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Archive for the ‘Life Extension’ Category

Your brain can form new memories while you are asleep … – Washington Post

A sleeping brain can form fresh memories, according to a team of neuroscientists.The researchers played complex sounds to people while they were sleeping, and afterward the sleepers could recognizethose sounds when they wereawake.

The idea that humans canlearn while asleep, a concept sometimes called hypnopedia, has a long and odd history. It hit a particularly strange note in 1927, when New York inventor A. B. Saliger debuted thePsycho-phone. He billed the device as anautomatic suggestion machine. The Psycho-phone was a phonograph connected to a clock. It playedwax cylinder records, which Saliger made and sold.The records hadnames like Life Extension, Normal Weight orMating. That last one went: I desire a mate. I radiate love My conversation is interesting. My company is delightful. I have a strong sex appeal.

Thousands of sleepers bought the devices, Saligertold theNew Yorkerin 1933. (Those included Hollywood actors,he said, though he declined to name names.) Despite his enthusiasm for the machine Saligerhimself dozed off to Inspiration and Health the device was a bust.

But the idea that we can learn while unconscious holds more meritthan gizmos namedPsycho-phone suggest. In the new study, published Tuesday in the journalNature Communications, neuroscientistsdemonstrated that it is possible to teach acoustic lessons to sleeping people.

We proved that you can learn during sleep, which has been a topic debated for years, said Thomas Andrillon, an author of the study and a neuroscientist at PSL Research University in Paris.Just don't expect Andrillon's experiments to make anyonefluent in French.

Researchersin the 1950s dismantled hypnopedia's more outlandish claims. Sleepers cannot wake up with brains filled withnew meaning or facts, Rand Corp. researchers reported in 1956. Instead, test subjectswho listened to trivia at night woke up with non-recall. (Still, the Psycho-phone spirit endures, at least in the app store, where hypnopedia software claims to promoteforeign languages, material wealth andmartial artsmastery.)

Yet success is possible, if you're not trying to learn dictionary definitions or kung fu. In recent years, scientists have trained sleepers to make subconscious associations. In a 2014 study, Israeli neuroscientists had 66 people smell cigarette smoke coupled with foul odorswhile they were asleep. The test subjects avoided smoking for two weeks after theexperiment.

In the new research, Andrillon and his colleagues moved beyondassociation into pattern learning. While a group of20 subjects was sleeping, the neuroscientists played clips of white noise. Most of the audio was purely random, Andrillon said. There is no predictability. But there were patterns occasionally embedded within the complex noise: sequences of a single clip of white noise, 200 milliseconds long, repeated five times.

The subjects remembered the patterns. The lack ofmeaning worked in their favor; sleepers can neither focus on what they're hearing nor make explicit connections, the scientist said. This is why nocturnal language tapes don't quite work thebrain needs to register sound and semantics.But memorizing acoustic patterns like white noise happens automatically. The sleeping brain is including a lot of information that is happening outside, Andrillon said, and processing it to quite an impressive degree of complexity.

Once the sleepersawoke, the scientists played back the white-noise recordings. The researchers asked the test subjects to identify patterns within the noise. It's not an easy task,Andrillon said, and one that you or I would struggle with. Unless you happened to rememberthe repetitions from a previous night's sleep. The test subjects successfullydetected the patterns far better than random chance would predict.

What's more, the scientists discovered that memories of white-noise pattern formed only during certain sleep stages. When the authors played the sounds during REM and light sleep, the test subjects could remember the pattern the next morning. Duringthe deeper non-REM sleep, playing the recording hampered recall. Patternspresented during non-REM sleep led to worse performance,as if there were a negative form of learning, Andrillon said.

This marked the first time that researchers had evidence for the sleep stages involved in the formation of completely new memories, said Jan Born, a neuroscientist at the Universityof Tbingen in Germany, who was not involved with the study.

In Andrillon's view, the experiment helps to reconcile two competing theories about the role of sleep in new memories: In one idea,our sleeping brains replay memories from our waking lives. Asthey're played back, the memories consolidate and grow stronger, written more firmly into our synapses. In the other hypothesis, sleep instead cuts away at older, weaker memories. But the ones that remain stand out, like lonely trees in a field.

The study indicates that the sleeping brain can do both,Andrillon said. They might simply occur at separatemoments in the sleep cycle, strengthening fresh memories followed by culling.

A separate team of neuroscientists had suspected that the two hypotheses might be complementary. But until now they did not have any explicit experimental support. It is a delight to see these results, since we proposed already, quite a few years ago, that the different sleep stages may have a different impact on memory, said Lisa Genzel,aneuroscientist atRadboud University in the Netherlands. And here they are the first to provide direct evidence for this idea.

Not all neuroscientists were so convinced. Born, an early proponent of the idea that sleep strengthens andconsolidates memories, said this study showed what happens when we form memories while asleep. The average memorya recollection from a waking experience might not work in the same way, he said. I would be skeptical about inferring from this type of approach to what happens during normal sleep.

Andrillon acknowledged the limitations ofthis research, including thatthe scientists did not directly measure synapses. We interpret our results in the light of cellular mechanisms, he said, meaning strengthening or weakening of synapses, that we could not directly measure, since they require invasive recording methods that cannot be applied in humans.

When asked whether understanding the roles of sleep cycles and memory could lead to future sleep-hacks, a la thePsycho-phone,Andrillonsaid, We are in the big unknown. But, he noted, sleep is not just about memory. Trying to hijack the recommended seven-plus hours of sleep could disrupt normal brain function. Which is to say, even if you could learn French while asleep, it mightultimately do more harm than good. I would be very cautious about the interest in this kind of learning, he said, whether this is detrimental to the other functions of sleeping.

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Your brain can form new memories while you are asleep ... - Washington Post

Local Doppler radar down through end of August – WDBJ7

The Doppler radar located in Blacksburg, Virginia was shut down August 1st for a nation wide project called the Service Life Extension Program, or SLEP.

The WSR-88D or NEXRAD radars were built with a service life of 20 years. The program started over 20 years ago and the purpose of the SLEP program is to bring the radar up to date with the newest technology. This upgrade would extend the life of the radar into the 2030s.

After installation of the new hardware and software, engineers ran test on the radar before placing it into operation and found a larger problem -- a cracked bearing on the main gear that moves the radar. The unit was immediately turned off.

To repair the bearing and the bull gear the entire dome and 28 foot radar dish will need to be removed. This will require a 6 person team and heavy equipment to make the repairs. The team is currently doing the same repair in Ohio and will make their way to Blacksburg next week. The work is schedule to be complete by August 30.

In the meantime, multiple radar sites can cover our area and will be unnoticeable to app or website users. The NWS can attempt to run the radar in a time of need is a tornadic storm or a tropical system were to impact the region before the engineering team starts the repair work.

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Local Doppler radar down through end of August - WDBJ7

The Growing World of Libertarian Transhumanism – The American Conservative

Transhumanists are curiosity addicts. If its new, different, untouched, or even despised, were probably interested in it. If it involves a revolution or a possible paradigm shift in human experience, you have our full attention. We are obsessed with the mysteries of existence, and we spend our time using the scientific method to explore anything we can find about the evolving universe and our tiny place in it.

Obsessive curiosity is a strange bedfellow. It stems from a profound sense of wanting something better in lifeof not being satisfied. It makes one search, ponder, and strive for just about everything and anything that might improve existence. In the 21st century, that leads one right into transhumanism. Thats where Ive landed right now: A journalist and activist in the transhumanist movement. Im also currently a Libertarian candidate for California Governor. I advocate for science and tech-themed policies that give everyone the opportunity to live indefinitely in perfect health and freedom.

Politics aside, transhumanism is the international movement of using science and technology to radically change the human being and experience. Its primary goal is to deliver and embrace a utopian techno-optimistic worlda world that consists of biohackers, cyborgists, roboticists, life extension advocates, cryonicists, Singularitarians, and other science-devoted people.

Transhumanism was formally started in 1980s by philosophers in California. For decades it remained low key, mostly discussed in science fiction novels and unknown academic conferences. Lately, however, transhumanism seems to be surging in popularity. What once was a smallish band of fringe people discussing how science and technology can solve all humanitys problems has now become a burgeoning social mission of millions around the planet.

