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Category : Human Longevity

Retirement planning needs to include keeping in touch with your communities – Minneapolis Star Tribune

The underlying message from the recent report released by the Senate Joint Economic Committee is clear from its title, An Invisible Tsunami: Aging Alone and Its Effect on Older Americans, Families, and Taxpayers. The report looks at the worrisome trend toward increasing social isolation among older Americans.

The report examines trends of social support among adults ages 61 to 63 from 1994 to 2014 by several measures think children living within 10 miles, married or cohabiting, and good friends in the neighborhood. Each trend line is down over the 20-year period. The report argues that older Americans in the future are unlikely to have the level of support from caregivers that they enjoyed in the past.

There are some countervailing trends that suggest the value of community is being rediscovered by aging Americans in recent years. For example, the number of retirees who say they moved within five years after retirement has fallen from a high of 23% in 1980 to 15% in 2015. When retirees pick up stakes, theyre most likely to move within the same county.

The urbanized retired population is likely choosing to stay near friends, family, and the cultural attractions, like sporting teams and theaters, that they have come to know well, write Matt Fellowes and Lincoln Plews in The State of Retirees.

The reports emphasize different data but agree that human connections are critical. Healthy social connections contribute to meaningful longevity.

One reason I focus so much on staying employed during the traditional retirement years is partly for the money. The other factor is that the workplace is a community.

The strength and depth of connections and social support is also critical when it comes to deciding where you will you live in your later years.

Most people want to stay in their current residence for as long as possible. Aging-in-place is an attractive idea. But you should investigate not only what it could be like to age in your home but also, more importantly, to age in your community. You dont want to be lonely.

Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, recommends thinking through these three questions in planning for a good quality of life with age: Who will change my light bulbs? How will I get an ice cream cone? Who will I have lunch with? Your answers should help you plan for aging in a home and community with strong connections and community support.

Chris Farrell is a senior economics contributor for Marketplace and a commentator for Minnesota Public Radio.

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Retirement planning needs to include keeping in touch with your communities - Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Purdue is looking for your dog to participate in a national scientific study. Here’s how. – Journal & Courier

Purdue is looking for dogs to participate in a national study on the health and wellness of dogs.(Photo: provided by Purdue)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Purdue is looking for dogs. More specifically, your dog to volunteer as a participant in a national study that will be looking at the general health and wellness of dogs.

The Dog Aging Project is a collaboration between more than 40 scientists and researchers across the U.S. and will be looking at dogs of all breeds, mixes and ages. At Purdue, Audrey Ruple, an assistant professor of One Health Epidemiology in the College of Health and Human Sciences, is one the researchers leading the study and is hoping to recruit dogs from across Indiana.

Ruple, who is a veterinary epidemiologist specializing in dogs as a model of human health, said the goal of the study is to examine factors that maximize the health and longevity of dogs, which can be linked to the health and longevity of humans.

Humans and dogs have more in common than we might think sharing 650 million base pairs of genetic information with the canines which Ruple said makes the animals useful to study human disease processes. Dogs also have a sophisticated health care system, comparable to the human health care system.

Dogs are unique because they share our environment, Ruple said. They live in our homes, drink our water and sometimes eat our human food. We both have similarities, and we see a lot of similar diseases and health issues.

The Dog Aging Project will follow participating dogs to watch how different environmental and biological factors can affect longevity for the next 10 years, although the schedule could extend beyond that time. The research hopes to look at specifics that could affect longevity, including an individuals genome, proteome, microbiome, demographics and environmental factors.

Owners who nominate their dogs to participate in the study will complete a 200-question health and lifestyle survey as well as submit electronic medial records, likely through the dogs veterinarian. The study isnt limiting the types of dogs participating eitherdogs of all breeds, mixes and sizes are encouraged to participate.

Neither the dogs nor owners will be compensated for the research, butthere is no cost to participate. Researchers will be working closely with the primary care veterinarians of the dogs, who will be expected to visit for their regular annual examination.

Ruple said the study is a citizen scientist project, meaning the owners of participating dogs are considered to be research partners in the study.

The study is funded by a five-year grant from the National Institute of Aging, which is part of the National Institute of Health, as well as private donations.

The Dog Aging Project hopes to enroll tens of thousands of dogs to research by the end of 2020.

People can take a part in the scientific process, whether its for human health or dog health, Ruple said. Through this study, we can learn to not only be better stewards of their existence, but also for our own.

