Peace Rattler Humanoids’ Search for the Elusive, Eternal Life and Longevity (Part 2)
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 22 Nov 2021
“A Cocktail of God given Genes, Nurturing, Environment, Diet, Medicines, Technology, AI and Serendipity, stirred and shaken”
17 Nov 2021 – In this second part of the publication, the author highlights the modern attempts in the quest for longevity, in the 21st century, using the novel technological advances made in the past few decades. These are lists of the 100 known verified oldest people sorted in descending order by age in years and days.. The oldest person ever whose age has been independently verified is Jeanne Calment (1875–1997) of France, who lived to the age of 122 years and 164 days. The oldest verified man ever is Jiroemon Kimura (1897–2013) of Japan, who lived to the age of 116 years and 54 days. Statistically, the ladies outlive the men.
Death is inevitable, comes for us all and is the only guarantee the day all humanoids arrive on Earth, often vocalising the first sound, most often a “cry’, expressing their disgust as new additions to the Earth’s population. Over the millennia, supreme personalities like the pharaohs, who were considered as gods on Earth, great Chinese Emperors who sought immortality by ingesting mercury sulphate and killing themselves in the process, brutal Mayan leaders, who practiced human sacrifices to appease the Sun Gods, tyrannical Persian Kings. Mongol leaders who decimated nearly half of Europe, egoistic Tudor rulers, lavish Mughal Emperors, in ancient history, are all non-existent today, except for their legacy of pyramids, South American Temples, Castles, and forts built with the toil and sweat of slaves and citizens. Similarly, in recent history, racist oppressors like Churchill, who wanted Mahatma Gandhi tied to the pillars of the parliament in London and have him stamped to death by an elephant. Adolph Hitler who propagated Aryan supremacy and played god with eugenics, to come to an ignominious termination, committing suicide with a bullet to his head, and having his body burnt. More recently, individuals seeking self-glorification, like Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe and Donald Rumsfeld who mistakenly advised President George W, Bush on the presence of weapons of mass destructions which led America to attack Iraq and destabilizing Middle East. However, Donald Rumsfeld is history but most regrettably, his legacy lives forever. His single mis-action, influencing American foreign policy, is the principal cause for the proliferation of multiple terrorist groups in the which is now taken over by various terrorist groups.
In spite of the drawbacks and the negative aspects of the pursuit of eternal life, humanoids are ceaselessly searching for the holy grail of longevity and eternal life. Enroute, humankind has realised that while eternal life, maintaining a heathy status, itself is unattainable, in the present era. It has endeavoured the following interim steps in pursuit of the ultimate goal.
- Adopt temporary measures such as cosmetics, botox injections, plastic and reconstructive surgery to maintain their physical youthful and aesthetically pleasant apersnce. These procedures have become a billion-dollar industry worldwide. TV anchors, actors, royalty and even plebeians are using these recent advances to preserve their physical youth, and pretty or handsome phenotypes
- Engage in research to delay the effect of aging. Big Pharma is investing heavily in this field as the world’s population is entering the geriatric era. Beautiful personalities of yesteryear are now a mere shadow of their former glorious selves. This is starkly evident amongst actors, both in Hollywood and Bollywood, pop stars, and other social media personalities, for all of whom it is extremely important to appear eternally beautiful, in the public domain.
- Extensive recent research in progress, points to interventions in diet, exercise and mental outlook which could slow down aging and age-related diseases, such as Parkinsonism, Alzheimer’s and Senile Dementia. This involves high tech research in renowned biomedical laboratories throughout the world, without hazardous “biohacks” such as unproven gene therapies. A multidisciplinary approach involving these evidence-based strategies “could get it all right,” said Valter Longo, a biochemist who runs the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.
- Other novel technologies include cryogenic suspension, referred to in Part 1 of this publication.
