is it mathematically possible to live forever?

A story was released a few days ago saying that some scientists had proven with maths that it is impossible for halt aging.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are taking that at face value and think that it means that it is not possible to live forever. This is, fortunately, untrue.

It was “proven” in 2008 that humans couldn’t live past 125, and yet that was based purely on existing data and did not take into account our ability to solve issues.

The 125 limit is caused mostly by the Hayflick limit, which is a limit to how many times a somatic (normal – not stem) cell in the body can divide before its telomerase gets too short, telomerase being the bits at the end of the DNA that stop the DNA from being corrupted.

Of course, once humans identify a cause to a problem, we get out there and solve it. So, Elizabeth Parrish, an entrepreneur that runs the biotech company BioViva, became the first human to undertake telomere extension therapy, adding up to 18 years to her life.

The mathematical proof that was released a few days ago relies on the natural chaotic warring that happens between the various cells in the body from running itself ragged. But again – if we can spot a problem, we can solve it.

The research assumes that a living being, once born, will continue to live as-is until it simply dies of old age.

But we are hackers. We tinker. We see problems and fix them.

One of the issues is senescent cells (SnCs). We have already come up with a number of solutions to that which will be publically available within the next few years, including senolytics such as FOXO4-DRI and UBX0101.

I don’t accept that it is mathematically impossible to live forever. I believe these scientists have simply not considered all the variables.

FOXO4-DRI peptide prices for September 2017

There has been no change in the prices of the two suppliers that advertise FOXO4-DRI peptide on their website; Bucky Labs and NovoPro.

(the FOXO4-DRI peptide blocks the FOXO4 gene from interacting with the p53 gene, allowing senescent cells to reach apoptosis and clear themselves up to let younger cells take their place, letting people get a little closer to living forever)

I got a price by email from the guys at YoungShe Chemical – $900 for 50mg. That translates to a price of $540 for 30mg (the FOXO4-DRI dosage I’m aiming for).

That’s still $308.85 more expensive than what was quoted to interested parties atΒ Longecity, who were quoted about $231.15 per 30mg dose, based on a large 1000mg shipment.

Shop July September
Bucky Labs 2265 2265
NovoPro 1756.8 1756.8
YoungShe Chemical 540

It’s still looking cheaper to synthesise this yourself. Until the peptide cost gets down to below about $10 (for 30mg per day), it is still probably a good idea to work on building your own peptide synthesis lab. You’ll save money in the long term, and will learn some really cool science along the way.

3D printer ordered

I’ve finished covering the workshop framework for the winter, in order to keep the wood from rotting until I get the time and money to get onto putting proper walls and roof up, so I’m stuck indoors now for the winter.

Last week, I ordered a new 3D printer to replace the old Makibox printers that I had. They were okay for a few months but gradually degraded to the point that every print I made on one was a replacement part for the other.

The new printer is an Anet A8, which is a Prusa i3 derivative. I expect it to arrive within the next two weeks.

The end goal for all of this is peptide synthesis. Specifically, FOXO4-DRI, which is a peptide designed to stop the FOXO4 gene from interacting with the p53 gene, forcing senescent cells in the body to clear out, helping the body to rejuvenate itself, which is one step in how to live forever.

In order to get there, I need to build a load of tools. The first few are analysis tools – no point synthesising something if you can’t verify what it is!

There are a number of designs available already for 3D-printable analysis tools. For example, a spectrometer will help you determine the chemical makeup of a sample. I’m not sure yet of all the analysis tools I’ll need, but I’ll start with that.

Plans for a home-made peptide synthesis machine are also available online. It should be an easy matter to convert them into a 3D print design that can be shared. The costs on the bill of material are ridiculous – you can get most of those for a tiny fraction of the cost these days. A 200MHz CPU for $900? A $5 Raspberry Pi will beat that easily. All of the rest can be designed and printed, cutting a $3000 build down to probably about $30. I’ll update this as I actually build the thing, obviously, but I don’t think it will be anywhere near even $100.