TO APPLY:For more information on the Dog Aging Project or to nominate your dog, visit

Emily DeLetter is a news reporter for the Journal & Courier. Contact her at (765) 420-5205 or via email at Follow her on Twitter at @EmilyDeLetter.

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Purdue is looking for your dog to participate in a national scientific study. Here's how. - Journal & Courier

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Battling the Blues Part 2: Nurture the spirit – Steamboat Pilot & Today

Editors note: This is part two in a series of four articles exploring the causes of and ways to combat winter blues. The focus of the series is on mental health and strategies for improving your state of mind through physical activity, spirituality, diet and community and connections.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS Wherever you find your spirituality, research shows that finding that connection that meaning can provide a buffer against depression.

For whatever struggles or loss someone might be facing, the holidays can be an especially difficult time, said Dr. Jo Ann Grace the spiritual health care coordinator and bereavement counselor for Northwest Colorado Healths hospice program. People may inside feel really sad but are caught between everyone being joyful its a paradox of emotions that can happen at the same time.

Whether or not you worship a god or take part in an organized religion, Grace said, Its about connections, relationships, spirituality and how you are finding meaning in the midst of the holiday season.

For some, especially living in a place surrounded by spectacular natural beauty, that connection to something larger or sense of deep gratitude, awe and peace can be found on a mountaintop or at the edge of a pristine lake.

Nature is one of the most underutilized treasures in life. It has the power to unburden hearts and reconnect to that inner place of peace, wrote Dr. Janice Anderson and Kiersten Anderson in their book Off Beat Enlightenment, which focuses on different ways to find inner peace, health and happiness.

The quest for spirituality and meaning can be one that is ever-evolving, ever-growing and change throughout a persons life.

Where do you look for this hope that you know is there? Bob Dylan queried in his poem, Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie. You can either go to the church of your choice/ Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital.

That spiritual quest and search for meaning gets at thinking about what it means to be human, said Grace. And connection where you can make those connections that allows you to be most fully yourself.

Grace is also a neuroscientist, helping people in her private practice to understand the connections between the brain, body and spirit.

In her work, Grace has found that when people are in a period of grief, they can find relief by focusing on what they most value and where they feel free and fully engaged whether that be worshipping a god, practicing yoga, digging in the garden or riding a horse.

And in addition to the individual component, theres also a communal component, she said. Our brain needs to connect to a tribe.

In the study of the Blue Zones, the locations across the globe with the highest percentage of centenarians, several of the top keys to longevity are finding a sense of purpose, belonging to a community and the nurturing of ones religion or spirituality.

The Blue Zone research attributed physical and mental benefits to spirituality.

People who pay attention to their spiritual side have lower rates of cardiovascular disease, depression, stress and suicide, and their immune systems seem to work better. To a certain extent, adherence to a religion allows them to relinquish the stresses of everyday life to a higher power, said Dan Buettner, Blue Zones founder.

Religiosity and spirituality have been shown to cause changes in the brain, such as increasing serotonin.

There is also an increasing amount of research on the benefits of the practice of meditation and mindfulness being fully aware of the moment to both physical and mental health and combatting the blues.

Meditation trains the brain to achieve sustained focus and to return to that focus when negative thinking, emotions and physical sensations intrude which happens a lot when you feel stressed and anxious, according to Dr. John W. Denninger, director of research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine.

On Thursday, Dec. 12, Grace is co-facilitating the Blue Christmas service at 6 p.m. at St Pauls Episcopal Church in Steamboat Springs.

It is a nondenominational service to support individuals who are grieving or feeling down this holiday season.

The service is a chance for people to gather together, write a name or message on a star and hang it on a tree, light a candle and honor a person or honor the self and recognize the transition you are going through, Grace said. And recognize you are not by yourself other people are going through similar experiences.

To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.

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Battling the Blues Part 2: Nurture the spirit - Steamboat Pilot & Today

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AgeX Therapeutics Issues Year-End Letter to Shareholders – BioSpace

The letter follows.

Dear AgeX Stockholders,

In this, our first year as a public company, we have built a foundation for a revolutionary company in the fields of cell therapy and tissue regeneration. To date, conventional pharmaceutical approaches to the chronic degenerative conditions associated with aging have provided little benefit, often only offering relief from the symptoms of disease, rather than targeting underlying disease processes. Our belief is that this is about to change through harnessing the power of new cellular and molecular technologies. We aim to lead this coming revolution with our pioneering technologies which could generate and deliver new cells to patients through our cell therapy focus, and which may reverse the age of cells already in the body through our iTR platform. We believe that our new technologies will lead to true cell regeneration and replacement to potentially cure degenerative diseases by targeting aged or damaged cells, tissues and organs.

