Scientists Believe Blood From the Young Can Regenerate the Brains of the Old, and They're About to Test It on Humans
Building on previous research into aging brains, new research conducted at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), published in the journal Cell, has discovered that the blood of the young can regenerate the brains of the old. One day, this might enable the creation of therapies to treat age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s. However, before you go looking for a teenager to harvest blood from, keep in mind that the research has only been tested in mice. However, there is a clinical trial underway by a Monterey, California-based startup known as Ambrosia, where you can attempt to young-down your brain with youthful blood transfusions for a cool $8000.
The UCSF researchers, led by neurobiologist Saul Villeda, drew upon the effects of a recently discovered cellular enzyme known as Tet2 (ten eleven translocation methylcytosine dioxygenase 2), an epigenetic regulator, which makes chemical annotations to parts of DNA that change the activity of many different genes, including some that help prevent cognitive decline in the aging brain. Many of the genes it marks are indicated in increased risks of common age-related health conditions (which also are common killers), such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
Artificial intelligence and automation are a source of palpable anxiety in our culture. Exciting technological advances are mingled with op-eds, statistics and predictions about negative implications for future employment: what will work and career opportunities look like in a future where computers learn, repair themselves and even come up with new solutions?
Futurist Thomas Frey gave a TED talk in which he predicted 2 billion jobs would disappear by 2030--but don’t be alarmed! He believes new jobs will be created in tandem with these losses, resulting in a net balance. Driverless car operating system engineers will replace taxi and limo drivers. Construction industry jobs will shift to 3D printer repair technicians. Rather than a lack of jobs, Frey suggests that “our challenge will be to upgrade our workforce to match the labor demand of the coming era.”