As noted in the latest Longevity Meme Newsletter, and in a press release from the Methuselah Foundation, the $500,000 mark for pledges and cash in hand has been passed! A large thank you to everyone who helped get the Methuselah Mouse Prize for anti-aging research to this point in only a year since the official launch.
"The Methuselah Foundation, creators of the Methuselah Mouse Prize, the world's first scientific prize for research on extending longevity, today announced that it has secured [a total of] $500,000 in funding commitments [as well as] a long term support commitment from an anonymous supporter making his donation in the name of the X PRIZE Foundation, the multi-million-dollar bounty which has successfully encouraged the development of private passenger space travel."
Other sponsoring organizations include the Immortality Institute, the Longevity Meme, Maximum Life Foundation, Advanced Orthomolecular Research and Betterhumans - but I'm sure you are all more familiar with the work of the X Prize Foundation. The Methuselah Foundation and X Prize Foundation founders enjoy a cordial relationship, and I'm pleased to see this sort of publicity resulting from that connection.
There is much more to be done yet, however. Two days ago, I talked about moving beyond incidental life extension:
A continuing slow increase in healthy life span - less than a quarter of a year of life span with each passing year of research at the moment - is not very satisfying for me, however. I'd like to be around to see much more of the future in person, which means that the pace of healthy life extension must pick up in decades ahead. This can only happen if many more researchers and funding agencies focus on intervening in the aging process rather than trying to fix the resulting disease and age-related conditions - a grand vision of prevention rather than cure, if you will.
Scientists like Aubrey de Grey are working to make this redirection of scientific focus happen in their fields - but this is the start of a long process. The roadmap for the science itself is fairly clear, at least. Moving beyond incidental life extension is the only way forward if we want to see real results in our lifetimes.
We have a voice and a vote in the process of redirecting the medical research establishment! We can make our opinions known by donating to causes like the Methuselah Mouse Prize. A dollar in the Methuselah Mouse Prize fund is a dollar that is working to convince scientists to take anti-aging research seriously - and encouraging the medical research community to greatly extend the healthy human life span sooner rather than later.