Over the last year, we have worked hard to achieve certain goals to set the fundamental basis to create shareholder value going forward:

To optimize shareholder value, we have undertaken a strategic review of our business opportunities, and we have four key take-away messages for the coming year and beyond:

UniverCyte would potentially be game-changing for the whole cell therapy industry by allowing the transplantation of non-self, donor cells into all patients without the need for powerful immunosuppressant drugs, which are associated with serious side effects, including infections and cancers, as well as kidney and liver toxicity. The UniverCyte platform aims to utilize a proprietary, novel, modified form of the powerful immunomodulatory molecule HLA-G, which in nature seems to be a dominant player in protecting a baby from destruction by the mother's immune system during pregnancy, the only known physiological state of immune tolerance toward foreign tissue in humans.

On the other hand, our pluripotent stem cell-based PureStem platform could potentially overcome numerous industry barriers. PureStem cells would have eight potential advantages compared to other adult stem cell- or pluripotent stem cell-based therapies, including lower manufacturing costs, industrial scalability, off-the-shelf usage, high purity, non-tumorgenicity, young age (so they are not prone to the disadvantages associated with older cells), aptitude for permanent cell engraftment, and potential to manufacture any human cell type.

We have two in-house product candidates, both targeting highly prevalent diseases of old age, with a high unmet medical need, and which are for multi-billion-dollar markets. Our lead internal program going forward will be AgeX-BAT1, which is brown fat cells for the treatment of type II diabetes. The last year has seen significant investment in cell therapy product candidates for diabetes by investors and large biotech. Earlier this year, we published a paper, Clonal Derivation of White and Brown Adipocyte Progenitor Cell Lines from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells, in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy, which showed that our PureStem platform generated highly pure, identifiable and scalable brown adipose cells, expressing active adipokines. Our second internal program will be AgeX-VASC1, composed of vascular endothelial progenitor cells for tissue ischemia, such as peripheral vascular disease and potentially cardiac and CNS ischaemia. Once we have a UniverCyte-modified pluripotent stem cell cGMP master cell bank, we will re-derive universal versions of AgeX-BAT1 and AgeX-VASC1 and then work to establish proof-of-concept in animal models.

We care deeply about our mission and the needs of our stockholders. We appreciate your support and the dedication of our scientists and employees as we forge a new future for medicine. We invite you to join us for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders on Monday, December 30, 2019. For those of you who cannot attend in person, our corporate update from that meeting will be webcast for your convenience.


Michael D. West, Ph.D.

Gregory Bailey, M.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Chairman of the Board

About AgeX Therapeutics

AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American: AGE) is focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics for human aging. Its PureStem and UniverCyte manufacturing and immunotolerance technologies are designed to work together to generate highly-defined, universal, allogeneic, off-the-shelf pluripotent stem cell-derived young cells of any type for application in a variety of diseases with a high unmet medical need. AgeX has two preclinical cell therapy programs: AGEX-VASC1 (vascular progenitor cells) for tissue ischemia and AGEX-BAT1 (brown fat cells) for Type II diabetes. AgeXs revolutionary longevity platform induced Tissue Regeneration (iTR) aims to unlock cellular immortality and regenerative capacity to reverse age-related changes within tissues. AGEX-iTR1547 is an iTR-based formulation in preclinical development. HyStem is AgeXs delivery technology to stably engraft PureStem cell therapies in the body. AgeX is developing its core product pipeline for use in the clinic to extend human healthspan and is seeking opportunities to establish licensing and collaboration agreements around its broad IP estate and proprietary technology platforms.

For more information, please visit or connect with the company on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not historical fact including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as will, believes, plans, anticipates, expects, estimates should also be considered forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the business of AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. and its subsidiaries, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in more detail in the Risk Factors section of AgeXs Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commissions (copies of which may be obtained at Subsequent events and developments may cause these forward-looking statements to change. AgeX specifically disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise these forward-looking statements as a result of changed events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release, except as required by applicable law.

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AgeX Therapeutics Issues Year-End Letter to Shareholders - BioSpace

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Fascinating Study Finds That Stressed Out Baby Worms Tend to Live Longer – ScienceAlert

Scientists researching a key aspect of biochemistry in living creatures have been taking a very close look at the tiny Caenorhabditis elegans roundworm. Their latest results show that when these nematodes get put under more biochemical stress early in their lives, they somehow tend to live longer.

