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Health & Medicine

The FDA Questions an Aspirin a Day.   I Question the FDA.

The FDA Questions an Aspirin a Day.   I Question the FDA.

For 25 years, daily aspirin for people over 50 has been standard advice from the medical profession. A few weeks ago, the FDA changed its tune, and now recommends daily aspirin only after your first heart attack. I’m sticking with the classic advice. Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory with benefits that include lower risk of dementia and some cancers. The overall reduction in death and disease ad...

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Love, Death, and Oxytocin

Love, Death, and Oxytocin

Oxytocin, the “love hormone”, is one of those blood factors that we have less of as we age. A recent study connects loss of oxytocin with frailty and loss of muscle mass in old age. Could it be that oxytocin is the biochemical mediator that signals the body to live longer in response to loving connections and caring behaviors?

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V.N. Anisimov: Russian Optimist on Longevity

V.N. Anisimov: Russian Optimist on Longevity

Last March, I wrote a column entitled Reality Check, featuring the work of Stephen Spindler. Spindler is a veteran researcher at UCRiverside, and perhaps the world’s foremost expert in the design and execution of longevity studies in mice. But Steve is a glass-half-empty kind of guy. And ever since I wrote that column, I’ve been thinking that I need to write about Spindler’s opposite number in ...

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Pacemakers Without Batteries — Coming Soon

Pacemakers Without Batteries — Coming Soon

My father-in-law had a cardiac pacemaker implanted when he was in his mid-80s. He had it replaced after about 5 years because the battery failed. This is a common occurrence and even though pacemakers have become smaller, the battery represents the single component in the form factor that restricts them from becoming really tiny while at the same time requires them to be replaced periodically.

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The three-day fast: Day Four

The three-day fast: Day Four

Last week, an article about the cell biology of fasting made headlines in the science news press. Valter Longo cites evidence that a 3-day fast can rejuvenate our immune systems, with broad anti-aging benefits. 4 or 5 days may be better yet.

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Cholesterol, Part II

Cholesterol, Part II

Mea culpa. Almost three weeks ago I promised to do a little reading and report back on what to believe about cholesterol and heart disease. It was hubris to imagine that I would be able to untangle the thicket of conflicting claims with a short course of study. Today, my goals are far more modest, and I offer my scaled-back conclusions. Here, I offer a tentative analysis, which I hope will pro...

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Suspended Animation is About to Become a Reality

Suspended Animation is About to Become a Reality

In the 1984 film 2010: The Year We Make Contact, an American crew are kept in suspended animation on a Soviet ship enroute to Jupiter to find out what happened to the American Discovery spacecraft. Upon reaching Jupiter the Americans are awakened from cryogenic pods to carry out their mission.

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