July 13, 2017 at 3:26 pm #1636
This was published 6 years ago…we’re still waiting on science to fix our telomeres.
I believe that the production/capturing of Yuan qi is a more direct path to longevity – the telemeres stop reproducing themselves because they run out of POST-NATAL QI.
Yuan Qi can replenish that. This is not a quick trick solution to disease and aging. It takes time to re-gineer your energy body to produce a longer lasting physical body. Start NOW, you will get there. -Michael
Michio Kaku video text:
Published on May 31, 2011
Don’t miss new Big Think videos! Subscribe by clicking here: http://goo.gl/CPTsV5
Enzymes like Telomerase and Resveratrol, though not the Fountain of Youth unto themselves, offer tantalizing clues to how we might someday soon unravel the aging process.
Question: Do you think the enzyme Telomerase could be used to reverse the aging process in our lifetime? (Submitted by Paul Cellura)
Michio Kaku: Paul, Telomerase hit the headlines; however, I think we have to put it into perspective. It is not the fountain of youth; however, it is a significant breakthrough. We have to put it into a much larger perspective.
First of all, we know that DNA is sort of like a shoelace. It has plastic tips at the end. Every time a cell reproduces, the tips get shorter and shorter and shorter until finally they fray. And you know that your shoelace, without the plastic tips will simply fall apart. That’s what happens inside a cell. A cell, for example, your skin cell, will divide about 60 times, that’s called a Hayflick Limit. Then the cell goes into senescence and eventually dies.
So in some sense, every cell has a biological clock. It is doomed to die after about 60 reproductions. However, Telomerase can eliminate some of the contraction of the chromosomes and the chromosomes can maintain their length. So at first you may say, “ah-ha! We can now defeat the biological clock.” But not so fast, first of all, cancer cells also use Telomerase. Cancer cells are immortal. Cancer cells are immortal and that’s precisely why they kill you. Why are cancer cells so dangerous? Because they are immortal. They grow and they grow and they grow until they take over huge chunks of your body, meaning that your bodily functions cannot be performed and you die. So we have to make sure that when you hit ordinary cells with Telomerase that you don’t also trigger cancer in the process.
Now, also you have to realize that genes are also very essential for the aging process. It turns out that we know what aging is. Aging is the buildup of error. That’s all aging is. The build up of genetic and cellular error. And cells begin to age; they begin to get sluggish because genetic mistakes start to build up. Now cells; however, have a repair mechanism. They can repair damage to their cells; otherwise we would all basically rot very soon after birth. However, even the repair mechanisms eventually get gummed up and then the cell really starts to get old as a consequence. So then the question is, can you accelerate cell repair? That is another branch of gerontology which is being looked at using genes and using chemicals to accelerate the repair mechanisms.
For example, if I take any organism on the planet Earth from yeast cells to spiders, insects, rabbits, dogs, and even monkeys now. And I reduce their caloric intake by 30%, they live 30% longer. In fact the only organism which has not yet been deliberately tested by scientists are homo sapiens. All the other species obey this basic rule. You starve them to death, they live longer. This is independent of Telomerase. This is a function of the wear and tear that we have on the cells. And this is the only known way of actually deliberately extending the lifespan of any organisms almost at will.
Now, what we want is a genetic way of mimicking this mechanism without having to starve yourself because how many people do you know would be willing to starve themselves in order to live 30% longer? Not too many. So then the question is, are there genes that control this process. And the answer is apparently, yes. There’s something called the Sirtuin genes, Sir2 being the most prominent of them. They in turn stimulate certain enzymes, among them Resveratrol, which is found in red wine, for example. So this does not mean that drinking red wine or taking Telomerase is the fountain of youth. I don’t think that anyone has the fountain of youth yet. What I am saying is, we are now finding pieces of the fountain of youth, tantalizing clues that mean that perhaps in the coming decades, we might be able to actually unravel the aging process. We don’t have it yet. Don’t go out to the drug store and stock up on these kinds of chemicals and enzymes thinking you’re going to live forever. However it is conceivable that in the coming decades we’ll come very close to finding it.July 15, 2017 at 9:33 am #1639
As long as you only know yourself as the mortal ego, you will be running scared clinging on to every scientific breakthrough to save you.
But who is it that would be saved anyway ? The false self ?
The part of you that is destroying your real nature ?
Do you want that part to live forever ?
It would be the burying of your real self, also known as hell.
Isn’t this false self doing enough damage without the need to make it live forever?
Isn’t the message from all the teachers to simply discover your true immortal nature within?
And then who can harm you ?
And then you can live in harmony allowing the seasons to rise and fall, even your own, without resistance, simply yielding.
