Breaking News and Updates
- Abolition Of Work
- Alternative Medicine
- Artificial Intelligence
- Atlas Shrugged
- Ayn Rand
- Basic Income Guarantee
- Conscious Evolution
- Cosmic Heaven
- Designer Babies
- Ethical Egoism
- Fifth Amendment
- Fifth Amendment
- Financial Independence
- First Amendment
- Fiscal Freedom
- Food Supplements
- Fourth Amendment
- Fourth Amendment
- Free Speech
- Freedom of Speech
- Gene Medicine
- Genetic Engineering
- Germ Warfare
- Golden Rule
- Government Oppression
- High Seas
- Hubble Telescope
- Human Genetic Engineering
- Human Genetics
- Human Longevity
- Immortality Medicine
- Intentional Communities
- Life Extension
- Mars Colonization
- Mind Uploading
- Minerva Reefs
- Modern Satanism
- Moon Colonization
- New Utopia
- Personal Empowerment
- Political Correctness
- Politically Incorrect
- Post Human
- Post Humanism
- Private Islands
- Resource Based Economy
- Ron Paul
- Second Amendment
- Second Amendment
- Socio-economic Collapse
- Space Exploration
- Space Station
- Space Travel
- Teilhard De Charden
- The Singularity
- Tor Browser
- Transhuman News
- Victimless Crimes
- Virtual Reality
- Wage Slavery
- War On Drugs
- Zeitgeist Movement
The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Human Longevity
Posted: February 25, 2017 at 2:50 pm
February 21, 2017 Credit: Peter Griffin/public domain
Average life expectancy is set to increase in many countries by 2030and will exceed 90 years in South Korea, according to new research.
The study, led by scientists from Imperial College London in collaboration with the World Health Organization, analysed long-term data on mortality and longevity trends to predict how life expectancy will change in 35 industrialised countries by 2030.
Nations in the study included both high-income countries, such as the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Australia, and emerging economies such as Poland, Mexico and the Czech Republic.
The study, published in The Lancet and funded by the UK Medical Research Council, revealed all nations in the study can expect to see an increase in life expectancy by 2030.
The results also found that South Koreans may have the highest life expectancy in the world in 2030.
The team calculated life expectancy at birth, and predicted a baby girl born in South Korea in 2030 will expect to live 90.8 years. Life expectancy at birth for South Korean men will be 84.1 years.
The researchers also calculated how long a 65-year-old person may expect to live in 2030. The results revealed that the average 65-year-old woman in South Korea in 2030 may live an additional 27.5 years.
Scientists once thought an average life expectancy of over 90 was impossible, explained Professor Majid Ezzati, lead researcher from the School of Public Health at Imperial: “We repeatedly hear that improvements in human longevity are about to come to an end. Many people used to believe that 90 years is the upper limit for life expectancy, but this research suggests we will break the 90-year-barrier. I don’t believe we’re anywhere near the upper limit of life expectancy -if there even is one.”
Professor Ezzati explained that South Korea’s high life expectancy may be due to a number of factors including good nutrition in childhood, low blood pressure, low levels of smoking, good access to healthcare, and uptake of new medical knowledge and technologies.
French women and Swiss men were predicted to have the highest life expectancies at birth in Europe in 2030, with an average life expectancy of 88.6 years for French women and nearly 84 years for Swiss men.
The results also revealed that the USA is likely to have the lowest life expectancy at birth in 2030 among high-income countries. The nation’s average life expectancy at birth of men and women in 2030 (79.5 years and 83.3 years), will be similar to that of middle-income countries like Croatia and Mexico. The research team say this may be due to a number of factors including a lack of universal healthcare, as well as the highest child and maternal mortality rate, homicide rate and obesity among high-income countries.
The UK’s average life expectancy at birth for women will be 85.3 years in 2030. This places them at 21st in the table of 35 countries. The average life expectancy of a UK man meanwhile will be 82.5 years in 2030. This places them at 14th in the table of 35 countries.
The team also predicted a 65-year-old UK man in 2030 could expect to live an additional 20.9 years (12th in the table of countries), while a 65-year-old woman in the UK could expect to live an additional 22.7 years, up (22nd in the table of countries).
