Life extension people are happy: keep living, please!

I found this picture of Aubrey de Grey with his book Ending Aging on his head at the BIL conference in Quinn Norton‘s Flickr Stream. Quinn Norton is a bodyhacker technophiliac journalist photographer. Robust, healthy lifespan extension can easily be interpreted as an extreme body-, life- and biohack so no wonder that more and more geeks are turning their attention to this little, unsolved hack. Maybe with time they will learn not just how to write the names properly but how to set up a private lab and isolate DNA and stem cells, at home. (blogging pictures = not enough time to write posts)

aubreyendinghead

Understanding Aging Conference in L.A.: de Grey, Conboy, Wagers and many others…

UABBA conference, 2008

Looks like the scientist coalition behind healthy life extension is widening. In line with that the question Why was life extension ruled out of the 14 Grand Engineering Challenges? is fading away.

Here is an Aubrey de Grey message from my mailbox:

All details, including forms for abstract submission and
online registration, are at the conference website:

http://www.mfoundation.org/UABBA/

The preliminary program already has over two dozen confirmed
speakers, all of them world leaders in their field. As for previous
conferences I have [co-]organised, the emphasis of this meeting is on
“applied biogerontology” — the design and implementation of
biomedical interventions that may, jointly, constitute a
comprehensive panel of rejuvenation therapies, sufficient to restore
middle-aged or older laboratory animals (and, in due course, humans)
to a youthful degree of physiological robustness. The list of
scientific sessions and confirmed speakers is as follows:

DNA damage, telomeres, cancer
Adam Arkin, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Jan Vijg, Buck
Institute for Age Research; Jerry Shay, U. Texas Southwestern;
Claudia Gravekamp, Pacific Medical Center Research Institute; Zheng
Cui, Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Rita Effros, UCLA

The cell niche
Irina Conboy, U. California Berkeley; Judith Campisi, Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory and Buck Institute; Leanne Jones, Salk
Institute; Ken Muneoka, Tulane University; Kevin Healy, Stanford
University
Continue reading

Biomarkers of aging conference in New York City

In order to slow the progress of aging and prevent age-related disease (which is not the same as figuring out a robust engineering plan for unlimited healthy life extension) biological measures (biomarkers) of aging or disease mechanisms are needed that anticipate clinical disease and are sensitive to functional organism aging.

The American Federation for Aging Research is the organizer of a one-day conference on October 2 in Manhattan focusing on current and future status of biomarkers as identifiers of rates of biological aging, predictors of longevity and predictors of susceptibility to disease.

biomarkersofagingconf

/Thanks for the tip, Jim Craig./

“Mitochondrial Oasis Effect”: fasting => NAD+ up in mitos => cell survival

Quick storytelling through citations (alert from Jim Hardy, thanks):

Cell: Nutrient-Sensitive Mitochondrial NAD+ Levels Dictate Cell Survival

A major cause of cell death caused by genotoxic stress is thought to be due to the depletion of NAD+ from the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Here we show that NAD+ levels in mitochondria remain at physiological levels following genotoxic stress and can maintain cell viability even when nuclear and cytoplasmic pools of NAD+ are depleted. Rodents fasted for 48 hr show increased levels of the NAD+ biosynthetic enzyme Nampt and a concomitant increase in mitochondrial NAD+. Increased Nampt provides protection against cell death and requires an intact mitochondrial NAD+ salvage pathway as well as the mitochondrial NAD+-dependent deacetylases SIRT3 and SIRT4. We discuss the relevance of these findings to understanding how nutrition modulates physiology and to the evolution of apoptosis.

Scientific American: Eat (Less) to Live (Longer)

Researchers report in the journal Cell that the phenom is likely linked to two enzymes—SIRT3 and SIRT4—in mitochondria (the cell’s powerhouse that, among other tasks, converts nutrients to energy). They found that a cascade of reactions triggered by lower caloric intake raises the levels of these enzymes, leading to an increase in the strength and efficiency of the cellular batteries. By invigorating the mitochondria, SIRT3 and SIRT4 extend the life of cells, by preventing flagging mitochondria from developing tiny holes (or pores) in their membranes that allow proteins that trigger apoptosis, or cell death, to seep out into the rest of the cell.

“We didn’t expect that the most important part of this pathway was in the mitochondria,” says David Sinclair, an assistant professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and a study co-author. “We think that we’ve possibly found regulators of aging.”

And last, the interesting personal background of the principal investigator David A. Sinclair (see also: Resveratrol goes to the clinic: a Pulitzer for David Stipp!) from the recent Technology Review portrait, The Enthusiast:

Sinclair says his bravado and drive come from his grandmother Vera, who fled to Australia in the wake of the failed 1956 revolution in her native Hungary. Her son, David’s father, changed the family name from Szigeti. “My grandmother is the black-sheep rebel of the family,” he says. “She gave birth to my dad at age 15 in 1939 – imagine the scandal then – and has lived with natives in New Guinea and eaten human flesh,among other things. She once got in trouble with the police for being the first person to wear a bikini on a Sydney beach. She’s a 60s bohemian who helped raise me and taught me how to think differently and question dogma.”

