Some of you likely remember that series of scientific studies showing the most dramatic anti-aging therapy ever discovered. All you need is lots of blood from the very (very) young and, in rats and mice anyway, the worst effects of age disappear. Ergh. The good news was that researchers might have identified a protein called GDF11 that had all the same good effects as the blood of children without the obvious ethical issues.
That sounded promising, but follow-up reports suggested that GDF11 might not work as well as they first thought. Now, much more authoritative follow up studies have confirmed the point.
[W]e have now gone from the hope that GDF11 might be the factor that is lost as a result of aging, and therefore could reverse age-related phenotypes, to the finding from multiple groups that GDF11 is not decreased as a result of aging, makes age-related phenotypes worse, and is now shown to be a risk factor for human frailty and disease when it is found at high levels (Schafer et al., 2016).
On the plus side, data for very young blood still looks solid. If you consider the potential market for an actual, no bullshit treatment to reverse aging, I feel pretty confident that this will become a question people have to address sooner or later.
Here’s a picture of an Orange Bishop that I took at the National Aviary.
Will there ever be any kind of therapy that can reverse the decades of mechanical wear-and-tear on the human body?
Potential Wingnut Headlilne: Is Hillary Clinton actually the Countess Bathory?
It would be irresponsible not to speculate….
@srv: Resveratrol is still percolating through the medical literature. You can’t get enough of it from wine to matter (much) and the originally reported mode of action appears to be bunk, but it does have an interesting range of positive qualities. Sloan-Kettering has a useful summary of various clinical tests that have been conducted.
John’s struggles tempered my enthusiasm for alcohol-related blogging. He seems to have pulled through quite well, but for a lot of people the fight never stops.
Blood Drive and Recipes are two tags that should never be used in conjunction.
I’ve actually written a thriller novel based on this concept that I’m in the process of revising at present.
This baby-blood thing for adults to stay alive longer sounds outright vampirish. Except that it substitutes needles and vials for teeth and sucking mouths.
THIS PROVES VAMPIRES ARE REAL!!!1!1!
@Amir Khalid: Stem cells for joints is coming along very nicely. I’ve got arthritis in my left thumb. As a former (and now once again) working musician, this is annoying but not the showstopper it would be if it were, say, in my right hand. Or any of my other fingers.
Doc has told me to hang in there for five-ten years and not make it worse and they’ll be able to shoot ’em in there and I’ll have a new joint. They’re already doing it locally with some folks who would have gotten hip replacement instead. Results are looking real good.
Are we sure Darth Cheney wasn’t harvesting Iraqis children? Would explain a lot of things.
This reminds me, I’m a little surprised blood can’t be synthesized in sufficient amounts now. Technologically, usually using genetically modified bacterial cultures or grown tissue, that’s the kind of thing we’ve been getting quite good at lately.
I LOVE the National Aviary! Thanks for the wonderful picture, I’ll be sending it to my bird loving son.
This was the plot of the Babylon 5 episode, “Deathwalker.” An evil scientist had invented an immortality serum, which required an element that could not be synthesized, but instead had to be harvested from a living sentient being, in a lethal process. Thus one could only become immortal by murdering another.
This was about to precipitate an interstellar genocide, till the Vorlons stepped in and killed the scientist. “You are not ready for immortality,” they said.
Do the side effects of this particular anti-aging therapy include getting all sparkly?
This was the plot of Spinrad’s Bug Jack Barron.
So what am I supposed to do with this warehouse full of blood that my vampire army so diligently collected?
Whatever happened to rapamycin? And how are those guys trying to live off 800 calories/day doing?
The timeline will stubbornly remain that of sustainable fusion power generation, or 40.0 Friedman units (FUs).
Blueberry’s do help a great deal and follow up studies that I have seen still confirm this.
We accuse our kid of being a breatharian and since she’s young and energetic with a body fat percentage probably unmeasurable, who’s to argue?
Major Major Major Major
@Winnief: Uh, want help? That sounds fun.
Par-tay! Weirdest rave theme ever.
Yeah…it’s kind of like getting into tulip bulbs at the end of the craze…
Do orange bishops get elevated to cardinals?
@Brachiator: Blood still works. That’s the moral quandary. We still don’t know what part of blood is so good for aging, so for now we have no alternative to the real stuff.
Is Dick Cheney the test subject for this research?
James E Powell
I’m thinking this – or something like this – has been a sci fi staple for years. Never Let Me Go comes to mind immediately but I’m sure there’s something more on point with the blood.
