The evolution of this blog

On January 21, this blog will celebrate its first birthday.  The purpose of this post is to review how the blog has evolved from its original intent, to review the ways it has been heading recently, and to discuss whether those ways make sense for the future.  Specifically, I am asking for your feedback on the kinds of content that you would find most useful in the coming months and year and how to make this blog most interesting and useful for you.

How the blog has evolved so far

The original introduction to this blog stated “The purpose of this Blog is to provide a frequently-updated plain-language companion to my Anti-Aging Firewalls treatise site ANTI-AGING FIREWALLS THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF LONGEVITY.   This blog is for people interested in living  longer and better lives by taking advantage of developments on the frontiers of longevity science.  I plan to post comments on recent aging-related developments  from time to time, and welcome any and all discussion by others.”  So, now after 224 posts and 236 comments, what has actually happened?

Where the blog has been going

·        It is frequently updated, several times a week, and still positioned as a companion to the treatise although it frequently goes into far greater scientific depth in topics discussed in the treatise and includes content related to aging that is not in the treatise.  The blog has assumed a life and importance of its own, in many ways exceeding that of the relatively static treatise.

·        The blog is still positioned to address the audience mentioned but is not for the general public.  It is targeted to informed science-minded people, professionals in the medical arts, researchers in the many areas of science covered in the blog, and laypeople with serious interests in anti-aging developments.  It often goes into fairly great technical depth.  I have given up on sticking to “plain language” for that would be incompatible with responsibly covering “developments on the frontiers of longevity science.”  Instead, I have been introducing more and more advanced technical concepts from the disciplines involved.

·        The purpose of the blog is to fill in the pieces of the large puzzle that constitutes aging, and to address fundamental issues related to aging based on hard current scientific research : What are the mechanisms of aging?  How do they relate to each other?  Which ones are primary?  What anti-aging interventions are possible now?  Which ones are coming along, and how far off are they likely to be?.  This requires following and digging ever-deeper into a number of streams of research involving molecular biology, genetics, genomics, proteomics and other “omics.”  And it requires keeping current with research related to a number of aging theories (19 as of now) and ongoing research developments relating to a number of aging-related genes and pathways with names like mTOR, NF-kappaB, Akt, P53, P21, hTERT, and Notch and MAPK signal transduction pathways.

·        Scientific and intellectual integrity are essential characteristics of the blog.  I research the science items in depth before writing them and it sometimes requires several days to do this.  I provide numerous links to research citations and often quote direct passages from research publications.  When I have a personal opinion, I identify it as such. I avoid fringe or cult science.  If an ancient Chinese or Indian herb is reputed to have incredible curative powers I am interested in it only if the claims are supported by a body of reputable Western scientific research.

·        Freedom from commercialism is another important aspect of the blog.  I do not accept advertising though I could probably earn some cash by doing that given blog’s  growing popularity.  Further, I don’t cover commercial products such as supplement combinations except in very rare cases when such a product has a unique scientific character.  I am beholden to no commercial interest and own no stake in nor am I employed by any company selling anti-aging products or services.

·        In the interest of providing depth, new blog items are usually highly hyperlinked with related past blog items and relevant items in my treatise.

·        Current “unique visits” to the blog and treatise typically range from 700 to 1,000 per day.  My ISP defines these visits as unique user URLs that visit at least two pages in a session, e.g. two blog posts or a blog post and my treatise.  These numbers correspond to 1,400+ page views per day.  There has been a slow and irregular upwards trend in usage, perhaps amounting to 5% to 10% per month.  Based on these statistics I estimate that there are probably a few thousand people who occasionally visit the blog, and perhaps a few hundred regular avid readers.  Increasing numbers of international users are being attracted, probably via personal networks.  I would like to see these numbers increased by an order of magnitude during 2010.  This will require ways of making the existence of the blog known to wider audiences.

Blog items seem to fall in the following categories:

         Coverage of news items and new research discoveries and “breakthroughs.”  Unlike the popular press and many other blogs, I like to provide citations to the original publication whenever possible, citations to previous relevant publications and some discussion of how the discovery fits into the bigger picture and what it means.  An example is the recent post Ginkgo Biloba supplementation has no effect on cognitive decline (but it does have other impacts).

