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The conversion of expandable liver progenitor cells into pancreatic beta cells would provide a renewable cell source for diabetes cell therapy. Previously, we reported the establishment of liver epithelial progenitor cells LEPCs. Considering the limited availability of beta cells, we propose that our experiments will provide a framework for utilizing the immortal liver progenitor cells as a renewable cell source for the generation of functional pancreatic beta cells.


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Volume , Issue 1. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry Volume , Issue 1.

China Search for more papers by this author. Zhen H. Xin Wang Corresponding Author E-mail address: wangx umn. Jin and W. Li contributed equally to this work. Read the full text. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Abstract The conversion of expandable liver progenitor cells into pancreatic beta cells would provide a renewable cell source for diabetes cell therapy.

Citing Literature. This frantic clinging to earthly existence is not new; people have obsessed for millennia about ways to prolong life. And, when confronted with the inescapablethat a physical presence cannot be sustainedwe clutch just as desperately to life-afterdeath concepts that promise perpetuation of spirit, if not body. Heaven, reincarnation, and the more contemporary notion that some vague, ethereal energy form endures, are three of the most common beliefs people embrace. Though unproven and unquantifiable, these leap-of-faith alternatives to rotting in graves bring comfort to billions of people terrified at the thought of infinite nothingness.

Our dread of death, coupled with a grasping belief in the chimera of eternal life, is a deeply rooted psychological paradox that most are unable to rationalize. So, billions spend their lives in worried torment as the sand drains inexorably from their life glasses. Fear of oblivion obliterates objectivity. Were it otherwise, solace would be found in the fact that people have more time to be less concerned about death than have people at any point in history. Most of the more than seven billion people now on the planet will live longermuch longerthan did their predecessors just two generations ago.

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Due primarily to the influences of better medicine and diet, life expectancy has leapt decades in just years. In the year , the average North American lived to about Today, both men and women who reach 65 can expect to survive into their 80s. And these numbers are extending rapidly. Life expectancy in the developed nations lengthens by about one year every decade. Centenarians will be common by Medical researchers suggest that the human organism, sustained by appropriate diet, exercise, and pollution-free environments, is capable of existing in a healthy state to the age of plus.

And there is promise of adding even further to this remarkable number as 3rd Millennium science searches for ways to dramatically slow our genetic aging clocks. Such revolutionary breakthroughs percolate even now in biochemical and biotechnical laboratories around the globe. It appears certain that mankind is about to get what it has always wanted greatly increased longevity.

So, too, is there truth in the astonishing and controversial chapter about anthropoktonos, man the murderer of men. This examination of biological underpinnings to human violence and war is shocking. The heroic people of the book, the Mavas u Chan, are part of the fiction, but they could exist. But, thats only part of the story. Dramatically longer lives will raise important issues. Will long life be the gift we wish for? What would we do differently if we knew we had twice as long to live?

Would double the life span equate with double the productivity, and double the sense of purpose, or would it mean living the same, just for twice as long? A significant lengthening of longevity suggests incalculable implications not only for humans, but also for other species, for vegetationindeed, for the entire planet. Clearly, overpopulation would rank as a major concern; there are too many people already in many geographic areas. When congestion combines with disproportionate distributions of food, water, and resources, disaster always results.

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The spread of humans has been an exponential juggernaut that will continue to gather momentum. Consider: 1 billion people inhabited the earth from the first sign of homo-sapiens until to reach that number took one million-plus years 2 billion people by only additional years were needed to double 3 billion people by 32 additional years 4 billion people by 15 additional years 5 billion people by 12 additional years , and. However, if scientific advances significantly lengthen longevity, the global population number could be even higher and reached sooner.

While people would do anything, and pay anything, to live longer, a cut in mortality rates would mean billions more people. That is likely to be catastrophic. The optimistic perspective f course, there could be positives. Longer life spans could mean more and potentially fantastic contributions from significant thinkers, inventors, and researchers. We can only speculate what may be achieved if bodies supporting Einsteinian-quality intellects are able to use extra decades invested in intellectual productivity. Its impossible to predict if we will deal with supercentenarianism constructively and intelligently, but almost certainly, our species will face such critical decisions relatively soon.

If we fail to rise to the challenge, we may confront a perverse biological contradictionlonger human life spans could lead to the demise of nearly all life on the planet. Ultra-long life may prove to be a much more complex and difficult issue than many suspect. Will it bring increased happiness, comfort, and prosperity?