- Another novel technology in pursuit of longevity involves genetics and genomics both of which play roles in health and disease. Genetics refers to the study of genes and the way that certain traits or conditions are passed down from one generation to another. Genetics is a term that refers to the study of genes and their roles in inheritance, the manner in which certain traits or conditions are passed down from one generation to another. Genetics involves scientific studies of genes and their effects. Genes, which are units of heredity, carry the instructions for making proteins, which direct the activities of cells and functions of the body. Examples of genetic or inherited disorders include Cystic Fibrosis, Huntington’s Disease and Phenylketonuria (PKU). Genomics describes the study of all of a person’s genes, the entire human genome. Genomics is a more recent term that describes the study of all of a person’s genes, including interactions of those genes with each other and with the person’s environment. Genomics includes the scientific study of complex diseases such as heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and cancer because these diseases are typically caused more by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, than by individual genes. Genomics is offering new possibilities for therapies and treatments for some complex diseases, as well as new diagnostic methods, to ensure longevity as the first step to delayed ageing and longevity.
- Another thrust is Stem cells which have two important characteristics. Firstly, stem cells are unspecialised cells which can develop into various specialised body cells. Secondly, stem cells are able to stay in their unspecialised state and make copies of themselves. Embryonic stem cells come from the embryo at a very early stage in development at the blastocyst stage. The stem cells in the blastocyst go on to develop all of the cells in the complete organism. Adult stem cells come from more fully developed tissues, like umbilical cord blood in newborns, circulating blood, bone marrow or skin. Medical researchers are investigating the use of stem cells to repair or replace damaged body tissues, similar to whole organ transplants. Embryonic stem cells from the blastocyst have the ability to develop into every type of tissue such as skin, liver, kidney, blood, found in an adult human. Adult stem cells are more limited in their potential for example, stem cells from liver may only develop into more liver cells. In organ transplants, when tissues from a donor are placed into the body of a patient, there is the possibility that the patient’s immune system may react and reject the donated tissue as “foreign.” However, by using stem cells, there may be less risk of this immune rejection, and the therapy may be more successful.
Stem cells have been used in experiments to form cells of the bone marrow, heart, blood vessels, and muscle. Since the 1990’s, umbilical cord blood stem cells have been used to treat heart and other physical problems in children who have rare metabolic conditions, or to treat children with certain anemias and leukemias. For example, one of the treatment options for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia is stem cell transplantation therapy.
There has been great debate nationally and globally about the use of embryonic stem cells, especially about the creation of human embryos for use in experiments. In 1995, Congress enacted a ban on federal financing for research using human embryos. However, these restrictions have not stopped researchers in the United States and elsewhere from using private funding to create new embryonic cell lines and undertaking research with them. The embryos for such research are typically obtained from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilised in vitro, as in an in vitro fertilization clinic and then donated for research purposes with informed consent of the donors. In 2009, some of the barriers to federal financing of responsible and scientifically worthy human stem cell research were lifted.
- Another advance in technology involves cloning which can refer to genes, cells, or whole organisms. This technology is making a copy of the original, like a photocopy. In the case of a cell, a clone refers to any genetically identical cell in a population that comes from a single, common ancestor. For example, when a single bacterial cell copies its DNA and divides thousands of times, all of the cells that are formed will contain the same DNA and will be clones of the common ancestor bacterial cell. Gene cloning involves manipulations to make multiple identical copies of a single gene from the same ancestor gene. Cloning an organism means making a genetically identical copy of all of the cells, tissues, and organs that make up the organism. There are two major types of cloning that may relate to humans or other animals: therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning.
Therapeutic cloning involves growing cloned cells or tissues from an individual, such as new liver tissue for a patient with a liver disease. Such cloning attempts typically involve the use of stem cells. The nucleus will be taken from a patient’s body cell, such as a liver cell, and inserted into an egg that has had its nucleus removed. This will ultimately produce a blastocyst whose stem cells could then be used to create new tissue that is genetically identical to that of the patient.
Reproductive cloning is a related process used to generate an entire animal that has the same nuclear DNA as another currently or previously existing animal. The first cloned animals were frogs. Dolly, the famous sheep, is another example of cloning. The success rates of reproductive animal cloning, however, have been very low. In 2005, South Korean researchers claimed to have produced human embryonic stem cell lines by cloning genetic material from patients. However, this data was later reported to have been falsified. Therefore, in this age of intense scientific competition, fraud in research is rampant and all innovations must be fully investigated, as every scientist desperately wants a Nobel prize for the research undertaken.