What’s sick is that if there is anything that can answer to the vanity of humans, rich ones will find someone who will give it to them. There really is not such thing as right & wrong for rich people.
Reminds me of “Youth Milk” from Zoolander 2. It was something like “Have you ever seen a beautiful young person and wished that you could peel off her skin and wear it as your own? Well now you can, with Youth Milk (‘Yoo-uhth Me-alk’)”
Now we know why Drumpf flipped from Pro-choice to Forced Birther. He wanted to get his Immortality On!
There’s a whole floor of Trump Tower devoted to nurseries, keep that blood flowing!
Methuselah’s Children by Robert Heinlein. A group called the Howard Families who have extended lifespans as a result of a controlled breeding program are forced to leave Earth when they are discovered. In their absence, a means of extending life by artificial blood replacement is developed.
Concentrations of resveratrol are also made from Japanese knotweed (that invasive bamboo) by herbalists. And this is why pandas maintain their bizarrely youthful appearance long after the rest of us.
I’m pretty much convinced that the processes for rejuvenation and immortality will be perfected right after I croak. People will sit around for hundreds of millions of years shaking their heads and chuckling about the poor bastards (like me) who almost made it.
And to those who say, “Would you really want to live forever?”, I can but respond that I’d be willing to give it a shot.
Now you all know why for centuries we Jewish people have been harvesting the blood of Christian babies.
@Tim F.: Perhaps it’s not a part. Perhaps it needs to be actual blood because it is the combined whole that is effective.
It was all a ruse. Cruella de Ville didn’t want the puppies for their coats…
@jheartney: A series before its time.
@Icedfire: You won’t be ordering the blood sausage, I take it?
Well, hey, if the government lets me have joints then I can get by without stem cells.
Erzsebet Bathory was ahead of her time?
The Ancient Randonneur
More pet pics, less frequent use of social media and fewer blog comments are known to lower blood pressure.
I have a modest proposal for you all…
Paul in KY
@cintibud: Would be irresponsible not to speculate…
@Soylent Green: Next I guess you’re going to show them our secret handshake.
Paul in KY
@Soylent Green: I knew it!!!
Paul in KY
@Hungry Joe: I just want to know where all the Jew Gold ™ is.
I thought a very wide range of organisms live a lot longer under calorie restriction. IIRC the restriction is pretty severe, so you’ll spend all that time living a much longer, much suckier, life.
The National Review Nitpicks the President’s Dallas Speech
He wasn’t just talking about access to guns.
by Martin Longman
July 13, 2016 2:15 PM
Over at the National Review, Charles C.W. Cooke says that President Obama was giving a pretty good speech at the memorial for fallen Dallas, Texas cops when he made a critical error. The president made the mistake of introducing divisive rhetoric into a solemn occasion when he asserted that it’s sometimes easier for kids to get access to a Glock than a computer or a book.
This is just another example of aggressively missing the point. I don’t know how easy it is for a twelve year old living in the North Philly ghetto to get access to a MacBook Pro, but it’s not an impossible task to find a firearm. But, who really cares about the absolute literal accuracy of the president’s comments?
The Dallas shooter once bought an AK-47 for $600 from someone he met on Facebook. The sale took place in a Target parking lot. The seller is hoping that it’s not the weapon he used to kill and wound police officers, but that’s his personal business. The rest of us just know that you can go on Facebook and find a semiautomatic rifle in a few minutes, and there’s no regulation of these kinds of sales.
We’re all supposedly endowed by our creator with the inalienable right to buy or sell highly lethal firearms, and then the police have to deal with the consequences.
And even this wasn’t the whole point that the president was trying to make. He wasn’t just talking about the easy availability of guns. He was also talking about the lack of positive resources that we provide for our most vulnerable kids.
To get back to Mr. Cooke’s objection, I have to ask what he’s really objecting to. Is he really quibbling that it’s a bit harder to buy a Glock than check out a book at the library?
Whose Job Is It to End Racism?
by Nancy LeTourneau
July 13, 2016 1:05 PM
f you haven’t already, I hope you’ll find some time to watch or read President Obama’s remarks at the memorial for the five slain officers in Dallas yesterday. I’ve spent some time this morning perusing what various pundits are saying about it. To give you some context, here are a few:
Dallas Morning News Editors: “President Obama’s powerful speech was full of truth, pain and hope”
Mike Barnicle: “In Dallas, Our President Meets the Moment”
John Podhoretz: “How Obama ruined his Dallas memorial speech”
Charles Hurt: “Obama tramples on high ideals of America, fuels Black Lives Matter racism”
I guess beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. That isn’t anything new to our politics today. People hear what they want to hear and their opinions are reinforced by news outlets that cater to the divide.
