Heart disease, stroke, cancer and dementia are the four attackers that lead to our demise. But instead of competing with them on an individual level, the rapidly expanding field of biotechnology is fighting against the conspiratorial general who brings them all to the battlefield, i.e., old age itself.
Dissatisfied with our lifestyle changes, technology billionaire owners are planning to tackle the aging process to prevent death. Together with Yuri Milner and investing in cell rejuvenation technology at the Altos Laboratory in the United States; Jeff Bezos has recently rejoined the crowd of Silicon Valley giants who control our biology.
PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel and Oracle’s Larry Ellison are already in the fray, while Google has been at the forefront of the fight against aging since the establishment of its subsidiary Calico in 2013.
Given that major breakthroughs in the science of aging are expected over the next decade, the new division of ‘Zero Science Biotechnology’ is attracting a new wave of bold investors who are quick to invest.
But what are the social and moral implications of a determined new world that would allow Jeff Bezos to extend his youth while ordinary people are declining?
Computational biologist Andrew Steele explains the common misconception that longevity may be a by-product of anti-aging research, but that its main purpose is to increase the healthy life span and the years in which we develop debilitating diseases.
“Different types of cancer, heart disease and stroke are proxy wars and all of them are usually caused by old age,” he says.
As an experienced expert on transparent government funding for medical research, Steele is convinced that the current model’s priorities are completely wrong. “We know that the British government provides 2.80 per capita per year for cancer research. Cancer is a disease that affects one in three of us. But if you try to figure out how much we spend on anti-aging research, no one will know.”
“Aging cannot be limited to the field of medicine, but everything is affected by it. Even biologists know nothing about it. You do a full degree in biochemistry without taking a lecture on the subject. I want to spread awareness about this field which is the biggest challenge for human beings in the world but the situation is that even doctors do not understand.
“I am 36 now, so by next year my probability of death will be one in 100. By the age of 90, it would have reached a dangerous level because the probability of death would be one in six. Our chances of dying double every eight years. But what is the universal thing that causes a steady increase in danger, first weakness and then death?”
This is the question that prompted Steele to move from a PhD in physics at Oxford to a new career as a computational biologist, looking for a wide range of materials that could reveal the secrets of old age.
In his critically acclaimed 2021 book, Ageless: The Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old, Steele sets an inspiring theory. Instead of trying to improve the treatment of more than 200 types of cancer, he says, research should focus on the DNA damage that underpins them all. The chronic inflammation associated with aging that causes them, and the gradually weakened and dysfunctional immune system that causes cancer to take root.
There are nine well-known signs of scarring, most notably stem cell weakness, mitochondrial dysfunction, cell rupture, and telomere infiltration.
When I asked Dr. Steele what areas of major progress were likely to be made over the next decade, he was very clear. “It simply came to our notice then. When old cells stop dividing, they become obsolete and produce a toxic substance called molecules that spreads throughout the body. Because the immune system of young people is strong, they get rid of this poison. But in the elderly, toxins accumulate in the tissues and cause harmful inflammation.
Steel is excited about a new type of senolytic drug that has been used in experiments on mice to reduce inflammation and aging. “Mice become biologically younger, plumper and stronger, they run faster on the running machine and their cognition improves. In fact, they look great. ”
Around 30 gyro science companies around the world are developing synovial drugs. He hopes to offer practical evidence to effectively treat diseases such as lung fibrosis and arthritis, osteoarthritis, and to pave the way for universal anti-aging medicine licenses.
There are currently no anti-aging drugs available, so how can we protect our bodies from these inflammatory substances?
Research has shown that starving or restricting food significantly increases the life span of fish and mice, as it initiates the process of auto-fission within tissues.
Translated literally, autophagy means self-eating. In biology, this refers to the process of cleansing that occurs when the supply of fresh glucose to ‘hungry’ cells is suspended, and instead they begin to ‘recycle’ the cells and eat them. The amount of toxins produced as a result of aging is reduced.
Many influential people in the longevity-speaking community advocate food restriction. David Sinclair, a professor of biology and genetics at Harvard University, says it’s not about what you eat but when you eat.
In the early evening, they skip breakfast and occasionally lunch, taking in huge amounts of calories. Thus Sinclair is practicing what he considers essential for low blood sugar.
Sinclair looks very young: Despite being 53 years old, at first glance, he seems to be close to 30.
But this is a controversial point of view, especially since experts cannot agree on the length of time that large mammals, such as humans, will have to starve to create an effective state of autophagy.
Steele refrains from suggesting complete dietary restrictions, saying: “Many of the people who participated in the experiments on humans had to withdraw because they were suffering from anemia and to some extent weakening of the bones. Have found Many of the participants in the experiments complained of feeling cold all the time and of course there is a problem of constant hunger which some people can never get used to.
