A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘longevity

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Bad Astronomy notes the very odd structure of galaxy NGC 2775.
  • Dangerous Minds reports on the 1987 riot by punks that wrecked a Seattle ferry.
  • Bruce Dorminey reports on a new suggestion from NASA that the massive dust towers of Mars have helped dry out that world over eons.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at how changing technologies have led to younger people spending more social capital on maintaining relationships with friends over family.
  • This forum hosted at Gizmodo considers the likely future causes of death of people in coming decades.
  • In Media Res’ Russell Arben Fox reports on the debate in Wichita on what to do with the Century II performance space.
  • Joe. My. God. reports on the decision of Hungary to drop out of Eurovision, apparently because of its leaders’ homophobia.
  • JSTOR Daily reports on the debunking of the odd theory that the animals and people of the Americas were degenerate dwarfs.
  • Language Hat reports on how the classics can be served by different sorts of translation.
  • Robert Farley at Lawyers, Guns and Money considers how Trump’s liberation of war criminals relates to folk theories about just wars.
  • The LRB Blog reports from the ground in the Scotland riding of East Dunbartonshire.
  • Marginal Revolution shares a paper suggesting that, contrary to much opinion, social media might actually hinder the spread of right-wing populism.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the nature of the proxy fighters in Syria of Turkey. Who are they?
  • Drew Rowsome interviews Sensational Sugarbum, star of–among other things–the latest Ross Petty holiday farce.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains why we still need to be able to conduct astronomy from the Earth.
  • Strange Maps explains the odd division of Europe between east and west, as defined by different subspecies of mice.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Chinese apparently group Uighurs in together with other Central Asians of similar language and religion.
  • Arnold Zwicky explores the concept of onomatomania.

[NEWS] Seven science links

  • Climate change is playing a major role in the wildfires of California. Are we now in the Fire Age? Global News considers.
  • The new normal of the Arctic Ocean is to be ice-free. Global News reports.
  • Plants first reached land through unexpected horizontal gene transfers. CBC reports.
  • Zebra mussels have made it to the Lake of the Woods. Global News reports.
  • An artificial leaf that turns carbon dioxide into usable fuel is a remarkable technology. Universe Today reports.
  • Earth once hosted nine human species; now it has one. What happened? National Pot considers.
  • Thanks to better medical care and preventative measures, people have longer healthy lifespans than ever before. Global News reports.

[NEWS] Five notes about humans: DNA privacy, narrative/history, longevity/health, weight, Aadhaar

  • This Los Angeles Times article notes that enough Americans have made their genomes public, via DNA sequencing kits, that the identities of even those Americans who have not done this can be easily figured out.
  • Angela Chen at The Verge interviews Alex Rosenberg, a neuroscientist who argues that the human temptation to find narratives anywhere keeps us from properly understanding our history and our evolution.
  • Instead of working to extend the maximum human lifespan, this article argues, we should work on extending the maximum healthy human lifespan.
  • Graham Isador at VICE writes about what he has learned, about weight loss and his own body, after his own highly-publicized crash regimen.
  • Adam Minter at Bloomberg View suggests that the model of India’s Aadhaar digital ID system could prove very useful for African countries.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Charlie Stross at Antipope writes about why he reads so little science fiction these days. (Too little plausible world-building and exploration of our world, he argues.)
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait enthuses about the Falcon Heavy launch yesterday, while Lawyers, Guns and Money is much less impressed with the Falcon Heavy launch, calling it representative of the new global plutocracy.
  • The Buzz shares some of the favourite books of 2017 of staff members at the Toronto Public Library.
  • Centauri Dreams examines the recent study providing tantalizing data hinting at the potential environments of the TRAPPIST-1 planets.
  • Cody Delistraty links to an essay of his analyzing the grand strategy of Macron for France, and for Europe.
  • Dangerous Minds reports on how one man’s nostalgia for the 1990s led him to create a video rental store.
  • Gizmodo reports on how scientists made, under conditions of exceptional heat and pressure, a new kind of ice that may exist in the cores of Uranus and Neptune.
  • Hornet Stories takes pointed issue with an astonishingly tone-deaf essay that demonstrates the existence of racism in the leather community.
  • JSTOR Daily links to papers suggesting that referenda are not necessarily good for democracy.
  • Language Hat looks at the surprisingly profound roots of singing in nonsense, in different cultures and over the age of the individual.
  • The LRB Blog reports from a visit paid by one of its writers to the US embassy in London so disdained by Trump.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper suggesting that there has been a consistent slowing of gains to life expectancy in rich countries since 1950, hinting perhaps at a maximum lifespan (for now?).
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that the ozone hole has stopped repairing itself, quite possibly because of global warming.
  • Towleroad reports on a sort of brunch-based passing of the torch from the old five castmembers of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy to the new five.
  • Window on Eurasia shares what seems to be a fair take on the history of Jews in Siberia.