SENS3: The stem cell marketplace by Linda Powers, Tucan Capital (slides)

Linda Powers is the managing director and co-founder of Toucan Capital Corp, a $120 million venture capital fund (SBIC) focused on seed and early-stage life science and advanced technology investments (the fund markets itself as the The Leading US Investor in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine). Out of here insights and facts presented on the SENS3 conference (I caught some of her slides with my iPhone, see below) I’d like to highlight the following ones:
- the anti-aging market today is approx. 42 billion dollars,
- the number of issued and published U.S. stem cell patents has been decreased for the first time since 2000 compared to the earlier year,
- viable business models in regenerative medicine are still missing,
- first-to-trial and -market is not always advantageous in regmed.

Michael Rose, evolutionary SENS and aging as a loss of adaptation (slides)

Embedded on the slideshow below 9 slides of Michael Rose‘s presentation called Slowing and then stopping aging on the SENS3 conference on the 9th of September. (Photos made by me with the iPhone.) Rose’s argument was: Aubrey de Grey’s original SENS proposal is based on the non-evolutionary assumption that aging is a process of accumulating damage, while according to the evolutionary SENS version of Rose aging should be interpreted as a loss of adaption. The script is: breed mice with delayed reproduction over multiple generations (let evolution by natural selection give us the answer of how to build a long-lived animal), and then reverse engineer this answer to develop anti-aging therapies for genetically unaltered humans. The experimental basis of this proposal: Rose’s own ancient experiments with fruit flies (sorry, no reference yet, that’s what I’ve heard) showed that there is a plateau in mortality rates after many generations of breeded Drosophilas with delayed reproduction time which leads to the cessation of the aging process.

Does this method sound as one that gives us a complete engineering toolkit to achieve robust healthy life extension for early generations of humans under the reverse engineered treatment?

James Clement, Pimm’s former blogterviewee is WTA’s new Executive Director

james clementJames Clement, attorney and serial entrepreneur is the new Executive Director of the World Transhumanist Association (“WTA“). Press Release

Read our November, 2006 blogterview with James Clement on his life extension commitment:
Maximum Life’s James Clement: what can a lawyer do for life extension?

From the blogterview:

3. What is your favourite argument supporting human life extension?

James Clement: Not only will the suffering of disease and aging be alleviated, but human society will be transformed by continuous learning, and a deeper appreciation for the value of life (human and animal) and the environment in which we live.

6. What can blogs and other websites do for LE?

JC: The vast majority of the public still thinks that extreme life extension is science fiction. Blogs and websites can help educate them as to how close we really are to ending the suffering of disease and aging. Every day, 100,000 individuals die from aging related disease. If we are to put an end to this travesty as soon as possible, we need to motivate the public to make this a priority of our society.

Ask a good scientist in a San Francisco Cafe: The Reality of Age Research

lithgowThe Buck Institute in Novato, California is a rich private research center focusing on aging with the mission of “extending the healthy years of life”. They have a real interdisciplinary staff, exactly the one that is needed for studying aging, which is a notoriously multifactorial, multicausal, atypical and complex biological phenomenon.
One of the faculty member of Buck Institute is Gordon J. Lithgow Associate Professor, and on Tuesday due to Monya Baker‘s alarm I was happy to participate on Lithgow’s clearly terrific presentation without slides but full with thoughts, facts and good comments from a grateful audience. The event was part of the Ask a Scientist Series, which is a monthly lecture series, held at a San Francisco cafe. This time the place was the Axis Cafe and here are some words out of the official intro:
Understanding and dealing with disease associated with aging is arguably the greatest challenge for biomedicine in the 21st Century. In fact growing old is the single largest risk factor for human disease in developed countries. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the biological basis of aging — but a series of remarkable discoveries in simple animal models indicates that our understanding of the subject is beginning to change. For example, it is now commonplace to extend the lifespan of lab worms and flies by genetic or chemical interventions. Come learn about the latest in the new field of geroscience and talk about opportunities for living better, more productive lives.

On the iPhone photo made by me: Mr. Lithgow is demonstrating the role of chaperone proteins in protein folding/unfolding with 2 paper glasses.

Here are my brief notes and highlights:

All forms of stress is involved in aging not just oxidative stress Continue reading

Everything Technorati knows about life extension

As you might know Technorati, the premiere blog search engine was redesigned about a week ago, and now it is intended to be a more universal search engine which is mirrored in the current subtitle on the page: “Zillions of photos, videos, blogs and more.”

Here is what you can find after typing the term “life extension” into the search field:

technoratilifeextension

The question is whether it is enough or not enough for the users desperately seeking relevant information (see blog post 1) and desperately avoiding irrelevant information (see blog post 2)?

Content of Ending Aging, Aubrey de Grey’s coming life extension book

You can now pre-order Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Biotechnologies That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime at Amazon written by Aubrey de Grey and Michael Rae which is the most detailed, although popular exposition of the SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) plan to defeat aging.