This type of stress, called oxidative stress - an imbalance of oxygen-containing molecules that can result in cellular and tissue damage - seems to better prepare the worms for the strains of later life, along the same lines as the old adage that whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

You might think that worm lifespans have no bearing on human life. And surely, until we have loads more research done in this field, it would be a big leap to say the same principles of prolonging one's lifespan might hold true for human beings.

But there's good reason to put C. elegans through the paces. This model organism has proven immensely helpful for researchers trying to better understand key biological functions present in worm and human alike - and oxidative stress is one such function.

The little wriggly creatures are known to have significant variations in their lifespan even when the whole population is genetically identical and grows up in the exact same conditions. So the team went looking for other factors that affect C. elegans' longevity.

"The general idea that early life events have such profound, positive effects later in life is truly fascinating," says biochemist Ursula Jakob from the University of Michigan.

Jakob and her colleagues sorted thousands of C. elegans larvae based on the oxidative stress levels they experienced during development this stress arises when cells produce more oxidants and free radicals than they can handle. It's a normal part of the ageing process, but it's also triggered by exercise and a limited food supply.

One way to measure this stress is by the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) molecules an organism produces - simply put, this measurement indicates the biochemical stress an organism is under. In the case of these roundworms, the more ROS were produced during development, the longer their lifespans turned out to be.

(University of Michigan)

To explain how this effect of ROS might come about, the researchers went looking for changes in the worms' genetic regulation, specifically those genes that are known to be involved in dealing with oxidative stress.

While doing so, they detected a key difference - the nematodes exposed to more ROS during development appeared to have undergone an epigenetic change (a gene expression switch that can happen due to environmental influences) thatincreased the oxidative stress resistance of their body's cells.

There are still a lot of questions to answer, but the researchers think their results identify one of the stochastic or random influences on the lifespan of organisms; it's something that has been hypothesised in the field of the genetics of ageing. And down the line, it may turn out to be relevant for ageing humans, too.

"This study provides a foundation for future work in mammals, in which very early and transient metabolic events in life seem to have equally profound impacts on lifespan," the researchers conclude.

The study has been published in Nature.

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How One CMO Is Using Digital Technology To Connect International Music Fans In Real Life – Forbes

Krystalan Chryssomallis, CMO at Yanni Entertainment and Forbes Communications Council Member.

This article series spotlights key business trends identified by the expert members of Forbes Councils. Find out if you qualify for Forbes Communications Council here.

The music industry has always been built and sustained on relationships, especially the connections between artists and their fans. Devising effective business strategies in an industry that hinges on emotions has always been tough, but todays evolving technology consistently necessitates new and creative ways to engage fans.

Popular social media platforms have the power to connect fans with the click of a button and yet, ironically, they can also dilute the personal connections that are the heart of the music industry. Social media raises the expectation for fan engagement, but its easy to scale such interactions to a point where theyre less manageable, less meaningful or both.

At the same time, digital music streaming, sharing and discovery platforms like Spotify have completely changed the way artists make money. Before music streaming, most artists relied on album sales to generate the bulk of their revenue. Today, however, artists depend on touring for the overwhelming majority of their income. According to Billboards Money Makers list of 2018s most lucrative music acts, Taylor Swift made $99.6 million that year $90.5 million of which came from touring alone.

While decreasing the amount of money artists receive from album sales, streaming and other digital technologies empower artists to reach more fans, dramatically increasing the price and number of concert tickets sold. As this touring economy grows, more musicians are offering custom VIP fan experiences, such as exclusive shows in intimate venues and backstage meet-and-greets.

Forbes Communications Council member Krystaln Chryssomallis is the CMO of Yanni Entertainment, with over a decade of experience branding, marketing and producing music events in over 60 countries around the world. She says that while digital technology has the potential to alienate people, it can and should be harnessed to foster stronger real-life connections. For this reason, shes devoted her career to using digital tools as a means to enhance the music industrys human touch, recruiting long-lasting, committed and loyal fans.

Overseeing the design, strategy and implementation of digital marketing campaigns alongside major music productions, Chryssomallis says her focus whether shes marketing for an event, branding a client or pulling off productions for major media broadcasts is to make fans feel like family. In her experience, the key to modern-day marketing is using digital tools to forge relationships in real life. I strive to create a space where people connect online but ultimately develop those connections offline. Offline experiences help shape the longevity of a brand and the message behind it, which is cemented by lifelong friendships and enduring fan groups around the world, she said.

