Thursday, October 02, 2014

Do you really want to live forever?

Five Tales from Crazy California
"I have no intention of dying"
- Sumner Redstone.
Billionaire Redstone, now 91, has made no secret of his longevity regime. It begins with a breakfast of goji berries, "Green Machine" smoothies and tomato juice — followed by a fish dinner and a shot of vodka for its "wonderful" antioxidant properties. The mogul also says he exercises 90 minutes a day.
"It's not even a hypothesis; it's just obvious: The human body is a machine.  Like any other machine, it can be subjected to preventative maintenance that will keep it going indefinitely by removing and replacing parts, just the way we do for a car." 
- Aubrey de Grey, head of the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence Research Foundation, and author of Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime.
"Our goal is to move to a preventative medicine paradigm versus treating diseases after they occur.  This is the start of the future of human medicine."
- J. Craig Venter, geneticist and owner of Human Longevity Inc., which will sequence 100,000 genomes annually for paying customers.
"There are a lot of people out there saying, 'We can sell you good health if you pay attention to what we do,' which is genome sequencing, but I have yet to see them actually make an impact."   
- Dr. Dennis Slamon, chief of UCLA's hematology-oncology division.
The urban legend that Walt Disney had his body frozen after death is not true, but it is an option today. 
Most recently, the body of famed computer coder Hal Finney was flown to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., shortly after he died Aug. 28 of ALS. 
That night, his fluids were replaced with a proprietary chemical solution called M-22. 
His body then was chilled to -320ºF and placed in an aluminum pod suspended within a 450-liter tank filled with liquid nitrogen.
There, Finney will remain in suspended animation, or biostasis, until he can be revived.
(Full-body cryopreservation costs $200,000, but one can preserve one's brain for a mere $80,000.)  
Exactly how or when that might be achieved is unclear, but according to the Alcor website, the key lies in nanotechnology, by which molecule-sized devices could "recover any preserved person in which the basic brain structures encoding memory and personality remain intact."

Source: How to Live Forever: The (Mad?) Science Hollywood Is Using to "Cure" Death
by Seth Abramovitch for The Hollywood Reporter, 10th September 2014

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