Aubrey was kind enough to mail me the content of the book, so you can find out which SENS point is fitted with the chapters of Part II (little help: Edmonton Aging Symposium: full video, audio and presentation access)

endage

Aubrey’s first big move in science was a monograph on mitochondria called The Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging.

Why aging is an unnatural process? An argument from Atul Gawande

There is a formulation of the argument on why aging should be considered as an unnatural process by Atul Gawande in the current The Way We Age Now report in The New Yorker:
“..scientists do not believe that our life spans are actually programmed into us. After all, for most of our hundred-thousand-year existence—all but the past couple of hundred years—the average life span of human beings has been thirty years or less. (Research suggests that subjects of the Roman Empire had an average life expectancy of twenty-eight years.) Today, the average life span in developed countries is almost eighty years. If human life spans depend on our genetics, then medicine has got the upper hand. We are, in a way, freaks living well beyond our appointed time. So when we study aging what we are trying to understand is not so much a natural process as an unnatural one.”

Update: Derya Unutmaz‘s critic of this argument on FightAging! and more: “This is gross misconception. The reason why the average life span was so low was because most of the deaths occurred during childhood and through infections during adulthood. If one corrects for the infection survival and looks at life expectancy at older age, there has only been about 6-8 years increase in overall life extension in the last 100 years. Thus, the data strongly argues for biological program of aging, and that at current time we are not yet freaks living much beyond our appointed time, just that many more of us reaching the near maximal set program.”

Life extension: body hack and/or life hack?

memento life hackIn recent culture, technological life extension is considered to be a form of hacking, as 2Dolphins says a “hacker is someone who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations — someone who makes things work beyond perceived limits through unconventional means or skills.” In hacking there is also a DIY element too.
There are now 2 broader hacking terms applied for physical life extension technologies: body hacking and life hacking. For first, see my previous post about Bodies in the Making book which handles a diverse range of practices that aren’t usually linked: tattooing, cosmetic surgery, body-building, life extension technologies, self-cutting as exemplars of the body hacking concept. Body hack in that context is something extreme, something very experimental. How extreme form it will take, that depends on the chosen technology. In the old school permalink-free blog Notes from Classy’s Kitchen it is said for instance in the November 26, 2005 post: “What Aubrey de Grey was proposing was the ultimate bodyhack, engineered immortality (or 1000 year life span at least).” Body hack also includes a form a DIY, for instance Nikolaj Nyholm of O’Reilly Radar blogged on the “protocol for “isolat[ing] stem cells from your baby’s placenta in a rent lab or at home” for the upcoming EuroOSCON Make Fest, which also plays well with one emerging theme at this year’s FOO Camp, body hacking — engineers and copper wire paired with doctors, psychologists and neurologists.”

On the other hand there is the emerging life hack movement popularized by blogs as Lifehacker or 43 Folders or Lifehack.org. According to Wikipedia “the term life hack refers to productivity tricks that programmers devise and employ to cut through information overload and organize their data.” And it is also Nikolaj Nyholm, who calls Aubrey de Grey an extraordinary life-hacker concerning his SENS-esque plan to defeat aging. Why life extension counts as a life hack? Long story short: it’s all about hacking time. The narrowest bottleneck of productivity is time, and indefinite life extension’s main ambition is to abandon this final limiting factor, to make time pressure out of time. But can indefinite or maximum life extension (and especially the here supported continuous regeneration treatment through systemic regenerative medicine called Pimm) really be interpreted as a life hack? I think yes. Indefinite life extension is the biggest scale life hack as it amplifies human capacities indefinitely, because it is the only possibility for a human and mortal individual to fully explore his/her own individuality, to develop his/her own abilities let it be mental, physical, or moral.

There is also the term biohacking, which refers mostly to synthetic biology or creating public awareness of human genetic information and in this context biohacker is a synonym for biopunk, and the term is not applied recently to life extension, although in the future it could considering the broad semantic field of the bio prefix.

To sum up: life extension is a form of extreme body hack which is the most extended life hack, although a body hack is rarely a life hack and vice versa. (In the movie Memento Guy Pearce (picture), who lacks short-term memory, uses tattoos on his body as fact memos, which is also a body and life hack, although most tattoos are just ornamental.)

3 Edmonton Aging (Life Extension) Symposium videos

Following Reason’s links at Fight Aging here is a little conference webcasting from the Edmonton Aging Symposium. You also can read a Conference Report at Ouroboros.

There was a Symposium Live Streaming where for the very nominal fee of $5 CAD per connection to cover bandwidth costs people could watch the majority of presentations in a Windows Media Format. If anybody participated in this trial please share with us the information on it.

Debate between Gregory Stock and Daniel Callahan, which was moderated by Aubrey de Grey

Aubrey de Grey: Damage Accumulation and Age-Related Degeneration

Ronald Bailey: Estimating Your Future’s Options

Edmonton Aging (Life Extension Technologies) Symposium starts, March 30-31.