         Mini-treatises on topics relevant to longevity.  The purpose is usually to provide a review picture of the state of research and research knowledge in a particular area.  These are the postings that usually require the most background research work.  An example is the three-part post Autoimmune diseases and lymphoma: Part I: focus on Lupus, Part II: focus on inflammation and Part III: focus on lymphomas. Another example is DNA demethylation – a new way of coming at cancers. A few of these mini-treatises have been motivated by a personal medical concern, Spinal cord injury pain – a personal story and a new paradigm being a case in point.

         Original research and intellectual contributions. These are my own ideas not found in the existing literature but representing a synthesis of knowledge and trends that are definitely “out there.”  I have made two major contributions and some minor ones in this regard.  One of the major contributions is the Stem Cell Supply Chain theory of aging, originally written up in this blog and now part of my treatise. Many later posts refer back to this one.  The other major contribution is Giuliano’s Law, related to the exponential acceleration in anti-aging science and the implication of this for personal longevity.  Again, this was a three-part series starting with Giuliano’s Law: Prospects for breaking through the 122 year human age limit and going on to More on Giuliano’s Law; calculating my longevity prospects and Factors that drive Giuliano’s Law. Occasionally I will develop an original insight  while writing a blog post  and mention it in that post.  An example from yesterday’s post Important new mesenchymal stem cell therapies was that acupuncture might work because it mobilizes  mesenchymal stem cells to migrate to a problematic location where they do their job of tissue regeneration.   I plan to research that particular speculation further, incidentally, and report on it in a future blog entry.

         Humorous pieces.  An example is P38, P39 and P40 channel receptor functions inhibit activities of BF-110, HE111 and HE177 leading to reduced expression of (SC)1000 in BOB which seems to be a typical jargon-filled paper title from a molecular biology journal but in fact describes World War II fighter plane action.  Another example is the Avoidance Magazine stories.

         Review and housekeeping posts, like this one and the recent post Genes discussed or mentioned in this blog.

         Only selective reviews of supplements: While many supplements are suggested in my treatise and are of great personal interest to me and to many of my readers, I do not usually review them because they are mostly already well-reviewed in other on-line resources.  I make a few exceptions to this rule when the science is unusual, however, such as in The curious case of l-carnosine.

         More and more-sophisticated comments: During the first 9 months of the blog’s existence, the number of posts exceeded the number of comments.  Currently more comments are coming in than posts and the comment-to-post ratio is continuing to grow. And the comments are tending to be more sophisticated contributions.

Why these directions?

I believe the above profile gives the blog a unique character and market positioning, different than the many aging and anti-aging sites out there.  The blog strives for both technical depth and true multi-disciplinary breadth and provides viewpoints not normally found in focused research studies.   As I add entries, I believe I am constructing an important database of longevity-related articles, again a key adjunct to my treatise.  As time goes on the blog gains value because of its retrospective as well as current content.  Even  now, if a doctor or scientist wants to learn about aging, the blog is an excellent way to start.

Further there is another, personal, agenda involved.  Researching these articles, writing this blog and updating my treatise is a full-time job for me, and it is a full-time self-educational process.  Eighteen months ago I looked at two options: 1.  entering a full time graduate level program in the life sciences at MIT or Harvard, with the four-year objective of obtaining a second Ph.D. focusing on longevity sciences and writing a Ph.D. in that area, and 2. Pursuing the course I am now pursuing of self-education and communication, using the discipline of blog writing and treatise updating to keep me focused, on track, and constantly digging deeper and learning more.  And, in the process, building an equivalent of the Ph.D. thesis as I move along, constantly improving it – (that is my treatise and the collective writings in this blog).  

I did not like the first track for it would have been a massive digression requiring me to take too many courses and learn too much material only marginally relevant to longevity.  And I would miss keeping up with key longevity developments that were unfolding day-to-day.  While I would have earned a new Ph.D. and a certain amount of institutional credibility, I would have missed much of the party and most likely would have prepared myself for a relatively narrow career.  I compared myself to being a guy with an electrical engineering degree who found himself in a fairly exciting job in a computer industry lab in 1955, already making important contributions, say in the area of storage technology and knowing a lot about computers and where they were heading.  Should that guy drop out for four years to get an academic degree in computer sciences?  Probably not since most of his professors would know less about what was really important about computers and storage than he did, and he too would have missed the most exciting part of the party.

An advantage of this approach is sharing my education with my readers, making my learning far from a lonely process.