Through this approach, Chryssomallis has helped create some of the most passionate and proactive groups of fans throughout the world. By establishing online communities and then converting them to organized offline groups called international affiliates for bands, shes spurring new, organic grassroots marketing campaigns. For example, in Mexico, supporting fans organized to place over 5,000 posters before a concert; in China, one fan group created its own 19-piece cover band.

Even though todays artists depend on ticket sales, Chryssomallis believes community-building not ticket sales should be the focus of musicians marketing campaigns. Digital marketing isnt just about selling something; its about creating a place where like-minded individuals can connect over something they love. If we simply focus on selling tickets, our lack of purpose will show, and the consumers will know, she said.

Ultimately, Chryssomallis says establishing meaningful, real-life human connection is the only path to longevity in virtually any industry, now and into the future. Our desire to be connected to each other is something that will never go away. Focus on why you are doing what you are doing, so your messaging really connects with your client base. People support things they believe in, and if you are able to fulfill your clients needs, they will continue to come back.

In order to fulfill peoples needs, you have to first understand their needs. Because technology has globalized nearly every industry, Chryssomallis emphasized how being curious and perceptive about different cultures around the world has played an essential role in her success. Her advice to other marketing professionals is to adopt the same frame of mind: Dive in and learn more about your followers and your customers. The more you know and understand them, the stronger and more compelling the messaging and programming you can offer will be.

For more information, check out Krystaln Chryssomalliss executive profile here. To learn more about Forbes Communications Council and see if you qualify for membership, click here.

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MONEY THOUGHTS: 20 Steps to financial health – New Straits Times Online

We can all benefit from some guidance along lifes way, so keep reading till the end

Everyone in the world faces money problems. In that regard, all 7.7 billion human beings on Earth today fall into two groups.

I am NOT referring to the binary divisions we often refer to such as male and female, old and young or introvert or extrovert. Instead, Im referring to the two groups of money problems (or challenges, if you prefer to put a more positive spin on the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that Shakespeare so adroitly penned in Hamlet Act 3, Scene 1) which we all face. Those financial woes are:

1.Problems we face because we have too little money; and

2.Problems that arise insidiously because we have too much money!

Most of us fall in the first category; relatively few of us into the second.

Regardless of which grouping you inhabit today, you will find it immensely profitable to have a list of 20 steps or habits, disciplines and principles, if you prefer to help forge a better lifelong relationship with your finances.

My 20 steps are not exhaustive; they cant be because I dont know everything there is to know about money management! But they are rather extensive because I have drawn them from an in-depth examination of my multitudinous personal money mistakes and also from lessons Ive derived from observing and working with clients of my small financial planning practice which focuses on crafting and then managing their retirement funding portfolios.


Now, lets dive straight into my 20 steps:

1. Stay humble and teachable dont assume you know everything about personal finance just because youre an expert in whatever field you toil in;

2. Set written goals about what you wish to achieve in life doing so will set you apart from most other people and might even propel you into the higher echelons of society;

3. Record your net worth statement list all your assets and your liabilities on paper or an Excel spreadsheet so you know the value of what you own and what you owe;

4. Examine your assets scrutinise their structure and composition to see if they mainly appreciate or depreciate in value over time;

5. Examine your liabilities calculate your APR or annualised percentage rate of each loan and intelligently focus on paying them off;

6. Use a notebook to record ALL your expenses for a month the results will shock you;

7. Build a budget from the information you glean from step 6 keep it realistic and not too ambitious. Aim for small incremental monthly improvements;

8. Record your cash flow statement list all cash (inflow) sources and all cash (outflow) expenses;

9. Focus on beefing up your monthly cash flow surplus this equals your total monthly cash inflow minus your corresponding cash outflow;

10. Steadily raise your active income from your salary or self-run business youll be most successful doing so if you incrementally commit to working harder and smarter;

11. Invest in yourself spend at least 3 per cent of your monthly income on developing your brain by buying books and attending conferences (which you happily pay for yourself) that pertain to your area of professional expertise;

12. Focus on providing sterling service always go the second and third mile, at work, at home and in life;

13. Prioritise your cash flow allocation wisely give to God, if youre so inclined; then save and invest for yourself; then give to charity; and finally spend whats left;

14. Exercise delayed gratification choose as often as possible to give up all bad things and even some good things today so as to afford great things tomorrow;

15. Prepare for longevity risk globally, humanity is living longer. This means we will, on average, have to work for more years than we expect, and along the way save and invest more aggressively, if we hope to enjoy a long golden retirement;

