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Skin protection tips | Healthy Living – Uniontown Herald Standard

Skin protection tips

Amy Fauth

The American Association of Dermatology has the following tips to protect your skin from the suns damaging ultraviolet rays and reduce your risk of skin cancer in any season:

n Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the suns rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade;

n Wear protective clothing, such as a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, when possible;

n Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Broad-spectrum sunscreen provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays;

n Use sunscreen whenever you are going to be outside, even on cloudy days. Apply enough sunscreen to cover all exposed skin. Most adults need about 1 ounce or enough to fill a shot glass to fully cover their body. Dont forget to apply to the tops of your feet, your neck, your ears and the top of your head. When outdoors, reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating;

n Use extra caution near water, snow and sand, as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn;

n Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from tanning beds can cause skin cancer and premature skin aging;

n Consider using a self-tanning product if you want to look tan, but continue to use sunscreen with it;

n Perform regular skin self-exams to detect skin cancer early, when its most treatable, and see a dermatologist if you notice new or suspicious spots on your skin, or anything changing, itching or bleeding.

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Human Longevity’s Largest Study of its Kind Shows Early Detection of Disease and Disease Risks in Adults – Cath Lab Digest

SAN DIEGO, January 31, 2020Human Longevity, Inc.(HLI),an innovator in providing data-driven health intelligence and precision health to physicians and patients, announced the publication of a ground-breaking study in the journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS). The study titled, Precision medicine integrating whole-genome sequencing, comprehensive metabolomics, and advanced imaging, showed thatby integrating whole-genome sequencing with advanced imaging and blood metabolites, clinicians identified adults at risk for key health conditions.Data from 1190 self-referred individuals evaluated with HLIs multi-modal precision health platform, Health Nucleus, show clinically significant findings associated with age-related chronic conditions including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, chronic liver disease, and neurological disorders leading causes of pre-mature mortality in adults.

The goal of precision medicine is to provide a path to assist physicians in achieving disease prevention and implementing accurate treatment strategies, said C. Thomas Caskey, MD, FACP, FACMG, FRSC, chief medical officer for Human Longevity, Inc., lead author of the study, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Our study showed that by employing a holistic and data-driven health assessment for each individual, we are able to achieve early disease detection in adults.

Study highlights include:

This study shows that the definition of healthy may not be what we think it is and depends upon a comprehensive health evaluation, said J. Craig Venter, PhD, founder, Human Longevity, Inc. and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. The data underscore Human Longevitys innovative approach to helping clinicians with early detection and personalized treatments, potentially achieving better health outcomes for patients.

Our traditional approach to the annual health assessment has been very superficial and will need to be replaced by data-driven measures that will be made possible as costs continue to decline for whole- genome sequencing, advanced imaging, especially MRI, and specialized blood analytics, said David Karow, MD, PhD, president and chief innovation officer, Human Longevity, Inc.


The study cohort was composed of 1190 self-referred participants who enrolled at Health Nucleuswith a median age of 54 y (range 20 to 89+ y, 33.8% female, 70.6% European). A multidisciplinary team, including cardiologists, radiologists, primary care physicians, clinical geneticists, genetic counselors, and research scientists, integrated deep phenotype data with genome data for each study participant.Participants were enrolled in the study between September 2015 and March 2018.


Health Nucleus is Human Longevitys premier health intelligence platform utilizing state-of-the-art technology to provide an assessment of current and future risk for cardiac, oncologic, metabolic, and cognitive diseases and conditions. This is provided through a proprietary, multi-modal approach, integrating data from an individuals whole-genome sequencing, brain and body MRI imaging, cardiac CT calcium scan, metabolomics, advanced blood test, and more. The health assessment is conducted at Human Longevitys Health Nucleus precision medicine center in La Jolla, California.For more information,


Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI)is a genomics-based,health intelligence companyempowering proactive healthcare and enabling a life better lived. HLIs business focus includes the Health Nucleus, a genomic-powered, precision medicine center which uses whole-genome sequencing analysis, advanced imaging, and blood analytics, to deliver the most complete picture of individual health. For more information,

# # #

For more information, contact: Debbie Feinberg, VP of Marketing, Human Longevity, Inc., 858-864-1058,

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Human Longevity's Largest Study of its Kind Shows Early Detection of Disease and Disease Risks in Adults - Cath Lab Digest

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Singapore Hosts International Commission on Healthy Longevity – BSA bureau

The commission will put forward actionable recommendations to spur innovation in healthy longevity and guide policymakers, the private sector and stakeholders globally

The human race is at the cusp of a demographic transition, experiencing rapidly ageing populations coupled with declining birth rates all around the world. To successfully mitigate this and build a critical support framework, the United States of Americas National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is spearheading an international, independent and multidisciplinary initiative to develop a Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity that will identify through evidence-based recommendations the necessary priorities and directions for improving health, productivity and quality of life worldwide.

Singapore is privileged to be chosen as the site for the two-day Health Care Systems & Public Health: A Workshop for the Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity Initiative, organised by NAM from 3 to 4 February 2020, in partnership with the MOH Office for Healthcare Transformation (MOHT), the National University Health System (NUHS), the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF).

More than 200 delegates comprising an International Commission appointed by NAM, leading global thought leaders, as well as decision-makers from academia, healthcare organisations, industry players, government, media and civic societies that have active roles in shaping approaches towards global ageing and healthy longevity will convene in Singapore for the workshop.

From the workshop discussions, the International Commission will put forward actionable recommendations to spur innovation, and guide other policymakers, governmental and nongovernmental organisations, the private sector, and stakeholders globally. Proceedings of the presentations and discussions at the workshop are expected to be published in late 2020.