My choice of the current educational track often requires me to stop and backfill knowledge, however.  I find it easier and more satisfying to work backwards from current research than to take courses or read entire books which would give me a broader base of mostly-irrelevant knowledge.  For example, suppose I encounter research relating to protein folding and how this effects P53 gene activation in the presence of co-activators under certain conditions of histone acetylation.  I want to understand what the new research means.  This requires digging into these areas to the degree necessary to understand what is going on.  And because these areas are new research frontiers, I am not going to find what I want to know all neatly packaged in a course anywhere or even in one book.  If the area is complex and important, I may decide to generate a blog post about it as a way of forcing my own learning.  I can’t write clearly about something unless I understand it.  So several blog posts are about such “backfill” areas of knowledge, an example being MicroRNAs, diseases and yet-another view of aging.

All of this is to say that as I am learning more and the state of knowledge advances my blog entries have been tending to become more complex, technical and sophisticated, and this tendency is likely to continue.  I am also spending more and more time addressing comments.

Future of the blog

My current plan is to continue the blog along the paths identified above, but I have some questions for my readers:

·        What do you think about the current mix of posts?  Which kinds would you like to see more or less of?

·        What area of content are you most interested in?

·        Do you know how to find all the past items, to use the search features to find past blog entries?  I could write a short post on this.

·        Do you make much use of the hyperlinks?

·        Are you satisfied with how I respond to comments?

·        Do you find this site too personal, not personal enough or are you OK with the current mix?

·        Right now there is backwards hyper linking of blog entries to previous relevant ones, but no forward hyper linking, say linking an early article on telomerase to the many subsequent ones.  Do you think it would be worth the time and effort required for me to generate such forward links?

·        What forms of networking or joint activities would you suggest for me with aging research institutions?  Any specific links you can suggest? People you know who I should contact?

·        Any ideas of how radically to expand the readership of the site?  I already have pretty good search engine placement on Google.

·        Any other suggestions?

About Vince Giuliano

Being a follower, connoisseur, and interpreter of longevity research is my latest career. I have been at this part-time for well over a decade, and in 2007 this became my mainline activity. In earlier reincarnations of my career. I was founding dean of a graduate school and a university professor at the State University of New York, a senior consultant working in a variety of fields at Arthur D. Little, Inc., Chief Scientist and C00 of Mirror Systems, a software company, and an international Internet consultant. I got off the ground with one of the earliest PhD's from Harvard in a field later to become known as computer science. Because there was no academic field of computer science at the time, to get through I had to qualify myself in hard sciences, so my studies focused heavily on quantum physics. In various ways I contributed to the Computer Revolution starting in the 1950s and the Internet Revolution starting in the late 1980s. I am now engaged in doing the same for The Longevity Revolution. I have published something like 200 books and papers as well as over 430 substantive.entries in this blog, and have enjoyed various periods of notoriety. If you do a Google search on Vincent E. Giuliano, most if not all of the entries on the first few pages that come up will be ones relating to me. I have a general writings site at and an extensive site of my art at Please note that I have recently changed my mailbox to
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12 Responses to The evolution of this blog

  1. Res says:

    Hi Vince,

    My suggestion is to move the content to wordpress. And make a magazine kind of display.

    There are 5 or 6 keywords that you can assign to the blog posts and each keyword can be assigned as a category.

    So it would be easy to look for each of the articles and provide the full name of each of the entry from the beginning. (if you see the current left mast, it shows only the few latest posts).

    Actually, it does not matter. You have the content. People would read it.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks again for your unswerving support. I will look into your indexing suggestion.


  3. DeadMeat says:

    Hi Vince,

    A blog birthday present. 🙂

  4. Lee says:

    A newcomer to the very interesting website…please excuse a couple of initial questions from me if they have been previously answered or are remedial. In your opinion is there a more economical way to take the substantial equivalent of the TA 65 product? I see your supplements in the Firewall however am not familiar enough with the astralagus nomenclature to distinguish/understand.


  5. admin says:


    Regarding your question re TA65, this is an issue many of us have been wondering about for well over a year now. I might create a new post on the topic soon. For the moment, let me comment:

    – while the TA65 bandwagon rolls on there is still no published clinical data as to how well it works and it still is not known for sure what the substance is. For a while it was thought to possibly be Astragaloside IV, a highly refined extract of astragalus root. More recently the speculation is that it is Cycloastragenol, an even more refined astragalus component. This is based on careful reading of a patent that was just issued to Geron. TA65 is licensed by TA Sciences (a marketing company) from Geron (a biotech research company that was the first to deeply explore telomerase).