16. Stop to smell the roses enjoy life. Opt to spend your money more readily on experiences you will cherish and remember for a long time than on short-lived junk that depreciates to zero in no time;

17. Build an EBF fund your Emergency Buffer Fund or reserve account or cushion account. Accumulate up to three to 12 months expenses, depending on your circumstances, personal paranoia, and justifiable fears about the future;

18. Build up your personal Wealth Accumulation Portfolio fill it with savings and investment vehicles that compound and steadily spin out passive income in the form of interest, dividends, distributions and rental;

19. Aim for Financial Freedom you will raise your odds of achieving it if you make it a written long-term goal and then steer your financial habits (see steps 1-18 above) to eventually generate more passive income each month than you need to pay all normal expenses; and

20. Dont neglect the vital Wealth Protection and Wealth Distribution dimensions of financial planning so buy sufficient and appropriate life insurance and general insurance; write a will to distribute your assets upon your passing; and possibly even establish a trust if you get to the point of encountering problems associated with having too much money!

2019 Rajen Devadason

Rajen Devadason, CFP, is a Licensed Financial Planner, professional speaker and author. Read his free articles at; he may be connected with on LinkedIn at, or via [emailprotected] You may follow him on Twitter @RajenDevadason

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Transforming Experience: How Blurring Of Lines In Business Calls For Iteration And Experimentation – Forbes


Two weeks ago at the Global Drucker Forum in Vienna, Austria, two main topics were discussed in depth: The Power of Ecosystems and Leadership Everywhere A Fresh Perspective on Management.

It is no secret we live in a globally shared economy and as my dear colleague Hari Abburi likes to say the lines are (actively) blurring across the different markets.

What does this truthfully mean though? And how is it related to the ecosystem thinking?

In my very first Forbes article Business Is No Longer An Island: Four Trends Affecting the Future Workforce, published in October of 2018, I listed the forces challenging all businesses global and local to (1) rethink their purpose, (2) redesign their business model, (3) rebuild their organizations and (4) consciously tailor their cultures.

Three large categories of force globalization, digitalization and democratization are not only impacting the way we think about, operationalize and realize our businesses, they are redefining how we experience work and beyond. We find the lines are indeed blurring between industries and sectors, processes and applications, geographies and platforms, humans and machines.

Take as an example. Do you consider it a single-industry business? If you are unsure, let me share with you aside from being an online shopping platform with legs in supply chain management and logistics, Amazon has disrupted at least seven different industries ranging from grocery delivery to meal prep to real estate and music streaming. In fact, it is reported that if Amazon were to set up a bank ~65% of its world-wide users would support it.

Amazon is not the only business blurring lines. Rakuten Ichibais Japans single largest online retail marketplace. It also provides loyalty points and e-money usable at hundreds of thousands of stores, virtual and real. It issues credit cards, offers financial products and services (i.e. gaming). There are many more companies that can make the list...

The point is this new environment creates a key opportunity to rethink values, rules, capabilities and practices and the user experience. The end-users whether they are customers or employees are now looking to get into an eco-system through a single entry, easy-access system and have all of their needs, wants and wishes met without exiting the space. While in the zone, they want to know they are going to be inspired, their data/track record will be kept safe, they will be well-served and they will get a tangible outcome; and they want this quality on a repeatable occasion.

In this current environment, a typical target defending strategy for businesses will not work because it is highly likely that a group of competing companies will cooperate soon enough to define an end-model and much faster, cheaper and efficient than what a single entity can offer.

This is exactly where the idea and importance of emerging ecosystems comes into play. As business leaders, we have an immediate need to not only understand the current context, we must reconsider the following to adapt and develop sustained growth:

1.Business Terminology: The vocabulary we have for business and in the workplace is not large enough to hold our current realities. Every time I hear someone use the word management synonymously with leadership, I cringe. Every time I hear work-life balance, I shut my ears because I dont want my brain coding the divide in between work and life (which in reality doesnt exist). A hundred years ago or more, with the help of industrialists, we created language to connect us and never imagined we would become a slave to it; yet, here we are needing to rethink a whole bunch of new terminologies.

2.Business Identity: The purpose (of making profit) is no longer sufficient for the longevity of corporations, nor it is satisfactory for its beneficiaries. Many CEOs I talk to about clarifying purpose tell me they have a strategy and it is bullet-proof. Then, I turn around to show them how they are struggling to keep up and to meet their objectives. As leaders of the 21st century, we need to understand running a purposeful business may feel innocent, but innocence is not about naivet, it is about discoverability and trust-building.