International Commission on Healthy Longevity

As part of the Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity, NAM has convened an International Commission to assess the challenges presented by global ageing, and demonstrate how these challenges can be translated into opportunities for global societies to prolong healthy living and quality of life. The Commission will assess the evidence across three domains:

Singapores workshop on Health Care Systems and Public Health will discuss the challenges and opportunities, as well as potential solutions that would enhance the design of health and long-term care systems, including clinical services, health promotion, disease prevention services, and social care to foster the capacity and ability of ageing societies around the world.

In collaboration with NAM, Singapore is also one of the global collaborators of the Healthy Longevity Catalyst Awards launched here in January 2020. This is a global initiative aimed at catalysing transformative ideas and innovation to improve and advance healthy ageing and longevity around the world. Supported by NRF and the Ministry of Health (MOH), Singapore will be sponsoring 45 Catalyst Awards across three years from 2020 to 2022. The Catalyst Awards aim to reach out to local innovators and researchers from all disciplines, as well as private enterprises, thereby catalysing research and innovation in the broader ecosystem. The collaboration also provides greater exposure to the international ageing research landscape, allowing Singapore to plug into global networks in ageing research and translation.

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Diane Francis: The future is faster and better than ever as tech reinvents the world – Financial Post

LOS ANGELES Peter Diamandis is a friend who happens to also be a serial entrepreneur, medical doctor and aeronautical engineer who founded the XPRIZE Foundation, Singularity University, Human Longevity, Planetary Resources, Space Adventures, and biotech Celularity, among others.

We live in the most extraordinary time in history, he said recently at his Abundance360 annual conference for high-net-worth entrepreneurs. The next 10 years will see more changes than occurred in the past 100 years.

His latest book was released this week, The Future is Faster than You Think, and is a survey of how the world will be reinvented, industry by industry. He draws historical comparisons to make the case for optimism: In 1920, we could only find four innovations: the first commercial radio station, the hand-held hairdryer; the Band Aid; and traffic lights. By contrast, last year saw tens of thousands of technological and scientific breakthroughs.

He believes the world is entering a new roaring twenties which will result in transformative goods, devices, services, business models and human behaviour. In a chapter called the Acceleration of Acceleration, he lists some principal accelerants that have been, and will be, behind ongoing and rapid change.

For example, huge savings for people in developed countries, in terms of time and money, occurred with the invention of Google search, iPhones and massive data storage capability. This time and money has been reinvested to execute more of the same types of time and money saving innovations. For instance, the cost of sequencing the genome in 2001 was US$100 million and now it can be done for only US$100. And the value, in 2012 dollars, of all equipment contained in todays iPhone in 2012 dollars is US$1 million the cameras for photos and video, storage, facial recognition, telephones, laptops, search and artificial intelligence capability.

Crowdfunding, underpinned by blockchain technology, is enabling the raising of billions for more research and development. And brain enhancement techniques to boost memory and concentration will also improve research outcomes.

Augmented reality will go mainstream and allow consumers to play, learn and shop via headsets, glasses or implants. Robots and toys or appliances will remember our faces and voices and preferences. Drones will babysit and take videos. Voice commands will replace typing and predictive algorithms will anticipate our needs.

By 2029, co-founder of Singularity University Ray Kurzweil says artificial intelligence will be smarter than humans. This will provide smart collaborative tools for workers, professionals, analysts and leaders to enable them to find smarter solutions to their challenges. Put another way, this decade will offer Alexa and Siri on steroids that will act as personal executive assistants to anyone at an affordable price.

Advancements in renewable energy, batteries and local power grids will accelerate leading to lower costs and higher performance, democratizing power globally.

Besides flying cars and the Hyperloop, space travel will become a tourism and commercial option. The future of food, finance, education, shopping and real estate will profoundly change. As more people have access to technology, more problems can be solved and the more capital is available to find those solutions, he said.

Diamandis is an inveterate optimist but realizes that technology in the wrong hands has and can create new problems. To be clear, there will still be terrorism, war, and murder. Dictatorship and disease wont go away. But the world will quietly continue to get better, he concludes in his book.

He also cites one of his favourite books, The Better Angels of Our Nature by Harvards Steven Pinker, whose figures demonstrate progress and that war, strife, disease and poverty are at historical lows.

To him, technology is part of a continuous march toward abundance to meet the needs of all humanity.

Financial Post

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Wired Health announces first nine speakers – Med-Tech Innovation

Wired Health will return to London for itsseventhyear onWednesday25thMarch 2020, welcomingglobal leaders in the health, pharmaceutical, patient care and digital health sectors.

The event is designed for executives seeking to engage with transformational technologies challenging the health industry, from neuroscience to treating cancer and delaying ageing, to the use of AI in health with a focus on the innovations that are rapidly changing medicine and patient care. Delegates attending Wired Health will have the opportunity to network with individuals from the sector, including physicians, senior healthcare executives, innovators and investors, disruptors and incumbents.

Wired has announced the first nine speakers:

Robert Hariri, founder, chairman and CEO, Celularity

Hariri is the former CEO of Celgene and co-founder of Human Longevity. His latest venture is Celularity, has raised $250 million to develop stem cell technology to treat cancer and delay ageing. Hariri is an accomplished surgeon, biomedical scientist, jet engineer and serial entrepreneur.

Mei Mei Hu, co-founder and CEO, United Neuroscience

Hu is developing a vaccine for Alzheimer's. Her company's goal is to democratise brain health by pioneering a new class of medicine called endobody vaccines, which are fully synthetic and train the body to safely and efficiently treat and prevent neurological disease. In 2019, Hu was honoured by TIME Magazine in their "100 Next List," and by Fortune Magazine as one of their "40 Under 40" innovators.

Heidi Larson, professor of anthropology, risk and decision science; director, The Vaccine Confidence Project Dept. Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Larson is the director of the WHOs Vaccine Confidence Project, an initiative tackling the anti-vax movement. Larson headed UNICEFs strategy for the introduction of new vaccines and is the Principle Investigator of the project ensuring deployment, acceptance and compliance of an Ebola vaccine trial in Sierra Leone.

