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Thomas G

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Everything posted by Thomas G

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33206062/ https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/first-time-human-study-shows-reversal-in-biology-of-aging---telomere-shortening-and-senescent-cells-accumulation---with-hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy-hbot-2020-11-18
  2. I'm not sure what to think about this. https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/07/29/1005720/george-church-diy-coronavirus-vaccine/ Some scientists are taking a DIY coronavirus vaccine, and nobody knows if it’s legal or if it works Famed geneticist George Church and at least 20 others didn’t want to wait for the results of clinical trials: “I think we are at much bigger risk from covid.”
  3. I'm not sure where you are getting this. I use DREEM almost every night and it has never once made this error.
  4. There is an old thread about DREEM here: After reading this thread I was super intrigued and wanted to try it, but the price just seemed too much. Then I started reading several books about sleep and that made me want to get a more reliable way to track my sleep, so I dug deep and sprung for a DREEM 2. One thing I wish I had known before I did that is that the DREEM 2 does not have the "auditory closed-loop stimulation" that is intended to produce more deep sleep if you buy it in the US. If you buy it in Europe (and presumably most other places in the world) it does have that functionality. My understanding is that that the research backing up the effectiveness of this technology to produce deep sleep is going to have to be more robust before the FDA approves it, and without FDA approval the US version doesn't include that feature. That was the main feature I was interested in but oh well. For the most part I don't mind the headset, and I do wear it and sleep fine. I don't have a fitbit so I can't compare it to that, but it is much more accurate than the dumb cheap apps I was trying on my phone. I want this technology to keep getting better and I've participated in a few surveys, trials and interviews with DREEM. I wasn't sure if I would think it was worth it, but for now I'm glad I have it and I intend to keep using it until something better is available. In general I get plenty of REM sleep (on the nights when I sleep long enough), and I am a bit troubled by how little deep sleep I get. I'm not sure much can be done about that for now. I also wish I understood the science better on that front because I have a lot of questions based on the reading I've done. Some sleep researchers created a giant bed swing, basically hanging a bed from the ceiling in the lab. The bed-swing rocked in perfect synch with the deep sleep brain waves and that seemed to produce more deep sleep.
  5. 1) So far it is just one study (although it builds on others) 1) So far it is just in mice. But one reason to be hopeful is that the procedure already exists and is quite common I think. Basically not that much different from when people donate blood or plasma. Hopefully there will be a way to lower the costs, but if this really does slow or even reverse aging, it will be highly cost effective in terms of preventing other, much more costly, age related illness.
  6. Thanks for the clarification! I'm definitely feeling my limits as a layperson to understand the intricacies of this science.
  7. Maybe I have misunderstood this article, but to me it sounds like they are only diluting the plasma, not the whole blood.
  8. Thomas G

    Age Reduction Breakthrough

    I'm not a scientist and have no medical background, so my ability to really wrap my head around all of this is limited. Potentially dumb question: If this research is about blood transfusions how will a topical gel produce the same results? I clicked through all of the links I could and didn't see any information on the topical gel under development. Does anyone have more info about it? I'm not sure if I would be willing to volunteer for a human trial or not, but I am curious about it.
  9. I've been adding turmeric to as many meals as I can. I don't mind the taste, but I wouldn't say I love it, and in many cases I think the meal would taste better without it. So I've been looking for better ways to get more turmeric. I bought some turmeric root for the first time last week and tried just eating a few grams of it raw. When I looked in the mirror, my teeth were hilariously and horrifically orange. I think I may have permanently stained my toothbrush yellow. The last couple of days I've been trying something different. I've been cutting the turmeric root into small cubes, smaller than a normal pill, and swallowing those cubes whole. I'm not sure if that is a good idea or a bad idea. On the one hand, I worry about choking since the cubes are irregular and not as pill-shaped as a pill. I could also see myself lazily leaving a cube a little too big. I'm also not sure if all those cubes will be digested in the same way as eating the root normally or in dried and powdered form. But, on the other hand, maybe it would be really good to do this because it means the turmeric would survive through more of the digestive system? After this batch of roots are gone, I'm going to consider other options, including filling my own empty capsules with dried turmeric like this guy is doing. I'm not interested in taking a curcumin supplement, this would be the same dried and powdered turmeric you would add to food, just put into a pill and taken with food. I'm still going to add turmeric to food when it makes sense, I'd just like to eat more of it without always having to have everything taste like it.
