4 medical technological breakthroughs that destroy longevity myths

4 medical technological breakthroughs that destroy longevity myths

Myth #1: “Live longer doesn’t mean more”

Many of us have painful memories of a grandparent or another elderly person we know whose quality of life has deteriorated dramatically as we get older. “…” They lived, but they lived a bad life.

Nobody wishes for such a life. Of course, no one wants such a presence to continue for decades.

But does longevity mean prolonging aging?

of course not! “…” I understand well those who consider this scenario to be the only possible scenario, and see only long old age and impotence in long life. “…” It’s quite the opposite. Longevity is a crucial struggle against agingStruggle for the opportunity to delay processes that represent aging for as long as possible.

The purpose of longevity is to remain young (or at least relatively young) even after we are far from the threshold of the current age standard. “…”

Myth 2: “Longevity is a danger to our civilization”

“…” The possibilities of agriculture are limited, and therefore, under the present conditions, it will not be able to provide food for all the inhabitants of the Earth. There will be catastrophic destruction of ecosystems and climate change. The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. Work becomes a luxury. The world order will collapse. and so on.

Of course, I understand where these fears come from – from a heightened sense of responsibility to future generations. But here, too, the true state of affairs does not give us any cause for concern. “…” In the pre-industrial age, life regularly raised such fears, until the development of technology rendered them unfounded.

This does not mean at all that humanity has no problems with the environment, climate or social inequality: they are “…”.

Technological progress creates the necessary conditions for sustainable population growth.

“…” A further decrease in the number of children is expected, as the number of married couples decreases every year and are ready to continue their families. The population of Spain and Japan is expected to halve in the coming decades. Other developed countries are also facing severe population decline.

Contrary to what most people think, The longevity revolution will stabilize rather than worsen global demographics.

Myth 3: “Life can never go back”

“…” The truth is that history has already recorded reliable cases when people lived to 115 and even 120 years old, and they did so based on techniques and standards of health care more primitive than those available to us today.

“…” A man designed a nuclear reactor, went to the moon and succeeded in cloning a sheep. We invented microwaves, artificial hearts, and birth control pills. Therefore, longevity is just another scientific problem that we have to solve.

Very soon, slowing, reversing or even stopping aging will become another globally recognized goal of medicine.

“…” The ability to manage the aging process, along with advances in genetic and cellular engineering, the development of personalized diagnostics and the use of big data processing technologies for a variety of procedures (from the development of targeted drugs to the accurate and effective diagnosis and treatment of diseases), all this dramatically changes Radical our understanding of aging and the possibilities of modern medicine.

When I talk about the Longevity Revolution, what I really mean is Cumulative achievement effectthat have now occurred in various fields of science and technology. “…”

breakthrough in genetic engineering

The Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, resulted in a nearly successful decoding of the complete sequence of 3 billion base pairs representing approximately 25,000 individual human genes.

It was perhaps one of the most ambitious scientific projects in human history: it cost billions of dollars and lasted for 13 years. Today, your genome can be sequenced in a matter of hours for as little as $200.

  • “…” Gene decoding It allows you to predict many genetic diseases, as well as the likelihood of developing cancer.

The benefits of early genetic sequencing became widely known thanks to Angelina Jolie, who underwent a prophylactic mastectomy after genetic analysis revealed she was at high risk of developing breast cancer.

“…” Thus, this technology, combined with advances in artificial intelligence, helps determine appropriate medical treatment methods, tailored precisely to the individual characteristics of the patient.

  • “…” But the most important consequence of this scientific breakthrough is that today’s science has already begun to offer ways to change how genomeAnd the epigenome (a system of chemical modifiers that determine the degree of gene expression) to make our lives longer and healthier.

New technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 and many others have already given clinicians the ability to modify individual genes. Very soon, we will be able to suppress the activity of the genes responsible for diseases, or simply remove them, and at the same time introduce or amplify the genes that determine longevity and health.

  • Gene editing It is just one of the new technologies of the genetic revolution. The other is gene therapy, which is the “infection” of a patient’s cells with genes that provide the production of proteins necessary for the body to replace its proteins that have lost this ability due to any damage.

This procedure is already used to treat many rare genetic diseases, but it will soon become routine but incredibly effective. The US Food and Drug Administration plans to approve 10 to 20 of these treatments by 2025.