The research also suggested the gap in life expectancy between women and men is closing.
Professor Ezzati explained: “Men traditionally had unhealthier lifestyles, and so shorter life expectancies. They smoked and drank more, and had more road traffic accidents and homicides. However as lifestyles become more similar between men and women, so does their longevity.”
Along with the US, other countries who may see only small increases in life expectancy by 2030 included Japan, Sweden and Greece, while Macedonia and Serbia were projected to have the lowest life expectancies at birth for women and men respectively in 2030.
Life expectancy is calculated by assessing the age at which people die across the whole population. For instance if a country has high childhood mortality rate, this will make average national life expectancy much lower, as would a country in which many young people die in injuries and violence.
Professor Colin Mathers, co-author from the World Health Organization explained: “The increase in average life expectancy in high income countries is due to the over-65s living longer than ever before. In middle-income countries, the number of premature deaths – i.e. people dying in their forties and fifties, will also decline by 2030.”
The team developed a new method to predict longevity, similar to the methods used for weather forecasting, which takes into account numerous different models for forecasting mortality and life expectancy. All the predictions in the study come with some uncertainty range. For instance, there is a 90 per cent probability that life expectancy for South Korean women in 2030 will be higher than 86.7 years, and a 57 per cent probability that it will be higher than 90 years.
The researchers chose the 35 industrialised countries in the study as they all had reliable data on deaths since at least 1985. The team then used this data, together with their new methodology to predict life expectancy to 2030.
Professor Ezzati added that these results suggest we need to be thinking carefully about the needs of an ageing population: “The fact that we will continue to live longer means we need to think about strengthening the health and social care systems to support an ageing population with multiple health needs. This is the opposite of what is being done in the era of austerity. We also need to think about whether current pension systems will support us, or if we need to consider working into later life.”
Other findings from the research include:
Explore further: A country’s level of education correlates well with life expectancy at birth
Journal reference: The Lancet
Provided by: Imperial College London
The level of education in a given country correlates well with life expectancy at birth, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Innovation and Learning. The researchers suggest that educating the …
In the first Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 paper, published in The Lancet, the authors present new estimates of life expectancy for the last four decades in 187 different countries. While overall life expectancy is …
Life expectancy in the globe’s poorest countries has risen by an average of nine years over the past two decades, thanks to major improvements in infant health, the United Nations said Thursday.
Andrew Fenelon, Ph.D., of the National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues estimated the contribution of 3 causes of injury death to the gap in life expectancy between the United States and 12 comparable …
Rich countries have gained more than 10 years in life expectancy on average since 1970, a study released by the OECD said Wednesday, but the United States has slumped to near the bottom.
The good news is that we are all living longer. The bad news is that we will all die … but when?
A fruit and vegetable intake above five-a-day shows major benefit in reducing the chance of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death.
The so-called abortion pillnow dispensed only in clinics, hospitals and doctors’ officesshould be made available by prescription in pharmacies across the U.S., according to a group of doctors and public health experts …
We all do it. Some of us do it quite loudly. Others do it not once, but several times in a row. Sneezes are everywhere these days, during this, the height of cold and flu season. The chorus of achoos in offices, on buses …
Average life expectancy is set to increase in many countries by 2030and will exceed 90 years in South Korea, according to new research.
Research published today found testosterone treatment improved bone density and anemia for men over 65 with low testosterone. But the treatment didn’t improve patients’ cognitive function, and it increased the amount of plaque …
A new study published in Brain indicates that successful treatment for insomnia may not actually require complicated neurofeedback (direct training of brain functions). Rather, it appears patients who simply believe they’re …
Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more
Go here to read the rest:
Average life expectancy is set to increase in many countries by 2030 – Medical Xpress
Posted: at 2:50 pm
If the measure of a good life is counted in years, the future looks bright, as the average life expectancy in many nations is set to climb.
A recent study has crunched the numbers on 35 industrialised countries from around the globe, and found their future populations will be living longer than today’s in South Korea’s case, potentially climbing as high as 90.