To make it so, our species must act quickly to change attitudes and behaviour, but given our history, how likely is it that we will cope with these issues in constructive or humanistic manners? Might Aldous Huxleys pessimistic view hold sway? No one knew who made it, or how, or why. Even 3rd Millennium science lacked answers, able only to suggest that its essence was spawned three billion years ago in the magmatic hell of earths womb. In this 7,degree caldron, kilometers down, the pristine arrangement of molecules, purged of color and contaminants, was carried by a molten stream that gushed along fissures to spew a mile into the sky from the mouth of the monster volcano.

Then, in cooling quiet, trapped in a black lava tomb by the press of time, earth, and gravity, the giant crystal grew. Eons later, the earth convulsed again, this cataclysm borne of immeasurable grinding forces, colliding tectonic plates in subterranean battle fought at glacial speed. Finally, unable to withstand the stalemate, one strata slid atop the other, the loosed rocky subcontinent projecting upward to heights of more than 10, feet a thousand miles of jagged, barren mountains created in scant days.

There were no witnesses. People would not inhabit this spot for million years, but the crystal was stirred from the deep. It now lay almost within grasp if hands knew where to chip and dig, but digging would be unnecessary. Relentless monsoons fed freshets into a single torrent that chewed through earth and stone until reaching the cliff. There, feet down, where the water struck with maximum force, a rounded black lava bulge protruded incongruously as the softer soil and slate around it were slowly worn away.

The hunter spied the crystals sarcophagus by chance as he stopped at the base of the fall to scoop a drink. At any other time, the globular lump would have been unremarkable, just an unattractive rock, its scarred surface nothing more than deeply etched igneous caking. But today, because the light was right, at the valley of each rough groove, subtle hints of pale white shone, and the mans attention caught. He poked and prodded with a stick, but it was embedded too tightly to be so easily dislodged.

Back at his village, the hunter told of his find, and he felt important when a priest overheard and said he wanted to see the glowing stone. So they journeyed back, and after much rubbing, and washing, and looking, the priest said it should be dug out so other priests could see it, too. It was not easy freeing the rock, and even harder carrying pounds of weight through miles of jungle.

Many times, his hands rubbed raw and bleeding, and his back aching, the hunter wished hed never seen the rock, but one did not refuse a priest. Other priests came to the village and they found the glowing rock fascinating as well, but no one knew what to do with it. Finally, one priest suggested making an offering to Itzamn, the god of gods, so they carried the heavy stone for six days to the mountain alter, the place visited by the lord of the heavens.

There they left it. Three months later, when the priests returned for spring rituals, the coarse black oblong had disappeared. In its place, like a butterfly burst from its chrysalis, was something that glowed like water in sunlight, a liquid visage hardened to stone in the shape of a skeletons head. In its sockets were blood red orbs, dodecahedron jewels that changed sunlight to ruby lances that blinded anyone looking into them.

At the sight of the glowing skull with burning eyes, the priests prostrated themselves. For two days they held a terrified vigil, fearing disaster, and praying until their mouths no longer worked. Nothing happened. The priests reasoned that their prayers had worked.

The skull was a good omen, so they made sacrifices to Itzamn and the four lesser gods whose immense strength held up the corners of the sky, red god in the east, white in the north, black in the west, and yellow in the south. In homage, the Osario, the Mayan priest of highest rank, ordered a stelae erected. Into the stone was carved a likeness of the skull, the date, B. From its mystery-shrouded beginning, supernatural powers were ascribed to the skull, powers so great it must be guarded.

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For this task, a new order of monks was formedthe Bacobs. Selected from the strongest and most committed, the Bacobs accepted a new dualism. They observed religious tradition, but they also swore to protect, and from this role evolved martial knowledge that enabled the warrior priests to defend the skull to the death. For several millennia the Bacob prayed and trained, but the skull was never threatened.

Then, in A.


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Soon after the ships came, the killings began. God, gold, and glory! The hemorrhage of plunder swelled to a flood. Fleets sailed to and from Mlaga, each ship wallowing under tons of gold, silver, jewels, fabrics, and animalsall stolen to curry favor with Carlos I. But theft was not Spains only legacy.

PROGENETER I Immortality: the Quest

In scant decades, conquistadors murdered more than one million new-world inhabitants, nave people powerless before the. Through all this, the priest class of the Mayans prayed fervently, but their gods did nothing as the invaders scoured city after city, the heavy-horse cavalry barely slowing to crush those armed only with obsidian-tipped spears and leather shields.