That last article by Charles Hurt wasn’t simply about the President’s speech yesterday.
Again and again and again, this president, who was so uniquely positioned with the credibility to do more than any president in history to quell the discord and unify America, has done the exact opposite.
Instead of waiting for blind justice to work, he repeatedly jumps to prejudicial — and usually wrong — conclusions.
Police are stupid; somebody looks like him; things were racially motivated; let’s go after guns. Every opportunity he has had to be the honest broker and reach for the great principles and high ideals that unite America, Mr. Obama has instead chosen partisan divisiveness.
If he were a real man, if he were a leader or statesman or one ounce of the constitutional scholar he claims to be, Mr. Obama would have already hotly condemned and denounced the Black Lives Matter movement as the racist and anti-American thing that it is…
Instead, Mr. Obama chickened out. He scrambled for the easy way out. Shirked his duties. He blew his moment to defend the constitution and stand with the likes of Martin Luther King Jr.
Of course, that’s nothing new. We’ve been hearing that kind of nonsense for the last 7 years. But that critique has been mirrored on the left from people like Michael Eric Dyson, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West – who actually said that Obama was the first n*ggerized president.
Juno phones home with the first pic since achieving orbit. So far, so good. October is going to be great for planetary science!
Paul in KY
@rikyrah: I’m going to assume that this Charles Hurt is a right wing scumwad who isn’t fit to clean the commode after my President has an intestinal bout.
@Paul in KY: Me too! Trust me, I’ve checked myself repeatedly and comprehensively, yet still nothing. Harrumph.
@Paul in KY: Washington Times correspondent, Fox New and Breitbart contributor.
Wow, next up: Nobel Literature Prize nominee.
@Icedfire: Thank you.
It always helps to see I’m not the only one to notice something, uh… unexpected, even if it’s just the tags on the post.
@Trollhattan: He is also this guy’s brother.
When the time comes I think I’ll just move on to the next plain of existence, whether it’s there or not.
Never have heard of the Orange Bishop and I know my birds.
So it was introduced into California in the 1980’s?
Are they doing OK? Could not find anything.
Goddamn. The fact that he actually gets paid to write what in a rational world would be found only in the scribbles of an Applebee’s bathroom stall says all we need to know about Ameritocracy.
@Tim F.: Some of us have noticed your dearth of Friday Beer Blogging posts. John seems fine now. Can you please restart this Friday staple?
Niven’s Gil the Arm series. Organ harvesting. Pirates. Everything is a crime with a death penalty including speeding or eventually driving yourself instead of auto pilot. To be fair some of the minor crimes are actually much worse in the context of a severely overcrowded earth but basically they want o live forever. Since its much harder not to be caught when there are cameras and artificial intellegence everywhere, crime actually did go down so they had to make more things illegal.
In practice crime doesn’t go down much with draconian penalties but we also don’t have speedy trials and getting caught isn’t certain so we don’t have data exactly like this story. However the stories were intertaining.
Iowa Old Lady
OT except that it’s sort of science related, but here’s an interesting post from Neil deGrasse Tyson about being pulled over by the police on numerous occasions.
Theresa May made Boris Fucking Johnson Foreign Secretary. No way this ends well. Link.
@Omnes Omnibus: Now this will need about two metric fvcktons of popcorn.
The Secretary of State’s remit includes: relations with foreign countries, matters pertaining to the Commonwealth of Nations and the overseas territories in addition to the promotion of British interests abroad.
The Foreign Secretary also has responsibility for the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), which are directly accountable to this person.
@OzarkHillbilly: I think it’s “plane”.
Not in a million years would I consider Boris Johnson fit to be James Bond’s boss. He’s not even fit to be Mr Bean’s boss.
I thought “Orange Bishop” was Trump’s name for his………hand.
So glad to be wrong.
@jacy: I was thinking that Cruz=Lestat…. but that’s just me…
@liberal: My doctor told me if I gave up smoking and gave up drinking and gave up eating red meat, I could live to be a hundred. If you call that living.
– Some aging comedian I heard somewhere
@jheartney: B5: Best SciFi series ever.