The Edmonton Aging Symposium starts today. Based on the program and speakers you can expect hot debates: Huber Warner, Aubrey de Grey, Irina Conboy, Amit Patel, Judith Campisi. I hope that the discussions will be hot, clarifying, perspective and scale conscious (quantitative enough), backed by strict scientific arguments.

edmonton aging symp

The organizing principle of the sessions seems to be individual SENS points with an emphasis on the “Too few cells” problem, i.e. stem cells and tissue regeneration:

1) Too Few Cells
2) Too Many Cells
3) Chromosomal DNA Mutations
4) Mitochondrial DNA Mutations
5) Junk Inside Cells
6) Junk Outside Cells
7) Protein X-Links

As my 2 main research topics are stem cells and mitochondria, I would like to highlight 2 presentations:

Irina Conboy of UC, Berkeley: Conservation of Aging Within Stem Cell Niches

Bernard Lemire: Mitochondria – Central Players in Longevity

media coverage: Scientists try to answer age-old query: Should people live longer?

Extension of life in green

go greenUpon a discussion with Anna 1 month ago, the question arised whether life extension might be interpreted as a green idea. She offered, that if people have the opportunity to extend their life significantly, paralell with this situation they find themselves in a more or less environmentalist position. Now back 2 steps: the question of environmentalism concerning life extension emerges 3fold:

1. the very technology of life extension is green enough,

2. the consequences of grand scale life extension are pro or antigreen (the overemphasized overpopulation topic), and

3. attitudes, mentality, psyhce of would be life extended people

I guess Anna thought of the latter, mentality tpye environmentalism: if we are extended, we take care of our environment more since its value will multiply with the bigger scale.

What do you think?

80 year old Lokey’s $33 million donation for Stanford Stem Cell Labs

LokeySuch a Californian story: Lorry I. Lokey, the founder of Business Wire will give a minimum of $33 million to help build a home for Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Lokey says: “The important thing to me is that stem cells might not only extend life, but also improve the quality of life, as so many people suffer in their later years,” said Lokey, who will turn 80 in March. “But I think stem cells will have applications across the entire life span.” Lokey’s contribution to the School of Medicine—its largest single gift to date from an individual—will launch construction of new stem cell laboratories on campus where scientists will probe the power of these elusive cells in treating conditions as diverse as cancer, stroke and diabetes. Lokey launched Business Wire in San Francisco in 1961 with $2,000 of his own money. It quickly grew to become a news industry powerhouse, now distributing an average of 17,000 corporate and academic press releases a month. “The biotech revolution has become so important to the quality of life,” he said. “To me, the biotech field is going to be very, very hot for the next generation.” Link

Unlimited Life Extension Petition to U.S. Congress and President: a good address?

The Coalition to Extend Life launched today an online petition to U.S. Congress and President in order to make the technological possibility of Indefinite Life Extension a national priority and public policy goal of the United States. They ask the power people to create the 4 main conditions that will make it possible.

petition coalition1. a National Institute for Life Extension be created with sufficient revenues to fund research in this area.
2. the Food and Drug Administration classify aging as a disease.
3. a National Commission be organized to study the social and economic impacts of this new reality.
4. a “Manhattan Project” to cure the terminal disease of aging.

What’s new here? Indefinite life extension could be addressed as an independent political issue with a bunch of supporters. If you are pro, sign the petition, if you are not, never mind but do not oppose – says the background assumption. Well, I am definitely pro, so at first I felt tempted to sign the petition, because I liked point 2 and 4 from a technological point of view. But I don’t think that at this point the address is right and it should be a mail to the U.S. Congress and President with this subject. If I were the sender of a letter with a similar content like that I would write the names of tech savvy power people, Silicon Valley big guns and venture capitalists in the address field and try to motivate them in an economical fashion. On the other hand I agree with Reason in that the right for indefinite life extension falls into the category of positive rights so it is not the best move to put it into the government’s hands. Even if this positive right can be derived from our strongest, universal, concrete human and negative right, the right for life.

To sum up: If you feel yourself tempted to sign, I encourage you to do that, although I am reluctant in this respect. The idea of this online petition can become a very useful PR tool for our very niche Issue, if a critical mass of people is reached.

My favourite signature and comment from the list: Amos Avon Cooper: “I’m almost 86 years old. I’m thankful to hear your message.”

An argument supporting systemic regenerative medicine as a life extension tool

The incentive of this argument is a comment on a post over at fellow life extension blog Fight Aging! titled You Can’t Row the Whole Distance With Oars Made of Stem Cells.

1. Currently the biggest grants in life sciences are in regenerative medicine and stem cell biology.
2. The rate of progress is very fast (if not the fastest) in stem cell biology, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine comparing to the other branches of life sciences due to the growing number of researchers and grants in the field.
3. Early disruptor candidate stem cell therapies will make regenerative medicine economically and generally acceptable in society.
4. Systemic regenerative medicine is a coherent and inclusive engineering approach to eliminate all aging related problems indefinitely.
Definiton: Systemic regenerative medicine theoretically means the continuous, gradual and consecutive regeneration of every tissue and organ of the human body n times by combined regenerative medicine approaches, i.e. tissue engineering (in vitro grown organs and tissues implants or parts of them), systemic (via circulation) and locally targeted stem and progenitor cell transplantation, and endogenous stem cell niche activation with proper growth factor delivery aiming to maintain the physiological turnover and condition of the human body.

