Every since little Freddie screamed out “Hearts and kidneys are tinker toys!” in Young Frankenstein, you just knew modern science was going to set about proving him right. That’s what scientists do. Go out, have a few cocktails, watch a fun movie, and come up with insane stuff. Everything from cell phones to spinal implants to robotic eyes to molecular insertions all came after someone saw a TV show or movie. So, that’s cool and all, but what if the movie is about reanimating the dead? You know, Frankenstein? That wacky story? Well, hang on to your seat belts, this ride’s about to get interesting.
The medical definition of life depends on the husk we call home having a functioning brain. That seems simple enough but how a brain functions is still a mystery. But it’s becoming less and less so every day.
So, we’ll start with some simple stuff, and what science has done with that knowledge. Back in July of 2016 I wrote about a fun piece of tech called THE TOUCH.
This is a device straight out of your strangest sci-fi movie. It allows you to telepathically control electronic devices. No, I’m not drunk. With very little training you can turn lights on and off, operate drones for a short range, program your phone, and accomplish many other tasks without lifting a finger. The idea is pretty straightforward. Science has been able to discern which part of the brain controls what activities for years now. This device is merely a practical application of all that research. That said, while the idea may be straightforward the technology isn’t. The user is required to wear an electronic tiara, very stylish, (which) features a node that lays across the forehead to direct the brains’ electronic activity to the correct devices.
It also can act as a brain wave regulator so you can concentrate better, calm down easier, and play games on other people’s computers. Essentially, communication could occur mind to mind. Yes, brain sex is 100% doable. Just brain to brain, you never need touch another human again.
Think of it this way, since doctors can monitor your brain activity using an EEG. there’s no reason in the world you can’t control the output. And, with a little nudge from science, that’s exactly what you can do.
The brain-to-brain sex is just a bonus.
In January of this year, I wrote about how scientists had discovered that virtual reality could be used to dramatically decrease, or eliminate, pain medication in serious injured patients. And, while that stimulation was visual, they also discovered that certain types of physical stimuli, implanted directly in the brain, could help stroke victims regain a normal life.
Just last week I wrote about how scientists were using that same technique to return eye sight to people who’d lost their eyes.
Now, before we dive into the rest, I should note that back in 2016 scientists had developed a way to erase memories.
In other words, we may not know all the intricacies of the brain, but we know a lot and can manipulate more than you might have imagined.
Where does all this get us? Well, as Science Page News reports, scientists are ready to bring back the dead.
US biotechnology company called Bioquark has been given permission to recruit 20 clinically dead patients and attempt to bring their central nervous systems back to life. They hope to eliminate patients’ need to rely on machines by reanimating parts of the upper spinal cord, where the lower brain stem is located, to potentially energize vital body functions like breathing and heartbeats.
Trial participants will have been declared certified dead and kept alive solely through life support machines. “This represents the first trial of its kind and another step towards the eventual reversal of death in our lifetime,” said CEO of Bioquark Inc., Ira Pastor.
The team, who has been granted ethical permission from an Institutional Review Board at the National Institutes of Health in the US and India to begin trials on 20 subjects, is looking to recruit patients for its ReAnima Project as soon as possible.
The team will first complete a phase I trial, referred to as a non-randomized, proof-of-concept study. This will determine whether or not they are capable of reversing clinical brain death through drug administration, nerve stimulation, and laser therapy.
They’ll also be looking at whether or not they can affect any changes in the meninges of the brain, layers of tissue located between the skull and the surface of the brain. Specifically, the team will be investigating improvements in the patients’ pulse, blood oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and respiration.
“To undertake such a complex initiative, we are combining biologic regenerative medicine tools with other existing medical devices typically used for stimulation of the central nervous system, in patients with other severe disorders of consciousness,” Pastor noted.
The researchers are hoping that, if they can get patients’ brains to work again, and since many clinically dead can retain certain functions, like processing waste, digesting nutrients, healing wounds, and growing and maturing, people will have the chance to regain some semblance of life. But for now, the team is just trying to take it one step at a time.
Okay, cool, we brought back a dead person, or we should be able to do so soon enough, what if they’re old? What kind of life are we bringing them back to? One of endless possibilities, believe it or not.
Ekaterina Pasheva, over at Harvard (yes, that one), says that science is close to reversing the clock on human aging.
How close? Human trials close.
We are as old as our arteries, the adage goes, so could reversing the aging of blood vessels hold the key to restoring youthful vitality?
The answer appears to be yes, at least in mice, according to a new study led by investigators at Harvard Medical School.
The research, published March 22 in Cell, identifies the key cellular mechanisms behind vascular aging and its effects on muscle health and has successfully reversed the process in animals.
The findings pinpoint a glitch in the normal crosstalk that occurs between muscles and blood vessels and keeps both tissues healthy.
Using the synthetic precursors of two molecules naturally present in the body, the scientists also managed to reverse blood vessel demise and muscle atrophy in aging mice, boosting their exercise endurance in the process.
The achievement, the team said, paves the way to identifying related therapies for humans.
“We’ve discovered a way to reverse vascular aging by boosting the presence of naturally occurring molecules in the body that augment the physiological response to exercise,” said study senior investigator David Sinclair, professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School.
“The approach stimulates blood vessel growth and boosts stamina and endurance in mice and sets the stage for therapies in humans to address the spectrum of diseases that arise from vascular aging,” added Sinclair, who is also a professor at the University of New South Wales School of Medical Sciences in Sydney, Australia.
The researchers caution that many promising treatments in mice don’t have the same effect in humans due to critical differences in biology. However, the results of the experiments were dramatic enough to prompt the research team to pursue experiments in humans. Clinical trials for safety are already under way, Sinclair said.
The active ingredient in the potion they’ve concocted is NMN, a precursor to the cells that keep us young and disappear as we age, and sodium hydrosulfide, a precursor to Hydrogen Sulfide. The combination has had dramatic effects.
A group of 32-month-old mice—the rough equivalent to 90 in human years—receiving the combo treatment for four weeks were able to run, on average, twice as long as untreated mice. In comparison, mice treated with NMN alone ran 1.6 times farther, on average, than untreated animals.
“These are really old mice so our finding that the combo treatment doubles their running capacity is nothing short of intriguing,” said study co-author James Mitchell, associate professor of genetics and complex diseases at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Research led by Mitchell and published in the same issue of Cell also found sodium hydrosulfide to augment blood vessel formation in the muscles of mice.
Interestingly, the NMN treatment did not improve blood vessel density and exercise capacity in young sedentary mice. However, it did boost blood vessel formation and exercise capacity in young mice that had been exercising regularly for a month.
Now, a word of caution; there are unscrupulous people (a/k/a assholes) marketing supplements which allegedly contain NMN and can reverse aging. Each and every one of them is crap. You have a better chance of filling a bald head with hair by rubbing epoxy glue on it.
Don’t do that.
I can’t tell you if the supplements you’re taking are safe or not since the touted ingredients only exist in labs right now. Whatever it is you’re swallowing is a mystery.
Look at it this way, I wrote HAPPY DEATH DAY GRANDMA in 2018 and all the life extending tech mentioned there has only been enhanced. And, if none of this works, then check out YOU CAN BE YOUR OWN ROBOT OVERLORD for an update on how to upload your brain into a computer for immortality.
Whatever you do, remember the cost of hubris. In Frankenstein the monster killed everyone in the Frankenstein family but Victor, his creator, whom he abandoned.
Keep a happy thought.
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