Indra Joshi, director of AI, NHSX

Joshis experience stretches across policy, digital health, national project strategy and implementation and is a Founding Member of One HealthTech which campaigns for the need and importance of better inclusion in health technology.

Samuel Tisherman, professor, Department of Surgery and the Program in Trauma, University of Maryland School of Medicine; director, Center for Critical Care and Trauma Education, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland

Tisherman is working to save patients dying from trauma by placing them in suspended animation. He is conducting a clinical trial of this Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation, which uses hypothermia to "buy time" for resuscitative surgery.

Rachel Clarke, palliative care physician for the National Health Service, former journalist, activist and author

Clarke is the bestselling author ofYour Life in My Hands, a book about her experiences as a doctor for the NHS. Her new book,Dear Life, is about palliative care and dealing with her father's terminal cancer diagnosis exploring love, loss, grief, dying and what really matters at the end of life.

Angela Saini, science journalist, broadcaster and author

Saini is an award-winning British science journalist and broadcaster. She regularly presents radio and television programmes on the BBC, and her writing has appeared in New Scientist, the Guardian, The Sunday Times, and WIRED.

Maja Pantic, professor of affective & Behavioural Computing, Imperial College London and Research Director, Samsung AI Centre Cambridge

Pantic is one of the world's leading experts in the research on machine understanding of human behaviour including vision-based detection, tracking, and analysis of human behavioural cues like facial expressions and body gestures, and multimodal analysis of human behaviours like laughter, social signals, and affective states.

Godfrey Nazareth, president and CEO, X-Biomedical, Inc.

Nazareth is a biomedical engineer developing next-gen medical simulation systems and surgical visualisation technology, with collaborations including the US Military, American Heart Association, University of Pennsylvania and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. On a personal note, Nazareth proactively battles classical ALS; and uses a variety of self-built assistive devices to function, operate, and interact at the highest levels possible.

Additional names will be announced over the coming weeks.

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MIT Expert: Overreaction Could Boost Coronaviruss Economic Impact – Forbes

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - FEBRUARY 03: A woman walks out of a store wearing a mask as Taiwan issues a new ... [+] order that each resident must use a NHI card to buy surgical masks and can only buy two per week in stores recognized by National Health Insurance on February 03, 2020 in Taipei, Taiwan.Taiwan faces supply issues of surgical mask amid the coronavirus crisis, and the government have issued an order that each resident must use a NHI card to buy surgical masks and can only buy two per week. With over 17,390 confirmed cases of Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) around the world, the virus has so far claimed 362 lives.There are 10 confirmed cases without any death case. (Photo by Gene Wang/Getty Images)

One things for sure about the Coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China: nobody knows how bad it will be for human lives and the global economy. That is not stopping experts from trying to estimate that toll. Meanwhile the U.S. market seems to be bouncing back with the S&P 500 futures up 1.3% after rising on February 3.

The human toll of the virus is increasing. By February 3, the Coronavirus had infected 17,000 people and claimed 360 lives primarily in mainland China, according to the Wall Street Journal. By February 4, the total had risen to 20,438 confirmed cases and 420 deaths, according to the New York Times, which noted the good news that 632 people had recovered from the disease.

One expert Warwick McKibbin, a professor of economics at Australian National University estimates that the outbreak could reduce global economic growth by $160 billion four times the $40 billion economic impact of 2003s SARS epidemic, according to Bloomberg. This estimate is based on the quadrupling of Chinas share of the global economy since 2003 to 17% of global economic output.

On January 31 Goldman Sachs estimated that the virus to cut between 0.4 and 0.5 percentage points at an annual rate from U.S. economic output in the first quarter of 2020, with growth rebounding in the second quarter, leaving minimal impact on full-year growth, according to the Journal. Goldman expects the Coronavirus to reduce Chinas GDP growth from 5.9% to 5.5% while a longer outbreak could cut that growth rate to 5%.

In a February 1 interview, MIT professor Richard C. Larson said that hysteria-driven overreaction to the Coronavirus could be the biggest economic cost and that he sees too much uncertainty now to build models to predict that impact.

Global Reactions to Coronavirus

Fear of the Coronavirus and Chinas integration has caused repercussions around the world. As Bloomberg wrote, In New Zealand, a bath furnishings seller told a customer that the German-designed shower head he ordered is unavailable because the factory in Shanghai is closed. Out in California executives of REC Group organized a supply chain war room to plan around an anticipated trucking shortage and port logjam in China. In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is rallying support for an emergency OPEC meeting on concern oil demand will falter.

On February 4, Macau, a gambling center, announced a two week shutdown, according to the Times. Other responses include:

MIT Expert On Uncertainty And Overreaction To Coronavirus

Larson who served as principal investigator on six years of pandemic research supported primarily by the Centers for Disease Control said that the Coronaviruss future trajectory is uncertain. However, he noted that this years U.S. influenza has taken a far greater human toll killing about 10,000 Americans so far and infecting over 19 million.

Moreover, Larson believes that over-reaction to the Coronavirus could exact a higher economic toll than the progression of the disease itself. My personal opinion is that the current hysteria in some domains (such as the selling out of face masks and terminating all flights to and from China), are over-responses, he said. He also thinks that a big benefit of this global response could be to reduce the incidence of this years seasonal flu.

His understanding of the physics of the Coronavirus its longevity in the air and on hard surfaces and ability of the human body to fight it do not now appear to him to differ significantly from the flu.

While there is no way to control these physics, individual and collective changes in behavior can limit Coronaviruss spread. Larson said this means social distancing namely minimizing close contact with infected or infectious individuals, avoiding closed rooms, and self-quarantining by those who think theyve been exposed and hygienic behavior changes e.g., [washing] hands several times a day with the hottest water tolerable and singing happy birthday to yourself a couple of times!