5. Taking the above premises into consideration it is very rational to assume that systemic regenerative medicine has a real chance to reach its goal in itself within the next decades.
/If the current rate of progress will remain stable and will be focused throughout these decades/

Grailsearch.org: aging information from a systems biology perspective

grailsearchCheck out Grailsearch.org, which was started at the end of January and is hosted by software engineer Jim Craig with a deep interest in aging and bioinformatics. Grailsearch is a “community web portal intended for use by biogerontologists, students of biogerontology, software engineers, biochemists or anyone else interested in working towards the search for systems solutions to the diseases of aging.” Jim was interviewed at Pimm in November, 2006, and said that: “I have adopted life extension as a hobby. I now study microbiology, proteomics and molecular design about 20 hours per week and plan to guide the next 20-40 years of my career through bioinformatics and eventually into de novo drug design with an emphasis on aging solutions.”
The initial set of blog posts on the site seems really exciting for the multi-disciplined systems biologists of the future. As my point of view on indefinite life extension technology is systemic regenerative medicine, I am strongly committed to all the computational based large scale model approaches and quantitative aspects of the human body on which I had an interesting correspondence with Jim last year.

With Grailsearch the geeky IT side of aging research and life extension has at last got a quality representative on the web!

Accidental influentials meet life extension: a breakthrough idea for 2007

socialMost of us believe that the massive spreading of an idea through the channels of society, say, ‘big-scale life extension technology is possible and worth realizing’, depends on highly influential people’s production and characteristics. So hardcore life extension supporters tend to think if Aubrey de Grey or Ray Kurzweil will hold another 120-120 presentations in front of highly influential people this year and the next and so on and so forth… then this fact will guarantee that one day we wake up, and see that the majority of people support our former niche topic, eager to do something for it. Make no mistake, these guys are doing their best for life extension, but according to Duncan J. Watts and Peter Dodds network researchers, it is not enough for this idea to become mainstream. What we need is a critical mass of easily influenced people to make some real great progression in life extension support. And in that respect, the Web is a par excellence medium for all of us, when everyone with a bandwidth and a computer can do their best. In the light of the above I hope soon there will be a critical mass of easily influenced life extension bloggers, wikipedians, other content generators, and so “global cascades”(see below) for LE. The responsibility is ours.

Watts and Peter Dodds are publishing their work on Influentials, Networks and Public Opinion Formation in Journal of Consumer Research, but it will be in press only in December, 2007. Nevertheless you can read the text in html or download in pdf now. Their theory on the role of the so called Accidential influentials was listed as the No. 1 in the Harvard Business Review list of Breakthrough Ideas for 2007 and here are some enlightening excerpts out of it to make the above application clear /warning: the theory was originally applied and invented in a marketing context/: Continue reading

Biosingularity’s Derya Unutmaz: a T cell expert on life extension

deryaAs many other heavyweight bloggers Derya Unutmaz has an A life and a B life. His A life is focusing on the molecular machinery of T cell activation, differentiation, survival and its explotation by HIV as he is an Associate Professor at Department of Microbiology at New York School of Medicine. Briefly, he is an immunologist researcher. In his B life he edits Biosingularity, which – according to the subtitle – is a weblog on advances in biological systems. It gives an uptodate and detailed review of the current biological research from a very broad range on a quality level rare in the blogosphere. As in the case of lucky science bloggers, Unutmaz’s A life motivates his B life and vice versa. I am now pleased to report that he was kind enough to answer some life extension questions as he is really supportive of that topic (emphasis added by me). Fortunately the degrees of freedom in the blog genre is higher than in mainstream journalism, so although I realized that my old questions (they were sent in last October) are not enough, the answers were so deep, that I publish them now, and set some other questions later. I am really happy to share my point of view with Professor Unutmaz concerning the role of systemic regenerative medicine in indefinite or big-scale life extension. I’d like offer his words for every life extensionist:The most important thing to remember though is to filter the hype from truth and solid science while both raising the awareness about the possibility of human life extension and also brain storming about the ideas on how to do this best.”

1. What is the story of your life extension commitment? The story of my commitment to life extension began as I became passionate about biology and science while I was still a kid. I realized then, (about 25-30 years ago) the technology was going to keep advancing and started to think why we could not come to a point when we have the knowledge to treat all diseases, and then why not stop aging? During medical school as I learned more about the physiology and pathology I realized the complexity of biological systems. It seemed intractable but at the same time biology followed rules, it wasn’t something magical that we can not conquer. I decided my life long commitment was going to be try to figure out how biological systems worked and how we can eventually master them to a point where we can reprogram our biology.