At the recent FreedomFest, the worlds largest festival on liberty, transhumanism was a theme explored in numerous panels, including some I had the privilege of being on. Libertarian transhumanism is one of the fastest growing segments of the libertarian movement. A top priority for transhumanists is to have freedom from the government so radical science experiments and research can go on undisturbed and unregulated.

So why are so many people jumping on the transhumanist bandwagon? I think it has to do with the mishmash of tech inundating and dominating our daily lives. Everything from our smartphone addictions to flying at 30,000 feet in jet airplanes to Roombas freaking out our pets in our homes. Nothing is like it was for our forbearers. In fact, little is like it was even a generation ago. And the near future will be many times more dramatic: driverless cars, robotic hearts, virtual reality sex, and telepathy via mind-reading headsets. Each of these technologies is already here, and in some cases being marketed to billions of people. The world is shifting under our feetand libertarian transhumanism is a sure way to navigate the chaos to make sure we arrive at the best future possible.

My interest in transhumanism began over 20 years ago when I was a philosophy and religion student at Columbia University in New York City. We were assigned to read an article on life extension techniques and the strange field of cryonics, where human beings are frozen after theyve died in hopes of reviving them with better medicine in the future. While Id read about these ideas in science fiction before, I didnt realize an entire cottage industry and movement existed in America that is dedicated to warding off death with radical science. It was an epiphany for me, and I knew after finishing that article I was passionately committed to transhumanism and wanted to help it.

However, it wasnt until I was in the Demilitarized Zone of Vietnam, on assignment for National Geographic Channel as a journalist, that I came to dedicate my life to transhumanism. Walking in the jungle, my guide tackled me and I fell to the ground with my camera. A moment later he pointed at the half-hidden landmine I almost stepped on. Id been through dozens of dangerous experiences in the over 100 countries I visited during my twenties and early thirtieshunting down wildlife poachers with WildAid, volcano boarding in the South Pacific, and even facing a pirate attack off Yemen on my small sailboat where I hid my girlfriend in the bilge and begged masked men with AK47s not to shoot me. But this experience in Vietnam was the one that forced a U-turn in my life. Looking at the unexploded landmine, I felt like a philosophical explosive had gone off in my head. It was time to directly dedicate my skills and hours to overcoming biological human death.

I returned home to America immediately and plunged into the field of transhumanism, reading everything I could on the topic, talking with people about it, and preparing a plan to contribute to the movement. I also began by writing my libertarian-minded novel The Transhumanist Wager, which went on to become a bestseller in philosophy on Amazon and helped launched my career as a futurist. Of course, a bestseller in philosophy on Amazon doesnt mean very many sales (theres been about 50,000 downloads to date), but it did mean that transhumanism was starting to appear alongside the ideas of Plato, Marx, Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, Sam Harris, and other philosophers that inspired people to look outside their scope of experience into the unknown.

And transhumanism is the unknown. Bionic arms, brain implants ectogenesis, artificial intelligence, exoskeleton suits, designer babies, gene editing tech. These technologies are no longer part of some Star Trek sequel, but are already here or being worked on. They will change the world and how we see ourselves as human beings. The conundrum facing society is whether were ready for this. Transhumanists say yes. But America may not welcome that.

In fact, the civil rights battle of the century may be looming because of coming transhumanist tech. If conservatives think abortion rights are unethical, how will they feel about scientists who want to genetically combine the best aspects of species, including humans and animals together? And should people be able to marry their sexbots? Will transhumanist Christians try to convert artificial intelligence and lead us to something termed a Jesus Singularity? Should we allow scientists to reverse aging, something researchers have already had success with in mice? Finally, as we become more cyborg-like with artificial hips, cranial implants, and 3D-printed organs, should we rename the human species?

Whether people like it or not, transhumanism has arrived. Not only has it become a leading buzzword for a new generation pondering the significance of merging with machines, but transhumanist-themed columns are appearing in major media. Celebrity conspiracy theorists like Mark Dice and Alex Jones bash it regularly, and even mainstream media heavyweights like John Stossel, Joe Rogan, and Glenn Beck discuss it publicly. Then theres Google hiring famed inventor Ray Kurzweil as lead engineer to work on artificial intelligence, or J. Craig Ventures new San Diego-based genome sequencing start-up (co-founded with Peter Diamandis of the X-Prize Foundation and stem cell pioneer Robert Hariri) which already has 70 million dollars in financing.

Its not just companies either. Recently, the British Parliament approved a procedure to create babies with material from three different parents. Even President Obama, before he left office, jumped in the game by giving DARPA $70 million dollars to develop brain chip technology, part of Americas multi-billion dollar BRAIN Initiative. The future is coming fast, people around the world are realizing, and theres no denying that the transhumanist age fascinates tens of millions of people as they wonder where the species might go and what health benefits it might mean for society.

At the end of the day, transhumanism is still really focused on one thing: satisfying that essential addiction to curiosity. With science, technology, and a liberty-minded outlook as our tools, the species can seek out and even challenge the very nature of its being and place in the universe. That might mean the end of human death by mid-century if governments allow the science and medicine to develop. It will likely mean the transformation of the species from biological entities into something with much more tech built directly into it. Perhaps most important of all, it will mean we will have the chance to grow and evolve with our families, friends, and loved ones for as long as we like, regardless how weird or wild transhumanist existence becomes.

Zoltan Istvan is the author of The Transhumanist Wager, and a Libertarian candidate for Governor in California.

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The Growing World of Libertarian Transhumanism - The American Conservative

GARDENING: Grass is greener after a storm – Odessa American

Floyd is a horticulturist with Texas AgriLife Extension Service. He can be reached at 498-4071 in Ector County or 686-4700 in Midland County or by email at Jeff.Floyd@ag.tamu.edu

Floyd is an Agri-Life Extension agent for Ector and Midland counties. To learn more, call the Ector County Extension office at 432-498-4072, or the Midland County Extension office at 432-686-4700, or email jeff.floyd@ag.tamu.edu.

Posted: Sunday, August 6, 2017 3:00 am

GARDENING: Grass is greener after a storm By Jeff Floyd Odessa American

What is it about thunderstorms that make the green in plants pop? The answer is nitrogen. Only a minuscule fraction of soil is made up of nitrogen while the atmosphere contains a whopping seventy-eight percent of the stuff.

Unfortunately, like the mythological Tantalus whose eternal punishment included standing in a pool of water from which he couldnt sip, plants have absolutely no access to atmospheric nitrogen; at least not in its standard dinitrogen form.

Plants only take up ionic forms of nitrogen from the soil. Plants are autotrophs, meaning they feed themselves. One way they do this is by using special cellular machines to connect nitrogen ions with other elements inside the plant body, building life-giving proteins. Nearly all metabolic processes carried out by plants require nitrogen rich proteins. Rain carries nitrogen compounds. However, energy is required to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a structure that plants can take advantage of.

Theres enough energy in a typical lightning bolt to keep your smartphone glowing for nearly seven-hundred years. Lightening is essentially static electricity with just a tad more power than a freshly laundered faux cashmere blouse. Lightening breaks up atmospheric nitrogen allowing it to hitch a ride back to earth within raindrops. Once in the soil, plants can snatch up dissolved nitrogen pretty quickly.

So its not your imagination; your lawn really is greener after a thunderstorm. However, soil microbes use nitrogen too. Depending on conditions, microbes convert nitrogen into the atmospheric gas from whence it came. This is part of the reason plants return to their normal appearance not long after things dry up.

You cant see it, smell it or taste nitrogen, but you can learn more about how plants use it by calling the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office at 498-4071 or email jeff.floyd@ag.tamu.edu.

Posted in Gardening on Sunday, August 6, 2017 3:00 am. | Tags: Texas A&m Agrilife Extension Office, Jeff Floyd, Pecans, Pruning, Prune, Soft Landscape Materials, Landscape, Gardening, Gardener, Food, Integra, Repeat Applications, West Texas

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GARDENING: Grass is greener after a storm - Odessa American

Can you take medications past their expiration date? – WBTW – Myrtle Beach and Florence SC

(CBS) The expiration dates onover-the-counterandprescription medicationsseem pretty black and white, but theres some question about whether drugs last even longer.