Larson thinks the number of infected people will follow a typical pattern over time. As he explained, Usually it is initially exponentially increasing, then continues to increase in a decreasing positive slope, hits a maximum (having zero slope), and then slowly drops to zero. [The underlying chemistry and biology] of Coronavirus suggests it would follow the same pattern [as the flu virus].

He thinks it is too early to develop a model that predicts the economic impact of the Coronavirus. one has to know when one knows enough to create a reliable model, reliable enough for policy informing. With only very noisy data [and] limited sample sizes, available now, [I think] it is too soon to try to create a systems model of the progression of this disease.

He suspects that the Chinese government is underreporting the number of deaths and those infected by the Coronavirus. The first is most likely deliberate but the second is a natural consequence of under-reporting or late reporting or no reporting of mild cases, he said.

Larson speculates that overreaction to the Coronavirus could impose its highest economic costs. But if our response is a pendulum swinging way too far towards unwarranted hysteria, the dominant economic costs could come from our over-response and not to the progression of the disease itself, he said.

But as Larson suggested, the societal response could have a big impact on the Coronaviruss progression and if the response now is an over-response that higher cost could turn out to be an investment that saves lives.

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Russian Demographics and Power: Does the Kremlin Have a Long Game? – War on the Rocks

One of the oft-voiced constraints on the longevity, or perhaps durability, of Russian power is that of its demographic decline. If there is a mainstay of wisdom in Washington, it is that Russias underperforming economy, and a terrible demographic outlook, mean that Russia doesnt have a long game. President Barack Obama echoed this view in 2014:

I do think its important to keep perspective. Russia doesnt make anything. Immigrants arent rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking.

A 2019 RAND report voiced similar sentiments: The Russian population is likely to shrink. Counterbalancing Russian power and containing Russian influence will probably not place a growing burden on the United States. The RAND team illustrates that Chinas population is also declining, but at a marginally lower rate than Russias. China is, of course, called the pacing threat, despite its looming population decline, whereas Russia is a declining power, because its population will decline somewhat faster than Chinas. Such proclamations are hardly confined to Washington defense intellectuals. Joe Nye declared in 2019 that Russias population may fall from 145 million today to 121 million by mid-century as part of an argument for why Russia is a country in decline. These statements are based on questionable, or dated information, playing with statistics to paint a picture more dire than exists.

First, it is not fair to take the worst-case scenarios for any countrys demographic future and advance murky numbers as though they represent the likely outcome. The median scenario predicted by U.N. demographers for Russia suggest a population decline of approximately 7 percent to 135 million by 2050 not exactly the roughly 17 percent contraction Nye predicts. Russia does face population decline, as do many developed countries (including many American allies), but what does that mean for Americas strategic future? Will demographics prove a determinant of power in this century? And how should U.S. strategists, policymakers, and military leaders integrate the notion of demographic decline into their thinking about the long-term confrontation with Russia?

The prospective decline of Russias population is not only overstated but is also unlikely to substantially constrain Russian power or make the country less of a problem for the United States. Such notions are not only based on bad information, they have also become an alibi for the absence of U.S. strategy on what to do about Russia. Policymakers should not seek solace in the proposition that Russia will run out of people, ceasing to be a power of its own accord. Critically, there is much the Russian state could still do to improve or worsen the direction of Russias demographic profile over the coming decades. Discussions of Russias demographic demise are too fixated on the population size, avoiding more important questions about the quality of human capital and the relevance of population to power. The evidence suggests that Russia isnt going anywhere, and future generations of Russians are more likely to contribute to its revival rather than its decline.

Is Demography Destiny?

Demographics are an important though often misinterpreted factor in assessing a countrys power. Hal Brands put it eloquently:

A countrys people are taproot of its power in many respects. A large working-age population serves as a source of military manpower. Far more important, a relatively young, growing and well-educated population is a wellspring of the economic productivity that underlies other forms of international influence. All things equal, countries with healthy demographic profiles can create wealth more easily than their competitors.

Nick Eberstadt, an established researcher on demographics, writes: Although conventional measures of economic and military power often receive more attention, few factors influence the long-term competition between great powers as much as changes in the size, capabilities, and characteristics of national populations.

Yet the conversation on demographics can tend towards the simplistic, focusing on population size rather than the qualitative dimensions that make up human capital such as education or health. This represents a fundamental problem in strategy discussions that can at times seem rooted in a dated pursuit of land, people, and resources. In the 19th and 20th centuries, more people meant more economic output in industrial and agrarian economies that were manpower intensive. A larger population base was essential for mass mobilization armies. In large-scale industrial warfare, the country with a larger population and millions more industrial workers stood a good chance of simply attriting and outlasting an opponent with less manpower. More people meant larger armies, and the ability to replace losses. Few countries know this history better than Russia, which has historically benefitted from being the most populous nation in Europe.

At the same time, however, having more people does not readily translate into greater power. If it did, then Nigeria, Indonesia, or Bangladesh would be among the worlds strongest nations. Yet while they are more populous, they are not more wealthy, powerful, or influential than much smaller European states. A larger population is only beneficial to a country that is able to educate, employ, and leverage that potential. In many cases, a large and rapidly growing population generates immense social pressures and challenges faster than it does power. Michael Beckley argues that standard indicators exaggerate the power of populous countries like China, in his 2018 article The Power of Nations: Measuring What Matters. Thus, while we should not forget Stalins adage that quantity has a quality of its own, it is equally important to consider that what matters most is what countries do with their human capital rather than just how many people they have on the books.

Population matters less for military power. Wars are no longer fought by mass mobilization armies; instead, technology has multiplied destructive power such that the soldier is increasingly alone on the battlefield. As firepower and range have increased, the need for manpower has decreased compared to the great power conflicts of the 20th century. Quantity and mass remain important in modern warfare, but few countries are able or willing to support sizable forces. Military expenditure and political will are todays defining constraints on the size of standing armies in middle- and high-income countries, more so than the actual availability of people to serve. Russia remains one of the few exceptions in this regard, maintaining a high degree of defense spending and increasing the size of its military over the past decade at a time of limited manpower availability.

