Longevity

Longevity Primer

Laura Deming runs the $26 million Longevity Fund – a VC firm dedicated to funding early-stage companies with a high-potential for increasing human lifespans.

Her blog has an interesting primer on longevity and the science behind increasing human lifespans. It’s filled with all kinds of well-referenced facts about things that affect our aging and ability to lead long lives.

10 years ago, one of the first projects I worked on was trying to understand a weird fact about reproduction in worms. If you take little worms and get rid of their gonads (I know, it’s weird), they live ~60% longer than normal. But this only works if you get rid of the stuff inside (sperm/eggs – these worms are hermaphrodites, which means they carry around both). If you get rid of the whole thing, lifespan goes back to normal.

Don’t miss the 95 things that make mice live longer and 70 drugs in the clinic that might make people live longer sections.

Via Oreilly

Traits That Happy People Have In Common

Mark and Angel provide some great reminders that life is what you make of it. I know, it is sometimes difficult to make anything of it, but happiness is often found in trying. Bottom line: You can choose happiness. Enjoy

  1. They are ‘glass half full’ people – while still being practical and down-to-earth. They have an ability to find the good in any situation.
  2. They understand that happiness is a choice, and consciously and methodically create their own happiness, while others hope happiness will find them.
  3. They are ambitious. They don’t believe in, or wait for fate, destiny, chance or luck to determine or shape their future. They take control and choose to live their best life rather than spending it on auto-pilot.
  4. They have clarity and certainty about what they want and don’t want for their life. They visualize and plan their best reality while others are merely spectators of life. They have identified their core values – what is important to them – and they do their best to live a life which is reflective of these values.
  5. They ask the right questions – the ones which put them in a happy, creative, positive mindset and emotional state.
  6. They rarely complain because they know it’s a waste of energy. All complaining does is put the complainer in a negative state of mind.
  7. They don’t procrastinate and they don’t spend their life waiting for the ‘right time’. They are busy, productive and proactive with their goals. While most are laying on the couch, over-planning, over-thinking, sitting on their hands and generally going around in circles, they are out there taking steps in the right direction.
  8. They are fearful like everyone else, but they are not controlled or limited by their fears – they face them and grow beyond them over time.
  9. They don’t blame others. They take complete responsibility for their actions and outcomes, or their lack thereof.
  10. While they are not necessarily more talented than the majority, they always find ways to maximize their potential. They get more out of themselves by exercising their talents and their passions. In other words, they use what they have more effectively, which leads to long-term personal achievement and happiness.
  11. Read More

Am I Shortsighted?

Test For Shortsightedness

If you want to check if you need glasses while sitting at your computer, the above image will help you test whether or not you are shortsighted. At normal screen viewing distance you should see the face of the great scientist Albert Einstein. This would indicate you have normal vision. Shortsighted people will see Marilyn Monroe. If you squint, or move a few meters away from your screen (replicating having short-sighted vision) you will see Marilyn Monroe.

The Marylin Einstein hybrid image was created by Dr. Aude Oliva for the March 31st 2007 issue of New Scientist magazine. Other examples of hybrid images can be found in the links below:
Cat/Dog
Cheetah/Tiger
Leopard/Elephant
Dolphin/Car
Astronaut/Scuba Diver (my favorite)

Kissing Cooties

Just in time for valentines day, I discovered this interesting study. According to the Journal of Infectious Diseases, vol. 150, no. 2, August 1984, pp. 189-94, it is very unlikely you can catch a common cold from kissing. According to the journal, “Casual social encounters or kisses between infected and susceptible individuals are probably unlikely to result in the transmission of rhinoviruses.” Below is the data from the experiment

Bonus quote from the study: “During kissing the lateral margins of donor and recipient noses may also touch. [Our observations, as well as previous data] suggests that transmission resulting from nose-to-nose contact during kissing is infrequent….”

Failing Systems

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a ‘here is what I did and this is how I feel about it’ post, so here goes: Nothing and very little.

It’s been a fairly stressful last week and a half and the lack of sleep combined with an emotional rollercoaster ground me down, and that has allowed the sickness to creeeeeep in. I took a couple days off work last week and have spent most of my recent evening laying on the couch and the switching over and laying in the other side of the couch, this, so I can breathe out of each of my nostrils alternatively. The last three or four nights I’ve gotten little sleep due to a persistent dry cough that throws me into REM shattering convulsions. Other than that I’m doing great though. I did go see the doctor today though. I normally wouldn’t go to the doctor for a mere cold, but this has gone on for over a week and I’m my sleep debt is increasing to a level I’m not comfortable with. He prescribed me some codeine lace cough syrup. I hope this helps. I also discussed with him this issue. He’s doing some blood work but suspects it’s my endocrine system, which has effectively failed me since I was 15 years old, and may be the reason for low blood sugar and also connected to why I’ve been getting sick so much lately.