Statistically speaking, life expectancy is a measure of how long a newborn can be assumed to live.
Many things can affect this number as individuals face risks posed by diet; lifestyle habits such as smoking or drug use; infant mortality; access to healthcare; and traffic accidents.
A team led by scientists from Imperial College London working with the World Health Organisation ran data from a variety of countries through 21 different forecasting models, using the results to predict the life expectancy of citizens born in the year 2030.
The news is good for most of the countries, with life expectancy continuing to jump in leaps and bounds.
It will come as no surprise to most that women born in 2030 will more than likely live to a slightly older age than men, a trend which appears to be the reversal of how things were before the modern age.
Oddly, we’re still not entirely sure whyfemales seem to outlive men across the board,though the study notes numbers seem to indicate the differences between the sexes come down to higher rates of accidents and differences in habits that lead to conditions such as cardiovascular disease.
Researcher Majid Ezzati explained, “Men traditionally had unhealthier lifestyles, and so shorter life expectancies. They smoked and drank more, and had more road traffic accidents and homicides. However as lifestyles become more similar between men and women, so does their longevity.”
Women born in South Korea in the next 15 years might want to invest in birthday candles, with a 57 percent chance that their life expectancy will be 90.8 years, breaking the nonagenarian line for the first time in history.
Right now, that number for South Korean womenis 85.8, meaning a jump of five years.
French women can also expect a long life of 88.6 years, up from 85.1, followed by Japan at 88.4 years which barely moves from 88.5 years.
South Korean men, on the other hand, can expect a still-respectable 84.1 years in 2030 the highest predicted for males up from today’s 79.3.
Good news for Australian blokes born in 2030 they will come in second on the list for men, also expecting to reach 84, just 3.6 years behind Australian women.
This general lift for life expectancy is largely attributed to socioeconomic improvements, better education, improved nutrition among children and adolescents, expanded access to healthcare, as well as factors such as a lower incidence of smoking among women.
While most of the countries studied can expect a significant boost in life expectancy over the next 15 years, the US will see only relatively minor improvements 82.1 to 83.3 for women born in 2030, and 77.5 to 79.5 for men,putting them on a similar level to life expectancies in Mexico and Croatia.
“Not only does the US have high and rising health inequalities, but also life expectancy has stagnated or even declined in some population subgroups,” the researchers write.
Predicting a climb in life expectancy means looking to a future where society will need to care for an ageing population, especially in nations with a declining birth rate.
“The fact that we will continue to live longer means we need to think about strengthening the health and social care systems to support an ageing population with multiple health needs,” says Ezzati.
Several decades ago, having a future general life expectancy exceeding the age of 85was believed to beunlikely.
The researchers themselves point out in their paper an early upper limit of 90 was proposed by some scientists at the beginning of the 20th century.
Should we even be thinking it terms of upper limits?
The current record for the oldest human is held by Jeanne Calment, a French woman who lived to 122 years and 164 days, but it seems unbelievable to think this could ever become a common statistic.
Ezzati doesn’t seem to think so. “We repeatedly hear that improvements in human longevity are about to come to an end,” he says. “I don’t believe we’re anywhere near the upper limit of life expectancy if there even is one.”
This research was published in Lancet.
See the original post:
Average Life Expectancy Is Expected to Pass 90 for the First Time Ever – ScienceAlert
Posted: February 24, 2017 at 5:53 pm
A new study on longevity has found that by 2030, the average life expectancy for women in South Korea willsurpass 90 years(Credit: jackq/Depositphotos)
Drawing on long-term data on mortality and longevity, researchers from the Imperial College London and the World Health Organization (WHO) have predicted the average life expectancies for people in 35 countries born in 2030. Residents of every country in the study can expect to live longer, with South Korean women topping the list at 90 years but it’s not such great news for the US.
The 35 countries in the study were chosen because they all had reliable mortality data dating back at least 30 years, and included high-income countries like the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, as well as emerging economies like Poland, Mexico and the Czech Republic.