No less significant is the modernization of nuclear weapons by the worlds great powers, chiefly held by the United States and Russia, which has always made doubtful the proposition of a prolonged conventional conflict between the main nuclear weapon states. Strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons represent a demographic equalizer, whereby no matter what happens in Russias demographic future, it will still be able to inflict unacceptable damage to the United States or Europe.

Russias Demographic Challenge

Russias demographic decline is borne of two factors: a demographic crisis in the late 1980s and 1990s, the aftereffects of which will create a second demographic dip in the coming decades, and an unusually high mortality rate. Not enough Russians were born those decades, and those that were born then are dying faster than people of the same age in other industrialized European nations. Although Russia is a major net beneficiary of labor migration, which helps arrest population decline, immigration cannot compensate for the expected population dip.

How important is this issue for Moscow? Well, for President Vladimir Putin, its among his top priorities. He has frequently emphasized population growth as an important factor in rebuilding Russias global status. In 2017, Putin stated, Demography is a vital issue that will influence our countrys development for decades to come. Through countless speeches, including the latest January 15th Federal Assembly address, he has emphasized the demographic challenge. The presidential order, signed in May 2018, delineating national goals and strategic priorities through 2024, lists achieving stable population growth as its first objective. Indeed, years of effort and investment has arrested or stabilized some of the worst indicators, leading to a dramatically improved picture compared to the dire predictions based on data in the mid-2000s.

Despite appreciating the stakes, Russian leadership will struggle to address Russias demographic challenges. Such difficulty is in part due to the fact that since 2014, Russia has engaged in a host of foreign policy gambits that are visibly exacerbating the demographic problem from lower birth rates due to poor economic conditions to urban Russians choosing to leave the country. Russias economic recession beginning in 2013 and sanctions resulting from the confrontation with the West have served to increase a steady exodus of urban Russians, which began in 20112012 when Putin returned as president.

As a consequence, post-2015 policies have reduced the net benefit of migration, while squandering an opportunity to pour resources into arresting Russias demographic decline through policies intended to boost birth rates. All of this means that Russias demographic policy faces strong headwinds today, created in part by Russias foreign policy choices, and as time runs its course, may face harsher realities in the 2040s and 2050s. The outlook will vary considerably depending on the policies that Russia chooses to implement.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Russias demographic trends improved considerably between 2000 and 2015, but the country faces a coming generation that will have substantially fewer women of child-bearing age, an aftershock of the crisis in the 1990s. This means that despite numerous improvements to the overall health of the Russian people, arresting the crisis of the 1990s, Russia is still facing an unavoidable long-term decline in total population.

In 2017, life expectancy became the highest it has ever been in Russia or the Soviet Union, at 72, although quite a lot shorter for men than women. This puts Russia at the bottom of life expectancy for developed Western countries, but it is a marked improvement from the previous decade. Average male life expectancy is still quite low, in large part because of alcohol-related deaths. Yet alcohol consumption has fallen by more than a third since 2006, and one study argues that the proportion of men dying before 55 has been reduced by 37 percent. The fertility rate has climbed considerably, converging with that of the United States. This rate is still below the population replacement rate of 2.1, but Russia has made strides in recovering from the nadir of the late 1990s. Deaths are down, infant mortality is less than half of what it was 30 years ago, and a host of health indicators have improved from that period to 2015. Unfortunately, Russias mortality rate remains far too high by European and international standards, with men representing the most at-risk population.

Statistics on human capital and productivity also tell a more positive story. The U.N. Human Development Index has continued to increase Russias rating, from .734 in 1990 to .824 in 2018. Meanwhile, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows the growth rate in Russian labor productivity as being much higher than that of the European Union. These are crude measures, but they indicate improvements in the quality versus just quantity of human capital in Russia.

Yet Russia is a country that is still dealing with the aftereffects of the decline of the Soviet Union and the demographic crisis that followed. The current challenge is a steady aging-out of the working population, losing as many as 600,000 annually over the next six years. The replacements for aging Russian workers were not born in the 1990s, and hence they are not here today to take up jobs in the Russian economy. This is the consequence of the mass emigration, social, and economic crisis of the 1990s that still haunts Russia. In the long term, Russia is likely to go from a population of around 146 million today to perhaps 135 million in 2050, according to the 2019 United Nations World Population Prospects report. The World Bank is more pessimistic, suggesting it might be as low as 132 million. This is a 7.5 percent to 9.5 percent decrease, representing median scenarios, while worst case (but least probable) estimates take those expectations lower towards a fall of 12 percent.

However, an authoritative report published by the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) painted a much more dire scenario. According to their work, with changes in policies on fertility, mortality, and migration, an inertia-based scenario could take Russias population down to 113 million by 2050. This was the source of the dire predictions for a depopulation of Russia in the coming decades, but it was calculated in 2009, based on 2005 data. The evidence is clear that the original inertia scenario, which predicted a decline to 140 million by 2020, has not developed. The net Russian population only began shrinking in 2019 and is still above 145 million. Russias statistical services latest figures also offer an average prognosis of decline to 143 million by 2035 with a worst case scenario of 135 million, and an optimistic one of 149 million.

RANEPAs figures, when updated in 2015, showed a different inertia scenario that places the Russian population at around 128 million by 2050. Given the current trajectory, it appears more probable that Russias population decline will end up between the more optimistic scenarios and the inertia scenario, landing somewhere in the 130 to 135 million range by 2050. This study emphasized that Russia has a unique window of opportunity right now, because it currently has one of the worlds highest shares of population in the active reproduction and working ages (15-60 years). This includes a high percentage of people in the prime working and parenting ages (20-40). In their assessment current Russian efforts to address fertility, mortality, and migration, fall short of what will be required to achieve more positive scenarios.