Continue reading

Steve Jobs style partial immortalization keynote: the iPimm

Now we are after the Steve Jobs Keynote introducing the iPhone at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. I don’t know if the iPhone line will be the ultimate portable digital device everybody is dreaming about, but I do know, that when partial immortalization as a technology will be first introduced it will be by definition the ultimate one concerning the end result, an adult human being indefinitely fixed by continuous regeneration treatment in a constant physiological age. Of course the technology will be under perpetual improvement, but this end goal never changes, preventing and fixing all the aging related bugs, set the overall cellular turnover. This is the deepest PR problem of any healthy maximum life extension technology: even if it has worked on a human being, ie. there is a man, whose all organ and tissue were regenerated at least one time via systemic regmed, even if it is the case how do you present it to the public??? Because all they will see is a healthy adult human being standing on the stage and appears to be in a common chronological age, say 40.

So Ladies and Gentleman, let me show you how iPimm or indefinite partial immortalization works on one man….

All the apps you need are integrated into one complete regeneration treatment completed in every 25 years, for example a new tissue engineered liver and kidney made from the artificial protein scaffold XYZ and predifferentiated amniotic stem cells with the revolutionary iVitro technology:

jobspinch

Incredible and supercool, the first immortalized man ever and as easy to make another leg module with the 3D live printer as make a steak. You can upgrade and gradually replace your cerebellum with 150 million hematopoietic turned neural stem cells just within half year with the iBrain drag and drop transplantation technology. Continue reading

Life extension blogterviews in 2006

What can/will You do for life extension? Answer these questions first.

Interviews in a temporal order: Reason, Chris Patil, Jim Craig, Aubrey de Grey, John Cumbers, Kevin Dewalt, Nick Bostrom, James Clement, David Kekich, Huber Warner, Mark Hamalainen, John Schloendorn.

For me it is important to introduce here people with different professional background who are life extensionists, but being a biotech blogger I would like to focus more on life scientists, stem cell researchers, biologists, biotechnologists, medical doctors, since they (we) are the ones who have a chance to realize any little piece of life extension technologically. In my opinion this is the stable way to make life extension acceptable in front of decision makers and the public. So I’ll continue the interviews, try to evoke mature scientists, and try to be more and more disciplinal except when I am not. :)

The first private company behind indefinite life extension: ?

Forget about governmental funds for a minute. According to you which companies have the chance to develop an indefinite life extension technology? Let us assume that even today there exists a company, or a predecessor of it which can eventually realize indefinite LE and customize it. Will it be a biotech company, like Genentech, Geron, ACT, or a big pharma, like Eli Lilly or an IT Giant from the other high tech sector, like Google? What are the institutional, financial, human conditions that must be suffice for that task?

What is your opinion? What is your bet? Why?

Hey Al Gore: switch to life extension, aging is a more inconvenient truth

Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, a movie-long effective presentation on climate change and crisis has made him the chief environmental evangelist of U.S. Incorporation. (I liked that he is doing his Keynotes himself, my Apps.) Now I have a better offer for Al Gore: be the first networking-presentation man of healthy life extension and an official aging crisis oracle. The facts are given, and the truth is unfortunately more inconvenient, specially from the mouth of a Baby Boomer. More inconvenient because unlike weather it is something that concerns our very physical make-up. But the technologies are within range.

Here is a not very well known Al Gore documentary made by Spike Jonze himself. Part 1:

and here comes part 2: Continue reading

John Schloendorn, the LysoSENS connection: chat on life extension

John SchloendornJohn Schloendorn has a master’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Tuebingen, Germany. Currently he is a graduate student at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, USA. John is heavily involved in the LysoSENS project of the Methuselah Foundation, which aims to remove some intracellular waste products for example via microbe-derived hydrolases targeted to the lysosome. Yes, this is the aubreyesque way of thinking on and experimenting with life extension.

1. What is the story of your life extension commitment? Since I first learnt that everyone was going to fall apart brutally, it was my goal to help with fixing aging somehow. To do that I needed to learn as much about aging as possible, and also needed to learn what everyone in the field was doing, so it seemed straightforward enough to study biochemistry. By the time my graduation came closer, Aubrey was running around, telling everyone he had a plan to fix aging. The plan seemed to make sense (true to its name), or at least it seemed like by far the best plan I could find. So I contacted him a lot over the web, eventually met him and volunteered to do some basic proof-of-concept’ing of some of his ideas. LysoSENS seemed like the fastest way to do that, it had already taken some baby steps thanks to Mark Hamalainen whom you interviewed recently, and there was enough Foundation money to keep it going. One can hardly hit upon a more fortunate situation.

2. Is it a commitment for moderate or maximum life extension? LysoSENS by itself is meant to address only parts of the age-related damage we accumulate. Magically achieving all LysoSENS goals would not extend life greatly, because other exponentially rising causes of death should rapidly take over, most importantly cancer. Thus, LysoSENS by itself would presumably count as moderate life extension. Continue reading

Mark Hamalainen, the MitoSENS fellow: blogterview on life extension

Mark HamalainenMark Hamalainen is a young PhD student at Cambridge University at the mitochondrion lab of Ian Holt. Mark received a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in biochemistry and computing from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He also had research training as a visiting scholar at the California Institute of Technology and the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. Mark’s research project is MitoSENS, the artificial transfer of mitochondrial genes to the nucleus in order to defend mitohondrial DNA from the high mutation rate. The technical difficulties of such a project are characterized in this article. The idea generator behind is Aubrey de Grey. I met Mark yesterday at the Eagle Pub and we had a very nice conversation on life extension technologies, strategies and philosophies.