  • However, perhaps the most revolutionary area of ​​gene therapy today is CAR-T cell therapy A method of treating cancer that relies on modifying the T cells in the patient’s immune system to fight the form of cancer in which it was found.

“…” CAR-T cell therapy may put an end to the global cancer mortality problem, claiming about 10 million lives annually.

A breakthrough in regenerative medicine

“…” The aging process is not only a gradual destruction of human organs and tissues, but also a simultaneous impairment of the body’s ability to repair damage. Therefore, even those who have lived a long and healthy life fall prey to heart failure, reduced immunity, muscular dystrophy, and other degenerative conditions. “…”

  • “…” There are already more than a thousand clinics in the United States offering Stem Cell Therapy.

Stem cells, which are intended to serve as a starting material for all other cells, tissues and organs in the body, stop dividing over time. However, new treatments based on the use of the patient’s stem cells will help restore the body’s ability to heal itself. “…”

The FDA has already approved 10 stem cell treatments, and I think that’s just the beginning.

  • “…” How about on the spot Grow a new member? No matter how great it sounds, this technology really does exist.

Today, millions of people around the world are waiting for a donated organ transplant: heart, kidney, lung, pancreas or liver.

They will soon begin receiving new organs made from their own cells using technologies such as 3D bioprinting, internal “bioreactors”, or new methods such as organ transplantation, in which organs are grown by coating human cells on lightweight collagen scaffolds made from animal organs. “…”

Breakthrough in the field of medical equipment

“…” You are probably already familiar with gaining popularity items like Apple WatchAnd the Fitbit And the aura ring What advantage is that they have the job Monitor vital parameters.

These devices allow their users to quickly obtain data about their health. “…” Very soon, wearable, portable and compact devices will be able to dramatically reduce premature deaths from diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, thus adding years, if not decades, to life expectancy worldwide. . “…”

Of the 60 million deaths each year, half are due to treatable diseases if caught early.

“…” We live in a world of “interactive” medicine, which can only respond to the manifestations of diseases. Even in developed countries, patients, as a rule, do not become the subject of a detailed examination using high-precision diagnostic methods, unless they have any health complaints.

For a large number of people living in poor and remote parts of the world, they do not have free access to medical resources, so it is impossible to talk about early diagnosis of diseases.

But everything indicates that this situation will soon change for the better. In the near future, health care will be transferred From ‘reactive’ to ‘proactive’ medicine, that is, to such healthcare that will be proactive, relying on disease prevention. “…”

The impetus for this shift will be low-cost, ubiquitous devices that will constantly monitor our health. We will be able to carry some devices from this series with us or on ourselves the way we dress, and others will be implanted under the skin, inserted into the bloodstream, or enter the body with breakfast. “…”

“…” Your body itself will maintain itself in impeccable condition, and the probability of premature death from diseases that were prevented in time will decrease to almost zero.

Medical data breakthrough

“…” The digital results of medical research and the flow of data from compact, wearable digital diagnostic devices constitute a vast body of information that is difficult for the human brain to comprehend. You will become the raw material of a mighty machine Artificial intelligenceIt will fundamentally change every aspect of healthcare we know today.

Developing drugs and obtaining regulatory approval is a very long, arduous and expensive process. As a result, we get expensive drugs, but at the same time they largely do not take into account the presence of various characteristics of a particular organism.

«…» Not only the largest pharmaceutical companies with huge investment potential, but also hundreds of them Startups.

Through joint efforts, large companies and start-ups are fundamentally changing the situation in the pharmaceutical market, an example of which is the “vaccine race” against COVID-19.

Today, medicine is largely based on the principle of “one medicine for all”.

“…” AI will eliminate the possibility of misdiagnosis, allow early detection of many deadly diseases (leukemia, diabetes, etc.), radically improve understanding of the phenomenon of aging and disease, and allow clinicians to provide decent medical care to their patients by providing To them, among other important opportunities and resources, one of the most important things we lack today is time. “…”

I think you are now beginning to understand why the longevity revolution has become inevitable in today’s environment. And all this does not happen in the world of science fiction, but in the reality of academic laboratories and technology centers. The idea of ​​aging as a life scenario over which we have no control will soon be thrown into the dustbin of history.

Cover photo: Shutterstock / Hyejin Kang

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