Much of the conversation on Russias demographic prospects also misses an important fact: Russia, like the United States, maintains its population in part through migration. Russia is the principal labor market for the former Soviet space, benefitting from net labor migration. Western media outlets are replete with sensational headlines about educated Russians fleeing the country in recent years. Russian emigration has increased considerably since 2012, and many have argued that those emigrating represent the countrys creative class. Indeed, Russias statistical agency Rosstat does show 377,000 departing from the country in 2017. However, the very same statistics show that 589,000 immigrated to the country in that year, for a net gain of about 211,000.

The brain drain effect appears overstated. Most in and out migration is likely migrant labor from Central Asia, rather than entrepreneurial geniuses emigrating en masse. Russia is a significant beneficiary from immigration, which in part helps compensate for its own fairly low birth rates. There is unfortunately indistinct math on how Russian migrs are counted according to Rosstat, which understates the number of Russians emigrating because it doesnt count them as having left unless they cancel their registration in Russia.

The Demographic Price of Russias Foreign Policy

Not only does Russias period of imperial collapse still cast a long shadow, but the demographic recovery from 2000 to 2015 also faces a second challenge from Russias economic and political crisis of recent years. Russia is in economic stagnation; that is, with anemic GDP growth of ~1.3 percent in 2019, well below the global average. Economic recession and uncertainty have a naturally negative impact on family planning and birth rates. Russias birth rate has flattened out since 2014 and begun to decline again, sinking to 2011 lows. Deaths still exceed births, and even with immigrants, Russias population has entered a steady state of decline in part because of underlying economic and political conditions. The problem is not lost on the government, even though the consequences of this second dip may not be felt until the mid-2030s. State policies have helped avoid worst case scenarios, but they cannot avert the inevitable.

Although mortality had been improving considerably from 2005-2013, mortality rates have Russias deputy prime minister for social and health policy, Tatyana Golikova, made clear in the spring of 2019 that mortality trends have changed to a negative outlook. Several Russian regions have witnessed an increase in mortality rates in 2018, which has contributed to the countrys first recorded population decline in a decade, falling by about 87,000 last year. Problems in the healthcare system are particularly acute in Russia, from a lack of clinics and doctors, to shortages of medicine. The governments efforts to tackle mortality face reversals in regions worst hit by economic problems. As poverty increases, mortality rises, and birth rates again decline. Thus, the Russian state must now address the current crisis with new measures, while at the same time retaining focus on the long-term strategic problem of population decline.

There is a worrisome potential relationship between demographics and Russias foreign policy today, including the long-standing practice of passportization. During his annually televised question and answer session in 2018, Putin suggested that one of the solutions to the demographic problem is liberalizing citizenship policy to integrate Russian compatriots. The implied message was that Moscow sees refugees from conflict as a potential positive in light of the demographic challenges the country faces compatriots, or those Russia considers to be part of the Russian world (Russki Mir), are part of the solution.

In the long run, demographics, not geopolitics, may prove Putins chief error in undertaking a confrontation with the United States. Undoubtedly, Moscow can keep up the contest, but it will come with a strategic price tag for Russias future during a crucial decade when the country needs to focus resources on its demographic problem. The population structure will change in the 2030s such that a second demographic dip will become more pronounced, rendering later efforts less effective. There is an inherent tradeoff between Moscows prioritization of the countrys demographic health and its geopolitical pursuits, and this does not seem to be accepted by the national leadership.

Military and Manpower

The Russian military has revised and increased its force structure since 2013 with new divisions and regiments. This naturally raises the question: Who exactly will man many of the new units being created in the Russian armed forces? The picture is far from rosy, and the units will undoubtedly have formations based on a partial mobilization structure, but the Russian military is in much better shape than it has been since the collapse of the Soviet Union and is certainly at its highest levels of readiness in decades. Increased birth rates starting in 2000, and improvements to health standards from 2000-2015, mean that manpower availability is going to increase, likely until 2033, as will the overall pool of those available for military duty (ages 18 to 27).

Perhaps remarkably, the Russian armed forces have been increasing in size over the past five years, all while facing a constrained availability of manpower and higher economic competition for those they would seek to recruit as volunteer servicemen. The available male serving population was in decline from 2008 to 2018. Yet despite being under such stringent conditions, the Russian armed forces expanded to perhaps somewhere near 900,000 in overall size, and the contract share of the force is around 394,000, or more than half of those enlisted. This means that the number of conscripts Russias armed forces need every year has declined substantially and will continue to drop. The Russian Ministry of Defense also changed its policy in 2018 to allow conscripts to elect to perform two years of volunteer contract service instead of one year of compulsory duty.

Tackling draft evasion and corruption has also allowed the Russian military to get more out of what they have. Russias draft board, or Voenkomat, has spent years fighting the pervasive problem of those seeking to evade the draft by purchasing health exclusions or disqualifications. Over the next 14 years, there will not be substantial pressure on manpower availability for service. Afterwards, the armed services will be operating in a much more competitive environment, with declining manpower availability starting around 2033. Additionally, the relevance of manpower constraints as they pertain to warfighting beyond the 2030s remains in question, as modern militaries grow even stronger in firepower, technological force multipliers, and use of autonomous systems, depending more on the quality rather than the quantity of personnel deployed. Plus, Russia will always find enough people to man its arsenal of strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons.

Implications for Great Power Pursuits

The remaining question is whether Russia will face a classic guns versus butter choice, as the working population shrinks, forcing the state to choose between military modernization and pensions. Brands predicts:

Russia will face Hobsons a choice between pouring scarce resources into old-age pensions and inviting the political tumults that austerity could easily bring. Nuclear weapons and the capacity to create mischief through information warfare will keep Moscow in the game, but Russias underlying geopolitical potential will continue bleeding away.