Starting from that historical data, the researchers developed a new method for forecasting how those trends would continue into the future. The figure is calculated by looking at the age of death, by any cause, across a nation’s entire population, meaning medical advances alone don’t always account for improvements: for example, violence and accidents that take the lives of younger people can skew a country’s average downwards.
Increases in life expectancy were seen across the board, but the average age of death and the rate of improvement varied by region. A baby girl born in South Korea in 2030, for example, could expect to live to the ripe old age of 90.8 years, while the average South Korean man should reach 84.1.
Australian and Swiss men born in 2030 can expect to hit 84, with Canada and the Netherlands trailing just slightly behind, at 83.9 and 83.7 respectively. After South Korea, French women should be the next longest-living at 88.6 years, followed closely by women in Japan at 88.4, Spain at 88.1 and Switzerland at 87.7 years.
“We repeatedly hear that improvements in human longevity are about to come to an end,” says Majid Ezzati, lead researcher on the study. “Many people used to believe that 90 years is the upper limit for life expectancy, but this research suggests we will break the 90-year-barrier. I don’t believe we’re anywhere near the upper limit of life expectancy if there even is one.” Interestingly, other studies have suggested that the upper limit could be 125 years.
The new research also found that in 2030, people over the age of 65 will generally live longer than people of the same age do today. A South Korean woman who turns 65 in 2030 should live another 27.5 years, with French women the same age living a further 26.1 years, and Japan, Spain and Switzerland following close behind. Men of that age in 2030 were longest-living in Canada (an extra 22.6 years), New Zealand (22.5), Australia (22.2), South Korea (22) and Ireland (21.7).
“The increase in average life expectancy in high income countries is due to the over-65s living longer than ever before,” says Colin Mathers, co-author of the study. “In middle-income countries, the number of premature deaths i.e. people dying in their forties and fifties, will also decline by 2030.”
So why have figures from the US been conspicuously absent so far? Unfortunately, the researchers point out that Americans born in 2030 are predicted to have the lowest life expectancy among developed countries 83.3 years for women and 79.5 for men. A lack of universal healthcare poses a problem, as does unusually high rates of child and maternal mortality, homicide and obesity.
“The fact that we will continue to live longer means we need to think about strengthening the health and social care systems to support an aging population with multiple health needs,” says Ezzati. “This is the opposite of what is being done in the era of austerity. We also need to think about whether current pension systems will support us, or if we need to consider working into later life.”
The research was published in The Lancet.
Go here to see the original:
Average life expectancy on the rise but the US lags behind – New Atlas
Posted: at 5:53 pm
08:50 24 February 2017
Many of us could find ourselves emulating Hollywood star Kirk Douglas and living to be 100.
Living to 100 will soon become commonplace. But is that really such a good thing, asks Nick Conrad.
Email this article to a friend
To send a link to this page you must be logged in.
Are you under 15? Well, according to a report published this week youre very likely to live past 100! According to the Bible, Methuselah lived to 969. It appears that the rest of humanity is slowly catching up.
Think this is good news? Read on, as I might be about to change your mind…
Im imagining my 100th birthday party. A dwindling number of family and friends appear, via Skype, at my virtual party. As I struggle to puff out my candles, I ponder on how much my hometown of Sheringham has changed. The year is 2084 – the A140 is a super-electric highway, the sea threatens to make North Norfolk an island due to coastal erosion, the Little Theatre has been redeveloped into a 5,000-capacity super arena. Im not jesting – think how much of the modern world the Victorians (a century before me) could have predicted?
Surely Im not the only one who believes in modern science. But inadvertently pursuing immortality is unhealthy. We obsess about quantity of life when surely we should be more concerned with quality. That said, the moral maze weve just wandered into has no easy exit. Our planet has limited resources. Could the phenomenal intelligence behind human life be about to engineer our ultimate demise? Forget nuclear warfare. Forget global warming. Could overcrowding trigger our species downfall?
The report cites improving diets and evolving medicines as the key reasons behind our predicted longevity. Scientists believe the average life expectancy will hit 90, a figure which once seemed impossible, by 2030. Academics used to believe there was an upper-limit to how long we could last. Weve repeatedly been told that improvements to human longevity have hit the limit, but in breaking this barrier, improving health and diets across the developing world, biologists now believe were nowhere near the limit of life expectancy.