Isn’t this a better plan, than to be one of those old people clinging to “hope” and clutching the white coats of their doctors …
Isn’t that mankind’s disastrous lack of self-knowledge ?
Let go, and allow yourself to die.
Surrender and merge into to the Central Channel until nothing exists outside.
July 16, 2017 at 1:43 am #1642
Tardigrades: The last survivors on Earth
July 14, 2017
The world’s most indestructible species, the tardigrade, an eight-legged micro-animal, also known as the water bear, will survive until the Sun dies, according to a new Oxford University collaboration.
The new study published in Scientific Reports, has shown that the tiny creatures, will survive the risk of extinction from all astrophysical catastrophes, and be around for at least 10 billion years – far longer than the human race.
Although much attention has been given to the cataclysmic impact that an astrophysical event would have on human life, very little has been published around what it would take to kill the tardigrade, and wipe out life on this planet.
The research implies that life on Earth in general, will extend as long as the Sun keeps shining. It also reveals that once life emerges, it is surprisingly resilient and difficult to destroy, opening the possibility of life on other planets.
Tardigrades are the toughest, most resilient form of life on earth, able to survive for up to 30 years without food or water, and endure temperature extremes of up to 150 degrees Celsius, the deep sea and even the frozen vacuum of space. The water-dwelling micro animal can live for up to 60 years, and grow to a maximum size of 0.5mm, best seen under a microscope. Researchers from the Universities of Oxford and Harvard, have found that these life forms will likely survive all astrophysical calamities, such as an asteroid, since they will never be strong enough to boil off the world’s oceans.
Three potential events were considered as part of their research, including; large asteroid impact, and exploding stars in the form of supernovae or gamma ray bursts.
There are only a dozen known asteroids and dwarf planets with enough mass to boil the oceans (2×1018 kg), these include and Pluto, however none of these objects will intersect the Earth’s orbit and pose a threat to tardigrades.
In order to boil the oceans an exploding star would need to be 0.14 light-years away. The closest star to the Sun is four light years away and the probability of a massive star exploding close enough to Earth to kill all forms of life on it, within the Sun’s lifetime, is negligible.
Gamma-ray bursts are brighter and rarer than supernovae. Much like supernovas, gamma-ray bursts are too far away from earth to be considered a viable threat. To be able to boil the world’s oceans the burst would need to be no more than 40 light-years away, and the likelihood of a burst occurring so close is again, minor.
Dr Rafael Alves Batista, Co-author and Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Physics at Oxford University, said: “Without our technology protecting us, humans are a very sensitive species. Subtle changes in our environment impact us dramatically. There are many more resilient species’ on earth. Life on this planet can continue long after humans are gone.
“Tardigrades are as close to indestructible as it gets on Earth, but it is possible that there are other resilient species examples elsewhere in the universe. In this context there is a real case for looking for life on Mars and in other areas of the solar system in general. If Tardigrades are earth’s most resilient species, who knows what else is out there.”
Dr David Sloan, Co-author and Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Physics at Oxford University, said: “A lot of previous work has focused on ‘doomsday’ scenarios on Earth – astrophysical events like supernovae that could wipe out the human race. Our study instead considered the hardiest species – the tardigrade. As we are now entering a stage of astronomy where we have seen exoplanets and are hoping to soon perform spectroscopy, looking for signatures of life, we should try to see just how fragile this hardiest life is. To our surprise we found that although nearby supernovae or large asteroid impacts would be catastrophic for people, tardigrades could be unaffected. Therefore it seems that life, once it gets going, is hard to wipe out entirely. Huge numbers of species, or even entire genera may become extinct, but life as a whole will go on.”
In highlighting the resilience of life in general, the research broadens the scope of life beyond Earth, within and outside of this solar system. Professor Abraham Loeb, co-author and chair of the Astronomy department at Harvard University, said: “It is difficult to eliminate all forms of life from a habitable planet. The history of Mars indicates that it once had an atmosphere that could have supported life, albeit under extreme conditions. Organisms with similar tolerances to radiation and temperature as tardigrades could survive long-term below the surface in these conditions. The subsurface oceans that are believed to exist on Europa and Enceladus, would have conditions similar to the deep oceans of Earth where tardigrades are found, volcanic vents providing heat in an environment devoid of light. The discovery of extremophiles in such locations would be a significant step forward in bracketing the range of conditions for life to exist on planets around other stars.”
More information: ‘The Resilience of Life to Astrophysical Events’ David Sloan, Rafael Alves Batista, and Abraham Loeb, Scientific Reports (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-05796-x , http://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-05796-x
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.