So far, this prediction is not coming true. Russian resources are not particularly scarce, and its unclear what geopolitical potential has been bleeding away. Such sentiments are common among defense intellectuals and international relations theorists, but the evidence behind these arguments often fails to impress. If theory checks in with practice, it will find that Russias GDP continued to grow, as did labor productivity, while the population contracted in 2019. The argument that Russia is in decline is largely premised on a puzzling comparison between Russias influence today and the Soviet Union, which broke into 15 countries almost 30 years ago.

Moscow is already addressing the question of pension reform, and has weathered the resultant political tumults, while at the same continuing to spend sizable sums on its military potential. Thus far, the Russian government has decided to sequester defense spending, decreasing it slowly over time, while imposing austerity on social benefits by increasing the retirement age in 2018. Moscow is reconciling these priorities by choosing to spend less on both, taking a somewhat opposite route than what Washington might have taken. Hence, the U.S. governments debt-to-GDP ratio stands at 106 percent, whereas Russias is one of the lowest in the world, at around 15 percent. In 2019, Russias net public debt fell to zero as the country amassed sizable foreign exchange reserves relative to its rather small amount of debt.

Much of what strategists perceive to be inevitable is actually contingent, a function of choice and strategic investments. Demographics advantage the United States, but they do not doom Americas great power adversaries, nor should they confer a general ease that others will face choices America does not. Russias demographic outlook is a complex question, but the facts suggest that there is no imminent collapse facing the country. In recent years, that future appears much less dire than it did, but clearly bleaker than it has to be. The extent of Russias long-term demographic decline remains in question given how much of the problem can be redressed or exacerbated by government policies. One cannot exclude a change in the nature of Russias political or economic system over time, which may seem a distant proposition today, but is not unrealistic when looking out to the 2030s or 2040s.

Instead of talking about Russias or Chinas uncertain demographic future, U.S. policymakers should pay closer attention to the demographic situation of their own allies, like the Baltic states, which is more dire. Latvias and Lithuanias populations have been in constant decline since 1991, and Ukraines is particularly problematic. Russias demographic picture should be compared to the countries the United States is concerned with defending from Russia. As Nick Eberstadt explains:

[T]he EU and Japan have both registered sub-replacement fertility rates since the 1970s, and their fertility rates began to drop far below the replacement level in the 1980s. In both the EU and Japan, deaths now outnumber births. Their working-age populations are in long-term decline, and their overall populations are aging at rates that would have sounded like science fiction not so long ago.

Given that the United States is most likely to fight in contests abroad, on the foreign soil of countries to which it extends deterrence, there is a more important question: How do allied demographic futures compare to those of our adversaries in their regions? The short answer is not favorably. As a consequence, the overall burden for the United States of confrontation, economic competition, and deterrence is only going to increase in the coming decades.

The core Russian problem is not demographics, but the fact that the economy and the political system are unable to tap into the talent and human potential of that country. Russia has the requisite attributes to be far more powerful and influential than it is today, with fewer people. The country endures as a great power in the international system despite the best efforts of policy wonks and defense strategists to wish it away. Adam Smiths adage that there is a great deal of ruin in a nation serves well here in setting expectations. Russias comparative weakness should not be confused for an inability to play an important role in European affairs, or check U.S. foreign policy abroad. Russia does have a long game, but it is not clear that Washington has a long game for dealing with Russian power in the world.

Michael Kofmanis director and senior research scientist at CNA Corporation and a fellow at the Wilson Centers Kennan Institute. Previously he served as program manager at the National Defense University. The views expressed here are his own.

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Chronic Inflammation Identified As The Cause of Accelerated Aging – Anti Aging News

Along with an international research team renowned professor and scientist Claudio Franceschi have described the mechanisms underlying chronic inflammation and identified several risk factors leading to the disease including infections, physical inactivity, diet, psychological stress, industrial toxicants, and environmental factors.

"Today, chronic inflammatory diseases are at the top of the list of death causes. There is enough evidence that the effects of chronic inflammation can be observed throughout life and increases the risk of death. It's no surprise that scientists' efforts are focused on finding strategies for early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of chronic inflammation," says Claudio Franceschi.

The study published in Nature Medicine identifies certain social, environmental, and lifestyle factors that contribute to systemic chronic inflammation, which when taken together are the main cause of disability and mortality around the globe.

Franceschi insists that lifestyle, effects of stressors, history of vaccination, along with social and cultural characteristics of each individual beginning at the first days of life into adulthood should be determined in as much detail as possible and taken into account as a tool in research of the aging processes to establish the trajectory of human aging.

The mechanisms of chronic inflammation are being adopted by a number of scientists, research into chronic inflammation continues as there is a way to go before scientists fully understand the role of chronic inflammation in aging and mortality to be able to more accurately predict changes in ones health through their lifespan.

Franceschis years of work have resulted in the theory of inflamm-aging, in which aging is a general inflammation process that involves the entire body and provokes aging related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimers disease.

The concept of immune aging enables the characterization of immune functions of an individual and predictions of the causes of mortality more accurately than chronological age. In addition to the known inflammation biomarkers the scientists note that additional biomarkers of the immune system which differ from person to person, in particular the subgroups of T- and B- lymphocytes, monocytes need to be studied more.

Findings may lead to new approaches for early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment for diseases associated with systemic chronic inflammation; prevention and treatment of inflammatory processes will slow down aging and prolong life.

The Digital Personalized Medicine for Healthy Aging mega grant project is being implemented at the Lobachevsky University of Nizhny Novgorod at the Center for Healthy Aging and Active Longevity with the goal of making breakthroughs in the search for aging markers, early diagnosis of age related diseases, and achieving active longevity under the guidance of Franceschi.

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‘Re-decentralizing the web’: U of T researcher helps build a more egalitarian internet – News@UofT

Jack Jamieson wants to build a better, more egalitarian internet in effect, helping to realize the vision of the technologys early pioneers.

The PhD candidate in the KMDI-Semaphore research institute at the University of Torontos Faculty of Information works alongside a community of software developers and enthusiasts who are building the IndieWeb, a community of individual websites connected together as an alternative to corporate platforms.