In turn, we live longer in greater numbers. Combating food shortages, scarcity of resources and a need to reimagine an economy that allows for us to work for a greater proportion of life will be challenging. Despite NASA pursuits of a suitable exoplanet – a habitable world beyond our own solar system (theyve just found seven new ones) – it looks like we are stuck with our own Planet Earth.
The positives – I cant deny an increased average life span is a celebration of human achievement. It highlights our public healthcare successes. It brilliantly illustrates the wonderful strides our species has made, but it has consequences. We must put sustainable policies in place, building a society that were proud to grow old in – one that supports the elderly.
Lets not pretend we can alight this rollercoaster. Humans wont, cant and shouldnt stop advancing. How do we make sure the developing world doesnt become left behind? How do we ensure that swathes of the populace without wealth do not inadvertently become second-class citizens, unable to fund the extra years afforded to them? How do we ensure that the focus remains on future generations when the needs of the elderly become more pressing? How do we support public services, where do we go with pensions?
So back to 2084. My care home Skype party, my personal centenary, is in full swing. Yazoo and Spandau Ballet are long forgotten, nobody knows who Margaret Thatcher was and the iPhone is in the local museum. This crazy, new world I once imagined and which we all built, feels alien. The pace of change has just become too much.
Listeners to my BBC Radio Norfolk Breakfast Show often remark how they struggle with new technology. I do at times wonder if stubbornness is part of the problem – I guess I too will be grumbling about this modern world when my rose-tinted, nostalgic glasses slowly obscure my vision. You can transplant organs, you can administer innovative medicines but our brains remain the same. I love and embrace change but I doubt that will always be the case.
Though I can identify so many positives in the latest research, I do wonder if our ability to prolong life might ultimately be the undoing of humankind. Death, as much as life, is vital for the survival of all species.
Posted: at 5:53 pm
Into the Cloud
As the cost of sequencing has dropped and adoption continues to grow, the move to cloud computing was almost a necessity for the most active sequencing operations. In testimony to the U.S. Congress in the summer of 2014, human genome pioneer J. Craig Venter cited two major developments that had allowed him to start his precision medicine company Human Longevity: the cost of sequencing passing an affordability threshold, and the ability to move the sequencing data it generated to the cloud.
We are going to rely very heavily on cloud computing, not only to house this massive database, but to be able to use it internationally, Venter testified regarding the then-fledgling company. He went on to describe how even with a dedicated, fiberoptic network the data moved so slowly between his company in La Jolla, CA, and his non-profit genomic research entity the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, MD, that they would routinely ship data on hard disks via FedEx between locations. The use of the cloud is the entire future of this field, he concluded.
Another significant factor speeding adoption of cloud computing comes when an organizations on-premises capability cant keep up with the speed and data demands of NGS, says David Shaywitz, M.D., Ph.D., CMO of cloud-based genome informatics and data management company DNAnexus. People would say to me we have an overwhelming amount of work to do and it shuts down our cluster when we try to do it. When they move to the cloud: what would be months of work for them before, they can do in the cloud in hours, so thats obviously better, Dr. Shaywitz says.
Further, because the hurdles to entry for NGS are now much lower, and dont require a significant IT backbone, the lower sequencing costs combined with cloud computing have democratized genomic research. You are putting the power of sequencing into single-researcher hands with things like [Illuminas desktop sequencer] MiSeq, says John Shon, VP, bioinformatics and data science at Illumina. So even though some of the work has to happen on premises, you can have push-button analysis in the cloud.
Thats a far cry from just a few years ago, notes Shon, whose background includes stints with Janssen (a division of Johnson & Johnson) and Roche. There were a lot of homegrown tools back then, almost exclusively local storage, and not very much was standardized at all, he says. In the research setting: the data would be collected in one place, youd have the molecular biology lab that did sample processing, youd have a sequencing center, and the data would be sent to the bioinformatics groups. So it was not uncommon to have five or six different departments involved in that process.