3.Business Governance: One of the principles in architecture and design is that the shape of a building or an object is primarily based on its intended function or purpose. The current policies, procedures, processes, structures, etc. in operation are major struggle areas across a majority of businesses. They struggle to provide the kind of employee experience they want to offer because the very design of their current organization defining, dividing, delegating, designating work actually acts as a disabler rather than an enabler of its purpose. We need to embrace a number of design thinking principles to rebuild our organizational schemes.

4.Business Leadership: One of the biggest challenges facing businesses in the 21st century is having their leaders move from direct to indirect leadership. By this, I mean the move from doing the leading of work to become a guide of others to do the work. In the new era, leaders need to better focus on their being instead to showcase expansion and growth. This change if and where realized will greatly increase the influence and the capacity of a leader. With expanded capacity, then, a leader can not only support the multiplicity of other leaders but also become a mirror for the creation of positive context by their way of being. Naturally, this sort of shift calls for a broader conversation around who is or should be a leader in the 21st century; who is or should be a follower and what is or should be the legacy each aim to leave behind.

5.Business Impact: The Nobel Prize in physics winner Frank Wilczek, who is one of my heros once said: You can recognize a deep truth by the fact that its opposite is also a deep truth. The fact that we are most advanced in human history is true and only one part of the story. The deepening gap in equity, equality, dignity and the displacement and depleting of our ecology are equally true. In other words, there is a relationship between our inner worlds and outer effect/impact. I consider it an insanity to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome or do the same thing while trying to fix disadvantaged or damaged parts. Tipping points require survival need and understanding the role of symmetry in evolution. The intersection of globalization, digitalization and democratization actually requires us to live more compassionately and take responsibility for the impact we leave behind.

Transformations are no longer an aspect of the distant future and they are different than change. Change tries to fix the past whereas transformation re-imagines the future. Evolutionary culture transformation is a dream we never realized... Therefore, I invite 21st century businesses and leaders to engage in a regenerative process and I invite all of us to take part in making a better system (not the system better).

For more information on leading transformations and how it is different than managing change, you can find some of our scientific work and arguments here.

Read more:

Transforming Experience: How Blurring Of Lines In Business Calls For Iteration And Experimentation - Forbes

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

OU voice students learn about the importance of vocal health – 2019 – School of Music, Theatre and Dance – News – OU Magazine – News at OU

For Oakland University voice students, the human voice is more than just a way to communicate its also a precious instrument that must be maintained in order for them to continue sharing their passion for performing.

Voices are like feet in a way no one thinks much about their feet until they have a problem with them, but when they do, it suddenly becomes all they can think about, said John-Paul White, a distinguished professor of music at Oakland University. Its much the same with our voice. We take it for granted until it doesnt work right, and then we realize how very important it is.

How much more so for a performer, especially a professional whose living depends on their voice, White added. Maintaining vocal health is so much easier than having to fix a problem once is has occurred.

Dr. Drake Dantzler, associate professor of music at OU, agreed.

For any singer, their body is their instrument, Dantzler said. Proper health and vocal maintenance is important for successful singing and performing. We teach our students to maintain proper hydration, to avoid diuretics, to avoid smoking and second hand smoke, and to keep their bodies healthy.

Beyond those baseline lifestyle choices, we also work to create a vocal routine that establishes the habits for vocal longevity. Those exercises are based around established vocal science, and new research is emerging all the time.

This past summer, Dantzler and his wife, Dr. Alta Dantzler, an assistant professor of music at OU, participated in the National Center for Voice & Speech (NCVS) Summer Vocology Institute at the University of Utah, where they completed the first part of a three-part certification.

Vocology is the study of the habituation of the human voice, or how we use our voices for singing, Drake Dantzler said. It contains detailed studies in vocal health, anatomy, physics and applied practice.

Recently, more than 40 Oakland University voice students had an opportunity to learn more about their own vocal health when Dr. Adam Rubin and Dr. Juliana Codino from the Lakeshore Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Center treated them to a free baseline videostroboscopy on Nov. 11.

Videostroboscopy is an examination that uses high-speed light flashes that enable the scope (camera) to see the vocal folds in slow motion, White said. The vocal folds vibrate very quickly, much too fast for the naked eye to see. For example, at the pitch A 440 they vibrate 440 times per second. Stroboscopy enables the laryngologist to see the condition of the vocal cords in much greater detail.