Ive been building websites for over two decades and became frustrated that the web has become so dominated by large corporate platforms, Jamieson says. In return for easy-to-use social media, online experience is increasingly characterized by targeted advertising, and individuals choices are limited by platform algorithms.

My research examines efforts to re-decentralize the web what does this work involve and how can designers and researchers pursue a future internet that is egalitarian, accessible, and not exploitative?

Much of the optimism about the early web was the potential for individuals to have their own websites. Hence, the IndieWeb proposes a return to personal websites and has built tools to enhance these sites with the best features of social media without surrendering ownership or control to corporate platforms.

By setting up a personal website with some basic IndieWeb technologies, people can communicate directly with one another with no platform in between, sending replies, liking posts and other social media actions.

There are a lot of different projects attempting to build new, decentralized systems for the internet, Jamieson says. What drew me to IndieWeb specifically is its commitment to building upon the existing web rather than inventing completely new systems. Building upon the existing web allows more accessibility for developers and web hobbyists to contribute since they can build small modules to fit their own needs.

Working with supervisor Rhonda McEwen, an associate professor in the Faculty of Information and U of T Mississaugas Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology, Jamiesons research focuses the IndieWeb communitys efforts to put human values at the forefront of design. He says the group has much to teach about building technologies that articulate positive social values related to individual autonomy, inclusiveness, and community.

IndieWebs approach is supported by recent scholarship and media coverage that has highlighted the political and ethical issues posed by big tech since the decisions made by social media designers can affect millions or billions of users.

Sometimes decisions that work for one group cause problems for another, Jamieson notes. Design ideas that make sense in Silicon Valley dont translate everywhere sometimes with serious consequences.

On a technical level, IndieWeb is composed of many small parts that allow individuals to build what works for them. Users can then figure out how to interoperate with others who favour a different approach a strategy that builds inclusivity since there is no attempt to impose a one-size-fits-all solution.

To take one example: Jamiesons research looks at how IndieWebs users can build software to control their own social timelines, orthe feed of posts from people they follow. Thats unlike most social media platforms, which use sophisticated algorithms to promote content the software deems most engaging.

Unfortunately, hate speech, misinformation or simply types of content we dont want to see are often considered engaging by these algorithms, Jamieson says.

Another benefit, according to Jamieson: My software runs a social timeline on ones own server, so theres no company tracking who you are following, inserting ads or otherwise making decisions about what you read.

One of the key takeaways from the project is the importance of IndieWebs community.

For a movement that emphasizes individual autonomy, IndieWebs events and community support networks are the driving force behind its longevity, Jamieson says.

This is significant for building a system that is well-maintained since social networking systems require constant adaptation to accommodate new users, changing practices and to remain compatible with ever-changing third parties.

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AgeX Therapeutics to Collaborate with University of California, Irvine on Neural Stem Cell Research Program for Huntingtons Disease and Other…

AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. ("AgeX"; NYSE American: AGE), a biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutics for human aging and regeneration, announced a research collaboration with the University of California, Irvine (UCI) using AgeXs PureStem technology to derive neural stem cells, with the goal of developing cellular therapies to treat neurological disorders and diseases for which there are no cures. The collaborations initial R&D work, expected to take approximately one year, will be conducted in the UCI laboratory of Leslie Thompson, PhD, Chancellors Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior and Neurobiology & Behavior, a leading researcher in the field of Huntingtons disease and other neurological disorders, under a Sponsored Research Agreement handled by the Industry Sponsored Research team at UCI Beall Applied Innovation. The initial focus will be on Huntingtons disease, while other potential targets may include Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and stroke.

The primary goal of the research will be to develop a robust method of deriving neural stem cells from pluripotent stem cells in sufficient quantity and with sufficient purity and identity for use in cell-based therapy. Professor Thompsons laboratory has already accumulated safety and efficacy animal data that may support an IND submission to the FDA as early as 2021 for the commencement of clinical trials to treat Huntingtons disease.

"We look forward to utilizing AgeXs cell derivation and manufacturing PureStem technology, with its many potential advantages, including industrial scalable manufacturing, lower cost of goods, and clonal cells with high purity and identity. Our goal is to have an improved neural stem cell production method ready within a year to move into clinical development," said Professor Thompson.

"We are absolutely delighted to start this exciting collaboration with Professor Thompson, who has worked tirelessly over her career to develop a neural stem cell product candidate for Huntingtons disease and who has already generated preclinical animal data that may support the initiation of clinical studies," said Dr. Nafees Malik, Chief Operating Officer of AgeX. "Moreover, we are very excited to be entering the field of neurology, which has huge clinical and commercial potential. Neural stem cells may be very useful in other neurological disorders that are common in aging demographics, such as Parkinsons, Alzheimers and stroke."

"This is an example of the kind of collaboration we will be seeking under our newly-unveiled collaboration and licensing strategy, which is to run parallel to our in-house product development," said Dr. Greg Bailey, Chair of AgeX. "We will be collaborating with a world leader in their field on a research project which is close to the clinic."

The collaboration includes an opportunity for AgeX to organize a company to be jointly owned with Professor Thompson and other researchers to pursue clinical development and commercialization of cell therapies derived using licensed inventions arising from the research program, as well as certain patent pending technology for neural stem cell derivation, and certain technical data, including animal data, to support IND submissions.

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.

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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 Further, in the case of AgeXs new neural stem cell program there can be no assurance that: (i) any new cell derivation methods will be invented in the sponsored research program, (ii) any derivation methods that may be developed will be sufficient to derive neural stem cells in quantities and of purity suitable for clinical use and commercialization, (iii) that any new inventions or existing technology will be licensed on commercially favorable terms, (iv) that any neural stem cells derived for therapeutic use will be shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials, and (v) that any neural stem cells derived for therapeutic use will be successfully commercialized even if clinical trials are successful. 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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