1. What is the story of your life extension commitment? From a very early age (before I can even remember for myself, my family has informed me indirectly), I’ve had a strong fear of death and love of life. Later on, I discovered science fiction and realized that other people had ideas about overcoming death. In high school I began investigating how close science was to implementing life
extension, first in popular non-fiction books, then in scientific journals. This search inevitibly led me to the work of Aubrey de Grey, and shortly thereafter I became involved with SENS research for the Methuselah Foundation.

2. Is it a commitment for moderate or maximum life extension? Maximum. Though I prefer the term ‘indefinite’. Continue reading

Moderate life extension: yes, maximum: no, interview with Huber Warner

huber warnerHuber R. Warner is a biochemist by profession and he initiated and participated in the development of many research areas including: cellular senescence, oxidative stress, apoptosis, functional genomics, the intervention testing program, and premature aging models. He currently serves on the editorial board of Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, is the editor of the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, and is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. In latest Rejuvenation Research there is a valuable discussion between Warner and de Grey about the SENS project.

1. What is the story of your contra maximum life extension commitment?

I worked at the National Institutes of Health in the USA managing a grant program to fund research on the biology of aging for 21 years (1984-2005). As a member of the Federal government, I learned to be careful when speaking about science and health issues so as not to mislead the public about what had been experimentally proven vs. what was merely promising, hypothetical, or in progress.

2. Do you support moderate life extension? If not, what are your arguments against it?

I’m not against life extension, as numerous experiments with animal models have shown that increased longevity is routinely accompanied by increased health span, something that probably no one is against. However, we felt we had to be careful how we framed our goals, especially when speaking to legislators, as life span extension can conjure up the image of an exploding number of older frail people hanging around draining the resources of the government. Continue reading

Questions to contra life extensionists: rational pitfalls

Critical thinking is crucial to every successful scientific and technological project. In order to consider any attempt to the extension of life in details,we have to take a look at the other side of the coin. So in the future I try to blogterview some experts, scholars, philosophers, activists, …who are opposing some concrete points concerning life extension with the questions below:

1. What is the story of your contra life extension commitment?

2. Is it against moderate or maximum life extension?

3. Do you support moderate life extension? If not, what are your arguments against it?

4. What is your (strongest) argument against maximum life extension?

5. What are the problems with moderate life extension technologies concerning humans and why?

6. What are the problems with the present technological drafts of maximum life extension?

7. What can You do against life extension?

Maximum Life CEO David Kekich: the investment strategy of life extension

David A Kekich is a heavyweight venture capitalist and investment expert. In 1999, he founded the Maximum Life Foundation, a corporation dedicated to curing aging related diseases. His LIVES™ financial strategy will finance davidkekichthe research needed to profitably develop life extending technologies. Kekich, who is also a lifestyle life extensionist, and very aware of current technological possibilities, answered the Pimm blogterview questions:

1. What is the story of your life extension commitment? I have basically committed all my professional efforts to help reverse aging within the next 25 years. My commitment was a by product of watching my parents relatives slowly deteriorate and die off due to aging related conditions. Life extension was also a strong interest of mine since my late 20’s, about 35 years ago. My total commitment happened as a result of a productivity and goal reaching exercise designed to show how much productive time I had left to accomplish my goals. My conclusion was, I needed to live longer.

2. Is it a commitment for moderate or maximum life extension? Maximum Continue reading

Maximum Life’s James Clement: what can a lawyer do for life extension?

James Clement is an attorney and serial entrepreneur. He is the Chief Operating Officer of Maximum Life Foundation which supports aging and life extension research with a mature and secure VC fund strategy (next blogterviewee, David Kekich, C.E.O. of MaxLife).

james clement1. What is the story of your life extension commitment? I have been interested in life extension ever since I first learned about death as a child. During school, I was always more interested in science than any other subject; but my high-school chemistry teacher was a political activist and encouraged me to study law and change “the System.” Unfortunately, it did not occur to me that I could actually practice life-extension research until I was in law school in the 1980’s, and read Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw’s “Life Extension Handbook.” I continue to read constantly in diverse scientific fields, especially regarding anti-aging and life-extension, neurophysiology, artificial intelligence, and space. I take about 40 to 50 pills a day, mostly from the Life Extension Foundation, which I believe is the premier vitamin/supplement company in the U.S. I joined the Maximum Life Foundation about a year ago as its Chief Operating Officer, and help its Founder, David Kekich plan and implement strategies for the Foundation to help facilitate anti-aging research.

2. Is it a commitment for moderate or maximum life extension? I am definitely committed to maximum life extension. I appreciate the views of Hans Moravec and others, popularized by Ray Kurzweil in his book “The Singularity Is Near,” that technological change is happening at an exponential rate. While too many people think that super longevity won’t be practical during this century, I believe my generation of Baby Boomers will be the last humans to experience involuntary aging and death from old-age.

