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‘Going private: Increasing numbers of Britons are abandoning the NHS and paying for medical treatment’

inews.co.uk [c]:

As more people opt to fund their healthcare themselves, or take out private health insurance, there is a danger of creating a “two tier” system, with wealthier people paying for speedy tests and treatments and the less well-off being forced to wait.

My initial response to that paragraph was: that’s fine. Rich people still pay their National Insurance. So if they’re willing to go private it means the NHS has less of a workload and will work better for those who can’t afford to go private. However, apparently not so:

“By and large, private hospitals in the UK don’t have a fully separate workforce from the NHS,… [they] don’t tend to directly employ a separate set of doctors. They are [mostly] NHS doctors spending part of their time in private practice to supplement their income.

“Staff [numbers] are going to be a critical constraint on the NHS being able to treat more patients and get rid of this backlog. If they are spending more time practising in the private sector that might be taking away time from the NHS, which may have an impact on people who can’t afford to go private,” Mr Gardner added.

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‘Anti-Aging: State of the Art’

Good introduction to anti-aging by JackH on LessWrong.com [c].

Notes/Highlights

There is an overemphasis on cryonics for life extension, rather than simply solving aging itself.


Today, there are over 130 longevity biotechnology companies and over 50 anti-aging drugs in clinical trials in humans [c].


… the highest rates of depression worldwide are among the elderly [c].

Interesting. I would not have guessed this. I’d always heard people get happier as they get older.


The difference between anti-aging and current medicine is the former prevents illness by targeting the hallmarks of aging, whereas the latter intervenes once a disease has emerged… The former extends unhealthy lifespan, whereas only the latter extends healthy lifespan.


Stanford University summarises (pdf) [c] four of the most promising approaches to slow or reverse aging in humans, based on studies in mice:

  1. Parabiosis: putting the blood of young mice into older mice.
  2. Metabolic manipulation: dietary restriction. Drugs like metformin and rapamycin are being considered and tested.
  3. Senolytics: drugs that target and kill senescent cells, which are a kind of ‘zombie’-like cell that accumulate with age. Killing senescent cells with senolytics extends the median healthy lifespan by up to 27% in mice [c].
  4. Cellular reprogramming: the conversion of old cells into ‘young’ cells.

Aging is essentially damage accumulation that occurs as a by-product of metabolism and causes the diseases that kill most people today. This damage comes in 9 forms, which are the hallmarks of aging. Many therapeutic strategies show great promise in extending healthy human lifespan by reversing the damage accumulated with aging. Four of the most promising strategies to extend lifespan in humans include parabiosis, metabolic manipulation, senolytics, and cellular reprogramming.


Off-shoot links

Cool links linked in the article.

/r/longevity
Lifespan.io: a site dedicated to longevity.
Greenland shark may live 400 years, smashing longevity record [c] – Science.org
Geroscience and Biotech Venture Capital – Sebastian A. Brunemeier – YouTube