    Back to your question, was marketing first Astragaloside IV and then cycloastragenol at reasonable cost, calling the product Astral Fruit. When the news came that the patent was issued to Geron, Anthony Loera the proprietor of revgenetics decided to stop selling the products because they violated the Geron patents. I happened to snag a 3-month supply on a closeout sale. I am not sure where I will get more. It looks like new people are stepping into the telomerase activation game. See the imminst blog and do a Google search for cycloastragenol for more information.

    It looks like taking old-fashioned supplements like fish oil and resveratrol can also result in longer telomeres. See my yesterday blog post on Vitamins, Supplements and Telomerase.


  6. admin says:

    thanks for the birthday gift. It is nice but like several other birthday gifts tucked in corners of my bedroom I am noit exactly sure what to do with it. The fact is that I have never worried up to now too much about purslane herb aquenous extracts or D-galactose induced neurotoxicity. If and when I get around to doing a new blog entry on neuroprotectivity I will sure have a hard look at it again.
    Thanks again — Vince

  7. DeadMeat says:

    Hi Vince

    The neurotoxicity of D-galactose is not very interesting indeed. But I actually meant the in vivo telomerase activation AND telomere elongation(and then I mean real elongation: telomeres larger than the controls without D-galactose) in a very dose dependent manner, that was casually mentioned in the abstract. But I probably should have mentioned it was about telomerase, since thats not really clear from the title(nor from 95% of the abstract). 🙂

    From the abstract:

    “Meanwhile, PHAS also could up-regulate telomere lengths and telomerase activity in PHAS-fed groups.”

    “We found that p21(waf1)was down-regulated by PHAS without changing the expression of p53.”

    From the full text version:

    “Purslane herb powder also extends the life span of drosophila by regulating telomere length [6].”

    “TRF length was determined using pulse gel electrophoresis followed by Southern blot hybridization with telomere-specific probes.Average telomere lengths were shown in Fig. 3A. Telomere length assay revealed that PHAS-fed groups were longer than those in the controls and d-gal model groups. PHAS-fed group of different concentrations led to resulted in the significant increment of the mean telomere length (Fig. 3B, P

  8. Lee says:

    Thank you very much for a quick/understandable primer on the background and current situation. I will stay tuned. I have never published a blog, but subscribe to a few where emails come through with new postings…don’t know if that would be something desirable/workable from your standpoint, but I would be a subscriber. I suggested it a while back to a financial blogger, who investigated one I forwarded to him…and he was able to get the process set up in a matter of hours.
    Best Regards

  9. DeadMeat says:

    I assume I hit some anti spam protection limiting the amount of text per day or something? Although you probably already got the point, here is the rest of the comment.

  10. DeadMeat says:

    Never mind, its probably the is smaller than sign that is causing trouble.

    “is smaller than” 0.05). We then again evaluated the effect of PHAS on telomerase activity. Our data suggested that PHAS could up-regulate telomerase activity in PHAS-fed groups. Telomerase activity were shown in Fig. 3C. It revealed that PHAS-fed groups had higher than those in the controls and d-gal model groups. PHAS-fed group of different concentrations led to resulted in the significant increment of the telomerase activity.”

    And I see that the authors actually wanted to make another article about it titled: “Antiaging effect of purslane herb aqueous extracts and its mechanism of action”. But that was retracted because I assume it was almost a duplicate of the previous one.

    “The retraction has been agreed due to overlap with the following article: Zhang Hongxing, Yu Nancai, Huang Guofu, Shao Jianbo, Wu Yanxia, Huang Hanju, Liu Qian, Ma Wei, Yi Yandong and Huang Hao. Neuroprotective effects of purslane herb aquenous extracts against d-galactose induced neurotoxicity.”

  11. admin says:


    You raise a very very interesting point with regard to PHAS telomerase activation and telomere enlongation. It seems we have been in a 2-year period where the only telomerase activators that were thought about were the astragalus-based substances TA-65, astragaloside IV, cycloastragenol, etc. Now we are in a new period where:

    a. there is a growing realization that really old-fashioned stuff like vitamin D, vitamin E, fish oils, resveratrol and even vitamin C have an effect in increasing telomere lengths as shown by population studies (see my blog post

    b. With Geron having been issued a patent on astragaloside IV and cycloastragenol, Revgenetics is no longer supplying those products and they might become very expensive.

    c. Given two years with still no clinical studies showing how well TA65 works, my doubts about how well the stuff really works actually to extend telomeres are increasing.

    d. New substances are coming to the fore showing telomerase activation properties like PHAS.

    I have to go to lunch now but will post more on your comments later today. These are interesting telomerase times!


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