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Three Parallel Tracks

Posted: May 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm

There are three parallel tracks along which the future development of longevity science must progress, and we’ll reach the end goal only as rapidly as the slowest of the three tracks moves.

1) Science and Biotechnology

The most obvious of the tracks is that the technologies of rejuvenation must be developed. We can see what the form that these technologies must take: damage repaired, waning cell populations renewed, waste byproducts broken down and removed, cancer thwarted. Initiatives like SENS can describe the needed procedures in great detail, at the level of cells and molecular machinery, as we truly are within a tantalizingly close reach of their creation.

But the biotechnologies of rejuvenation don’t yet exist, and the many technology demonstrations of long-lived mice, flies, and worms in laboratories around the world are nothing but a warm-up for the main event. Even the amazing pace of progress in stem cell medicine and cancer research these days is just a toe across the starting line when it comes to true rejuvenation. A great deal of work lies ahead, for all that it is very clear just what that work must be.

We are truly fortunate in comparison to the previous generation of activists and scientists in being able to state the nature of a cure for aging. We can see exactly what it is that we need to accomplish – and so our job should be that much easier than theirs in many ways.

2) Clinical Development

Taking the output of the scientific method and turning it into reliable, affordable, widely available technology is no less a challenge than scientific progress. It is fraught with risk, and the stakes are much higher: the cost of developing new science is small in comparison to the costs of building an industry. Moving from one technology demonstration and a few patients to a technology used by hundreds of thousands of patients around the world is a massive undertaken in risk, development, innovation, and cutthroat competition.

Today, we see the impersonal engines of bureaucracy engaged in crushing this track to the future of longevity science. Practical medicine lags far behind practical science, and the costs of pushing through each new development program increase every year – thanks to organizations like the FDA, whose appointees have no incentive to do anything other than make it ever harder to bring new biotechnologies to the marketplace. In the case of longevity science, matters are yet worse than in other fields, as the FDA outright forbids commercial development of therapies for aging.

That the track of development and clinical translation of research is lagging so badly is what prompted me to the vision of the Vegas Group. That in turn led to the recent launch of Open Cures – an initiative to help speed commercial development of longevity science. There are plausible, cost-effective ways in which matters can be put right, making use of the existing institutions of medical tourism, overseas research and development, the internet, and the growing community of garage biotech and open biotech developers.

3) Persuasion

People strongly enough in favor of engineered human longevity to get up and do something about it, who have a fair layman’s or better grasp of the science, and thus know enough to support research like SENS rather than fall for any of the nonsense put out by the “anti-aging” industry, probably number a few thousand. There are probably tens of thousands more of a similar mindset, but not are motivated enough to contribute materially beyond conversation and hope.

You can change the world with ten thousand people who think the same way as you do, that much is true, but it will be hard and it will take a long, long time. In the end, you’ll only succeed by convincing hundreds of thousands more to contribute their support. It does’t require all the world to agree with you. Half a percentage point of the world’s population is hundreds of millions of people. Markets with hundreds of millions of customers are worth billions of dollars, even though they gain only a tiny, tiny fraction of the attention and expenditure of those people – and billions of dollars would be more than enough to fund the first emergence of true rejuvenation biotechnology.

The form of the track that lies ahead for advocacy is well known: at the highest level, all grand campaigns of persuasion are the same, and there are many successful examples to choose from in the field of patient advocacy. But it is a long way from where we are, a core group of thousands, to where we want to be – a core group of millions. Much remains to be accomplished.

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Interest in Radical Life Extension in the Mainstream Media