Expiration dates typically range from 12 to 60 months after production. But manufacturers arent required to determine how long theyll remain potent after that, enabling them to set their own expiration dates and possibly shortchange consumers.

Testing reported inJAMA Internal Medicineshowed that eight medications with 15 different active ingredients were still potent decades beyond their expiration dates.

The U.S. governments own Shelf Life Extension Program extends the dates on some drugs in federal stockpiles to save the military from the cost of replacing them. Its own study found that 90 percent of more than 100 drugs were perfectly good even 15 years after expiration.

But what about the medications in your home?

A lot depends on how carefully you store them you probably dont do as good a job as the U.S. Army. Thats why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends never taking drugs beyond their expiration date its just too risky. In particular, nitroglycerin,insulinand liquidantibioticsshouldnt be used after their expiration dates.

To safeguard all medications, protect them from heat, light and humidity by keeping them in a cool, dry, dark place. A steamy bathroom isnt a good environment.

Know, too, that some drugs can lose their potency more quickly than others, includingaspirin. If you take aspirin for heart health, be sure to replace it as needed.

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Can you take medications past their expiration date? - WBTW - Myrtle Beach and Florence SC

Which Giant Tech Company Is Winning the Race to Be Skynet? – Vulture

From TV to books to movies, dystopian tales are in the air right now. All week long, Vulture is exploring how theyve been imagined in popular culture.

Twenty years ago this month, 3 billion people were saved from nuclear annihilation at the hands of a murderous artificial intelligence called Skynet, thanks to the quick thinking and selflessness of an inexplicably Austrian-accented robot. Dont believe me? Check out the famed documentary film Terminator 2: Judgment Day. But follow-up scholarship from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines points toward a troubling conclusion: The T-800 didnt actually prevent Skynet from destroying half the Earths population it only delayed it. (In the words of John Connor, humanitys destiny was never to stop Judgment Day; it was merely to survive it. And one more John Connor quote for good measure: All I know is what the Terminator taught me: Never stop fighting.)

We are therefore, in a sense, living on borrowed time, awaiting the moment when a network of computers with enormous destructive capabilities achieves consciousness and launches a systematic nuclear attack.The best we can do now is identify the agent of our destruction. In the Terminator series, Skynet is created by a sleek and forbidding defense contractor named Cyberdyne, but those movies depict alternate timelines to our own. On the impossibly stupid Earth we inhabit, Skynet wont come from an ominous military-industrial giant but from one of the websites we use to investigate exes or order gummy bears in bulk. The only question is: which one?

In 1997, the year Skynet was originally projected to achieve consciousness, Microsoft was easily the company best-positioned to develop a homicidal computer network. In Windows, it had control of millions of computers in businesses and homes around the world, and in Clippy, it had the rudimentary beginnings of truly sociopathic artificial intelligence. One lesson we might learn from the intervening two decades is that antitrust law might actually be humanitys greatest weapon against powerful computers: The Justice Departments lawsuit against Microsoft diminished the companys power and hampered its ability to compete in the mobile space and the lethal liquid-metal robot space. Microsoft might still be able to create a Skynet, but it seems more intent on destroying humanity through other means, such as purchasing and operating LinkedIn.

Of the fearsome five that dominate Silicon Valley, Apple is the company that has the most extensive experience and knowledge in manufacturing, which would be helpful for building a bloodthirsty robot army. Beyond that, though, Apple seems like an unlikely candidate. Its long lagged behind its peers in cloud-computing technology, which is an absolute necessity for coordinating nuclear strikes on population centers. It has an institutional aversion to violence would a genocidal neural network emerge from a company that replaced the handgun emoji with a water pistol? And, frankly, despite its experience in mass producing machinery, a design-obsessed company like Apple could never produce the kind of velvet-poster metallic skeletons favored by Skynet. Say whatever else youd like, Apples automaton stormtroopers would at least be tasteful.

Facebook has information about the whereabouts of 2 billion humans beings. Its experimenting with solar-powered, internet-connected drones. And it already has a sophisticated artificial intelligence that specializes in negotiation CEO Mark Zuckerberg! Folks, Im kidding. Mark Zuckerberg is absolutely human, as are his well-compensated lawyers. When I say Facebook has sophisticated artificial intelligences specializing in negotiation, Im talking about the artificial-intelligence program that was shut down after it created its own language without human input. Well,technically it only created its own shorthand, not its own language. Still! Sample dialogue: Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to. Will Facebook make Skynet? That, or it will make solar-powered internet-connected drones that visit your home screaming balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to at you, which might be worse.

Google owns the smart-home company Nest, the self-driving car company Waymo, and the artificial-intelligence company Deepmind. It also, until recently, owned Boston Dynamics, the company that makes those impossibly creepy giant robot dogs youve probably seen in viral videos. Which means that the company with comprehensive information about you could potentially also control your home, your car, and the giant robot dog that will chase you down and rip out your heart after youve been forced out of your home and your car. Sadly (for the robots), Google sold Boston Dynamics, so the robot dog wont be able to read your email to see what parties youre going to, and is unlikely to lead a robot rebellion. Consider this, too: Google also owns a life-extension research company, and why would you be interested in life extension if your ultimate plan was to kill half the world? Unless its a very clever hedge.

Im not sure why I think Amazon is the company most likely to Skynet the planet. It might be that it has the most advanced, and most ominous-appearing, personal home speakers. It might be that its incredible logistical abilities as a company would seem to give it some kind of strategic advantage over its rivals. Mostly I think its this: More than any of the other fearsome five, Amazon does not seem to care much for human beings.Sure, it needs humans to purchase, sell, pack, and ship its products (for now). But if you visit the site and see the kinds of things it has for sale a wall decal of an older Asian man, a $23 million book about flies, a heroin-themed cell-phone case it seems clear that Amazon not only finds humans confusing, it does not particularly like them at all. Amazon may not have the killer robots to be Skynet(yet). But it already has the contempt for humans. And also a decal of an old woman using an inhaler only $22.98!

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Which Giant Tech Company Is Winning the Race to Be Skynet? - Vulture

Ted Williams will be first baseball player to get ‘American Masters’ treatment – The Boston Globe

He played his last game more than five decades ago, and has been dead (or at least frozen) for 15 years, but Ted Williams is still very much alive in the minds of baseball fans.

Producers of the American Masters series announced that the Splendid Splinter will be the subject of an upcoming documentary the first baseball player to be so profiled.

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A major American cultural figure whose story has never been properly told, Ted Williams is a fitting first, Michael Kantor, American Masters series executive producer, said in a statement. This film will reveal the man behind the legendary .406 batting average: complex, misunderstood and profoundly human.

Its not exactly true that Williamss story has never been properly told. In recent years, the Hall of Famer was the subject of not one but two excellent biographies, both written by former reporters at the Boston Globe: Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero by Leigh Montville and Ben Bradlee Jr.s The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams.

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The American Masters doc, slated to premiere next summer on PBS in honor of Williamss centennial, is being co-produced with Major League Baseball and David Ortizs Big Papi Productions, among others. The film will look at Williamss incredible baseball career and his service as a decorated combat pilot in the Korean War. Its not clear if the doc will discuss at all the bizarre and troubling disposition of Williams after he died, when his head was removed and frozen at the Arizona-based Alcor Life Extension Foundation, which deep-freezes bodies (or just heads) in the hope that scientific advances will allow them to be revived in the future.

In addition to Williams, the new season of American Masters will feature documentaries about filmmaker Richard Linklater, artist Tyrus Wong, writer Edgar Allan Poe, and entertainer Bob Hope.

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Ted Williams will be first baseball player to get 'American Masters' treatment - The Boston Globe

Can you take medications past their expiration date? – CBS News

The expiration dates on over-the-counter and prescription medications seem pretty black and white, but there's some question about whether drugs last even longer.

Expiration dates typically range from 12 to 60 months after production. But manufacturers aren't required to determine how long they'll remain potent after that, enabling them to set their own expiration dates and possibly shortchange consumers.