Workshop progress

Construction takes longer than I thought. No wonder it costs so much!

When I started building my workshop/lab months ago (July – two months ago), I thought I might be done in a few weeks. It’s now September, and I’m just getting around to the roof now, and even then, it’s a temporary roof just to keep the structure from rotting through the winter!

The first thing I’ll be adding to the workshop is a 3D printer, with which I can start building the equipment I’ll need for working on my food replacement plan (a 100% nutrition food that’s designed on a person to person basis).

On a related note, based on an observation I made, Jimmy Joy is planning a low-calorie version of its Plenny-shake, which should allow better nutritional control for people that don’t consume exactly 2100 calories a day (that would be, oh, everyone!)

The second thing I’ll be adding is a weight and pulley system, to help me exercise. One thing I hate is going from no exercise to full-on exercise. For example, you can either do no press-ups, or you can do press-ups with your full weight. In order to do press-ups with lower weights (do build yourself up to full-on weight), I believe it would be better to start by having your body weight balanced so you’re essentially weightless, and start gradually adding more of your weight as you get stronger.

This is all part of my own attempt to extend my life. The ideal weight for my height is about 62kg, based on a BMI of about 23. That’s just the start, though – BMI does not discriminate between people that are overweight, and people that are just muscular.

To get a more accurate mortality calculation, you need to use something like ABSI or SBSI. The Surface Based Body Shape Index takes into account the weight, height, waist-size and vertical trunk-size, and uses that to generate a very accurate body-fat to mortality index. The people that live the longest are those that manage to reduce their SBSI score to .108 (male) or .105 (female).

To measure your own SBSI, please use my SBSI calculator.

Losing weight is straightforward – you just eat less calories than you use during a day. I’ve lost more than 12kg since the beginning of the year with little effort.

Reducing waist size, though, involves exercise. That’s a big change for a person (like me) that generally only does what is necessary. I generally don’t do anything that has no immediate purpose. Lying down and doing 100 pushups, or running a mile, doesn’t make any sense to me, because all I seem to get out of it is pain.

But, if there is an end-goal in the form of a number, suddenly it’s a game, which I intend to win πŸ™‚

So – the plan – build the workshop, create custom exercise stuff, reach an SBSI of .108, and finish creating my food generator thing.

An eventual plan for the workshop is to build a protein synthesis machine capable of synthesising senolytics such as the FOXO4-DRI peptide, but that’s probably a year away.

Progress on the workshop/lab

I mentioned last month that I’m starting work building a lab for (eventually!) protein synthesis of FOXO4-DRI to reduce senescent cell build-up and NMN to promote NAD+ production in cells, etc. There’s no point writing a book on how to live forever if you’re not going to get working on the answers yourself!

Because I’m working completely on my own, and have no experience in construction, this is taking longer than I thought!

I have the foundation 95% completed now. The structural parts (the load-bearing bits) are completed. I just need to fill in some gaps in the foundation wall, then add some plastic damp proof coursing between the wall and the wood of the workshop floor, then I can start on the frame of the thing.

The plan with this is to start off with some simple things – a 3D printer and some electronics, and use those as a base from which to build up a proper lab, one tool at a time, building as many as possible from scratch.

Critics might say (and they do…) that the only way to do good work is with good tools, but they appear to forget that everything we see today was built from the ground up using nothing much more than a rock hitting another rock. You use bad tools to make better tools. I am doing the same.

I was asked why I didn’t just get some people in to do the building for me. Partly, it’s cost, but it’s mostly because I want the satisfaction of knowing exactly where every nail and knothole is, and I want to design every aspect of the building to my own specifications.

I have had to learn a lot along the way so far – how to do mortaring, how to drain an accidental pool (siphoning through a hose. muddy water doesn’t taste nice πŸ˜‰ ), how water travels through concrete.

I’m still learning some things, like how to connect two pieces of wood together. Nails and nail plates appear to be the solution.