In less than a decade, the once-rich Mayan empire lay in ruins, its shattered people dead, ill, starving, and in hiding. Nothing but songs of sorrow remain, where once lived warriors and wise men. We know we must perish, for we are mortal; you, the Giver of Life, have ordained it. We wander in desolate poverty amid bloodshed where once was beauty and valour.

We are crushed to ruins, nothing but grief and suffering. Have you grown weary of your servants? Are you angry with your servants, O Giver of Life? Post conquest poet, Yucatan. Even Rogelio, his spirited Andalusian, plodded, the black sheen of the stallions coat masked beneath grime, his proud head bent to the ground, nostrils flared, seeking air but instead sucking dust that seared his lungs.

At the head of a loose caravan that snaked for more than a mile behind, de Coronado sought to ease the tedium, thinking of his former life of easy circumstance, wild rides across green rangelands, of reckless cavorts with sons of noblemen. He longed for the cool foothills of Salamanca, the tannin bite of a strong red rioja, and for a soft, passionate harlot in a comfortable bed. Was it just five years ago? His reverie was dashed by incessant rivulets of sweat, scurrying ants tickling down his ribs. Irritated, he clamped his arms to his sides, soaking the sudor in the fabric of his linen blouse.

How much longer must he bear disappointment? But what choice was there? He could not, he would not, return without treasure. To do so would infuriate Viceroy Mendoza and doubtless destroy his dream of returning to Spain to sit at the. To find fame and earn a seat at the palace in Madrid, he needed riches.

He must go on. He is forever remembered as one of Spains most embarrassing failures, leader of the March of Death that searched in vain for Eldoradothe legendary Seven Cities of Cibola, a legend that began in Antilia, islands that would become the Caribbean. But when gold and silver were not found there, the geographical location of the cities was conveniently rewritten to North America.

By , conquistadors pressed as far north as the Zui pueblos in western New Mexico. From one expedition came reports that the cities had been found, the smallest larger than Mexico City and home to mountains of gold. This was the lure that drove the year-old de Coronado farther north than any other Spaniard. His expedition began in grand style in February, , from Cortezs beach city of Vera Cruz, the train of people, wagons, and animals flanked by a colour guard of splendidly mounted cavalry, banners flapping brightly atop pikes. Once on the trail, though, with the pomp and ceremony behind, de Coronado set an inhuman pace.

In little more than a year, he force-marched a contingent of Spaniards, 2, Tlaxcalan Indians, Mayans, and black slaves, and 1, horses, mules, and oxen, an impossible 2, miles to the northwest corner of modern-day Arizona. Many died from exhaustion, disease, and injuryalmost all of the dead were slaves. Not to be discouraged by the loss of lives, de Coronados force found time to battle numerous Indian tribes. Due to superior weaponry, the skirmishes were always one sided and bloody, but they allowed the restocking of larders with stolen foodstuffs.

But nowhere did they find riches, just poor villages dotting the Rio Grande River, the mud huts galling to conquerors hungry for palaces and storerooms bulging with bullion. The train of thousands of men and beasts bore on, frustration feeding arrogance, guns confronting arrows, and hundreds of Zuni and Pueblo Indians adding to the mounting death toll.

This day, de Coronado was especially tired, mentally drained from the effort of controlling hard men who increasingly doubted his claims that the famed golden city lay always just ahead. As is the deserts wont, shimmering visions of fabulous wealth repeatedly disappeared, stretching away again and again to the next horizon.

Back to Immortality - Episode 1, Mystery religions and mankind's quest for the drug of immortality

His depression wallowed in these thoughts as he heard hoofs and the chafing squeak of saddlery. He turned to see Captain Fuentes, a squat, hairy man with bad complexion, a barrel chest, and knobbly sausage fingers tipped with dirty black nails. Today, as every other day, the captain was covered in red ochre smears, his sweat mixed with the iron oxide desert clay that filled every crease of his skin and tunic.

God, the man stank! Governor, Fuentes said overly loudly, snapping a sharp salute that he hoped would hide the state of his roiling gut. The scouts have returned. In his mind, though, were curses that he was the one to bring this terrible news. But hed lost the draw, and his fellow officers were glad it was he and not they. Report Captain, but do me the courtesy of moving off a few feet.