Review of biotechnology trends and research on remedies to prolong the healthy life of a human. Speculations, experiments and current perspective results.
Biotechnology: on the Way to Longevity
Is biotechnology on the pass to prolonging lifespan and improving health or are we on our way to becoming X-men with many dying along the way?
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The Future of Curing Diseases and Aging
Discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 and CRISPR-Cas12a systems of detecting, targeting and destroying parts of DNA that cause a disease, received a warm welcome in the scientific world. Worldwide scientific organizations welcomed the discovery as positive and revolutionary in biotechnology and held a summit in 2015 to regulate ethical issues deriving from the studies of CRISPR systems.
Trying their best to follow the ethical guidelines, the scientists of Doudna lab, UC Berkeley working on CRISPR systems recently published another discovery connected to the research of the DNA editing system. They have created a DETECT – a diagnostic system that detects genetic mutations, cancer and antibiotic resistance analyzing cells, blood, saliva, urine, and stool.
So, for now, accepting CRISPR in the world of science has led to revolutionary discoveries sustained by clinical trials. In a perfect world, the side effects do not backfire, and the technology becomes available to the general public. There is yet some work to be done on achieving this type of “perfect world”.
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Chasing the Original Youth
There are other races for healthy long life taking place around the world. One of the prominent figures of this race is Liz Parrish, CEO at BioViva Sciences USA Inc. Her son’s illness triggered her to seek for the rejuvenation and curing illnesses that come along with the process of getting old. What’s prominent about Ms. Parrish is that she underwent the procedures her company works on without a previous regulated clinical trial.
One of the procedures the BioViva CEO underwent was increasing the length of telomeres, the end segments of DNA. A decrease in the length of telomeres takes places when cells divide. This process is linked to aging.
On the other hand, the previous research on increasing telomeres in mice by Maria A. Blasco, the Director, and scientist at Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) led to a side effect – cancer. Only after modifying the genes of mice to make them cancer-resistant, the procedure of increasing telomeres increased the life-span by 20%. The research is a breakthrough, but the question remains – how to make use of the results for humans?
Liz Parrish seems to be convinced enough to become the first human to undergo the experimental therapy.
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The Movement to Defeat Death – RAAD Festival
James Strole and Bernadeane, Co-founders and Co-directors of People Unlimited, are prominent anti-death activists that speak out in favor of treating aging as a disease and shifting public mindset about aging.
James Strole is a Director of Coalition for Radical Life Extension holding annual RAAD Festival in California, the USA that is designed as a large meet-up of anti-death community with biotechnology of longevity being among the main topics of discussion.
The RAAD festival has strong popularity among the investors and, currently, billions of dollars come in to fund anti-aging research in biotechnology according to Investopedia.
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Health Mantra of Activity and Diet Stays Viable
The most righteous way to prolong healthy life at the moment is staying active and sticking to the diet. In 2016 a Nobel Prize in Medicine went to Yoshinori Ohsumi, Professor from Japan, for his work in the field of cellular renewal – autophagy.
The practical meaning of his discovery narrows down to intermittent fasting as a way to staying healthy on a cellular level. Fasting for at least 16 hours once or twice a week triggers the process of breaking down the damaged cell parts and utilizing excess proteins.
This process is essential for preventing disease. The discovery is a proven remedy to stave off aging, degrading diseases and cancer. At the time this is the safest way to bio-hack your genes and give time for the biotechnology to develop and catch up.