@Lurking Canadian: I’ll let you know. If I do the reverse mortgage will have been a good idea!
Iowa Old Lady
@Comrade Scrutinizer: I have fond memories of B5 because my son and I used to watch it together. Then we’d look at one another and say, “What did THAT mean?”
John Belushi: “The little girl, your daughters. Sell them to me. Sell me your children!”
Also out there, but not sure if you folks are familiar with it. A doctor at Chicago’s Rush-Presbyterian, St. Lukes hospital is doing arthroscopic knee replacements. Just a couple 3″ cuts. 92% leave the hospital the same day. . . Walking. Rehab is involved, but 3 weeks instead of 3 months. . .
He does hips too.
At some point not unimaginably far off, I’m going to be very intrigued by the possibilities. Slapping in a mechanical replacement after first chopping out the existing one(s) gives me the heebie-jeebies.
@Trollhattan: IIRC this guy is a doc and an engineer. My understanding is they CT / MRI and make the joint with ends tailored to fit where they are going to saw the bone at each end. Use home made instruments he has patented.
Ann Coulter’s been onto this therapy for a long time: see this post and scroll to “Ann Coulter’s Beauty Secret.”
Tim F. @ Top:
So Elizabeth Báthory’s anti-aging regimen would have worked if she’d just injected the blood instead of bathing in it?
Edited to Add: And I see that jacy and Feudalism Now! got to the Báthory reference first. C’est la
J R in WV
Links? ‘Cause I got bad joints all over my body. I’m a poster child for pain medications, use them often, but as little as possible. Two joint replacements so far…
J R in WV
This guy is seriously defective in his head! He says:
It wasn’t a funeral at all. It was a memorial ceremony, the funerals start today. And everyone I know thinks MacBooks should be easier to get for kids than Glocks, and the cheaper guns that float around out there.
But if Charles C. W. Cooke doesn’t even know which event President Obama was speaking at, he should Shut the Fuq up!!
He’s too stupid to participate in political debate. Which is way more complex than the presidential schedule. Beyond his level of competence, completely.
Is there any additional supporting research there? I mean, the original studies claimed that (a) blood perfusion rejuvenated mice, and (b) the rejuvenation was due to GDF11 in the young blood. Now the (b) part of those studies turns out to be junk science. This does not instill me with confidence in the competence of the researchers, or the accuracy of the (a) part of their claim.
Rodents strike me as really bad models for human aging.
Nope, his nickname for his … hand is “America”.
Doesn’t work for primates.
@Hungry Joe: Ah, but you have to be careful wishing for immortal life. .Asimov wrote a short story wherein a man wished for immortal life and he just kept getting older and older and tinier and tinier, more and more wrinkled and wrinkled and smaller and smaller. He should have wished for eternal youth.
My doc told me that if I eat right, no greasy, no fried, etc I could live longer. I asked him how much longer. About 6 weeks. So let me get this straight, I become a herbivore, I eat only raw food and I’ll live 6 weeks longer? Yes but the quality of life will be better. Doc I’m 24 yrs old, I’m going to give up a life of actual food to have a better last couple of years, so that’s 60 yrs of starving myself and eating straw, to make the last couple better? NFW.
Damn. I just cancelled my Amazon order for 10 youngsters. Price is gonna go up…
@Gary K: I followed that link & am late to the party because it took this long to return from ROTFLMAO country. Comedy platinum! My favorite line:
@PurpleGirl: There was also a rather terrifying short story* that appeared as the first entry in one of those “best SF of the year” anthologies. The premise was that in a multiverse of (essentially) infinite parallel histories, whenever someone dies their consciousness simply clicks over to another worldline where they are still alive. We follow the story’s protagonist, who becomes aware that this is happening, through multiple worldines. It ends with him being held by sadistic aliens who keep him alive for millions of years in order to continue torturing him for their own amusement. Definitely not an ad for eternal life!
* I have not been able to track it down again; thanks to anyone who can help me out here.
Paul in KY
@Omnes Omnibus: I was correct in my assumptions. Thanks for info, Omnes.
Paul in KY
@gvg: All criminals go to the organ banks. Excellent book.
Divided by Infinity (Robert Charles Wilson, 2010)
A profoundly unsettling story.
If you’re a written sci-fi fan, you might like this related post and comment thread Cytological Utopia and the rapture of the eukaryotes.
@Uncle Cosmo, thanks for the appreciation. My favorite phrase is “snakes in the garden.”