  10. I am starting to get nervous about the rushed process to develop a vaccine. Obviously if we can get a safe vaccine ASAP that would be better, and I am in no way shape or form anti-vaccine. I get vaccinated and will get vaccinated and will encourage everyone else to get vaccinated. My worry is in the pressure to cut corners on the way there. It seems we should be at least discussing critically the risks to accelerating the process, and what the risks might be to vaccinate essentially most of the planet with a vaccine that hasn't gone through the normal research, rigor and regulation. But I'm not sure how to responsibly raise these questions without playing into the hands of anti-vaxxers. Given how unregulated certain aspects of our economy are (I've been doing a lot of reading about the horrors of the water crisis in Flint lately, but the entire supplements market also comes to mind) I might prefer a slightly less rushed vaccine process. How do we weigh the costs/benefits to getting a vaccine quickly vs. making sure it is doesn't have it's own problems? One huge danger I see, is that if we all rush out to get a vaccine that does have unintended side effects, the anti-vaxx movement would explode, which would compound the dangers. Given how badly various agencies have screwed up other aspects of this pandemic, I am not exactly filled with confidence that their couldn't be corners cut or risks left unanalyzed when it comes to the vaccine development process under the current pressures. If any of you have reason to be reassured about all of this, I would love to have that reassurance!
  11. I really like this solution: Stanford has made a reusable mask from scuba gear — and it’s shipping it to the front lines of the pandemic Depending on what course the pandemic takes, and how long it takes to develop a vaccine, I could see over time specially designed full facemasks with small, replaceable filters becoming a very common and effective tool. If many of us were vigilant about wearing these, we could really decrease transmission dramatically. I'm ready. I bought a $20 full face mask snorkel. It doesn't have a filtered intake or exhaust, but I could see how something similar that is specifically designed to do that could be effective.
  12. This is terrifying. We really don't understand what this virus does to our bodies. It is like a horror movie in which there is some kind of alien illness. Young and middle-aged people, barely sick with covid-19, are dying of strokes
  13. From the article Gordo just posted. Something to think about for those of us who are considering volunteering for the vaccine development human challenge trials. In Dr. Greger's webinar on the pandemic he mentioned we have never made a vaccine against a coronavirus, and we don't know if one is even possible. Maybe it won't be. If that is the case, I'm not really sure how this ends. Maybe the virus will mutate enough to become less deadly, or maybe it will just be a new fact of life. Maybe dying from the coronavirus will become one of the leading causes of death year after year and that many of us will die from it eventually when we reach old age. At the same time the difficulty of creating a vaccine like this, together with the sheer number of incredibly smart people working on this with massive funding directed towards this task could lead to so major leaps forward in medical science. Who knows, we might just end up with a new method that finally gives us a cure to the common cold! Or maybe a vaccine is just not going to work at all, but a very rigorous testing and contact tracing could create a kind of social cure. If we knew every human and animal that is currently infected and could successfully isolate them for several weeks, the pandemic ends. We are a long way off from that now, but if a vaccine isn't possible after years of trying and wave after wave of outbreak keeps happening, we might just get good enough at it to make a serious attempt. We could do the same thing with HIV and other viruses. There are all kinds of obstacles to this approach, including social, political, financial and ethical ones. But I rather like the idea of coming up with a solution that not a vaccine at all. A solution that comes out of left field.
