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Open-Source Everything/ Curing Aging

Date Saturday - November 8, 2014
Host Lisa Garr
Guests Robert David SteeleWilliam H. Andrews

In the first half of the program, host Lisa Garr (email) was joined by activist and a former CIA clandestine services case officer Robert David Steele for a discussion on his book, The Open-Source Everything Manifesto. "Open source ecology is about applying a mindset and a process that essentially eliminates patents, it eliminates trademarks. You still have Creative Commons licensing which means... if money comes into play, then you have an obligation to give back to the originator," he explained. According to Steele, it is the only approach to information sharing and engineering that is affordable, interoperable, and scalable. The open source concept is essential to uplifting humanity, creating a prosperous world at peace, and producing infinite wealth for the ninety-nine percent, he added.

If enough human minds are put on any problem, corruption, waste, and ignorance can be removed from the system, Steele continued. He called for open source intelligence and suggested the US government is operating on the basis of only two percent of relevant information for any given foreign situation. American intelligence has no real understanding of at least 150 countries and topics, Steele revealed, noting how the government could draw on more people to make sense of things but is ultimately controlled by a handful of billionaires. He cited the CDC's botched handling of the Ebola threat as an example of the unreliability of non-transparent government agencies. "In my experience the US government half the time doesn't know and the other half the time lies," Steele said.

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During the second half of the show, expert in molecular and population genetics William H. Andrews talked about an emergent technology that holds the promise of treating and reversing age-related diseases, including aging itself. The average human lifespan is just under 80 years, Andrews said, noting the theoretical maximum of 125 (for which there are no documented cases). There are approximately 1000 supercentenarians in the world today, only two of which have exceeded 120 years, he added. Andrews linked aging to the shortening of telomeres located on the tips of chromosomes.

"Every time a DNA molecule is duplicated the cell lacks the ability to duplicate the very tips, so as a result the new DNA is little shorter than the old DNA," he explained. According to Andrews, telomere length is an accurate clock for measuring one's age. A simple blood test (related link) can reveal not only biological age but how much time a person has left, he said. Almost anything related to an unhealthy lifestyle will accelerate the shortening of telomeres, Andrews revealed. He pointed out that peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown ultramarathon runners have the longest telomeres. Andrews reported on his research into ways to lengthen telomeres by switching on a gene for the Telomerase enzyme, which could ultimately cure aging.

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