Dantzler called the procedure a tremendously valuable tool for performers.

All performers, like any athlete, will experience some form of distress during their career, he said. By having a baseline stroboscope, the doctor that evaluates their vocal folds will be able to make a much more detailed analysis of the chord movement, and hence a more accurate diagnosis. To be able to provide this to our students, free of charge, is a wonderful opportunity, and we thank Lakeshore ENT for their expertise and time.

Caroline Roberts, a senior vocal performance major with a pre-med concentration, was among the OU students who underwent the procedure on Nov. 11.

It was fascinating to see how my own vocal cords operate, along with the amazing technology used to track vocal health, she said. This visit was especially exciting for me because I hope to be a laryngologist in the future. I believe my education as a vocal performance student will set me apart in this field, since I can empathize with my future patients.

Also in November, several OU voice students had an opportunity to visit the Gross Anatomy Lab in Hannah Hall, where they were able to view an excised human larynx, as well as breathing musculature, with Dr. Rebecca Pratt, a professor of anatomy in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

The anatomy lab was a remarkable opportunity for our students to gain a detailed idea of the physiology of the human voice, Dantzler said. While our students have seen models and drawings, there is no replacement for a physical larynx.

The students excitement and wonder was palpable, and there was no question that high level comprehension was present, he said. Students were connecting questions and ideas from their Voice Tech classes, as well as gaining a broader understanding of the instructions they receive in lesson.

Voice student Gillian Tackett, who visited the anatomy lab on Nov. 12, said the experience was amazing.

To be honest, I wasnt sure how I would feel being in a room with deceased donors and looking at body parts, but being able to see and even touch the parts of the body that are extremely vital to what we do as singers was life changing, she said. When I was holding a human larynx in my hands, I realized that this might be the closest I would ever get to really touching my instrument.

For performers, maintaining that instrument their voice is critically important.

Vocal health begins with awareness, Tackett said. Once we have that knowledge, we can begin to properly use and maintain a healthy voice. Here at Oakland, were very fortunate to have voice faculty who are so supportive and eager to help us learn every aspect of what it means to be a singer and that has to include vocal health.

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OU voice students learn about the importance of vocal health - 2019 - School of Music, Theatre and Dance - News - OU Magazine - News at OU

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Purdue taking part in life-long study of dogs health and aging – WTHR

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WTHR) Researchers are looking for America's oldest dog.

They don't want to teach him new tricks, but they are hoping he could teach them a few things.

And your dog could be part of their life-long scientific study that's looking to learn from pets nationwide.

More than 40 scientists and researchers from across the United States including one from Purdue University are looking for dogs to participate the national study of the general health and wellness of dogs.

The Dog Aging Project will be looking at dogs of all breeds and mixes from across the nation. This is the first major longitudinal study involving dogs, and it's scheduled to last at least 10 years.

We are going to look at a lot of different aspects of dogs lives that affect their health and longevity, says Audrey Ruple, a veterinary epidemiologist at Purdue.

Dogs are good models for humans, she says. They have similar genetics, share our environment, and they also have similar diseases and health issues. We will be asking, How do dogs age healthfully? in order to help better understand how we can age healthfully, too.

Dogs of all age ranges, breeds and sizes are eligible to participate in the study. Owners go online to register their dogs, then create a personal profile to track health, home life, diet, environment and lifestyle.

Dogs will need to make regular veterinarian visits every year. If a dog is assigned to a specific group, the owners may get a kit for their veterinarian to collect blood, urine or other samples during the annual visit.

Participation is voluntary and there is no cost to participate.

Its important to get dogs from all parts of the U.S. because of the different environmental factors present, Ruple said. And were trying to find the oldest dog in America, as well.

All dogs registered will be eligible to participate in various studies. The group conducted a soft launch with 4,500 dogs registered earlier this fall. Recently, the researchers reached 75,000 dogs for the study.

Our study population just keeps growing and growing and growing, Ruple said.

Researchers hope to find out more details on how genetics, demographics and environmental factors such as chemical exposures and noise pollution impact health and longevity.

Ruple says one goal of the study is to not just improve the health and longevity of dogs, but also extend those findings to improve human health. By studying aging in dogs, we hope to learn how to better match human health span to life span so that we can all live longer, healthier lives, Ruple said.

Funding for the Dog Aging Project comes from the National Institute of Aging, a part of the National Institutes of Health, as well as from private donations.

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Purdue taking part in life-long study of dogs health and aging - WTHR

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

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