Imagina si pudiéramos parar el envejecimiento

En años recientes se han publicado muchos artículos que defienden la idea de que el envejecimiento es una enfermedad curable, y artículos que critican y ridiculizan esa misma idea.

En el mundo existen criaturas que viven por muchos años, mucho más que nosotros los humanos. 

La ballena de Groenlandia es considerada como el mamífero más longevo en existencia. Esta ballena puede vivir más de 200 años y casi nunca contrae cáncer.

En el 2015, investigadores secuenciaron el genoma de una ballena de Groenlandia e identificaron genes relacionados con la reparación del ADN, el cáncer y el envejecimiento que podrían ser responsables de la larga vida de este espectacular animal.

¡La almeja oceánica es una almeja del tamaño de un puño que puede vivir hasta 500 años o más! Algunos investigadores creen que el secreto de esta robusta almeja para una larga vida es su capacidad para proteger sus proteínas del cualquier daño.

El mecanismo de protección de esta almeja, si logramos entenderlo mejor, podría conducir a tratamientos potenciales para enfermedades relacionadas con la edad como el Alzheimer, que es causado por alteraciones de las proteínas en el cerebro.

La medusa inmortal de mar hace algo aún más sorprendente, como lo dice su nombre, esta medusa es biológicamente inmortal. Estas medusas son pequeñas y se encuentran en el mar Mediterráneo y algunas aguas de Japón.

Esta medusa es un animal sorprendente, es el Benjamin Button del océano. En lugar de morir, la medusa se vuelve más y más joven hasta que comienza su vida una vez más, desde el principio. Su secreto podría ser su capacidad para transformar una célula en otro tipo de célula, algo de lo que también son capaces las células madre humanas.

Todos los seres humanos envejecemos con el paso del tiempo. La idea de que el envejecimiento es un proceso natural e inevitable es una idea muy antigua. Esta idea del envejecimiento es tan común que cuando una persona nonagenaria muere, decimos que murió por la edad o “causas naturales”. Aun cuando las causas reales son enfermedades relacionadas con la edad. 

Algunos científicos argumentan que necesitamos redefinir el envejecimiento. David Sinclair, un geneticista de la Escuela Médica Harvard, dice que el envejecimiento ya no se debe verse como una consecuencia natural del envejecimiento, sino como una condición en sí misma.

Las implicaciones de darle una nueva definición al envejecimiento podrían ser muy grandes. La Organización Mundial de la Salud y la Administración de Drogas y Alimentos de los Estados Unidos clasifican las enfermedades, esto guía como se pueden probar, recetar y vender los medicamentos. Si el envejecimiento se caracterizara como una enfermedad, esto podría dirigir más investigación e inversión a este campo.

Cuando los biólogos hablan de envejecimiento, se refieren a la parte de deterioro del proceso como “senescencia” para evitar confusiones, dice David Gems, profesor de biogerontología del University College de Londres. “La senescencia es un cambio deteriórente y es claramente patológico”.

Los críticos dicen que clasificar el envejecimiento como una enfermedad estigmatizaría aún más a las generaciones mayores o podría desviar la atención de fomentar estilos de vida más saludables.

Una línea de análisis fructífera es “reconocer que el envejecimiento es el principal factor de riesgo de una serie de enfermedades que restringen y matan a las personas en la edad adulta. Enfermedades como coronaria, accidente cerebrovascular, diabetes tipo 2, y demencia”, dice Alan Walker, profesor de ciencias sociales, política y gerontología social en la Universidad de Sheffield. 

Incluso si el envejecimiento no se redefine como una enfermedad, muchos científicos están de acuerdo en que la forma en que abordamos el envejecimiento debe evolucionar.

Esto es algo que no debería de ser controversial, en la medicina como en cualquier otra ciencia siempre debemos de tratar de descubrir nuevas verdades o posibilidades.

El hecho de que el envejecimiento no se reconoce como algo que puede ser tratado y mejorado, también evita que varios médicos en varias especialidades no trabajen juntos para tratar a un solo paciente con varias condiciones como demencia y diabetes. 

