My heart no longer beats

Tom James @ 30-09-2009

HeartMateIIPhysicians have successfully implanted an artificial heart that does not beat:

Salina Mohamed So’ot has no pulse. But she is very much alive.

The 30-year-old administrative assistant is the first recipient here to get a new artificial heart that pumps blood continuously, the reason why there are no beats on her wrist.

An interesting development. I wonder if the efficiency and reliability of such artificial hearts will ever be such that people elect to replace their existing hearts with them even before their biological hearts wear out?

[via Slashdot, from The Straits Times][image from on Technology Review]


Should we be thankful for the anti-ageing movement?

Paul Raven @ 27-11-2008

ageing stencilHuman life expectancy keeps increasing steadily, thanks not only to medicine and technology but to social and cultural progress, too. Potential next steps on the ladder could well come from both camps: an example from the med-tech side might be custom-grown replacement organs from pigs; whereas a change in dietary habits could probably be classified as a cultural change informed by science (although drinking ‘heavy water’ sounds a bit too much like snake-oil to me). [image by r000pert]

But the question is: how far should we go? Outspoken longevity evangelists like Aubrey de Gray claim a millennium-long life is not only possible but within our grasp, but such ideas have their opponents as well – some arguing from faith-based perspectives, others not. [via grinding.be]

Would you choose to extend your life-span, and if so how far?