Posted: May 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm

As a sign of changing attitudes amongst run of the mill journalists whose first reaction is to mock everything that isn’t widespread knowledge, this is encouraging: “Want to live to be a thousand years old? It’s not far-fetched at all if you ask theoretician and geneticist Aubrey de Grey. He believes within the next 25 years there is a 50/50 chance we’ll have the technologies to extend human life indefinitely. I learned of Aubrey and his ideas in 2005 and immediately pitched the story to NBC’s Today Show. They were intrigued. With the help of correspondent Kerry Sanders and the London bureau, we went out and interviewed Aubrey in a pub in Cambridge. When we finished the story we sent it in to the show. It was promptly killed. Too out there for a mainstream audience. Plus it didn’t help that Aubrey looked like Methuselah. Fast forward to 2011 and there Aubrey was in the news again. This time I pitched the story to HDNet’s World Report. The program is always looking for stories that deal with interesting issues and are not widely told. This time correspondent Willem Marx met up with Aubrey in a pub in Cambridge and also went punting with him on the Thames River. For my part, I finally got to meet Aubrey at his SENS Foundation laboratory in Mountain View, California. He is tall and wiry and moves like someone with no time to lose. He lovingly strokes the beard which hangs almost to his waist. I asked him if his distinctive look helped or hurt him as he went out in the world trying to win over scientists and venture capitalists to support his work. He said it helped because people looked at him and saw a guy who is not materialistic in the least. It’s very clear to them that he is not doing this to get rich. Through his SENS Foundation nonprofit, Aubrey and the scientists who work with him are creating an intersection between research on the biology of aging and regenerative medicine. By doing experiments with the building blocks of cells they hope to someday develop treatments that repair the damage caused by aging, and restore people to a state where they are biologically younger than they were when they started. In other words, people could live out their entire lives as healthy as young adults. Five years ago, the scientific community considered his ideas kind of kooky but now the research is catching up with his theories and Aubrey is gaining credibility. ‘This is not science fiction anymore, this is science forseeable,’ Aubrey proclaims.”

Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vicky-collins/longevity-research_b_858244.html

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Iron, Copper, and Brain DNA Repair

Posted: May 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm

A novel view of the mechanisms of neurodegeneration: “o one knows the cause of most cases of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disorders. But researchers have found that certain factors are consistently associated with these debilitating conditions. One is DNA damage by reactive oxygen species, highly destructive molecules usually formed as a byproduct of cellular respiration. Another is the presence of excessive levels of copper and iron in regions of the brain associated with the particular disorder. … A high level of copper or iron, they say, can function as a ‘double whammy’ in the brain by both helping generate large numbers of the DNA-attacking reactive oxygen species and interfering with the machinery of DNA repair that prevents the deleterious consequences of genome damage. … We don’t yet know enough about all the biochemical mechanisms involved, but we have found multiple toxic mechanisms linking elevated iron and copper levels in the brain and extensive DNA damage – pathological features associated with most neurodegenerative disorders. … some people’s tissues contain much larger quantities of iron or copper, which overwhelm the proteins that normally bind the metals and sequester them for safe storage. The result: so-called ‘free’ iron or copper ions, circulating in the blood and able to initiate chemical reactions that produce reactive oxygen species. Reactive oxygen species cause the majority of the brain cell DNA damage that we see in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as most other neurodegenerative disorders.”

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/uotm-hic052011.php

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

The Latest Rejuvenation Research, and the Most Important Debate

Posted: May 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I’d missed the emergence of the latest issue of Rejuvenation Research last month, which opens with this:

Possibly the biggest battle that I have had to fight over the past decade is to persuade people to take seriously the idea that it is time even to think about “reversing aging” while we remain so negligibly able even to slow aging down. The flaw in that logic is simple: it is that rejuvenation, i.e. the restoration of an organism’s physiological state to how it was at an earlier age, will be achieved not by reversing the processes of aging but by repairing the accumulated damage that those processes create. To get back to where we came from, in other words, we do not need to retrace the route we took from there to here. Any route will do, and in this case there turns out to be a vastly more plausible route than the retracing one.

The debate over the the large-scale course of longevity science, focusing on either repair of aging (thus effectively reversing its effects) or slowing aging through re-engineering human metabolism, will determine how long we all live.

It is likely to be easier and less costly to produce rejuvenation therapies than to produce a reliable and significant slowing of aging. A rejuvenation therapy doesn’t require a whole new metabolism to be engineered, tested, and understood – it requires that we revert clearly identified changes to return to a metabolic model that we know works, as it’s used by a few billion young people already. Those rejuvenation therapies will be far more effective than slowing aging in terms of additional years gained, since you can keep coming back to use them again and again. They will also help the aged, who are not helped at all by a therapy that merely slows aging.

Whatever the course of research, the first resulting widespread therapies to significantly extend healthy human life are two or more decades away. Most of us will be old before the second generation of better and more reliable therapies emerges thereafter. Thus repair strategies for ongoing research must come to dominate the funding landscape over the next decade if we are to see meaningful progress in engineered human longevity within our lifetimes. Slowing aging will be of little use to us by the time it becomes available.