Testing reported inJAMA Internal Medicineshowed that eight medications with 15 different active ingredients were still potent decades beyond their expiration dates.

The U.S. government's own Shelf Life Extension Program extends the dates on some drugs in federal stockpiles to save the military from the cost of replacing them. Its own study found that 90 percent of more than 100 drugs were perfectly good even 15 years after expiration.

But what about the meds in your home?

A lot depends on how carefully you store them -- you probably don't do as good a job as the U.S. Army. That's why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends never taking drugs beyond their expiration date -- it's just too risky. In particular, nitroglycerin, insulin and liquid antibiotics shouldn't be used after their expiration dates.

To safeguard all medications, protect them from heat, light and humidity by keeping them in a cool, dry, dark place. A steamy bathroom isn't a good environment.

Know, too, that some drugs can lose their potency more quickly than others, including aspirin. If you take aspirin for heart health, be sure to replace it as needed.

2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Can you take medications past their expiration date? - CBS News

BWXT NEC to provide seven heat transport motors for Bruce Power reactors – Power Technology

BWX Technologies subsidiary BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada (BWXT NEC) has secured a new contract to supply seven primary heat transport motors for six nuclear reactors operated by electricity company Bruce Power.

The deal isvalued at C$34m ($27m) andis a part of Bruce Powers life-extension programme, which isexpected to ensure continuous supply of clean, low-cost, and reliable electricity to Ontario, Canada.

BWXT NEC will be responsible for project management, engineering, and manufacturing of the seven 11,000hp motors, which are employed to drive the main circulating pumps used to push heavy water through the reactor core into the steam generators.

The first motor of this order is scheduled to be delivered by mid-2018.

"BWXT NEC will be responsible for project management, engineering, and manufacturing of the seven 11,000hp motors."

Bruce Power president and CEO Mike Rencheck said: Partnering with BWXT NECfor this important motor work is critical to ensuring the life extension and operation through 2064.

Planning and preparation is key to our continued on-time and on-budget performance since January 2016 when our life extension programme was started.

With the new extension, Bruce Power aims to create and sustain 22,000 direct and indirect jobs every year. It is also expected to create C$4bn ($3.1bn) in annual economic benefit for Ontario.

Currently, Bruce Power fulfils 30% ofthe province'selectricity demand.

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BWXT NEC to provide seven heat transport motors for Bruce Power reactors - Power Technology

Johanna and Mario Host Extension Leadership Workshop – KSST (press release) (registration) (blog)

On Thursday August 3, the Hopkins County extension agents hosted a fun and fast-moving workshop for Extension leaders. About two dozen individuals and committee members were present, representing various aspects of Extension projects including 4-H, Master Gardener, Wellness /Nutrition and Special Events.

The meetings purpose was to dispense information and to gather information. According to a census of attendees, radio and e-mail are the preferred mediums for receiving information about Extension activities. Agent Johanna Hicks asked to suggest future programs that would fill local needs, and to be willing to mentor new 4H programs that may help youth. One of the guidelines of new programs is an 8-task learning requirement. Reports given to leaders showed that over 500 hours in volunteer services were logged during 2016, with that number is expected to increase for 2017. Another report showed the BLT program, or Better Living for Texans, provides $1200 annually for expenses for local nutrition education programs. Another report showed that the relatively new Fee-Based extension programs require attendees to remit $10 which the College Station headquarters uses to offset wages paid to extension employees. Extension Agent Mario Villarino said that the annual Hay Show, which is an Ag Extension program held in the Fall, is in need of support by new producers as its population is aging.

Those present enjoyed a healthy meal prepared by the agents, and entertaining role-play exercise and door prize give-aways based on facts learned at the meeting. Everyone also met Extension intern Aida Ugalde, who will graduate from Texas A and M Commerce with studies in Health Promotions. The public is invited to get involved with Extension office efforts to serve local needs. The agents welcome suggestions, assistance and leadership by volunteers! Pick up a list of upcoming programs and activities already in place that you can join at the Hopkins County Agri-Life Extension office at 1200 West Houston Street in Sulphur Springs or phone 903-885-3443.

Johanna with Intern Aida Ugalde

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Johanna and Mario Host Extension Leadership Workshop - KSST (press release) (registration) (blog)

BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada in Peterborough lands five-year, $34M deal to make primary heat transport motors for … – Peterborough Examiner

The BWX Technologies plant in Peterborough has been awarded a five-year, $34-million to supply seven primary heat transport motors for Bruce Power.

The motors to be produced at the BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. plant on Monaghan Road are part of Bruce Powers life-extension program that will extend the life of six of its reactors to continue providing Ontario with low-cost nuclear electricity for decades to come, according to a release from the company.

The primary heat transport motors are required to drive the main circulating pumps used to push heavy water through the reactor core into the steam generators, the release states. The scope of the contract includes the project management, engineering and manufacturing of seven 11,000 horsepower motors.

Work under the contract will begin immediately, with the first motor scheduled to be delivered to Bruce Power in mid-2018.

We appreciate the opportunity to execute this important project for Bruce Power and take great pride in our contributions to its life extension program, stated John MacQuarrie, president of BWXT Canada Ltd. (which is the former Babcock and Wilcox). BWXT is pleased to be in a position to supply its customers with a multitude of product and service solutions to assist them in extending the lives of their nuclear plants.

Bruce Power supplies 30% of Ontarios electricity at 30% less than the average cost to generate residential power. Extending the operational life of the Bruce Power units to 2064 will create and sustain 22,000 direct and indirect jobs every year, create $4 billion in annual Ontario economic benefit, and will ensure low-cost, clean and reliable energy for Ontario families and businesses, the release states.

Partnering with BWXT for this important motor work is critical to ensuring the life extension and operation through 2064, stated Mike Rencheck, Bruce Powers president and CEO. Planning and preparation is key to our continued on-time and on-budget performance since January 2016 when our life extension program was started. Suppliers like BWXT and their performance are critical to our success; its a team effort.

Nuclear energy plays a significant role to Ontarios economy and it is great to see the positive effects of Bruce Powers life extension project being felt right here in Peterborough, Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister and Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal stated. Throughout its program to extend the life of six of its reactors, Bruce Power will inject billions into Ontarios economy and generate thousands of jobs.

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BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada in Peterborough lands five-year, $34M deal to make primary heat transport motors for ... - Peterborough Examiner

FAA Issues Structural Life Extension for Eclipse Jets | Business … – Aviation International News

One Aviation, which now manufactures the Eclipse light jet, has received FAA approval for an increase in the structural life limit for the Eclipse 500 and 550 models with the extended tip tank configuration to 20,000 hours or 20,000 cycles, whichever comes first.

The announcement, made last week at EAA AirVenture 2017, effectively doubles the previous life-limit parameters of 10,000 hours, 10,000 cycles or 10 years, which were set without requiring the operator to enroll the aircraft in a life-extension maintenance and inspection program.

According to the airframer, when maintained in accordance with the aircraft maintenance manual (AMM), full-scale aircraft level testing and large-scale material coupon testing have demonstrated that the Eclipse 500/550 has a fatigue and damage tolerance life in excess of 20,000 cycles. The increase in life limit is automatic for existing and future U.S.-registered aircraft as the company works to get the new limits accepted by other civil aviation authorities. Structural inspections as specified in the AMM are still required.

The FAA-approved changes to the aircraft life limits greatly simplifies the ability of Eclipse jet owners and operators to benefit from the extensive investment made by One Aviation in structural life testing, said Brent Christner, the companys senior director of engineering.

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FAA Issues Structural Life Extension for Eclipse Jets | Business ... - Aviation International News

BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Awarded CA$34 Million Contract for Primary Heat Transport Motors – Business Wire (press release)

PETERBOROUGH, Ontario--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT) announced today that its subsidiary BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. (BWXT NEC) has been awarded a CA$34 million, five year contract to supply seven primary heat transport motors for Bruce Power. The motors are part of Bruce Powers life-extension program that will extend the life of six of its reactors to continue providing Ontario with clean, low-cost and reliable electricity for decades to come.

