View Full Version : Perspective on the future

05-26-2011, 07:28 AM
Hey everyone.

I'm new to all this and worrying about losing my hair is fairly recent for me at 32. I have been doing a great deal of research into it since I found out, not to mention the fact that I am already massively interested in science.

There are numerous scientific websites I check every day to see what new innovations are coming up but one thing is clear.
Things are accelerating. The time to be excited is NOW and we should thank God about that.

We have gone from blindly stumbling into discoveries to breaking down biotech in an engineering like fashion.

I like to think of myself as an amateur futurist and follow the work of other futurists. Specifically: Ray Kurzweil and Aubrey De Grey.

Both these men are working on life extension and a point in science called the Singularity. (A point in time where technological innovation timescales are instanteous).

Their predictions come from not just a random number they come across but by accuratley looking at the rate of technological development over the last millenium to right now.

Most people don't realise how fast things are moving because you look outside your window and apart from slightly snazzier cars everything looks much the same as it did 30 years ago.
But monumental things have happened and are happening right now.

There has been a huge game changer in the 2003 with the sequencing of the human Genome. That came out with a great deal of fanfare but then nothing.
Because it's only just now we are figuring out that code and the timescales involved are amazing when you consider certain things.

The human Genome project took 13 years to complete at a cost of a billion dollars.

Now it can be done in a couple of months at a cost of 5 figures

In five years it will be a few days at a cost of a few hundred dollars.

Information technology is what is tranforming medicine and it is getting faster and faster.
In ten years we will know 1000 times more what we know now.
20 years it will be a million times more.

Genetic engineering, cellular biology and stem cell research is happening in leaps and bounds now.
Instead of it being highly experimental and confined to the great minds of the world it doesn't cost very much to set up a stem cell lab and experiment.

With so many people in the world working on it, much more than can work on developing new drugs it is very cheap science to manipulate and get fantastic results.
And the good news is that all results from them are cumulative; People who work on stem cells for paralysis, brain disordersand numerous other applications assist each other with new ways of manipulating stem cells which others can use when results are released.
Breakthroughs are getting faster and faster for instance in the last two years we have found out two massive things which are very important.
How to do gene therapy without using viruses to alter genes which could lead to cancer. This can be now done relatively easily in vitro (a massive game changer, genes can now be easily turned on or off)
Also how to manipulate IPC Stem cells into other stells and very soon Progenitor cells which is imminent now at the speed this amazing science is accelerating.

We have gone from not knowing much to injecting damaged organs, muscles, whatever with IPC stem cells which repair it to the state as though no damage had ever happened.

And again...it's ACCELERATING.

It's not doubling year by year, it's geometric progression of development 1x2x4x8x16x32.

Futurists like Ray Kurzweil believe by analyzing current rates of development will mean in 15 years time medicine will be completely unrecognizable.
Life extension is some 25 years away by his and De Gray standards (If of course ever at all) but fifteen years is not far away and we will see the benefits in the next five to ten years.

Since the nineties at least hairloss cures have always been five years away and some people say that trend will continue.
But this was based on the premise that some sort of drug will be involved that someone will 'fluke' upon as older drugs did happen such as Propecia which was meant for another purpose entirely.

Since information tech entered medicine, things are off the scale and with Moores law not only sustaining but has been shrunk leading some people to believe a human level of intelligent AI will come not in 2050 as first thought but in 2029 (Terminator timeframes!).

All these are the push behind medicine and make it easier to bring things to market.
Stem cells will cure baldness no doubt they have a two fold benefit:

1. They will enable a human scalp to naturally grow it's own hair by introducing some kind of triggering growth

2. Marketable applications are shorter than an internal drug because the FDA do not need to approve as nothing more than your own cells are being reintroduced into your system.

Stem cells are the new playground and over the next five years computer clock speeds will increase and more incredible discovery's will happen. Over the next five years we will know more about cells than have been discovered in the last 20 years.

There is already talk of many people working on this, hair restoration clinics etc but put that into perspective.
Most clinics don't make their own drugs as the costs are too high but most clinics either are already or will in the next few years have access to stem cell development tech which is amazing really, such simplistic medicine with such massive far reaching goals in the hands of relatively small startup companies.
With so many people refining this work it is imminent VERY imminent.

And for all the naysayers who believe such cures will be sat on in favour of surgery think about that for a second.
As I mentioned before stem cell research is cumulative across numerous fields, it all helps to push the boundaries.
If one clinic comes up with a cure, they are rich, beyond rich. Would you as an owner sit on that to keep other colleagues doing what they always do? Course not and why?
Because if you sit on it your compepition may not and you lost the golden goose.
No one in their right mind would do this as if one person sat on the solution someone else will duplicate that in a very short space of time because as I mentioned all results are cumulative.

People need to stop looking at medicine as though it will chug along in much the way it always has.
Things have altered forever and we will start seeing miracles very soon. We are with many other technologies. Who would have though we would ever see invisibility cloaking materials in our lifetime and they are right around the corner.
We aren't just developing new stuff we are changing forever the way that stuff is developed.

As I mentioned before I am new to this so I am not sure what has come before but it seems to me someone would sort of maybe come across a drug to peddle which turn out to be useless.
Now look at the starup firms workign in stem cell tech focusing on hairloss.
When i researched it there were at least 8 not to mention those that are working under the radar or universities who tend not to announce anythign until they have a success of some sort.

For more info on futurists check out Ray Kurzweil and Aubrey De Grey. Even if you aren't interested in life extension they explain where the biotech is going and how fast the rate is.

It is very heartwarming to know that instead of treating the symptoms we are are now about to treat the source.