All of this means that this scientific debate is far too important for all of us to refrain from participation. We should all absolutely dive in and loudly offer our own opinions on the topic, and help the researchers and fundraisers focused on repair biotechnologies succeed in their aims: it is, after all, the future of all our lives on the line.

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Aretha Franklin dying from advanced pancreatic cancer, say reports

Posted: May 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm

The “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin has reportedly been given less than a year to live by her doctors. She is reportedly suffering from “incurable advanced pancreatic cancer” according to The National Inquirer, a source that should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt. But CBS News is also running the story, along with other mainstream media outlets.

The reason her cancer is “advanced,” of course, is because her doctors never told her the truth about pancreatic cancer, which is that through significant changes in diet and lifestyle, even pancreatic cancer can be reversed. I’ve seen numerous pancreatic cancer patients who reversed their condition by turning to natural cancer therapies such as Gerson Therapy, which is based on daily juicing of fresh vegetables and fruit, cleansing detoxificatiohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifn of the body’s organs, and improving the nutritional density of foods. (http://www.Gerson.org)

The cancer industry is terrified that people might discover these “natural cures” to cancer because this would wipe out the highly lucrative chemotherapy, radiation and surgical treatments that remain the profit centers for mainstream cancer treatment centers. There is a reason, after all, why U.S. authorities ran all the alternative cancer clinics out of the country and arrested the alternative doctors who were curing the most patients. Such cures simply cannot be allowed in America because they threaten the profits of the cancer industry! Read more…

Ayurtox for Body Detoxification

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

International Stem Cell Corporation Reports First Quarter Revenue of $1.5 Million on Strong Initial Sales of Skin Care Products and Strong Growth…

Posted: May 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm

International Stem Cell Corporation Reports First Quarter Revenue of $1.5 Million on Strong Initial Sales of Skin Care Products and Strong Growth of Research Product Sales

International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB: ISCO) (ISCO) announces that revenue in the first quarter of 2011 was $1.5 million, compared with revenue of $273,000 in the first quarter of 2010. The increase was primarily due to $1.1 million in sales of Lifeline Skin Care products achieved in the pilot direct-to-consumer launch. Adding to the revenue growth was a 35% increase over the prior year in sales of human cell culture research products from subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology.

ISCO also disclosed that it is delaying the filing of its Report on Form 10-Q for the period ending March 31, 2011 in order to resolve an accounting question as described below.

Shortly before the scheduled date for filing the 10-Q, ISCO identified an issue related to whether a technical interpretation of certain accounting guidance found in FASB ASC Topic 815, Derivatives and Hedging could require a change in the manner ISCO has historically accounted for the value of warrants originally issued as compensation to brokers working for the placement agent in the Company’s 2007 initial public offering.

The accounting question is highly technical in nature and would have no impact on cash or revenues, but relates solely to the non-cash accounting for warrants issued several years ago. Rather than publish information that might be subject to further revision, ISCO has elected to delay the filing of its 10-Q until a decision can be made as to whether or not adjustments will need to be made and, if so, exactly what the accounting entries will be. The Company is committed to resolving this question as promptly as possible and will disclose the conclusion in the 10-Q.

About International Stem Cell Corporation

International Stem Cell Corporation is focused on the therapeutic applications of human parthenogenetic stem cells and the development and commercialization of cell-based research and cosmetic products. ISCO’s core technology, parthenogenesis, results in the creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). hpSCs avoid ethical issues associated with the use or destruction of viable human embryos. ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells with minimal immune rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing genders, ages and racial background. This offers the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell™. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology, and cell-based skin care products through its subsidiary Lifeline Skin Care. More information is available at http://www.internationalstemcell.com.

To subscribe to receive ongoing corporate communications, please click on the following link: http://www.b2i.us/irpass.asp?BzID=1468&to=ea&s=0.

Forward-looking Statements

Statements pertaining to anticipated developments, anticipated resolution of the accounting question, and opportunities for the company and its subsidiaries, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as “will,” “believes,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “estimates,”) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential products, the application of accounting guidance, regulatory approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, application of capital resources among competing uses, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the company’s business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any intent or obligation to update forward-looking statements.

http://cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=bwnews&sty=20110525005411r1&sid=14230&distro=ftp

International Stem Cell Corporation
Kenneth C Aldrich, Chairman
760-940-6383
[email protected]
or
Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates
Don Markley
310-691-7100
[email protected]

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko


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