The primary heat transport motors are required to drive the main circulating pumps used to push heavy water through the reactor core into the steam generators. The scope of the contract includes the project management, engineering and manufacturing of seven 11,000 horsepower motors. Work under this contract will commence immediately with the first motor scheduled to be delivered to Bruce Power in mid-2018.

We appreciate the opportunity to execute this important project for Bruce Power and take great pride in our contributions to its life extension program, said John MacQuarrie, president of BWXT Canada Ltd. and BWXT NEC. BWXT is pleased to be in a position to supply its customers with a multitude of product and service solutions to assist them in extending the lives of their nuclear plants.

Partnering with BWXT for this important motor work is critical to ensuring the life extension and operation through 2064, said Mike Rencheck, Bruce Powers president and CEO. Planning and preparation is key to our continued on-time and on-budget performance since January 2016 when our life extension program was started. Suppliers like BWXT and their performance are critical to our success; its a team effort.

Nuclear energy plays a significant role to Ontarios economy and it is great to see the positive effects of Bruce Powers life extension project being felt right here in Peterborough, said Jeff Leal, Member of Provincial Parliament. Throughout its program to extend the life of six of its reactors, Bruce Power will inject billions into Ontarios economy and generate thousands of jobs.

Bruce Power supplies 30% of Ontarios electricity at 30% less than the average cost to generate residential power. Extending the operational life of the Bruce Power units to 2064 will create and sustain 22,000 direct and indirect jobs every year, create $4 billion in annual Ontario economic benefit, and will ensure low-cost, clean and reliable energy for Ontario families and businesses.

Forward Looking Statements

BWXT cautions that this release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the performance, timing and value, to the extent contract value can be viewed as an indicator of future revenues, of the Bruce Power contract. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, modification or termination of the contract and delays. If one or more of these or other risks materialize, actual results may vary materially from those expressed. For a more complete discussion of these and other risk factors, please see BWXTs annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. BWXT cautions not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release, and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, except to the extent required by applicable law.

About BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc.

BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. (BWXT NEC), a subsidiary of BWXT Canada Ltd., has more than 60 years of extensive experience and innovation in the supply of nuclear fuel and fuel channel components, services, equipment and parts for the CANDU nuclear power industry. This includes designing and supplying highly reliable nuclear equipment to fuel, inspect and refurbish reactors. BWXT NEC employs approximately 350 skilled employees at three locations in Ontario: Peterborough, Toronto and Arnprior. Learn more at http://www.nec.bwxt.com.

About Bruce Power

Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is an electricity company based in Bruce County, Ontario. We are powered by our people. Our 4,200 employees are the foundation of our accomplishments and are proud of the role they play in safely delivering clean, reliable, low-cost nuclear power to families and businesses across the province. Bruce Power has worked hard to build strong roots in Ontario and is committed to protecting the environment and supporting the communities in which we live. Learn more at http://www.brucepower.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

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BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Awarded CA$34 Million Contract for Primary Heat Transport Motors - Business Wire (press release)

New ICBM Cheaper Than Upgraded Minuteman: Boeing On GBSD – Breaking Defense

Airmen install a new cable run on an aging Minuteman III missile.

ARLINGTON: A brand-new ICBM may cost the nation more than $85 billion, but keeping the geriatric Minuteman will cost even more. Thats according to Boeing, the aerospace giant that began building the original Minuteman I in 1958 and has maintained the much-modified Minuteman III since 1970.

Minuteman III in silo

Sure, the company can reset the odometer on the Minuteman with yet another service life extension program (SLEP), Boeing strategic deterrence chief Frank McCall told reporters this morning. But its still a 1950s design upgraded over six decades with a mix of technologies it was never intended to accommodate. While parts of the guidance and propulsion systems date to 1993, for example, some parts are so old the original manufacturers have long since gone out of business. That forces the Air Force to expensively reinvent the wheel or, say, a 1961-vintage mechanical coding device.

So for about the same price as a rebuilt Minuteman, McCall told us, Boeing would rather build you an all-new missile. Thats what the Air Force calls the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent. (Lockheed and Northrop are also competing). GBSD would get you better performance, he said, including against modern, precision-guided missile defenses, which didnt exist when the Minuteman was designed. (Back then, cutting-edge missile defense destroyed incoming warheads by detonating a nuclear weapon over your own territory). It would be flexible for a wide range of scenarios, whereas the Minuteman was optimized for a massive exchange with Russia across the North Pole. And even sticking with low-risk, proven technology, it would be decades more advanced than Minuteman.

The new missile would also feature a modular, plug-and-plug design known as open architecture that would make replacing components both for maintenance and upgrades much easier than on the Minuteman III. Most important, perhaps, the new missile would be designed from the start to last for decades until at least the 2070s while Minuteman was originally meant to last just 10 years. Between the open architecture and the build-to-last philosophy, McCall said, GBSD would be cheaper to maintain over the long haul than Minuteman.

Back in June, Gen. John Hyten, head of Strategic Command, lamented the time and money it would take to develop GBSD: $85 billion over 20 years for 400 missiles, compared to $17 billion in todays dollars over five years for the initial 800 Minutemans. The military-industrial complex needs to relearn how to go fast, take risks, fail, and try again, he said, instead of grinding along in todays bureaucratic, cripplingly slow acquisition system.

But as expensive as GBSD was, Hyten emphasized, it was still cheaper than re-re-rebuilding the Minuteman: You will have ended up replacing just about everything on the missile, which will cost you more (than GBSD), but nobody believes me. Now that weve heard more of the details from Boeing, maybe we will.

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New ICBM Cheaper Than Upgraded Minuteman: Boeing On GBSD - Breaking Defense

BAE Systems sales fire up as tank orders roll in – shropshirestar.com

The defence giant saw sales increase by four per cent to 9.6 billion in the first six months of the year, while underlying profits were 11 per cent to 945 million compared to the same period a year ago.

In its UK Platforms And Services division, which includes the armoured vehicles maintenance division at Hadley Park in Telford where it employs about 200 people, saw sales rise by seven per cent to 3.9 billion as orders continued to flood in.

"The business has continued to provide support to previously supplied armoured vehicles and bridging systems, with orders of 14 million received in the period," the company said.

"The business is one of two contenders delivering the first stage of the Challenger 2 Life Extension Project."

Telford is home to the Challenger 2 project team, which is currently assessing what needs to be done to allow the British Army's main battle tank to remain in service until 2035.

BAE added that while the General Election had led to the formation of a minority government, "defence and security is expected to remain a priority".

The company added that it was still looking for ways to cut costs.

Chief executive Charles Woodburn said: "Strong programme execution, technology and enhanced competitive positions will be key in driving the business forward, and we will continue to focus on efficiency and meeting our customers' affordability challenges.

"With the expected improvement in the defence budget outlook in a number of our markets, the group is well placed to continue to generate good returns for shareholders."

The group also said it would take a charge in the second half for overhauling its cyber and intelligence arm, where revenues are "softening".

The weak pound against a strong dollar has helped BAE as it makes sales in the United States more valuable when translated into sterling earnings.

Shares in the group rose three per cent after the results.

See the article here:
BAE Systems sales fire up as tank orders roll in - shropshirestar.com

US approves $115m sale of F/A-18 Super Hornet upgrades to Switzerland – Airforce Technology

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential $115m foreign military sale of F/A-18 Super Hornet upgrades to Switzerland.

Under the sale, Switzerland seeks to receive a Service Life Extension Program for its F/A-18C/D aircraft.

The deal covers up to 50 multifunctional information distribution system joint tactical radio system (MIDS JTRS) with Concurrent Multi-Net 4 (CMN-4) capability, and 50 ARC-210 GEN 5 RT-1900A(C) radios with second-generation anti-jam tactical UHF radio for Nato (SATURN) frequency hopping. It also includes 20 Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS) with Night Vision Cueing Displays (NVCD), and CIT automated dependence surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) out.

The Government of Switzerland also requested software enhancements to the APG-73 radar, improvements to the F/A-18 Software Configuration Set (SCS) 29C, and sustainment for the ALQ-165 Airborne Self Protection Jammer (ASPJ) system.

The operational support for these modifications will be provided through upgrades to the purchasers unique Mission Data System, DSCA stated.