3. What is your favourite argument supporting human life extension?Not only will the suffering of disease and aging be alleviated, but human society will be transformed by continuous learning, and a deeper appreciation for the value of life (human and animal) and the environment in which we live. Continue reading

Life extension interviews: Nick Bostrom and the philosopher’s point of view

Nick Bostrom is an nickbostrom analytic philosopher by profession in Oxford, but he has a strong background in science too. He is also the co-founder and current chair of the World Transhumanist Association.

1. What is the story of your life extension commitment?

I did not think much about the topic until I learned about various possible enabling technologies, and concluded that life extension is feasible. I suppose I was “committed” from that point on.

2. Is it a commitment for moderate or maximum life extension?

For whatever is attainable. Ideally, death should be voluntary. I am assuming we’re talking about extension of health span. I am not committed to indefinite extension of life in a very poor state.

3. What is your favourite argument supporting human life extension?

I’m in favor of research into anti-aging medicine for precisely the same reasons that I’m in favor of cancer research, heart disease research, and diabetes research: because it might prevent or cure disease and save lives. Continue reading

Kevin Dewalt’s answers: technology professional, lifestyle life extensionist

Kevin Dewalt is an American technology professional, presently working at a VC. Kevin is a strong life extension supporter. We’ve met online at Baris Karadogan’s blog. I specially liked his “happy argument” for maximum life extension on the psychological level, see answer 3.

1. What is the story of your life extension commitment?

When I was 23 I discovered a book called “Optimum Sports Nutrition” by Dr. Michael Colgan. In it he presents arguments for lifestyle and nutrition changes that athletes could make to improve performance. The idea that changing my exercise, eating, or lifestyle habits could change my physical well being, health and longevity thrilled me and I began my quest. I began researching and learning about dietary supplements. At age 25 I became a vegetarian. At 26 I joined the Life Extension Foundation and have followed their recommended supplement scheme since. At 33 I began started a mild Calorie Restrition diet, lost 10 pounds and have remained on the diet. At that time I also began following the writing of Aubrey de Grey (blogterview here), Roy Walford, and others and realized that the only way I was going to be Father Time forever would be through significant advances in science.

2. Is it a commitment for moderate or maximum life extension? Continue reading

What can/will You do for life extension? Answer these questions first.

Dear Reader, if You are stem cell researcher, life scientist, medical doctor, scholar, activist, bloggers, IT professional, venture capitalist, philosopher, economist, politician, decision maker, businessman, biotech- or big pharma manager, plastic surgeon, hairdresser… who support life extension, please answer the questions below and send me to [attilacsordas][at][gmail.com] to get blogterviewed. Continue reading

John Cumbers’ DIY approach to life extension: personal genomics and synthetic biology

John Cumbers made the Drosophila CHiP protocol video. He is a graduate student at the Tatar lab in Brown University, USA. Below are his answers to the blogterview questions and through answer 5 you can take a fresh look at the bottom-up approach of synthetic biology. Continue reading

2 more bloggers’ answers: Anne Corwin and Phil Bowermaster

The spectrum of the life extension blogterviewees is broad: scholars, activists, IT people, VC folks, … and is broadening further. Here are 2 more activists/bloggers who put their answers to their blog: Anne Corwin and the aphoristically dense Phil Bowermaster. Thanks for answering. I ‘d like to emphasize that I modified questions 4-5, and introduced a new one: Continue reading

Blogterview with Aubrey de Grey: life extension stories

aubreyeagleAubrey de Grey is the man, who first made serious, scientifically conceptualized life extension speech acceptable within scholarly circles through good timing, well-done strategy and with a little bit of luck. The rest is … (I’ve slightly modified the original question 4 and separated questions concerning the probable technologies of moderate and maximum life extension.)

1. What is the story of your life extension commitment?

I can’t trace when I realised that aging was a bad thing — I must have been so young that I can’t remember. But I was nearly 30 before I found out that most other people don’t think the same, or at least don’t think that it’s important enough to work on. I was in a very lucky situation to be able to make a contribution – I had training in research in a very different field, and I also had quite broad knowledge of biology – so I decide to have a go. My first publication was very well-received, so I kept going!

2. Is it a commitment for moderate or maximum life extension?

Maximum (i.e., indefinite). Aging doesn’t just kill people, it causes a huge amount of suffering in the process. Aging at a later age would also cause suffering, so it’s just as bad. It amazes me that people deny this.

3. What is your favourite argument supporting human life extension?

Well, there are so many that it’s hard to choose! – but I think the one that’s strongest of all is the alleviation of suffering. However, any argument based on the alleviation of suffering cannot stand on its own, because we evidently value the lives of people who are permanently sick as well as people who are healthy. Continue reading

Sand Hill Road Venture Capitalist about life extension as business

There was a very interesting comment dialogue last week apropos of Aubrey de Grey‘s TED talk, and the host was Baris Karadokan’s blog called From Istanbul to Sand Hill Road subtitled High-tech, venture capital, creativity and innovation. Here are some details. Link

bariscomic

storytelling idea source