a 4 day treatment using an experimental device that appeared to be a filter that is used with most dialysis patients.
The treatment is actually an advanced form of bleeding the patient into a filter. Much like what was done in the medieval times when patients were bled when they were sick. However this is a more advanced form of bleeding as the blood is taken out of the body and filtered of any diseases that may be detected.
Bad blood goes out — fresh filtered blood goes in.
Within days, Patient 16 made a full recovery. The FDA has authorized the filter for emergency use. So far, doctors have used it to treat nearly 300 critically ill patients.
DARPA and some scientists have declared war on plagues and other biological pathogens
Some investors and medical scientists have declared war on death.
Again, this is Frankenstein science — that some people fear will trigger a Zombie apocalypse. Much of what is being discussed now sounds like a great idea — but isn’t this all like stories we hear about that lead to situations like in “The Walking Dead?”
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has invested in a new research-based startup named Altos Labs, which is dedicated to figuring out how to reverse the aging process.
This is not a first for the richest man in modern history, who apparently doesn’t want to grow old. Bezos has already invested in anti-aging research before — most notably in a San Francisco firm called Unity Technologies in 2018, a biotech company that aims to develop anti-aging therapies.
Altos Labs was founded earlier this year and has raised at least $270 million to develop biological reprogramming technology, according to a securities disclosure filed in June. The startup aims to find a way to rejuvenate cells in the lab that some scientists believe may be applied to complete animal bodies. From there, the next step could be extending human life.
The secretive company is hiring academics who will be investigating how cells age and what can be done to slow down the aging process so that our tissues age more slowly. Offering scientists $1 million annual salaries, Altos will fund researchers with no imminent expectation of goods or earnings, at least at first, with the sole goal of doing “great science,” and plans to open several institutes in places including the Bay Area, San Diego, Cambridge, United Kingdom, and Japan. Any anti-aging treatment the scientists might discover would be worth billions.
The goal of Altos Labs is to use biological reprogramming, which is the process of ‘instructing cells’ or introducing elements that allow cells to revert to a younger embryonic stage, effectively reversing their entire aging process. Calico, which draws comparisons to Altos, also has a lab that focuses on reprogramming and has published its first preprint on the topic earlier this year.
Shinya Yamanaka, who shared a Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2021 for the discovery of reprogramming, will serve on the company’s scientific advisory board as an unpaid senior scientist, and Spanish biologist Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte, who became known for leading a team that implanted human cells into monkey embryos and predicted that humans could live for another 50 years, has also reportedly joined the company.
The pursuit of achieving immortality and reversing aging is an area of science that has attracted many of the world’s wealthiest tech entrepreneurs, including Google co-founder Larry Page who helped to found Calico Labs, a longevity company aiming for immortality, and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who also invested Unity Biotechnology. Scientists are actively looking at ways to turn back the clock on aging, and we might be closer to reverse aging than you think and the idea of death may become obsolete in the next 40-100 years.
If you recall, three years ago there was a controversy regarding a sort of Silicon Valley vampirism where billionaires “end up being sustained by young blood.
Peter Thiel is allegedly receiving injections of blood drawn from healthy young kids, a technique that hasn’t been shown to work in humans and is based on some very scary studies in mice.
Just depends on who you ask –and what services provide the vampiric service.
An article in Futurism says that scientists are actually perfecting that practice of parabiosis but it is still facing some quarrelsome discussions in the scientific community.
According to the New Scientist, scientists from Stanford University took blood from two groups of mice — one cohort was two weeks old and the other 12 to 15 months old and applied it to human brain cells grown from embryonic stem cells.
Only the younger group’s blood boosted neural development, lending more weight to the idea of medical vampirism.
This research helps explain the “how” behind these revitalizing blood transfusions. Two proteins that were found only in the younger mouse blood, THBS4 and SPARCL1, made the lab-grown neurons grow more branches and form twice as many connections.
Both of those factors are signs of healthy and increased neural development.
But that doesn’t mean that the clinics out there claiming that young blood transfusions have medical benefits—The FDA is forbidding the idea of outrageous claims of a yet affirmed cure for aging.
The FDA concludes that a pile of neurons, human or not, cultured in a petri dish are not the same as a living human brain, and a great deal of clinical experimentation is necessary before anyone can make substantiated medical claims about young blood transfusions.
Depending on how much reprogramming occurred, some mice developed ugly embryonic tumors called teratomas, even as others showed signs their tissues had become younger.
These setbacks have not discouraged companies from starting up and carrying out the mad science of immortality.
A number of startups are pursuing reprogramming technology, including Life Biosciences, Turn Biotechnologies, AgeX Therapeutics, and Shift Bioscience in the UK, although these efforts have not yet led to any treatments tested on people in clinical trials.
The major question now is how to tailor reprogramming to see if it can safely rejuvenate animals without killing them, and whether the process can be carried out using ordinary drugs, rather than via genetic engineering.
Some experts say investment in anti-aging techniques is something government funding agencies are not able to do quickly enough.
Furthermore, several researchers question whether reprogramming is a technology that can really benefit from hundreds of millions in commercial investment.
Reprogramming claims by scientists are unbelievable and sound like science fiction.
They claim that the technique has an indisputable, repeatable, effect in laboratory experiments when applied to individual cells.
They claim that they can take a cell from an 80-year old and, in vitro, reverse the age by 40 years. There is no other technology that can do that.
What’s more, reprogramming is also recognized as a key process that occurs naturally when a fertilized egg turns into an embryo and, nine months later, leads to a fresh-faced baby. Somehow, the DNA of the parents is scrubbed, renewed, and restarted.
There is also a strong scientific connection between aging clocks and reprogramming, since reprogramming appears to work by remodeling the epigenetic marks in a cell’s genome to an immature or naive state.
Jeff Bezos, in his final letter to his Amazon shareholders, used a quote that he’d found in a book by the biologist Richard Dawkins: “Staving off death is a thing that you have to work at…If living things don’t actively work to prevent it, they would eventually merge with their surroundings and cease to exist as autonomous beings. That is what happens when they die.”
Bezos meant that nations, companies, and individuals have to fight to remain distinct, original and unique. Rewinding the clock to your younger days could be one way to do that.
It seems that there are plenty of ways to cheat death –all of them seem like science fiction and yet palatable enough to deserve investment money from well-known billionaires.
When we hear of these anti-death strategies, we stop and think that they are crazy schemes.
We always seem to rationalize the tragedy of death — we say it is natural that it is our reward of it’s the goal of life. But that’s not really how we feel when we hear that someone we love has died.
The wish to preserve life as we know it, even at the cost of dying, is profoundly human.
We have been programmed with the belief that death is the inevitable extreme to our birth and we are encoded, too, with the contradictory determination to remain exactly as we are.
Even in death, we spend money in preserving our looks with embalming and display for one more peek into the coffin before it is closed. This way we can maintain our looks in a final bit of narcissism.
If we can just maintain our sense of image a bit longer, before we have to go — till death do we part — to the ground we shall stay – unless we do something the stop it.
The war on death has begun and you are now being challenged to invest in your immortality.