Tag Archives: healthcare

LONGEVITY CLOSER THEN WE THINK?

Humans are thinking about immortality since the dawn of time. Thanks to the current progress in technology we are witnessing a discovery that potentially could rewrite our lives. Senolytics are new class of drugs which may provide us with a better, healthier lives.

Judith Campisi is a professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California, and cofounder of a company called Unity Biotechnology in 2011. She is known as a leading figure in the biology of ageing since the early 1990s, when her research revealed that cells enter a phase known as senescence that prevents them from becoming cancerous.

Her research is currently focused on the role of cellular senescence in cancer and other age-related diseases. So, what cellular senescence basically means? According to Wikipedia, it is „one phenomenon by which normal cells cease to divide”. In 1960’s, Leonard Hayflick and Paul Moorhead found out that normal human fetal fibroblasts in culture reach a maximum of approximately 50 cell population doublings before becoming senescent. This phenomenon was called Hayflick limit and is known or overturning a 60-year-old dogma which maintained that all cultured cells are immortal.

It is worth noting that senescent cells in some point come to the kind of twilight state where they are still active but no longer dividing. Campisi’s and other scientists’ researches showed that this was a ‘strategy’ of the evolution process to derail incipient cancer cells, which are known to spread thanks to the cells division.

(PRNewsFoto/UNITY Biotechnology)

Now, Campisi is conducting researches on new class of drugs called senolytics, which eliminate senescent cells and restore more youthful characteristics (in animal experiments). The company called Unity Biotechnology, which she cofounded in 2011, launched a human trial of its first senolytic drug last July.

This actions can cause a moral dilemma whether we should live longer than we already do. Campisi points out that we should not confuse aging and death. She expects that, thanks to senolytics, we will be able to extend our “health span”, which basically means that there is a possibility that we will extend the duration of good health condition of our bodies while living the same amount of time as we currently do.

Today we can observe a debate about the limit to the human life span. Some say it can be 110 years, others claims it to be 150 years. Speaking of this case, Campisi provides us with examples such as world record for extending the life span of a little worm called C. elegans, which is 10-fold. On the other hand, most of the really intensive experiences extend mouse life span (which is about 97% genetically identical to human being) by 20-30%. In the end we just simply do not know what the maximum life span of human being, but there is a possibility that we can extend it even more than we already did, for example thanks to the discovery of vaccines.

 

So, what are your expressions on this topic? Would you like to live longer? Why? Or why not? Would you like to extend your “health span” or you believe that ageing is a necessary part of our lives? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Sources:

https://www.wikipedia.org

https://www.technologyreview.com

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No More Privacy. Thank you.

 

Healthcare, like so many other sectors of the economy, is being transformed by technology. 

TechCrunch

 

All eyes on the transformation of healthcare to one of the most personalized products we are able to purchase. No questions asked, eHealth, along other similar term creations are among the top buzzwords this year and in the near future. Finally, Startups and VC firms seem to realize the huge potentially big data, mobile and other technologies can have on our health. Consumers realize that, there are vast possibilities to track your own health and life a healthier lifestyle. While customers, producers and investors seem to feel the changes in technology based healthcare solutions knocking on our door, it is often an outdated and inflexible legal system that prevents the revolution in healthcare to finally gain momentum. In many cases, governments do not seem to be ready for this change to happen. Furthermore, often the basic data infrastructure required for these technologies are not developed enough.

Data privacy is a big issue in healthcare, as data about our health is probably one of the most private and sensitive pieces of data each and every one of us has to offer. Nevertheless, applications like SkinAnalytics, which helps in early Melanoma detection, points out how valuable large amount of data can be in order to early detect and prevent diseases from spreading. Clinical research would be one of the first to benefit from a lift in healthcare data protection and thus everyone could be benefiting from better-adjusted healthcare solutions.

From a business point of view, companies that are early able to position themselves on the market, despite the strict regulatory framework, will have a good competitive advantage toward the new entrants, that join the industry as a result of lifts in the law. Cracking the legal code is key to success here, as the technology is already available and well used in all kinds of different sectors.

An eCommerce example of an organization struggling with a tight regulatory framework and constant pressure from organizations that rather hold on to what exist now, instead of aiming for a better development, is 1001Pharmacies.com. The French startup set out to revolutionize the French Online-pharmacy landscape had his fair share of battling with the legal environment and parties that would rather keep everything as it is, instead of working towards better and more efficient solutions.

What is the point of all of this? A call to the liberation of data privacy and legal aspects of pharmaceutical and medical laws. The creation of an environment that triggers creative solutions in this sector. Solutions that we all would be benefiting of one day.

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