Las personas pueden tener un psicólogo para la demencia y un endocrinólogo para la diabetes, pero se tratan en silos. En cambio, necesita una fuerza laboral que pueda lidiar con la multimorbilidad de una manera integrada, dice Cristina Víctor, profesora de gerontología y salud pública en la Universidad Brunel de Londres.

¿Y qué hacemos con esta información? Como individuales y sin ser profesionales en este ámbito, lo que podemos hacer son cosas simples que pueden alargar nuestra duración de vida. En su libro “Lifespan. Why We Age and Why We Don’t Have To” Doctor David A. Sinclair recomienda algunas cosas que todos podemos hacer como comer con menos frecuencia y hacer ejercicio. 

Comer menos y con menor frecuencia no es desnutrición; no es hambre. El Doctor Sinclair dice que no se trata de que adolescentes utilicen esto como una razón para no comer suficiente, pero la mayoría de los adultos comemos demasiado y comemos con mucha frecuencia. 

En lo personal seguiré educando más sobre este tópico y escribiré sobre lo que me parece interesante y que vale la pena compartir. Tenemos que tener la mente abierta a nuevas maneras de pensar sobre ideas que nos pueden beneficiar a todos. La ciencia es el ejercicio de ideas y experimentos constantes para descubrir nuevas cosas.

¿Tú qué piensas?                                                                    

Photographs and time

Time is interesting. Every time I look at old photos of places we visited, our kids, family, etc. I smile and can’t help but feel nostalgic about it. But, when I look at these photos, the only thing I can remember from those moments is good and positive things. Even when I know that there are stories of frustration behind some of those photos, I can only think of the good times when I see them.

Capture moments of your family, of the places you visit, of random moments, and then look at them later. You’ll never forget the good moments when you see these old photos, and I am pretty sure you won’t remember the negative stuff. For example, we have run into issues and frustrating moments almost every time we travel, but those frustrating moments don’t come to mind when I see photos of those travels. Why is that?

People say, spend your time and money on experiences and not on things. I agree with that; however, take some photos or video from those experiences, at least one photo or a short video. You’ll treasure that a lot and for many years in the future.

Time almost always makes me forget about bad experiences, but the good moments, the happy moments, those memories always stay with me, and old photos or a video from those moments trigger even more happy memories. That is one of the reasons I love photography.

Photographs are, in my opinion, a time travel machine that takes you back to those specific moments and motivates you to seek new experiences and moments like that. A photograph is a fantastic time capture machine. Use it to capture moments and experiences. You won’t regret it.

The Mountaineering Club

You might not realize that you have arrived from the outside, it’s a hotel, and it doesn’t look like the place I’m about to describe below. So give yourself a chance and trust me, go around the block and park in the public parking lot, or drive to the side of the hotel and let the valet service park your car for you.

You have arrived; you are at the Graduate Hotel in Seattle. The name is perfect due to its location. It’s just a few blocks from the University of Washington campus. Once you enter the hotel and walk towards the lobby, you’d be surprised by the tasteful decoration of this place. Its atmosphere is warm and welcoming.

There is a long hallway with a large coffee table across it. There is an oversized couch on both sides with tall bookcases behind it. These bookcases go from floor to ceiling, really. There is a fireplace with chairs for those cold and dark winter days. In the back there are some tables, chairs, and other seating areas for people to study, read, write, or hang out. It’s a beautiful place, and this is the lobby of the Graduate Hotel in Seattle.

Let’s go back to the main topic of this post, the brunch place. You hike up to the 16th floor from the lobby using the elevator, of course. Once you arrive on the 16th floor, the hostess welcomes you, and then all around you, it’s a fantastic panoramic view of the mountain ranges surrounding Seattle. The decoration at this place is lovely. It feels as if you are in a movie about explorers from the 1800s – or perhaps, Indiana Jones.

The decoration of this place is elegant and casual at the same time. There’s lots of leather furniture, a dark color palette, and lots of wood. It’s charming and warm. This place has been open as a club/bar for a while, and serving brunch is a newer offering, and I am so glad for this.

