Category Archives: Health

Progress On Aging

…and the resistance to it. I think he’s right that it’s not based on science or logic, but philosophy. Some people (including Isaac Asimov) think that death is necessary, almost to the point of ultimately worshiping it. Of course, some of it could be a recognition, conscious or otherwise, of the supreme disruption to many accepted institutions that it would entail, including pensions, life-time appointments, death taxes, etc.

And I hate when they use the word “immortality.” I think an eternal life would be far worse than death, but that’s not the goal; it’s simply living as long as we want to continue to live.

Update a couple minutes later]

Sort of related: GM Salmonella cures cancer. Cool. But the anti-science left will oppose it because GM.

Locked-In Patients

They’ve found a way to communicate with them, and their lives may not be the living nightmare we’ve imagined:

“One of the most surprising outcomes of this study is that these patients reported being ‘happy’ despite being physically locked-in and incapable of expressing themselves on a day-to-day basis, suggesting that our preconceived notions about what we might think if the worst was to happen are false. Indeed, previous research has shown that most locked-in patients are actually reasonably satisfied with their quality of life,” he added.

Two pieces of good news in one. The human brain is an amazing, almost incomprehensible thing.

Pig-Human Organ Farming

“…doesn’t look promising yet.”

[Update a while later]

On the other hand, there’s this: They’re figuring out how to make store-bought tomatoes taste good. But we have to encourage them:

Consumers, known to gravitate towards the least expensive option, will have to vote with their wallets to keep flavorful tomato options on market shelves.
“The next time you’re in the store, you might consider paying a little more for a more flavorful tomato,” Klee says. If you do, you might find that the tomatoes of the future taste a little sweeter.

As someone who does shop price on tomatoes, I’ll have to try that. Lately I’ve been using fresh where I used to use canned, partly to avoid the extra salt (though you can get canned with no salt added). I may try better ones in my next tomato sauce.

[Update a few minutes later]

Forget growing organs in pigs; we may be able to 3-D print them soon.

Curing Mouse Diabetes

…with pancreases grown in rats:

“These results demonstrate not only that the rat-grown mouse pancreas is functional, but also that it is readily accepted by the immune system of the genetically matched recipient,” said Nakauchi. “In the future, any human organs generated in this way may also be functional and accepted by the immune system of the patient who donated the pluripotent stem cells.”

These results are exciting, but it’s ultimately a proof of concept if you look at what scientists hope to accomplish in the long term. “Their study is well executed and we’re happy to see the result,” Jun Wu, a research associate at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California who was not involved in the study, told Gizmodo. “But that’s rats and mice. To move to humans you have to take another step forward.” Rats and mice are much closer on an evolutionary scale than say, rats and people, or people and sheep, though scientists are working on growing human cells inside pigs as we speak.

Faster, please.

The Paleo Diet

Gee, so it turns out that it won’t kill you after all:

Even short-term consumption of a Paleolithic-type diet improved glucose control and lipid profiles in people with type 2 diabetes compared with a conventional diet containing moderate salt intake, low-fat dairy, whole grains and legumes.

The biggest nightmare for Big Pharma is that we can treat Type 2 diabetes (which seems to be a diet-related “disease”) with an improved diet.