But the benefits of the cloud extend beyond more computing power and massive data storage, to providing an environment that fosters scientific collaboration on national and global scales. One example of how the cloud fosters collaborations is found in PrecisionFDA, the FDAs cloud-based collaborative portal that provides tools for researchers, including reference genomes, allows participating organizations to upload their own data and share tools and analytic methods for querying genomic data.
Launched in December 2015 as part of President Obamas Precision Medicine Initiative, PrecisionFDA to quickly grew to more than 1,500 researchers representing roughly 600 different companies and organizations. According to Taha Kass-Hout, M.D., FDA chief health information officer, roughly one-third of the participants in PrecisionFDA hail from outside the U.S. Its amazing to see how the global community is coming together, and they are contributing data, as well as software [to PrecisionFDA], Dr. Kass-Hout notes in a 2016 online interview outlining the program.
The community is working toward advancing the regulatory science behind assuring the accuracy of the next-gen software for the human genome. To do that, we want to provide an environment to share some of the innovations happening in this field, as well as any reference materials they might have, Dr. Kass-Hout explains. We also realized there are several members in the community that need the computation platform to help them do the heavy [data-]crunching. We consider it a social experiment behind advancing regulatory science behind NGS.
If you are looking for the opportunity to facilitate [collaboration] between distant facilitiesbecause science is global and there is a need for global representationthere is hardly a better way to do it than the cloud, Dr. Shaywitz concludes.
Read this article:
Data Deluge – Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (blog)
Posted: at 5:53 pm
Predictive Genetic Testing And Consumer/Wellness Genomics …
NEW YORK, Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The global predictive genetic testing & consumer/wellness genomics market is anticipated to reach USD 4.6 billion …
Posted: February 23, 2017 at 12:47 pm
A baby girl. The study found there is a 57% probability that life expectancy for a girl born in South Korea in 2030 will exceed 90 years. Photograph: Kiyoko Fukuda/Getty Images/amana images RF
Life expectancy will soon exceed 90 years for the first time, scientists have predicted, overturning all the assumptions about human longevity that prevailed at the beginning of the 20th century.
Women born in South Korea in 2030 are forecast to have a life expectancy of 90, a study has found. But other developed countries are not far behind, raising serious questions about the health and social care that will be needed by large numbers of the population living through their 80s.
The findings are from an international team of scientists funded by the UK Medical Research Council and the US Environmental Protection Agency, and come with caveats. It is impossible to accurately forecast the natural disasters, disease outbreaks or climate changes that may take a toll of lives around the world.
But the study in the Lancet medical journal shows a significant rise in life expectancy in most of the 35 developed countries studied. A notable exception is the US, where a combination of obesity, deaths of mothers and babies at birth, homicides and lack of equal access to healthcare is predicted to cause life expectancy to rise more slowly than in most comparable countries.
Boys born in 2030 in the US may expect to have similar lifespans to those in the Czech Republic, the study suggests, and girls will have life expectancy similar to those in Croatia and Mexico. Life expectancy for babies born in the US in 2030 is predicted to be 83.3 in 2030 for women and 79.5 for men, a small rise from the 2010 figures of 81.2 and 76.5 respectively.
The authors point out that the US is the only country in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development without universal healthcare coverage. Not only does the US have high and rising health inequalities, but also life expectancy has stagnated or even declined in some population subgroups, write the authors.
The big winners are South Korea, some western European countries, and some emerging economies. France is second in the league table for women as it was in 2010 at 88.6 years, and Japan is third on 88.4 years after decades with the longest life expectancy in the world. Men born in 2030 are predicted to enjoy life expectancy of 84.1 years in South Korea and 84 years in Australia and Switzerland.
The UK is 21st in the league table for women, with a predicted life expectancy at birth in 2030 of 85.2 years, and 14th for men, whose life expectancy is predicted to be 82.5 years.
The study incorporates 21 different models of life expectancy to try to come to a definitive prediction of the future, but the authors say there is still uncertainty. There is a 97% probability that womens life expectancy at birth in 2030 in South Korea will be higher than 86.7 years and 57% probability that it will exceed 90 years.
