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Potential blow for reverse-aging therapies
This article talks about a study done on the blood of a 115 year old woman. It might be a blow for adult people who hope to one day rejuvenate themselves.
"The mind that’s afraid to toy with the ridiculous will never create the brilliantly original…"
–David Brin
The article also talks about potentially rejuvenating people using stem cells cashed from earlier in their life. I also wonder about possibly cloning those cells to make even more or if that would impact the cells the same as aging. Beyond this, while this article only talks in terms of blood, I wouldn't be surprised if someone figures out how to apply some similar 'rejuvenation' technique to cells and organs.

In OA, early life extension technology probably used a combination of bionano, genetically engineered organisms, and some number of medications to perform a sort of whole body 'cellular surgery' to replace/repair damaged stem cells and organs from the micro to the macro. There were certainly limits on this such that people lived longer (even with regular treatments), but not indefinitely. As the tech progressed, the theoretical length of a persons lifespan would have increased, until just before the nanodisaster, well off people might have anticipated living for centuries or longer (even without uploading) and even middle class people were probably confident of a couple of hundred years or more of healthy life.

Of course, then the ND happened and the technology of rejuvenation was first corrupted and turned into a weapon of mass murder and then lost, leading in turn to mass death as people were suddenly reduced to pretty much baseline lifespans.

After the rise of the Federation, and having learned a lesson about relying on ongoing tech applications for life extension, people turned to gengineering to produce future generations with greatly increased lifespans (an unagumented neb in y11K can live for about 500yrs before needing any 'help' to deal with aging). Combined with new tech advances like onboard nanomedical systems, functional immortality eventually became the norm although statistically people usually average between 1000 and 2000 yrs before something kills them sufficiently dead to require restoration from Backup or maybe just removes them permanently (depending on the circumstances).

All this research corroborates is that stem cells have a limit on how many times they can replicate, that's not a new discovery. Any longevity treatment (and I doubt they'd be called that at the time, pretty much any age related treatment is a longevity treatment) is going to have to deal with that through cell therapy to reintroduce new stem cells. Samples taken from the patient could be reprogrammed to live longer, so long as other efforts were maintained to avoid the consequences of this (TL;DR: cancer).

Age related therapies are getting a bit of a boon at the moment, my research is funded by a grant specifically for the application to elderly patients. Many other of my tissue engineer colleagues have similar funding schemes. It is my hope that across the next several decades tissue and cell therapies can be used to drastically increase life expectancy by replacing aged and damaged tissue as needed. In addition a far better understanding of the biology behind ageing and age related disease is likely to give rise to a host of new drugs. It could be that by the end of the century it's possible to live a healthy old age for longer; one just has to take a cocktail of pills to keep certain conditions at bay and undergo check ups every so often to see if new tissues and cells need to be transplanted.
How about a biotech implant cloning stem cells spontaneously? If they hope to do it in the lab, the ultimate aim would be to do it in the body.
(04-27-2014, 05:03 AM)stevebowers Wrote: How about a biotech implant cloning stem cells spontaneously? If they hope to do it in the lab, the ultimate aim would be to do it in the body.

Stem cells aren't a panacea, their use is to give rise to other cells that can be grown in a controlled fashion (to direct cell behaviour) and implanted where needed. Some therapies directly use stem cells but it's early days. Just generating them and releasing them in the body isn't going to help, at the worst you could generate teratomas.

Of course medical implants are a part of the setting and no doubt will be used. There are labs IRL working on implants that will contain cells engineered to produce certain factors when the body requires it by detecting it from the blood.

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