[NEWS] Three notes about genetics and history and the future: Georgia, Beothuk, Amish

  • Archeological work has revealed evidence of vineyards in the Republic of Georgia dating back eight thousand years. National Geographic reports.
  • This extended article looks at the ways in which modern genetics are revealing the ancient history of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, using the Beothuk as an example. The Guardian has it.
  • Joe O’Connor describes how an obscure mutation among the Amish governing blood clotting may offer guides for people interested in extending human longevity, over at the National Post.

[DM] “On the idea that the human life expectancy is limited to 115 years”

At Demography Matters, I blog about the idea that the human life expectancy might be limited to 115 years.

Even if this is the case for the foreseeable future, I argue that there’s still much that can be done to make sure we reach this limit and that life to this limit is as healthy as possible.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 21, 2016 at 11:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • blogTO notes that Muji is opening up a second location.
  • James Bow writes about how voicing complaints can make things better for transit riders.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the detection of ice in the disk of HD 142527.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper speculating on the origins of rings like Saturn’s in the disruption of dwarf planets.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Rich Lowry’s low bar for Donald Trump.
  • The LRB Blog notes that refugees are not going to get into the European Union.
  • Marginal Revolution is rightly appalled by a journalist who argues against research in longevity.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little announces his new book, New Directions in the Philosophy of Social Science.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Huntington’s description of Ukraine’s divisions is incorrect, and warns about the strength of Putin.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly wonders why people read at all in the 21st century world.
  • D-Brief notes how chickens have been modified to have dinosaur-like legs.
  • Dangerous Minds shares 19th century photos taken of Native Americans in their traditional and ceremonial wear.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper predicting exoplanets orbiting HD 202628 and HD 207129 based on gaps in the debris disks of those stars.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that the director-general of the ESA asked China to opt to contribute to the International Space Station.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the lesbian subtext of Xena will be made explicit in the remake.
  • Language Log looks at odd names, in the Chinese world and in the wider world.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper speculating that future economic growth will be absorbed entirley by life extension.
  • pollotenchegg maps changing birth rates across Ukrainian regions from 1960 on.
  • Towleroad quotes lesbian comedian Joy Behar on her incredulity about Caitlyn Jenner’s professed politics.

[LINK] “Fountain of Youth: The Secret Power of Friends and Family”

At Discover‘s The Crux, Jo Merchant describes how a high degree of social integration can extend longevity.

The Nicoya peninsula in northwestern Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. This 75-mile sliver of land, just south of the Nicaraguan border, is covered with cattle pastures and tropical rain forests that stretch down to the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. The coastline is dotted with enclaves of expats who fill their time surfing, learning yoga and meditating on the beach.

For the locals, life is not so idyllic. They live in small, rural villages with limited access to basics such as electricity, linked by rough tracks that are dusty in the dry season and often impassable when it rains. The men earn a living by fishing and farming, or work as laborers or sabaneros (cowboys on huge cattle ranches), while the women cook on wood-burning stoves. Yet Nicoyans have a surprising claim to fame that is attracting the attention of scientists from around the world.

Their secret was uncovered in 2005 by Luis Rosero-Bixby, a demographer at the University of Costa Rica in San José. He used electoral records to work out how long Costa Ricans were living, and found that their life expectancy is surprisingly high. In general, people live longest in the world’s richest countries, where they have the most comfortable lives, the best health care and the lowest risk of infection. But that wasn’t the case here.

Costa Rica’s per capita income is only about a fifth that of the U.S., but if its residents survive the country’s relatively high rates of infections and accidents early in life, it turns out that they are exceedingly long-lived — an effect that is strongest in men. Costa Rican men aged 60 can expect to live another 22 years, Rosero-Bixby found, slightly higher than in Western Europe and the U.S. If they reach 90, they can expect to live another 4.4 years, six months longer than any other country in the world.

The effect is even stronger in the Nicoya peninsula, where 60-year-old men have a life expectancy of 24.3 years — two to three years longer than even the famously long-lived Japanese. Nicoya is one of the country’s poorest regions, so their secret can’t be better education or health care. There must be something else.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 10, 2016 at 5:16 pm

[DM] “One note on the global revolution in longevity”

I’ve a post up starting from a recent Bloomberg article, Dani Bloomfield’s “It’s the Best Time to Be Born as Life Expectancy Tops 70”, reacting to the paper in The Lancet “Global, regional, and national age–sex specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013”, is available in its entirety online. We are broadly speaking living in uncharted territory.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 19, 2014 at 4:59 am