This weekend, I start on the frame of the build. I think that will go up very quickly.

using carbon nanotubes for neural prostheses

Carbon nanotubes are amazing things – they are electrically conductive, thermally conductive, so dark that materials made from them are blacker than whatever you think black looks like, and they are so strong that we may one day make elevators out of them that reach right out into space.

CSIRO_ScienceImage_1074_Carbon_nanotubes_being_spun_to_form_a_yarn
image: carbon nanofibers being spun into yarn

There have been fears circulating that nanotubes are biologically dangerous.

Every new thing has provoked fear-mongering – GMO, vaccines, the telephone, cars, the loom, but the more high-tech a new technology is, the harder it is to dissuade people of those fears, because it’s hard to explain high-tech in a way that’s easy for those fearful people to understand.

In the case of carbon nanotubes, the main fear is that because they are fibrous in nature (like fibre-glass and asbestos), they’re dangerous to the skin and lungs as an irritant, but because they are also so thin that they can penetrate biological cells (which fibreglass and asbestos can’t do), there is an added fear that they can disrupt the cell functions.

A study by researchers led by Laura Bellerini showed that not only do carbon nanotubes not interfere with the function of cells, but that they may be perfect for creating neural interfaces; something we will need for when we are coming up with ways to either speak directly to the brain, read directly from the brain.

The study also showed that when neurons are embedded in carbon nanotubes, they mature more quickly and grow new synapses (connections with other neurons).

While the potential for this goes well into sci-fi (uploading the brain, for example), the near-term uses are still phenomenal.

An example use in the near-term is to help create a link between an artificial hippocampal prosthesis, and the surrounding brain tissue.

The hippocampus is the simplest part of the brain to understand – data comes in one end, and goes out the other. A team of researchers spent ten years slicing a hippocampus up into tiny slices and measuring the electrical pathways, before recreating it in software, with an array of input probes, and another array of output probes. When the probes were placed in a rat’s brain (after cutting out its hippocampus), it was found that the prosthesis allowed the rat to make new memories. Human trials are currently underway.

Probably the hardest part of replacing the hippocampus is the reconnection, where the existing defunct hippocampus is removed, and the new artificial one is connected. The artifical device doesn’t need to go into the brain itself, but there must be a connection made between the brain and the device. This is currently done with an array of needles, but there is a limit to how fine those needles can get.

With carbon nanotubes, there is no such limit – because they are so much thinner than the thinnest metal needles, it should be possible to simply slide an entire array of them into place and have the carbon nanotubes automatically interface with neurons.

garden laboratory

I’ve decided to build a shed, in which I can develop a laboratory and the skills with which to do some biohacking of my own.

19787420_10213425529135525_7107876504064218547_o
image: my shed, so far πŸ˜‰

Drugs such as NMN and FOXO4-DRI are hugely expensive, and even by the time they become cheaper, there will newer drugs invented that have better effects. I can either always be on the tail end of this stuff, or start catching up on how to do it myself.

So, I need a laboratory. I’ve dug an 8ft by 16ft foundation, which I will lay with concrete and bricks tomorrow.

I’m doing my best to do a good job at this. It’s not going to be a shoddy shed that’s freezing in winter, has no power, and whistles when the wind blows.

It will be thermally insulated, powered, temperature and humidity controlled, and quiet. I’m really looking forward to seeing if I can get the idea out of my head and into real life.

So far, of course, the idea is just a hole in the ground.

Once built, the first thing that goes into it is a 3D printer, with which I can start building equipment. There are open source 3D designs available for lab equipment. example, example

In the short term, I want to be able to measure progress in my weight, blood pressure, lung function and other easy-to measure things. Eventually, I want to be able to synthesise proteins, measure exact nutritional values in foods, develop an automated food combiner that can produce properly calculated food mixtures.

I don’t think any of those are impossible to do at home. Even the protein synthesis should just take time, training, and probably a lot of careful building.