  14. I'm sorry I missed the hangout today. I'm thinking about signing up for this serosurvey that the NIH is conducting and I thought others might be interested in it too. Looks like the test is done through the mail with training/instruction. https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/nih-begins-study-quantify-undetected-cases-coronavirus-infection#qa-section
  15. We still don't know whether people who have already been infected with COVID-19 actually gain immunity or how long it lasts, but the new estimates for R0 show that each infected person could transmit the virus to as many as 5.7 other people. There is a formula to determine how many people need to be exposed and gain immunity in order for herd immunity to become protective to the rest of the population. An R0 of 5.7 means roughly 82% of the population would need to become immune. That seems like a lot to me, so many that the costs seem just too high to justify the potential benefits. But if the R0 really is 5.7, that also seems like it is going to be very difficult to prevent the gradual and pervasive spread. So far maybe as many as 15% of us have already developed antibodies, with most of us blissfully unaware we were ever exposed but also unaware that we were a deadly risk to our neighbors and may have unwittingly lead to enormous suffering and death by being a link in the chain to other people coming down with the illness. I'd be curious to see if that 15% number changes and how quickly it changes. If there are some more completely random testing in another month, will we be at 20%? 30%? Higher? At a certain point the costs are ones we've already borne, and the benefits of increased herd immunity start to outweigh the future costs. But I feel very uncomfortable trying to weight these things against each other from an ethical standpoint. There is still so much that is unknown. If the virus mutates quickly enough, all of our antibodies could become ineffective and it will just reinfect the herd leading to another wave of suffering and death. And it is also possible that the immunity we gain only lasts for a relatively short period. Maybe we gain some limited immunity for three months, after which we become vulnerable again. With all of the unknowns out there, the scariest thing to me is how many people seem eager to roll the dice on herd immunity. It seems downright sociopathic. I wouldn't have thought that so many people would jump so quickly to this option as their great hope.
  16. We Need to Talk About What Coronavirus Recoveries Look Like This article in the times makes it sound like recovery is not simple or quick at all. It is a good reminder that this virus truly is novel. Nobody really knows what it does to the body, what "recovery" looks like, or whether there will be any long term health issues. The 1918 flu gave people lasting neurological issues. Will we be seeing people with health issues that only fully manifest a decade from now, like organ failure, or heart disease? Basically this sounds miserable and that recover is not real recovery, or at least not how most of us have experienced recovery from the cold or seasonal flue.
  17. Thomas G

    Trying to find ways to eat more turmeric

    It's funny re-reading this old post. My current strategy is to take about a tablespoon of dried turmeric powder (with some black pepper mixed in) and mix it into about half a cup of water and just drink it.
  18. Unfortunately nobody knows. At this point the research into whether or not calorie restriction will have any significant life extension for humans is inconclusive at best, but I think it is safe to say there is less optimism than there used to be. There is no real consensus as to what "counts" as being calorie restricted in the first place, let alone what the optimal level of restriction might be.
  19. This is from people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in the early stages of the progression of the illness. We have no way of knowing if the higher ATL numbers are a result of the infection and its impact on the liver, or if these people had higher ATL levels before they got sick and for some reason because of that they are having more severe cases. We just don't know. But given that I have higher ATL levels anyway, it seems like a potential concern. I'm at the early stages of researching all of this and haven't had the time to look to closely at it. I am a minimalist on supplements. I do eat maybe an excessive amount of dark green leafies. I also eat a lot of turmeric. Those are the only suspicions I have at the moment. I need to learn a lot more. Here is another fun AI related COVID-19 research project. They are training a neural network to listen to people's voices and coughs to see if they can start to identify who is sick and who isn't. I tried it myself but the results were not very user friendly in terms of what it actually means. Just a horizontal bar without any numbers or explanatory text. Still an interesting project and one I wouldn't be surprised might work if they give it enough time. https://gizmodo.com/researchers-built-an-app-that-aims-to-detect-covid-19-b-1842613139
  20. I haven't seen this posted here before. Apologies if it has and I missed it. Another interesting AI project, this one based out of NYU. All of these results should taken with a grain of salt right now I would say, but if they keep it up and the sample size gets big enough, it could help us see things we might not otherwise in terms of why some people have severe cases and others don't. https://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2020/march/experimental-ai-tool-predicts-which-patients-with-pandemic-virus.html This is not great news for me since the most recent time I had a physical all of my results were either excellent off the charts good, or well within the "normal" range except for an ever so slightly elevated ALT level which the doctors said they weren't concerned about because it was only a little high. But for whatever reason, that might mean that I am more likely to have a severe case. Not sure there is anything I can do about it, and again I'm taking these early results as interesting but not slam dunk definitive.