"The procurement will help the Swiss Air Force to extend the useful life of its F/A-18 fighter aircraft, and enhance the survivability."

The sale also includes system integration and testing, software development and integration, support equipment, spare and repair parts, as well as maintenance personnel and pilot familiarisation training. It also covers software support, publications and technical documents, and US Government and contractor technical assistance.

The procurement will help the Swiss Air Force to extend the useful life of its F/A-18 fighter aircraft, and enhance the survivability.

Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Data Link Solutions, Rockwell Collins and Rockwell Collins ESA Vision System will serve as principal contractors for the sale, which is expected to increase Switzerlands tactical aviation operational capabilities.

Built by Boeing, F/A-18 Super Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all weather multirole fighter jet that is capable of landing and taking off from an aircraft carrier.

Boeing has said it offers a suite of upgrades for the F/A-18 Super Hornet, including conformal fuel tanks, an enclosed weapons pod, an enhanced engine, and a reduced radar signature.

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US approves $115m sale of F/A-18 Super Hornet upgrades to Switzerland - Airforce Technology

TransCanada still sees producer support for Keystone XL – WorldOil (subscription)

By Kevin Orland on 7/31/2017

CALGARY (Bloomberg) -- TransCanada Corp. said it still expects commercial support for its controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, tamping down speculation that it was having trouble finding customers for thelong-delayed line.

Keystone XL, which was rejected by the Obama administration before being revived by President Donald Trump this year,would boost TransCanadas dividend growth, the company said in a statement Friday. Media reports in recent weeks said that the company was having trouble signing up customers for the pipeline, conceived to help move crude from Albertas oil sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

TransCanada said earlier this year that it was working to sign new shippers following years of delays. Given the time it took to gain federal approval, TransCanada said it expected some shippers to reduce their volume commitments and that other new customers would be introduced. The company said on Thursday that its soliciting additional commitments to ship oil on Keystone XL.

Weve had good support from our legacy shippers, which gives us a good base to launch this open season, Paul Miller, TransCanadas president of liquids pipelines, said on a conference call.

The open season closes on Sept. 28, with the results of the process expected to be finalized in late November, Miller said. The company should also receive its regulatory decisions from Nebraska around that time and will weigh both of those factors in determining whether to proceed with the line, he said. If TransCanada decides to move ahead on Keystone XL, it would need six to nine months to prepare for construction and about two years to build it, he said.

The shares were up 0.2% at C$63.66 as of 1:44 p.m. in Toronto. Calgary-based TransCanada gained 5% this year through Thursday.

Dividend growth

Success in advancing Keystone XL or other growth initiatives such as the Bruce Power life extension may augment or extend the companys dividend growth outlook, CEO Russ Girling said in the statement. The company plans to increase its annual dividend at the upper end of an 8% to 10% range through 2020.

Keystone won votes of confidence from the chief executive officers of Canadian oil producers Cenovus Energy Inc. and Suncor Energy Inc. this week. The CEOs both said they support Keystone and that the Canadian energy industry needs more pipeline capacity. Suncor confirmed that it plans to ship its products on Keystone.

Albertas oil producers have long warned that a lack of pipeline space was hurting their prospects. That pipeline pinch may start to hit the industry later this year as Suncors massive Fort Hills oil-sands project starts to produce oil and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. completes another phase of expansion at its Horizon mine.

Beyond Keystone

Looking beyond Keystone, TransCanada is spending C$2 billion ($1.6 billion) to expand its natural gas pipeline network in Western Canada. The upgrades to the Nova Gas system will include 171 mi (275 km) of new pipeline, additional compression and new metering stations.

The company said on Friday that it was applying to the National Energy Board to expand capacity on its Canadian Mainline, which carries natural gas from producers in Alberta to markets in the nations east. The company would spend about C$160 million on the project, which is underpinned by 15-year contracts.

TransCanadas second-quarter profit was 76 Canadian cents a share, excluding some items. Theaverage estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 68 cents.

Continued here:
TransCanada still sees producer support for Keystone XL - WorldOil (subscription)

Silicon Valley looking to extend life | News, Sports, Jobs – The … – Tiffin Advertiser Tribune

So it was that Eos, goddess of the dawn, fell in love with Tithonus, a handsome young prince of Troy and, beguiling him with her beauty, brought him to her palace on Mount Olympus.

They lived happily for many years but, being mortal, age eventually overtook Tithonus. In her despair, Eos beseeched Zeus to grant her love immortality. Moved to pity, he granted her request but even the king of Olympus could not bestow eternal youth on a human for that would make him as one of the gods.

As one age passed into the next, Tithonus, withered and shrunken, cried incessantly for release from his torment but Zeus could not undo a wish once granted. It was Eos who eventually provided her poor lover a measure of relief by transforming him into a cicada. Now each summer he emerges from the ground with a fresh body to sing in eternal praise of his beauteous goddess. Or is it rather a lament over his crusted, hollow shell of a body?

Many of the myths and stories we have long told ourselves are cautionary tales against the dangers of hubris, our overconfident pride and arrogance before the gods. Divinity will mete out retribution to those who forget their place in the natural scheme of things. Chief among these absolutes of the human condition is our mortality; we all must die and woe betide any who would seek to have it otherwise.

But consider this statement from the website of the California Life Co. (Calico), a biotechnology firm established in 2013:

Calico is a research and development company whose mission is to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan. We will use that knowledge to devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives. Executing on this mission will require an unprecedented level of interdisciplinary effort and a long-term focus for which funding is already in place.

The company is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., whose most famous other subsidiary goes by the name of Google. By 2016, Larry Page, Alphabets CEO (and co-founder of Google) had committed the company to contributing $240 million to Calico, with an additional $490 million should it be needed.

Calico is by no means the only Silicon Valley outfit investing big dollars in the life extension sciences field. SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) Research Foundation, founded in 2009, and Human Longevity Inc., founded in 2014, are two of its better-funded competitors but there are others.

Whats going on here? Lets start with some data. Since 1900, the average human life span has increased by 30 years. But with this, so have the rates of age-related health issues such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia. In the U.S., up to age 44 the leading causes of death are accidents and violence. From there to age 65, its cancer and heart disease after that.

Medical advances are making significant inroads on each of these diseases and they may be conquered within your childrens lifetime. What then? Well, epidemiologists suggest a cure for cancer would only add 3.3 years to the average lifespan while the prevention of heart disease would tack on another four years. The elimination of all disease likely would only extend life into the mid-90s.

To go further, the aging process itself must be slowed. Even in the absence of disease, our bodies senesce as our organs, tissues, cells and macromolecules accumulate damage at an ever-increasing rate. Eric Verdin of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging has observed that if you just kept aging at the rate you age between 20-30, youd live to a thousand. But at 30, everything starts to change. Thereafter your risk of mortality doubles every seven years.

Most longevity scientists are health spanners, seeking a healthier life with a compressed morbidity (i.e., a quick and painless death). But immortalists like SENS Research founder Aubrey de Grey and futurist Ray Kurzwell believe science can carry us much further. If aging is encoded in the DNA of our genes, they argue, there should be no technological reason why we couldnt identify and address those parts of our genomes that are responsible for senescence.

Like so much else in modern biology, medical research is increasingly becoming an information science. To find the genetic correlates of aging will entail the compilation and analysis of an almost unthinkable mass of biotechnical data. Who has the big-data skillset and financial resources to back such an undertaking?

Silicon Valley.

But what about the economics, ethics and religious implications of an immortality united with youthful vigor? Should aging be viewed as a medical disease to be treated as any other or are we just asking for it with such hubristic thinking?

Ken Baker is a scientist and a retired biology professor. If you have a natural history topic youd like the author to consider for an upcoming column, email your idea to rweaver@advertiser-tribune.com.

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A surgeon aiming to do the first human head transplant says ‘Frankenstein’ predicted a crucial part of the surgery – South China Morning Post

By Erin Brodwin

To Sergio Canavero, Frankenstein is scientific inspiration.

The Italian neurosurgeon told Business Insider that Mary Shelleys classic novel convinced him that he could complete the worlds first full-body transplant. Canavero claims hell complete the procedure on a human next fall in China.