We walked outside to our table, it’s on the patio, with views all around us. Each table has a small heater lamp on top of it, so don’t worry, even when you are outside, you’d feel warm and cozy. Not all the seating arrangements are tables and chairs. I saw a few couches and coffee tables, and there were people having brunch there too.

The brunch menu is simple and short. I like that. The less I have to think about my choices, the better. I like the Cheesecake Factory, but their menu is almost as extensive as the War and Peace book. Yes, it’s an exaggeration.

Inside, they have a self-serving area where you can get coffee and tea. I like this; you can get your coffee whenever you want, and as much as you want. It makes me feel independent because I can serve my own cup of coffee.

We ordered our food, it was skillet-baked eggs for me, and it was delicious. We enjoyed our brunch, the coffee was great, the decoration was lovely, and the views were fantastic. Brunch at this place was a pleasant experience, and we are coming back. At The Graduate Hotel, The Mountaineering Club is a new favorite brunch place in Seattle.

But it’s a new (and gorgeous) color

Content is king, that’s what people say, and from what I see, these are very smart people. But does that mean all content is king? Does it mean all content is great and worthy of our reverence? Of course not, right?

Many people create content these days, it’s easier than ever before, and there are many tools and technology available to most of us to help us do this. The content can be in the form of videos, text, music, voice, etc. And the content people create today covers many topics ranging from all sorts of education to all types of entertainment. It’s widely available, and we can consume content from different creators and different platforms.

With all the content available today, and all the people creating it, ranging from large media corporations to individuals working from their bedroom, it’s hard to create entertaining content, especially if you want it to be different from everything else out there.

Creators work hard to differentiate themselves. They think hard about new skits, new angles for their photography, new content for their videos, etc. And at the same time, companies who create products, especially tech companies, work hard to achieve the same thing. To be different. To be unique.

Content creation has a purpose. For most, it’s a way to communicate their feelings, perspective, and personality. There is also the commercial content intended to convince people to buy something, a product, service, whatever. And this type of content can be very creative, but ultimately, whatever someone is selling still needs to be unique and distinct. At least, if you want it to be remarkable and thriving in this over-saturated market.

Popular creators and influencers work hard at differentiating themselves and their content. They build studios, buy the best camera equipment, learn new dance moves, showcase beautiful travel destinations, tell funny jokes, and find exciting and informative ways to describe new products and technologies. At least until recently. We have reached peak content, I think. Maybe crypto or the metaverse will fix this. Time will tell.

Oh, by the way, have you seen the new Apple product released last Tuesday? It’s two new colors for the iPhone, Alpine Green and Green.

So many creators are talking about it and making videos because it’s a new and exciting thing? Most creators get money for their content, but making videos about the same phone with two new shades of green is not that exciting. So let’s skip this. But what do I know? I am also writing about it here… but it’s more of a rant than me trying to convince you that a new Apple iPhone that comes in a gorgeous new color is worthy of creating any new content. Like I said. Peak content.

Food

Why is food so hard to understand? Imagine if we just ate and didn’t have to worry about anything else, not calories, fat, sodium, nothing. Just eat and enjoy it. Carelessly, this is how I have dealt with food for a large part of my life. But now, I need to know how nutritious it is, and I need to know how much protein, sodium, fat, and calories it has. Why? Because everyone and everything tells me I should. Because if I don’t, then I’ll get some horrible disease and die, and at best, I will get fat and lazy.

Food didn’t use to be this complicated. Progress and intelligence made it difficult. As we continue to progress and evolve, we make simple things complicated. Being a child is simple, or at least it was before. The world is more dangerous, people say. Risks are more significant, we say, and it’s probably true.

I know I am part of this, I know I have made things more complicated for my kids to keep them safe, or at least that’s what I believe. We are complex creatures. We need to be simpler, eat simpler, and think that everything and everyone around us is there to exist and nothing else.

Don’t complicate it. Eat food, but make sure the food itself isn’t complex, the more simple, the healthier it is anyway, and if so, we don’t have to overthink it. Let’s just eat. Let’s keep it simple.