From ancient times to the present, there is no shortage of people who pursue longevity and immortality. Many emperors in Chinese history did everything possible to demand immortality. For example, Qin Shihuang, Han Wudi, Tang Taizong, Wu Zetian and so on. Facing the heavy topic of death, people are accustomed to following the established cognition that death is a life process that is inevitable for everyone. But who doesn't want to live forever? Alchemy was used in ancient times. Now, what are the attempts of human beings for longevity and immortality?
The replacement of contemporary technology giants to extend life
Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, is also the author of the famous best-selling book [From 0 to 1]. In order to prolong his life, he not only takes hormones every day and joins the cryonics program, but there are also rumors that he is also keen on blood exchange and life extension methods. Every quarter, some young people’s blood has to be imported, so they are dubbed "blood boy" by major media. Maybe he was inspired by the mouse experiment of Cornell University biologist Clive McCay 64 years ago. Clive found that after connecting the blood vessels of the 1.5-month-old and 16-month-old mice for common blood circulation, the articular cartilage of the 16-month-old mouse became much younger, which is equivalent to helping the 47-year-old grow against the age. The wealth of wealth may not allow wealthy people like Peter to continue to surge, but it is definitely possible to extend life.
Whether it is the alchemy and immortality cultivation of ancient emperors, or the various novel attempts of rich people all over the world, at least one thing can be explained, that is, immortality or longevity has always been the goal of people's pursuit. With the progress of society and the exponential development of science and technology, contemporary scientists' cognition level of the human body has been greatly improved. The mechanism of human aging is being gradually solved by people. In recent years, human beings have continuously increased their investment in various drugs, gene editing, regenerative medicine and other projects. Perhaps in the near future, the research results in the field of biotechnology will bring great benefits to mankind. Mankind can not only be free from diseases, but also can delay aging, health and longevity, and grow against age.
Harvard Professor’s "Wonder Drug"
In recent years, a magic drug has become popular all over the world, it is NMN. It is an anti-aging substance discovered by Harvard University professor David Sinclair. Its anti-aging principle belongs to the category of mitochondrial theory. In 2013, Harvard University's David Sinclair laboratory discovered that NMN (β-nicotinamide mononucleotide) has amazing anti-aging potential. Subsequently, the study was published in the top academic journal "Cell", announcing to the world: NMN can extend the life span of humans by more than one third. After this report was published, it shocked the world immediately.
International cutting-edge medical research shows that the important NAD+ in the human body will decrease with age, and the inflammation of various organs caused by aging will also increase, which in turn will cause a variety of diseases. By supplementing NAD+, it is possible to slow down the aging of cells, that is to say, the aging of the human body and the occurrence of diseases will be slowed down and reduced, thereby prolonging the healthy life of human beings. However, NAD+ cannot be used to supplement human cells in a simple oral way. This is because its molecular weight is too large to pass through cell membranes, and it cannot maintain its original structure after passing through the human digestive system and cannot act on cells. Later, Professor David Sinclair discovered in a series of studies that NMN, nicotinamide ribose mononucleotide, can enter cells smoothly and can supplement NAD+, thereby repairing cells in time and helping anti-aging. Therefore, human supplementation of NMN plays a key role in extending lifespan. NMN supplements have antioxidant, antibacterial, and tyrosinase inhibitory activities, which are useful for repairing brain damage, improving pancreatic islet function, protecting the heart from ischemia-reperfusion injury, repairing brain mitochondrial respiratory defects, and treating senile degenerative diseases and retinal degeneration. Sexual diseases, type 2 diabetes, cerebral hemorrhage, etc. all have certain therapeutic effects. Professor David Sinclair also said in an interview with reporters that he himself is taking NMN products every day, and his family members are also taking it, and he feels that he is a lot younger. Immediately, NMN was dubbed "the elixir of life" by major media and research institutions.
New and strange research-xenotransplantation
Fifteen years ago, the United Kingdom was able to grow an artificial liver from stem cells from baby's umbilical cord blood, but it was only the size of a coin. With this attempt, humans will then try to figure out how to solve the problem of artificial organ size. United Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, intends to genetically engineer pigs so that organs such as liver, kidney, and heart of mutant pigs can be used by humans. This kind of xenotransplantation is indeed a little scary to think about. I don’t know how it will develop in the future? However, the company's vision is still good. It is committed to providing new ways to treat rare diseases and serving humanity.
Digital immortality-back up your brain, upload your thoughts
Futurist and head of engineering at Google, Ray Kurzweil, described a vision of digital immortality. He predicted that artificial intelligence will have the same intelligence as humans by 2029, and will reach the "singularity" in 2045, when the human brain will be combined with artificial intelligence, and intelligence will be enhanced by 1 billion times. If it comes true, the human body may not be so important: "We can use nanotechnology to create a body, or create a virtual body in virtual reality, and we will choose to change the body from time to time." Of course, based on the current development, Another technology is obviously reliable, and that is brain-computer interface technology. In the future, human beings can upload their memories, thoughts, feelings and all their brain consciousness to the cloud to save them, and each of us will realize immortality in a broader sense. Coupled with the future 3D printing technology, it may be possible for us to create bodies at all stages of life, and we can arbitrarily choose to give human brain information in the cloud to bodies of different ages. Neuralink, the Silicon Valley Iron Man Elon Musk's company, is leading the way in this regard. On August 29, 2020, Neuralink demonstrated a pig implanted with a Neuralink device. The Neuralink device successfully read the pig’s brain activity.
AI empowers longevity medicine
Figure 1 uses artificial intelligence technology to achieve longevity and health. Deep learning DL (Deep Learning) is a breakthrough in AI research, which allows deep neural network DNN (Deep Neura Network) training on massive longitudinal data sets. There is no consensus on how to define the "biological age" of humans, but the term usually refers to a measure that is more predictive of mortality, disease or frailty than age, and that measure can change in response to anti-protective interventions And can track certain biological signs of aging, such as promoting the aging of smoking cells. DL helps to establish the Deep Aging Clock (DAC), which generates an estimate of the individual's biological age based on data extracted from routine blood analysis. Using AI-powered tools such as DAC, clinicians should be able to more accurately assess and monitor personal health risks, and tailor appropriate interventions or lifestyle changes for specific individuals. We believe that DAC should become an important part of the physician’s toolkit so that AI-supported recommendations can promote long-term healthy lives. Other DL-based solutions with better performance than humans, such as radiographic image analysis algorithms for early cancer or aneurysm detection and dermatological testing, can provide complementary advantages. In this case, we define longevity medicine as a branch of precision medicine, dedicated to promoting health and longevity, and supported by AI technology. AI-powered longevity medicine will facilitate the discovery of drug targets for specific individuals, identify tailor-made protective interventions and biomarkers of aging and longevity to strengthen research on the trajectory of aging and disease, and identify possible contributions to mitigation Interventions that even reverse the biological, physical or psychological processes associated with aging. As the latest advances in longevity biotechnology and AI begin to permeate clinical research and clinical practice, doctors will increasingly need to browse various AI technologies and applications, including those that may be related to the field of longevity medicine (see more) .
Most of us may not dare to expect immortality, but with the continuous development and progress of artificial intelligence technology and biotechnology, the use of AI technology empowers each of us to better understand our own body, personal living habits, dietary intake, etc. After customizing healthy living habits, dietary structure, and customizing longevity drugs or other interventions combined with the longevity drugs provided by biotechnology achievements, the idea of human beings living to 120 years old should no longer be a luxury.