- Anti-ageing research is therefore the fundamental pillar in ensuring longevity. Ageing is characterised by the gradual decline in physiological functions occurring in most tissues and organisms. The acceleration of ageing in specific tissues leads to a variety of disorders, including neurodegeneration, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular and neoplastic diseases. One of the main pharmacological interventions prolonging life span in several model organisms such as yeast, nematodes, fruit flies, and mice is Rapamycin which is a natural product isolated from Streptomyces, a bacterium. The mammalian mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a key component of cellular metabolism that integrates nutrient sensing with cellular processes which fuel cell growth and proliferation. Although the involvement of the mTOR pathway in regulating life span and aging has been studied extensively in the last decade, the underpinning mechanisms remain elusive. However, there emerging insights which link mTOR to various processes related to ageing, such as nutrient sensing, maintenance of proteostasis, autophagy, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, and decline in stem cell function.
- Adverse early experiences have been associated with higher mortality risk, but evidence varies by type of experiences, and relatively little is known about the role of favorable early experiences on health in later life. This study evaluated the independent contributions to longevity of favorable and unfavorable early experiences, including psychosocial stressors, childhood socioeconomic status (SES), and close relationships. We also examined 4 midlife psychosocial factors as vulnerability and resilience pathways potentially mediating these associations. The sample included 1,042 men from the VA Normative Aging Study. Early experiences were assessed retrospectively in 1961-1970 and 1995. Midlife psychosocial factors were measured in 1985-1991 and included stressful life events (SLEs), negative affect, life satisfaction, and optimism. Mortality was assessed through 2016. In multiple mediator structural equation models, which account for the overlap among pathways, higher number of SLEs in midlife mediated the association of having more childhood psychosocial stressors to reduced longevity, supporting stress continuity as a vulnerability pathway. Higher optimism in midlife also mediated the association of higher childhood SES to greater longevity. In single mediator models, higher life satisfaction in midlife transmitted the benefits of higher childhood SES and presence of close relationships onto longevity. Higher optimism also mediated the association of fewer childhood psychosocial stressors to longevity. However, these indirect effects were attenuated when accounting for shared variance among mediators, suggesting overlapping pathways. Findings offer novel evidence on unique and shared pathways linking specific dimensions of early experiences to longevity.
- Other studies suggest that where one resides, determines longevity. This is evident by many affluent South Africans purchasing properties in the Islands of Mauritius. However, it is interesting to note that such endeavours proved fruitless in ensuring longevity. Jessica Yu explains her life expectancy research on CBC’s On the Coast. Jessica Yu, a doctoral candidate at UBC’s school of population and public health, found that people in West Vancouver and West Point Grey live about 10 years longer than those in the Downtown Eastside and Haney in Maple Ridge, and that divide is growing.
Albeit, in the final analysis, there is a debate, about how much we can increase our longevity. All humans share 99.9 percent of their genes. This explains why even “super-agers,” born with tiny genetic differences that promote longevity, almost never surpass 110. Jeanne Louise Calment of France was an outlier, living until the age of 122, the current record. Some animals make it well beyond that mark, according to Jan Vijg, a molecular geneticist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Scientists know just one way for humans to live 170 years like a giant tortoise: become a giant tortoise.
Some experts do find it likely that someone will set a record for our species by the end of this century. Statisticians have observed a “mortality plateau” for very old people; although the chance of dying in a given year goes up with age, the odds seem to stop increasing after 105. Beyond this plateau, it’s basically a coin toss every year: Heads you will see your next birthday, tails you will not.
But the mortality plateau is often debated. Even if it’s true that the risk of death levels off, this won’t necessarily result in super-agers living longer than before. Susan Alberts, a Duke University primatologist, published a paper that compared the human rate of aging with other primates. The maximum human life expectancy has increased by about three months per year since the mid-1800s, but that can be explained by fewer early and midlife deaths. Alberts found that the rate of decline during old age has stayed the same, mirroring other species. She believes that maximum human life span could be extended by continuing to “avert early and midlife deaths,” which simply increases the pool of people who could live a really long time.