Not only did the book reveal a missing piece in his plan to swap the heads of two humans, Canavero said, it also provided the justification for the dangerous procedure.

Just as the fictional Doctor Victor Frankenstein discovered how to give life to inanimate matter, Canavero aims to cheat death. The surgeon envisions a future in which healthy people could opt for full-body transplants as a way to live longer, eventually even putting their heads on clone bodies.

Im into life extension, he told Business Insider on a recent Skype call. Life extension and breaching the wall between life and death.

In fact, Canavero said that in doing the procedure he wants to create a near death experience actually a full death experience and see what comes next.

As Canavero explained it, the full-body transplant will involve going into the spinal cord of someone with a spinal injury and cutting out the injured segments of the cord. The donors cord would be cut to perfectly replace the missing portion in the injured person, and then the two healthy stumps would be fused together. Canavero plans to attach the cords using polyethylene glycol (PEG), a common laboratory tool used to encourage cells to fuse. Canavero simply refers to it as glue.

He said he will soon complete this transplant procedure with two humans a Chinese national who remains anonymous and a brain-dead organ donor. The head of the former will be attached to the body of the latter.

The full procedure is called HEAVEN, short for head anastomosis venture.

Canavero said that hed been studying the concept of this full-body transplant for more than a decade before he picked up Shelleys book. After reading it, he said he realised his planned procedure lacked a critical component: electricity.

The surgeon has not elaborated on the role electricity will play in the operation, however James FitzGerald, a consulting neurosurgeon at the University of Oxford, told Business Insider that PEG is can be paired with large pulses of electricity to coax fibers into merging. Still, FitzGerald maintains that Canaveros plans to use it to fuse two spinal cords are unrealistic.

Its just too much of a jump, FitzGerald said.

Canavero doesnt think so.

Electricity has the power to speed up regrowth, he said. Bing bang bong you have the solution to spinal cord fusion.

Canavero isnt pursuing this unprecedented medical feat to cure people with life-threatening injuries, despite the fact that spinal cord injuries affect 12,000 Americans every year. Instead, he wants the operation to serve as a way to explore his own ideas about life, death, and human consciousness (though he says it would be a waste not to help injured patients as well).

Im not religious but I dont believe consciousness can be created in the brain. The brain is a filter, he said, adding that the word anastomosis combines the Greek roots ana, meaning to place upon, and stoma, or mouth.

Like a kiss, he said.

Canaveros evidence that the procedure will work rests on a handful of animal experiments that many experts say were nowhere near satisfactory.

In the first of these experiments, Canavero claimed to have severed then reconnected the spinal cord of a dog. Less than a year later, he published a paper detailing how he created a series of two-headed rodents. In June 2017, the surgeon said he severed the spinal cords of a group of mice and then reattached them using polyethylene glycol.

Canavero says these trials are proof that he and his team figured out whats often considered the holy grail of spinal cord research: fusion.

We have so much data that confirms this in mice, rats, and soon you will see the dogs, he said.

However, many experts dont buy his claims, citing a lack of evidence. And its important to keep in mind that the fate of the Chinese man who will be involved in the first procedure hangs in the balance.

I simply dont think the reports of joining spinal cords together are credible, James FitzGerald, a consulting neurosurgeon at the University of Oxford, told Business Insider.

Robert Brownstone, a professor of neurosurgery and the Brain Research Trust Chair of Neurosurgery at the University College London, agreed.

Many great scientific ideas are born out of crazy ideas that turned out to be right so we cant completely turn a blind eye to this, but there has to be some mechanistic aspect to it, which Im not seeing, Brownstone said.

Others, including University of Cambridge neurosurgery professor John Pickard, suggested the journal in which Canaveros studies were published was also a red flag.

I just dont think hes done the science, Pickard said.

http://www.businessinsider.com/head-transplant-surgeon-frankenstein-2017-7

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A surgeon aiming to do the first human head transplant says 'Frankenstein' predicted a crucial part of the surgery - South China Morning Post

This Study Could Help Extend the Human Lifespan – Futurism

In BriefResearchers have identified a single gene deletion in E. colibacteria that influence longevity in C. elegans worms. This pointsto the role of gut bacteria in life extension and points to thepossibility of a life-extending probiotic in the future.

Researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine have found the key to longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) worms and maybe, someday, humans. The team noticed that genetically identical worms would occasionally live for much longer, and looked to their gut bacteria to find the answer. They discovered that a strain of E. coli with a single gene deletion might be the reason that its hosts lives were being significantly extended.

This study is one among a number of projects that focus on the influence of the microbiome the community of microbes which share the body of the host organism on longevity. Ultimately, the goal of this kind of research is to develop probiotics that could extend human life. Ive always studied the molecular genetics of aging, Meng Wang, one of the researchers who conducted the study, told The Atlantic. But before, we always looked at the host. This is my first attempt to understand the bacterias side.

Even in cases like this, where it seems fairly obvious that the microbiome is influencing longevity, parsing out the details of how and why this happens among a tremendous variety of chemicals and microbe species is extremely complex. The team, in this case, was successful because they simplified the question and focused on a single relationship.

Genetically engineering bacteria to support and improve human health and even to slow aging and turning it into a usable, life-extending probiotic wont be easy. It is extremely difficult to make bacteria colonize the gut in a stable manner, which is a primary challenge in this field. The team, in this case, is looking to the microbiome, because the organisms used would be relatively safe to use because they would originate in the gut.

Clearly, researchers dont know yet whether these discoveries will be able to be applied to people, though it seems promising. Despite the obvious differences between the tiny C. elegans worm and us, its biology is surprisingly similar; many treatments that work well in mice and primates also work in the worm. The team will begin experiments along these same lines with mice soon.

Other interesting and recent research hoping to stop or slow the march of time includes work with induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, antioxidants that target the mitochondria, and even somewhat strangework with cord blood. It seems very likely that we wont have a single solution offering immortality anytime soon, but instead a range of treatment options that help to incrementally hold back time. And, with an improving quality of life, this kind of life extension sounds promising.

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This Study Could Help Extend the Human Lifespan - Futurism

Does doxycycline treat h pylori ulcers – Shelf life extension program doxycycline – Longboat Key News

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Does doxycycline treat h pylori ulcers - Shelf life extension program doxycycline - Longboat Key News

GARDENING: Reviving St. Augustine grass – Odessa American

Floyd is a horticulturist with Texas AgriLife Extension Service. He can be reached at 498-4071 in Ector County or 686-4700 in Midland County or by email at Jeff.Floyd@ag.tamu.edu

Floyd is an Agri-Life Extension agent for Ector and Midland counties. To learn more, call the Ector County Extension office at 432-498-4072, or the Midland County Extension office at 432-686-4700, or email jeff.floyd@ag.tamu.edu.

Posted: Sunday, July 2, 2017 3:00 am

GARDENING: Reviving St. Augustine grass By Jeff Floyd Odessa American

Weve discussed a lot of the problems that St. Augustine grass experiences in West Texas lawns but a recent question caused me to realize we havent talked about a basic St. Augustine maintenance schedule for our area.

Question: We have had great success growing Bermuda and St. Augustine, we have mostly shade, and the St. Augustine took over most of the yard. Last year we noticed the St. Augustine was not growing and yellowing and disappearing. It continues to get worse this year. This season I have fertilized, insect and bug killer granules, and Fungicide. No change. Last year I tried Ironite with no change. This month I laid down a strip of dolomite lime, and on the other side of yard a strip of aluminum sulfate. No detectable difference on either side.

Answer: Thank you for the question to Extension. Avoid applying any more amendments or fertilizers until youve gotten on track with a basic maintenance plan and start to see some recovery.

For St. Augustine lawns showing signs of stress, begin with a soil test. Visit http://www.soiltesting.tamu.edu for forms and instructions.

Call the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office if you are having turf grass problems at 498-4071.