I wish there was a medicine that could easily reduce the amount of sugar in the blood by playing the role of appetite and stimulate the process of autophagy with anti-aging benefits.
Metformin Metformin has been used for decades for type 2 diabetes. It first came to light when scientists found that patients who used it to treat their chronic illness lived longer than those who had never had diabetes.
Metformin lowers blood sugar by limiting the amount of extra glucose produced during blood circulation and prevents the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestines. It also inhibits the production of new glucose in the liver.
A trial called TAME (abbreviated as Targeting Aging with Metformin) would have come to a conclusion if the trials related to Covid had not been disrupted. There is a random double-blind trial that includes a placebo, and it has been going on for the last six years. Soon we will find out if the 1,500 patients who use Metformin are less likely to suffer from aging-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease and dementia than other supervised parallel groups.
When there are many benefits to a drug, it is not always easy to identify the factor that leads to successful results, so experimental physicians who suffer from the same goo goo call it a ‘dirty drug’. That’s good!
In terms of anti-aging, according to Steele, matte form can be an “absolutely filthy drug.”
Metformin is thought to not only reduce the effects of growth by causing an increase in autophagy, but also protects stem cells from weakening and prevents DNA from disintegrating chromosome heads (telomeres). Protects from damage. It is also believed to raise the level of NAD, a molecule that controls the release of energy into cellular and entire biological systems.
Although the benefits of using MetFarm are small and increase in age over months rather than years, Steele explains why TAME trials can revolutionize the world of medicine.
Matt Farman can change not only the way of thinking but also the way of observation. At this time you cannot obtain permission to use any medication to prevent aging because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recognize aging as a disease. But the TAME trial has worked with the FDA to develop regulations that would allow it to become the first drug to be approved for anti-aging and would be a model for permanent approval of anti-aging drugs.
It seems that new types of anti-aging drugs will be among the first to benefit from this new development.
Because after a long time, the issue of proprietary rights is no longer a problem. Rapamycin, another old drug free of proprietary restrictions, has also attracted a lot of attention. Although it is a potentially harmful immune-weakening drug used to treat kidney transplant barriers, the relatively safe, mild doses of rapamycin are also effective in prolonging the life span of animal trials.
Steele explains that anti-aging research used to be very expensive and unworkable because, literally, scientists had to wait for participants to find meaningful material. Human life is much longer than that of rats, so that was a good thing.
There is a thing called epigenetic clock. This is a test that can help you measure the effects of aging on someone’s body. Recent advances in this test, the exact biochemical aging of DNA, mean that we can now detect the effects of the drug on the aging rate during trials without having to wait for a patient to die.
The epigenetic clock will accelerate the anti-aging research, which will once again be taken advantage of by senolytic drugs.
Steele believes that if you do not stand on the brink of death, everyone will potentially benefit from anti-aging research in the coming decades, but warns in his book that these benefits will only be a side effect: There will be collections that will evolve over time, a series of different technologies that will gradually increase the life expectancy to a point where people will feel that they are tied to old age, not individually. Any magic bullet that emerges as a result of a genius’s insightful discovery.
Steele, meanwhile, offers his best advice on how to avoid aging in a chapter of the book entitled ‘How to live enough to live even longer’: Avoid smoking, eat a low-carbohydrate diet of vegetables, and lose weight. Don’t grow up and get a good night’s sleep. But the most important thing is exercise. Steele reiterates the wisdom that has become the mantra of medical science in recent years: “If exercise were a medicine, it would be the most expensive prescription.”
Exercise would probably be the ‘dirtiest’ medicine in terms of these benefits, as far as overcoming old age is concerned. Exercise is believed to not only reduce the wear and tear of muscle cells, but also to lengthen telomeres, strengthen stem cells and mitochondria.
Despite the efforts of Silicon Valley billionaires, anti-aging has become a cottage industry in which an army of so-called bio-hackers not only closely observes the latest developments but also conducts experiments on metformin, rapamycin and other related materials. It is trying to slow down the aging process by examining all aspects of nutrition and lifestyle.
Now a computational biologist regrets missing out on opportunities to collect vast amounts of steel and wishes that the efforts of bio-hackers could somehow be better managed in a controlled trial framework.
Although Steele (yet) is not using any anti-aging drugs, he knows why people in the later stages of middle age want to use anything to prevent aging. When he turns 65, he thinks he will do the same, because at that time you have little to lose and much to gain.
In the current situation, on an average, an elderly citizen by the age of 80 is afflicted with five different inter-related diseases. You don’t want to see any of your worst enemies.
Steele is grateful for the way the capitalists are currently pursuing research, but believes that at some point in time, the government will step in to provide funds for a “revolutionary leap” in the medical field to prevent aging. You have to take responsibility while doing it.
It may seem trivial, but the most important piece of advice we can give people is to write to their MPs and get the anti-aging research out to the people. This is the most important thing you can do to improve the health and happiness of your loved ones.