Creativity may be key to healthy aging, the formula to stay inspired. Time will tell who is correct regarding the life span of our species. What is clear is that certain lifestyles help individuals live longer than they otherwise would, including the genetically blessed. Harvard researchers found that healthy habits add nearly 15 years of life expectancy. “That’s over $100 trillion in health-care savings,” said Harvard biologist David Sinclair.
Not enough Americans can access healthy lifestyles, however, and humanoids are becoming ill and dying earlier across economic levels compared with other countries. People under 65 in the richest areas of the United States have higher mortality than those in the poorest areas of Europe, according to a study published in September. “We’re going to pay if we don’t do something about this rising tide of disabled people,” said Judith Campisi, a biochemist at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.
Findings from longevity research could support better health in old age, with fewer age-related diseases and disabilities. Interestingly, many scientists believe that a certain amount and type of stress can help, thanks to evolution. As Sinclair wrote in his 2019 book, “Lifespan”: “Our genes did not evolve for a life of pampered comfort. A little stress to induce hormesis once in a while likely goes a long way.” “Hormesis” is a process in which various stressors, such as those related to diet and exercise seem to activate genes that slow down cell growth and aging. This this end humanoids can use food to trick the inbuilt system of human biology. Stress which is good for longevity can be caused by nutrition. Ideally, our ancestors enjoyed protein rich red meat for peak energy and performance. But when hunting expeditions failed, people resorted to eating hardy plants. Today, our bodies still infer a state of scarcity if we consume lots of vegetables, switching on the longevity genes. Indeed, such a diet is associated with longer lives, according to the Harvard study. Becoming a full-fledged vegetarian probably is not necessary, but, to maximise what longevity experts call “healthspan,” at least 50 percent of protein should come from vegetable sources, Longo said.
He advises getting other proteins mostly from fatty fish while moderating your intake of starchy carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes. Research has shown that older people who routinely devour such carbs may be more likely to become cognitively impaired. Try to replace them sometimes with foods such as lentils or extra vegetables, which have more fiber and minerals than refined carbs, said Kris Verburgh, a nutrigerontologist and author of “The Longevity Code.”
Another signal of scarcity that seems to switch on longevity genes is the restriction of all foods, which has been shown by decades of animal studies to lengthen life span. Although water-only fasting over several days can be dangerous, “fasting mimicking” diets, very low-calorie five-day eating plans that trick the body into thinking it is fasting while allowing some foods and nutrients have been shown to be safer. Longo believes such diets “will play a major part in maximising longevity.”
Research continues on various fasting regimens. In a preprint review, Matt Kaeberlein, a biogerontologist at the University of Washington, found limited evidence that avoiding food during specific windows of the day, without dropping overall calorie intake, increases life span in mice. When calories are reduced, some genetic strains of mice seem to benefit, but others actually die faster. Calorie restriction “could enhance longevity in some people while shortening lifespan in others,” Kaeberlein wrote.
“We are beginning to find faults with some extreme diets,” Campisi said. The best approach, she said, “is dietary restriction without malnutrition.” The real benefit of fasting, she added, might simply come from losing weight. “Obesity is a risk factor for inflammation,” and chronic, low-grade inflammation can accelerate aging in a process known as inflammaging.
Sinclair eats just once per day, at dinnertime. “When you eat is perhaps more important than what you eat,” he said, referring to animal studies. “It’s easy to say mice are not humans, but there are some broad lessons.”
Exercise can further simulate our ancestors’ stressful environments, some experts say, which can dupe your genes into extending your span of health. But it must be in moderation.
In August, the Mayo Clinic published research suggesting an optimal amount of exercise: People who played sports for 2.6 to 4.5 hours per week since the 1990s were about 40 percent less likely to have died than those who exercised less often. Cardio workouts may extend longevity by multiplying mitochondria, the “powerhouses” within cells. When scientists damage mitochondria in mice, the animals die faster, and mitochondrial dysfunction results in inflammaging in humans, Campisi said.
