Growth Hormones Are About To Make Anti-Aging More Sci-Fact Than Sci-Fi

Cryofreezing is so last year.

The quest for eternal youth has driven humanity to do some pretty crazy things over the centuries. Honestly, a few wrinkles are really nothing to bathe in pig’s blood over. But if you’re fed up spending hundreds of dollars on those anti-aging moisturisers, this cocktail of growth hormones and diabetes meds might be right up your alley.

Not anymore, Voldy!

It’s worth pointing out that this was a very small, short-term study, so we’re a long way off from this treatment being up for public consumption, but it’s hard to not be excited. The subjects were turning back their body clock at double speed – by two-and-a-half years on average, across a year-long trial.

Dr. Greg Fahy, who authored the study – and even tested the technique on himself first – used a three-drug combo to reboot the ‘thymus’, AKA the gland that keeps your hormones and immune system doing their thing. It starts dying as soon as you hit puberty, so giving it a boost could theoretically give you all the peppiness of a 13-year-old, no fountain of youth required.

We’ve been pursuing anti-aging treatments since humans first discovered they weren’t keen on the whole grey hair and death thing, so basically forever. Uploading your consciousness to the cloud seems to be the current fashion in immortality technology, but that isn’t stopping some scientists from trying to find non-cybernetic solutions.

Whether it’s injecting old people with teenagers’ blood (gross), stretching out your DNA (uncomfortable), or trying to copy whatever it is naked mole rats do (straight up bizarre), rich people really will stop at nothing to keep their gravy train going.

Alternatively, we could just give up on this reality and take our everlasting life elsewhere, San Junipero-style. Things are getting pretty bad, so yeeting yourself into a virtual reality after you cark it doesn’t sound like a bad option. At least if you die in the game you don’t have to worry about dying in real life?

And as an alternative to that alternative, we can always turn to Photoshop for our anti-aging needs. Digital de-aging has been used by Hollywood for at least a decade, and with Faceapp bringing that power to the masses, there’s nothing stopping you from using the baby filter for the rest of your life. Hey, it might not stop your old bones creaking, but at least you’ll keep your Insta looking fire.

Now We Know That Vaping Could Kill Us All, Can You Leave Your Lame Vape Cloud At Home?

Keep it to yourself, marshmallow-breath.

For a long time, it seemed like we were making good progress. Smokers were ashamed to be puffing out cancer on strangers. Then along came vaping to change people’s behaviour and attitudes, and make my commute a living hell in the process.

Exposing others to regular cigarette smoke became taboo once doctors realised that it’s dangerous regardless of which side of the ciggy you’re on. Obviously, it’s also just plain rude, and it shouldn’t take a health scare to make people act like adults, but here we are.

And now, what was supposed to be the ‘safe’ alternative to cigarettes is now hospitalising people in the US, breathing new life into the debate. With all the bad press, vapers really need to be more careful about where they blow.

People are being diagnosed with crazy lung diseases and infections, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention puts the number of vape-related incidents at 215 cases. A lot of the questions about the sudden ‘epidemic’ remain unanswered for now, which is one of the many reasons to stop treating vaping like a hilarious meme – especially if it involves puffing on other people.

So many iconic Vines that have to be cancelled now. 😔

For real, if a cigarette smoker acted like some of you fools, they would have their ass handed to them. Your juul might have a vaguely pleasant scent, but that’s about the only thing you’ve got going for you – it’s still super gross to have someone’s nasty hot air blasting over you at 7am in the morning. And it’s definitely not a good time to introduce the sickly sweetness of artificial marshmallow into the lives of your fellow commuters.

Besides, we don’t really know much about how the vapour can affect bystanders. The hospital cases are mostly linked to inhalation of solvent oil, and most studies have found the emission of nicotine to be minimal. However, less risk is not no risk, as this study proved. And with unregulated DIY pens and liquids going around, you shouldn’t subject others to unknown side effects.

Me waiting for the train.

It must be noted at this point that, for the time being, vaping without a prescription is very much illegal in Australia if the liquid contains nicotine or CBD. And no-smoking area laws still apply – another obvious reason to avoid huffing it in public. Yes, that includes train stations, you nasty individuals.

The concerns about an emerging ‘black market’ have prompted a legalisation movement, which reckons that if vaping is legalised then it can be regulated better – as well as giving cigarette smokers a pathway out. And I guess that makes sense, but is no one considering the greater implications here? The public interest for those of us who don’t feel like being shrouded in strangers’ mouth-clouds all day?

Well, this could get very foggy indeed.

We’re Not Far Away From Using Pig Organs In People, For Real

When pigs fly.

Science has come so far. One might even say it’s come too far. A British surgeon has revealed that he’s found a way to Macgyver a solution to heart and kidney disease using pig organs, and he’s about three years from making it happen.

Apparently, pig hearts and kidneys are similar enough to those of humans for scientists to not only use them to guinea pig (pun intended) possible treatments, but to just straight up chuck them inside us. In fact, the first ever pig-to-human kidney transplant is due to happen later this year – fitting that 2019 is the Year of the Pig.

I can’t really say I’m too comfy with the idea of having a pig organ inside me, even if it would save my life. It just reminds me way too much of the whole pig slave thing from Doctor Who. The ethics of these sorts of chimera-like experiments are a little murky, but at least this one doesn’t involve gene-editing embryos.

There are some pretty solid arguments for making porcine xenotransplantation happen, once you get over the yuck factor. For a start, it would definitely help resolve the organ donation shortage crisis. Sorry vegans, but if it makes you feel any better, at least we’d be using up parts that are usually wasted to save people’s lives. I’d say that’s a win-win.

Current experimental treatment involves a genetic material called microRNA-199 being delivered into a pig heart to help the cells regenerate, and if it proves effective, it’ll have a direct application in humans. Heart disease is the single biggest killer in Australia, so any solution is a good solution, and there’s definitely some bonus points for creativity to be awarded with this one.

Anyway, what’s the worst that can happen? I read enough Animorphs books as a kid to be totally unafraid of hybrid freaks. I, for one, welcome our new Pigperson overlords.

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