05-26-2011, 07:44 AM
Nice thread.

Aubrey De Gray claimed to be a top researcher at Oxford university, however the truth was he was a computer technician studying for a PhD in computer science.

Kurzweil talks a lot, but his theories and views about humans living forever are simply impractical, there is no possible way we could actually "download" our minds into computers; when he is questioned about this he states that by 2045 artificial intelligence would find a way to do so. Thats a long shot if anything, especially considering why on earth would AI++ be willing to help us in the first place? I mean how much help would you offer the bacterium under your toilet rim to develop and survive?

Moores law is all well and good, and Kurzweils "exponential" predictions lie in wait of a number of "walls of progression" - the question as to whether humanity/science can overcome these walls rests as the fundamental determinant of his "technological singularity theory". I have no doubt that something will happen, and after seeing with my own eyes the progression Oxford and Cambridge researchers are making in quantum computing etc it blew me away - I used to be a sceptic of the whole singularity movement - but time seems to be solidifying the theory - as if we are being dragged toward some event that has already occurred in the future - freaky shit.

As for Drexlerian nanotech?... lol... well... conquering the universe and beyond would be a breeze for humanity if it could be developed, but I firmly believe one day soon we will have a computer the size of a sugar cube that is as powerful as every computer on the planet combined today.

Just look at your mobile phone, the next wave of dual core processors arrived about a month ago.... dual core in a mobile device accessible to people in the third world? LOL I doubt anyone in the 80's or late 90's even could have foreseen it.

Exciting times.... but er... a hair loss cure will always be....

... 5 years away;).

05-26-2011, 08:11 AM
Sooner then 5 years believe me. Just assume for one moment Guys like Cole could increase the regrowth to 80% or higher.

Well then we dont ever need Histogen and others. Right now i say its a head to head race between

1) transplantation solutions
2) injectible solutions

If we keep our fingers crossed, the first solution could be really near, i mean 54% is not bad for a sceptical starter

05-26-2011, 09:00 AM

Some of the points you make do stand up but the biotech side of things do still hold up. I guess it won't be as photo finish as some of these guys make out, some computer tech my reach those principles but not function in the way we anticipated.
I'm simply talking about the race of tech on a purely power level and it's impact on bio-tech.
As for wether these technologies would co-operate with us is another story, yes again you make a good point but a lot of futurists maintain that by that time period we'll have so many cybernetic implants which increase our own intelligence we will be more like them anyway.

Nevertheless regenerative medicine is going at the pace these gentlemen are saying, only the immortality thing and birth of AI is what makes people question these men.

@Richard Dawkins.

I only just saw this and I hope you're right!

05-26-2011, 09:16 AM
I only wondered about one specific thing. If you can regrow the hair with manual extraction, couldnt this new robot tool be used to make it a constant thing?

05-26-2011, 09:23 AM

Of course, biotech is developing faster than ever before, there are more scientists working on research across the globe with far better instruments and technology than say 20 years ago, just look at the internet, how different would life be for the hair loss community without the internet?

Regenerative medicine holds a lot of hope, Kurzweil talks about it in the form of a 'bridge plan to immortality', the thing is, you have to remember that Kurzweil is not a biologist, and a lot of biologists will tell you that developing the "new man" is going to be a daunting task. The new man, lol... Hitler and Stalin were both aiming to create "the new man" aswel, interesting thought, especially considering the growth of AI... we would need to integrate with technology to prevent an extinction of humanity, theres your new man.

05-26-2011, 09:28 AM
I only wondered about one specific thing. If you can regrow the hair with manual extraction, couldnt this new robot tool be used to make it a constant thing?

ACELL+PRP has FINALLY arrived with Governmental approval and support in the UK, and there has been an explosion of interest, all over the news and we are waiting for the first study (20 participants) to see its effectiveness, I think it will be a matter of improving the formula, as Hitzig states its not just about loading Acell over a scalp, it is a very complex process and you need the correct formula, I believe Hitzig has it.

05-26-2011, 09:34 AM
I'm still not sure how the Acell PRP system works. I've read about this 54% thing and also it seems more and more docs are using it now which seems to put more support behind it's results (am I correct in this assumption?)
In it's current state what is it good for?

1. used to regrow hair anywhere on the head?
2. used to increase donor for better FUE transplants?
3. used to stop current hairloss?

I have been following it a little and I saw it did get all over the news but from other people who have been looking into it, what is the vibe from this stuff so far? I've seen some people slate it and claim Hitzig's a quack and others say it is the future.

Also back to my original argument.

We had Minoxidil in 1988 Propecia in 1998 and since then, not a damn thing. We are very much overdue for something big after all the research which has happened in between now and then.
We should and looks like we are getting a series of different initiatives all at once from Histogen to Acell to all the other startups working on this.
This may be optimistic but why not we live in an age of wonder and with all the tech we have around us it is about time medicine got a boost.

Might be like the old saying; You wait hours for a bus and then suddenly 5 come at once.

05-26-2011, 09:50 AM

This is a great little video I posted on another thread explains the Acell/PRP revolution very well.

Might be like the old saying; You wait hours for a bus and then suddenly 5 come at once.


Yeah well, what you say about the tech/medicine paradigm is very true, tech accelerates in its progression as it feeds on itself, but now we have seen a confluence of tech and medicine and medicine is destined for the same progression, I dont think anyone here can disagree that the progress in say... diabetes has been rapidly advancing.

Its been going on for a long time lol, id even say the major religions were an individual epoch of such progression, to which we may see 4 or 5 of such epochs in the space of a year today.