  21. I'm re-reading the The Great Influenza about the 1918 pandemic and am about 70% of the way through it. One thing it mentions is that because the 1918 influenza was so deadly, as the virus changed through antigenic drift it actually got less deadly. So areas that didn't have a super bad first wave, but got a second or third wave, didn't have as high of a death toll. There is no guarantee that will happen this time, but there is at least a chance that as time goes on and the virus shifts, it will shift to a more mild version. I'm a little bit surprised that we haven't seen more full-face masks (like a full-face snorkel mask) emerge as PPE. I'm expecting to see something like this emerge and be widely adopted. It has the benefits of covering the eyes, nose and mouth. It wouldn't even necessarily need to have a filter to be highly effective. Just wearing the face mask will stop people from touching their faces, and provide a material barrier for most droplets. It would be fun to try to finally kill off the common cold just by denying it a host for a few years, but that seems very difficult. I do think that next year we will see an unusually high number of people get the regular flu shot and will develop some herd immunity against the seasonal flu at least for one year.
  22. Revolutions are often impossible to see coming, but I think it is fair to say that there will be several revolutions around the world (not sure if they will be China or US) where the pandemic played a key contributing factor. Many of our systems cannot take that much stress, and right now they are being overwhelmed. Many will collapse, including governments. But I expect some revolutions won't happen for a few years. A million dominos are falling in a million directions. There is no telling what they might knock over but there is a virtual guarantee that A LOT of things will get knocked over.
  23. Dean, you know Josh from Waitlist Zero? I was just coming her to post this too. I signed up, but want to more carefully consider everything before actually going through with it. Given that some epidemiologists are estimating as many as 30% to 80% of the population will get COVID-19 anyway, it seems like getting it for a worthy cause, surrounded by the best care available, and hopefully winding up with some level of immunity (either from the experimental vaccine itself, or from exposure as a part of the trail), is much better than sitting around at home and waiting to catch it and take your chances. But my understanding is that some of the experimental trails could have unpredictable and even worse results, so the risks are not exactly the same as catching it in the wild. Still seems like a worthwhile thing to do, however.
  24. I've read mixed things about facemasks. But it still seems super irresponsible to horde medical facemasks when hospitals will be facing shortages. That isn't going to be good for anyone. But I am wondering if it is possible to start sewing our own facemasks. A reasonably dense woven fabric, with a few layers. It's not going to be perfect or as good as an N95. But it has the advantage of being washable and reusable. If the main point is to just stop droplets from the mask wearer, any fabric barrier will significantly cut down on that, even if it isn't 100% perfect. To me I see the main advantage as stopping us from touching our own faces. And stopping us from spreading the virus since we might be contagious without knowing it. Normalizing social responsibility seems good too. I have to admit I would feel foolish going out in public with a facemask since where I live NOBODY is doing that yet. But I think it is probably the morally right thing to do. I worry that people's mindsets will adjust when it is too late. Wearing a facemask might not be the most important thing to do (washing hands and social distancing seems more important), but for me at least there is a placebo element. And we know that placebos work. The feeling that we are doing what we can might help the mind-body link to strengthen our immune system.