South Koreas league-topping performance is due to improvements in its economy and education, say the authors. Deaths among children and adults from infectious diseases have dropped and nutrition has improved, which has also led to South Koreans growing taller. Obesity, which causes chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart problems and cancer, has not become a huge issue and fewer women smoke than in most western countries.
Other countries with high projected life expectancy such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand have high-quality healthcare to prevent and treat cancer and heart disease, few infant deaths, and low smoking and road traffic injury rates, says the paper. In France and Switzerland, a lower proportion of women are overweight or obese.
Our increasing lifespan will require more attention to the health and social needs of elderly people, say the authors.
As recently as the turn of the century, many researchers believed that life expectancy would never surpass 90 years, said the lead author Prof Majid Ezzati, of Imperial College London. Our predictions of increasing lifespans highlight our public health and healthcare successes.
However, it is important that policies to support the growing older population are in place. In particular, we will need to both strengthen our health and social care systems and to establish alternative models of care, such as technology assisted home care.
Posted: at 12:47 pm
Human head scan, x-ray.Roxana Wegner Getty Images
This story has been updated.
Silicon Valleys obsession with youth goes far beyond venerating 20-something, hoodie-wearing founders. Today, some of the industrys biggest names are hard at work trying to slow or even reverse the aging process.
Approaches vary futurist Ray Kurzweil, for example, takes more than 100 pills a day (in his late 60s, he pegs his biological age at somewhere in the late forties), while health and biotech investor Peter Thiel (in)famously expressed interest in receiving transfusions of blood from a younger person but the end-goal of increasing human health and longevity is the same.
Craig Venter, one of the first people to sequence the human genome, believes the answer to significantly prolonging human life is catching disease before symptoms appear. To this end, he founded The Human Longevity project, a San Diego-company that sequences an individual’s unique DNA (rather than relying on an average sequence). The hope is that by collecting and analyzing this data, diseases can be identified and treated earlier; in many cases, before someone knows he or she is even sick.
Unsurprisingly, this level of personalization doesnt come cheap. The screening, which, according to a profile in Forbes , includes an MRI, an ultrasound and CT scan of the heart, a stool sample, and a variety of cognitive tests, costs $25,000. Its a hypochondriacs dream and worst nightmare rolled into one (the test tends to produce false positives).
In large part because of these false positives, doctors are skeptical. “Study after study of various kinds of screening measures has shown they do more harm than good,” Steven Nissen, the chairman of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, told the outlet.
Learning one’s results could also lead to the possibility of over-action: Change one thing and there is a cascading ripple effect. After sequencing his own genome years ago and realizing he was low on testosterone, Venter started taking supplements, a move that likely helped his subsequent prostate tumor grow, Forbes reports.
For his part, Venter argues that the screening has already saved lives (out of the 500 people who have gotten the physical, 40% have discovered something serious, Venter told the outlet). And as more DNA is sequenced, the hope is that researchers would discover early genetic markers for a variety of disorders.
While Human Longevity is well-funded Venter raised more than $300 million from investors including GE Ventures its easy to see how the business-side of all this could take off. As the concept of individualized health, which already includes everything from genetic testing startups like 23andMe to diets based on how ones blood sugar reacts to different foods, gains steam, a full-body, intensely thorough physical doesnt feel like that far-fetched a next step (or, it doesnt if youre a multimillionaire obsessed with staving off the progression of old age).
At the very least, its a more palatable option than, say, injecting oneself with the blood of younger specimens.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified how long Human Longevity’s physical exam takes to perform. It is eight hours, not 35 minutes.
Go here to read the rest:
This $25000 Physical Is the Perfect Activity for Wealthy Hypochondriacs – Fortune
Posted: February 22, 2017 at 3:47 am
Crain’s Cleveland Business (blog)
Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards enters its next stage of life
Crain’s Cleveland Business (blog)
The magazine notes that Venter has raised $300 million from investors including Celgene and GE Ventures for a new firm, Human Longevity, "that's trying to take the DNA information he helped unlock and figure out how to leverage it to cheat death for …