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, may be particularly effective in adding to longevity. K. Sreekumaran Nair, a Mayo endocrinologist, found that 12 weeks of HIIT reversed many age-related differences in how older people synthesise proteins, buffering their mitochondria. Strength training may also partially reverse aspects of aging. As with fasting, exercise must be in moderation. “Some young guys want to do too much of everything,” Nair said. “There’s no data that working out beyond a certain level gives you better mitochondria.” Being very aerobically fit may reduce mortality risk, but the August paper suggests a Goldilocks sweet spot; exercising more than 10 hours per week was linked to shorter life spans. Previous research has shown an association between extreme exercise and health problems, such as premature aging of the heart.
Nair suggests doing 35 minutes of HIIT three days per week; doing two nonconsecutive days of strength training, focusing on core muscles, arms and legs, with three sets for each muscle group; and taking walks of 7,000 to 10,000 steps on the other two days. He also recommends trying to get at least three minutes of movement after every hour of sitting. It is to be noted that these diet and exercise regimens cannot magically undo a lifetime of mistakes. A young person’s lifestyle “will echo for decades,” Sinclair warned.
What is beyond diet and exercise to enhance longevity? Sinclair noted another driver of longevity: long-term, loving relationships. In a nearly 80-year study, researchers found that the most important factor in a long, healthy life was having a close partner. Lynne Charnay, a 96-year-old actress who still performs onstage, attributes her longevity to marital bliss — a double dose of it. “I’ve had not one fabulous husband, but two!” Boxing regularly with her personal trainer in New York doesn’t hurt, either.
Another protective factor: optimism. In 2019, Boston University psychologist Lewina Lee found that optimism was associated with exceptional longevity. Take heart, Debbie Downers: Optimism can be cultivated through interventions. “While optimism is about 25 percent heritable,” Lee told me, “the rest is attributable to environmental influences.” That may partly explain why people entrenched in poverty, with little reason for optimism, die at much younger ages.
But residents of lower-income areas also have limited access to the heathy foods and opportunities cited above. That’s why experts on aging have called for policies that improve access to healthy lifestyles, especially as findings about exercise, nutrition and other anti-aging interventions continue to evolve, promising more years of health to those who can afford them.
The Bottom Line is summarised, as sung by by Adam Lambert, Helene Fischer, and British rock band Queen for the film Highlander. “Who Wants to Live Forever” is a song. A power ballad, it is the sixth track on the album A Kind of Magic, which was released in June 1986, and was written by lead guitarist of Queen, Brian May for the soundtrack of “Highlander”
The lyrics encapsulate the life of humanoids.
There’s no time for us
There’s no place for us
What is this thing that builds our dreams
Yet slips away from us?
Who wants to live forever?
Who wants to live forever?
There’s no chance for us
It’s all decided for us
This world has only one
Sweet moment set aside for us
Who wants to live forever?
Who wants to live forever?
Who dares to love forever
Oh, when love must die?
So touch my tears with your lips
Touch my world with your fingertips, yeah
And we can have forever
And we can love forever
Forever is our today
Who wants to live forever?
Who wants to live forever?
Forever is our today
Who waits forever anyway?
Who waits forever anyway?
Indeed, who wants to live forever in a wheelchair, a bed, or a cryogenic chamber?
 Songwriters: Brian May; Who Wants To Live Forever lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Professor G. Hoosen M. Vawda (Bsc; MBChB; PhD.Wits) is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.
Director: Glastonbury Medical Research Centre; Community Health and Indigent Programme Services; Body Donor Foundation SA.
Principal Investigator: Multinational Clinical Trials
Consultant: Medical and General Research Ethics; Internal Medicine and Clinical Psychiatry:UKZN, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine
Executive Member: Inter Religious Council KZN SA
Public Liaison: Medical Misadventures
Activism: Justice for All
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 22 Nov 2021.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Peace Rattler Humanoids’ Search for the Elusive, Eternal Life and Longevity (Part 2), is included. Thank you.
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
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