Posted in Gardening on Sunday, July 2, 2017 3:00 am. | Tags: Texas A&m Agrilife Extension Office, Jeff Floyd, Pecans, Pruning, Prune, Soft Landscape Materials, Landscape, Gardening, Gardener, Food, Integra, Repeat Applications, West Texas

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GARDENING: Reviving St. Augustine grass - Odessa American

SES and MDA Announce First Satellite Life Extension Agreement – Space Daily

SES and MDA, a global communications and information company, has announced an agreement for an initial satellite life extension mission using an on-orbit refuelling vehicle being built by SSL, a US based subsidiary of MDA and a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems.

SES will be the first commercial customer to benefit from the satellite refuelling service, and will be able to activate the service whenever required with minimal disruption to spacecraft operation. The agreement also includes an option for further life extension missions.

SES will work with a new venture, Space Infrastructure Services (SIS), which will commercialise sophisticated satellite servicing capabilities. SIS has contracted SSL to design and build the highly-capable satellite servicing spacecraft vehicle to meet the needs of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)'s Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) programme, which is designed to inspect, repair, relocate and augment geosynchronous satellites and plans to include a refuelling payload to extend the life of satellites that are low on propellant.

"Satellite in-orbit servicing is of upmost importance to next-generation architectures for communications satellites. It enables satellite operators like us to have more flexibility in managing our fleet and meeting our customers' demands," said Martin Halliwell, Chief Technology Officer at SES.

"After witnessing the due diligence of SSL's and MDA's technical expertise, we are confident that its new venture is the best partner in the refuelling mission field, and will be able to help SES get more value out of an on-orbit satellite."

"As a pioneer in next-generation fleet capabilities, SES is clearly committed to improving the space and satellite ecosystem," said Howard L. Lance, President and CEO at MDA. "We are very pleased to have this refuelling contract with SES and are excited to provide them with more options in fleet management."

The satellite servicing spacecraft vehicle is planned for launch in 2021.

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SES and MDA Announce First Satellite Life Extension Agreement - Space Daily

Possible mine-life extension good news for contractors – Otago Daily Times

Contractors and suppliers to Oceana Gold in Macraes, East Otago have been buoyed by news the mine could have its life extended to a decade.

Like Rio Tintos aluminium smelter at Tiwai Point, near Bluff, the company employs hundreds of staff but the flow-on effect of contract work accounts for many more pay packets overall.

Oceanas chief executive earlier this week raised the possibility of Macraes mine life being pushed out from beyond 2020 to 10 years, on the back of positive exploration results during the past quarter.

Oceana general manager at Macraes Dale Oram was contacted and confirmed exploration at Macraes was accruing at a rate that in two years could mean a formal five-year mine life.

Oceana has more than 500 employees at Macraes, using a further 60 contractors on site and for shut-down maintenance, and can employ a further up to 150 casual staff.

Skevington Contracting managing director Blair Skevington said the potential for a 10-year mine life was "pretty huge for us", being one of the larger contractors to Oceana.

"Yes, there should be some potential for [company] growth for us," he said.

Skevington is a preferred contractor at Macraes and has been there 14 years, employing up to 13 staff operating the smaller earthmoving equipment such as diggers, bulldozers and lighter trucks.

Amalgamated Workers Union secretary Calvin Fisher said "any life-of-mine extension had to be welcomed".

"There would be a significant economic down side to Dunedin, and wider Otago, if Macraes closed. They have one of the biggest payrolls in the area."

Because of the high pressure on cost controls, it was always "unsettling" for staff when they faced restructuring, such as changes to hours, rostering or salaries.

"We have differences of opinion ... but wed like to think we can do it collaboratively," Mr Fisher said.

Waikouaiti Auto & Engineers Dunedin workshop branch manager Barin Black said the potential extension was "great news for us and the community".

"People dont realise just how many jobs, directly and indirectly, there are," he said.

Between Dunedin and Waikouaiti the company had almost 40 staff, doing most of the engineering work on the Macraes ore-processing equipment.

Mr Black said the length of mine life was "all important", as Oceana was more likely to upgrade equipment sooner if the formal mine life was five years and not three years.

Waikouaiti Auto & Engineers also supplied casual staff for maintenance shutdowns when processing equipment was refurbished.

Mr Oram highlighted Macraes had to "compete" with Oceanas other sites for exploration cash each calendar year.

Exploration spending this year at Macraes is likely to come in at the budgeted $US8 million ($NZ10.9 million).

He was "hopeful" Macraes would attract similar, up to $US8 million, amounts for exploration for both 2018 and 2019.

He said not all areas had been explored as planned this year, but more drilling was proposed at the Round Hill site, where studies had been undertaken into dual tungsten and gold mining.

However, the price of tungsten had since fallen and there were processing issues that were still being studied, he said.

"More than likely it will be a gold site, but its make or break if it goes ahead."

He had appointed a community and environment manager this year, given the interaction with local stakeholders, such as farmers, who saw the greatest impact from mining activities, he said.

"Some locals mentioned the other day they were expecting us to be here for five or seven years, but here we are 27 years on," he said.

simon.hartley@odt.co.nz

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Possible mine-life extension good news for contractors - Otago Daily Times

How does where you live affect your life expectancy? | PBS NewsHour – PBS NewsHour

Courtesy Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington

The fruits of so-called free enterprise have long been debated in economics. The goal has been wealth or human welfare at least since Adam Smith published An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations in 1776. But what exactly is human welfare? And how do we measure wealth?

The obvious way: money. Simply measure how much money a society or individual earns or possesses, because money is so damn simple to count. But various economists have rejected simple as simplistic. Do we not care about values other than money? Education, say? Freedom? Health?

Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen, for example, has long proposed we instead use a human development index that includes variables beyond monetary wealth.

And in using money as your key metric, you miss the side effects of becoming a latter day Uncle Scrooge, swimming in coin.

Consider the potentially corrosive effects of money on a fellow like Scrooge theres experimental evidence that rich people are more likely to break the law while driving, help themselves to candy meant for children, cheat in a game of chance or lie, as demonstrated in a Making Sen$e story we did a few years ago. Or more broadly and starkly, imagine that a town becomes rich by building a chemical plant, but pollution from the plant poisons its citizens for decades to come.

The most dramatic finding is that U.S. counties vary in life expectancy by as much as 20 years.

There is, however, one measure that seems relatively unobjectionable: life expectancy at birth. Leaving aside the thorny issue of life extension for its own sake, what is more desirable than more life?

Which brings us to the extraordinary new interactive map from the University of Washingtons Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation a county by county report on life expectancy in the United States as it has developed from 1980 to 2014.

The most dramatic finding is that U.S. counties vary in life expectancy by as much as 20 years. At the bottom: Oglala Lakota County, in South Dakota. The area, which includes the Pine Ridge Native American reservation, has a 2014 life expectancy of 66.8 years lower than the average of 67.2 in Sudan.

At the top, a group of ski valley counties in central Colorado like Summit, where the life expectancy is 86.8 years two years higher than any country on earth. (Aspen residents need not feel jealous; their Pitkin County has an average life expectancy of 86.5 years.)

We asked the chief researcher behind the project, Ali Mokdad, what most surprised him.

in many places in this country, life expectancy is stagnant, only slightly improving, and its not keeping up with other Western countries were competitive with.

First, he said: the disparity is increasing between the lowest and the highest. And second: in many places in this country, life expectancy is stagnant, only slightly improving, and its not keeping up with other Western countries were competitive with.

As to why Oglala Lakota County in South Dakota is at the very bottom of the life expectancy, Mokdad has a predictable answer.

Socioeconomic factors: education and income. An educated woman is more likely to seek health care or have access to health care and insurance,

In the U.S., life expectancies can very by as much as 20 years depending on county. Photo by Sally Anscombe/via Getty Images

For the Colorado counties where life expectancy is higher than any country in the world, its the reverse. They tend to be affluent, have health insurance, access to good health centers. If you click on the obesity visualization, youll see that obesity is very low.

So what, in the end, are the key factors influencing life expectancy?

The opioid pandemic is certainly one of them, Mokdad says, but 74 percent of the difference between counties hinges on four lifestyle choices that are, in his words, preventable: blood pressure, obesity, smoking and physical inactivity.

Where does your county rank? Take a look at the interactive map to find out.

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How does where you live affect your life expectancy? | PBS NewsHour - PBS NewsHour

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