Longevity Research – Google’s Dream Versus Reality
it comes to human longevity, it seems as though Google may just have
unwittingly made a pointless
Sometime in the first quarter of 2013, Google revealed a new
subsidiary, Calico. Calico is
essentially a human longevity research and development company.
Google subsidiary was charged with a responsibility of conducting
human longevity research that
will enable us live until the very ripe old age of 500. Dream? Maybe.
At least that’s what current research seems to be telling us.
Ventures President, Bill Maris said at the time that living for 500
years was going to be possible because of medical breakthroughs and
advancement in biomechanics. After all, research made a breakthrough
that restores hearing to the hearing-impaired using cochlear implants
that stimulate the cochlear nerve.
in a world where deafness will become a thing of the past when this
device becomes widely available to everyone who is hard of hearing
will be something to celebrate.
it was no surprise when Bill Maris figured human longevity research
will create the potential for humans to live for as long as possible.
Certainly 500 years of age was not unrealistic by Bill’s
Longevity Research Reality
you therefore paying attention to Bill and craved to live as long as
or even longer than the Japanese Okinawans?
a new human longevity research may come as a surprise to you and Bill
Maris. A lot of people crave to live not just longer but healthily
too whilst at it.
this recent research suggests the ceiling
for longevity may have been reached and
unlikely to be breached even in the coming decades.
until this recent human longevity research revelation, an experiment
that involved genetic manipulation in worms prolonged the lifespan of
these worms by five-fold successfully and this was reproducible.
Pankaj Kapahi of the Buck Institute for Research On Ageing who did
the genetic re-coding told the Daily
quite probable that interactions between genes are critical in those
fortunate enough to live very long, healthy lives. Future research is
expected to use mice to see if the same effects occur in mammals.
idea would be to use mice genetically engineered to have suppressed
insulin signalling and then treat them with the drug rapamycin, which
is well-known to suppress the TOR pathway”
made sense that this approach was going to be extrapolated to humans.
Some of us were bracing ourselves for it. Now we feel deflated that
this may not be possible any longer.
how long can we live for?
the idea of ‘how long we can live for’ that we dream
about at least in theory. This dream idea is encouraged and motivated
But there’s also the idea of what is actually realistic. On
this account, researchers have been dissecting huge amounts of data
for some time now.
backdrop of this recent human longevity research was to establish
what was realistic rather than a prediction based on hope.
conclusion is that humans are unlikely to breach an ageing
ceiling of 122 years which
is the world record currently held by Jeanne
hailed from France. Jeanne Calment died in 1997.
at a push, maybe we will extend our lifespan to 125 years but beyond
that it will be impossible regardless of what Google’s Calico R
& D may suggest.
will continue to live long. Just like the Okinawans of Japan who have
more centenarians per capita than any other group of individuals.
However, it is unlikely that modern technology will make humans from
any nation exceed those lofty existential heights set by Jeanne.
people of Okinawa
in southern Japan are
known for their longevity thanks to their specific diet rich in
anti-oxidants and low calorific constitution. Research does indicate
that nutrition is the main force behind what prolongs life as it does
to the Okinawans
and the Mediterraneans.
the average, the researchers did note that average life expectancy
did increase immensely in a linear fashion in the 20th century having
analysed enormous Human Mortality statistics from over 40 countries.
was quoted in the Guardian as
saying thus: “While the proportion of people surviving to
70 and over has risen since 1900, the rate of improvements in
survival differ greatly between levels of old age. Large gains are
seen for ages 70 and up, but for ages 100 or more the rate of
improvement drops rapidly.
the oldest old people, we are still not very good at reducing their
mortality rates. What’s more, in 88% of the countries, the ages
showing the greatest rate of improvement have not changed since
factors contributing to what prolongs life include:
example is awareness about how
and why type 2 diabetes gets initiated.
Possession of this knowledge encourages a healthier lifestyle which
directly has a positive impact on cardiovascular risk factors. This
in turn reduces incidence of heart disease, the number 1 killer
disease in most countries.
of the research, Jan Vijg, Head of Genetics at the Albert Einstein
College of Medicine in New York City concluded that maximum life
expectancy barrier set by Jeanne cannot be broken in future even
though overall life expectancy will be enhanced by medical science
and technology. This is in contrast to what some demographers and
biologists will have us believe.
was quoted as
saying “While it’s conceivable that therapeutic
breakthroughs might extend human longevity beyond the limits we’ve
calculated, such advances would need to overwhelm the many genetic
variants that appear to collectively determine the human life span”
goes on to give a sobering advice “Perhaps resources now being
spent to increase life span should instead go to lengthening ‘health
span’ — the duration of old age spent in good health”
my article on how
Japanese Okinawans attain their enviable longevity here.
question does arise though. Why on earth do you want to live forever
Living forever is not sustainable for the planet.
There’s a reason why life terminates naturally at a certain
a start, the world
population will explode beyond
what the working younger age group can support skewing resources in
favour of the old and infirm. I’m not sure that’s what we
more pragmatic approach would be to live as long as possible, maybe
about as long as Jeanne Calment. So long as the burden on the
generations coming through is not overbearing. I don’t know
about you but for me, I will be more than satisfied with that.
Human Longevity Research - Dream Versus Reality - Dr Joe (thedrjoe.com)