Due in part to how narrow and myopic biomedical research has become, the last fifty years of research seems to have massively underestimated the harm caused by endemic infectious diseases. We think of infectious diseases in the same way we think of video game bosses: external agents that get thrown into our global gameplay for us to defeat. COVID-19 was a great example of this. How much money, time and global effort did we put into preventing the viral spread of a new pathogen? The irony is, the pathogens that potentially will hospitalize and kill us are already inside us. Personally, I am far more scared of Epstein-Barr Virus than COVID-19, and I found it annoying to be lectured on pathogens from a government that seemed to have no issue with the endemicity of HSV and Epstein-Barr in our society. That said, it’s possible that, decades down the line, COVID-19 is also associated with long-term effects stemming from endemicity, which has also been my greatest fear for it. Who knows?
I think viral and bacterial load, whether from higher or specific exposure, or from lower gut/brain/skin barriers, may well be a cause of many aspects of aging. I have been reading Mike Lustgarten’s ebook (not free):
All humans are mildly autistic : The same mutation that causes autism when amplified was responsible for a sudden jump in intelligence in humans and elephant ancestors around 5 million years ago. It allows humans (and elephants) to explore the world on their own for days or weeks on end without going mad from loneliness. This mutation does not technically increase the raw intelligence of the brain, but allows the brain to learn more effectively by exploring the world without getting distracted by an overpowering need to constantly socialize (or look for potential sexual mates) that afflicts most other mammals.
Um that sounds like a non credible claim, please cite sources. Also a huge fraction of mammals are way more solitary than humans. Only parrots seem to self-destruct from loneliness to the same extent that humans do.
I am just a software engineer at a Biotech company and one of our customers was studying some strange mutations with our DNA mapping instrument and the CSO was trying to motivate us nerds with some biological background. The only specific detail I still remember is that it related to the DUF1220 repeat expansion, and here is a link to paper from 2017 : DUF1220 copy number measurement
A lot of the HPV strains are passed on contact and unfortunately, in large cities, this means that it is easily transmissible through things that are commonly touched such as door handles, railings, buttons, etc… Not sure how you are going to escape this one.
A related question: does sex (or possibly even masterbation, or even sex within marriage…) increase sex hormones (testosterone) or diminish this? — I’ve seen it proposed both ways and I’m now confused.
Also, I see more longevity experts suggesting higher testosterone is anti-longevity. However I expect it is easier to build muscle with higher testosterone, and more muscle (to a point) would benefit longevity (such as surviving a hip fracture). I would expect the most-muscled among us would have lower longevity, but the top quartile of heathy people would live longer, and also tend to have more muscle on them (even if it is endurance/lean build).
I might also make note that, in general (and perhaps unfair), I might not place most longevity experts into the top quartile of athletic-looking humans.
I am no Adonis but I can say in the past four months indications of my sex hormones have increased from either my heavy weight lifting, my mostly carnivore diet, or a combination (I suspect it is the weight lifting due to some evidence I have). It is interesting: I always thought testosterone would help more easily build muscle, but not the opposite (muscle-building would boost testosterone).