John Schloendorn is advancing LysoSENS research - a branch of the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence, a meaningful approach to developing working anti-aging therapies - by running screening experiments for soil microbes capable of breaking down harmful aggregates and metabolic byproducts in and around human cells. Schloendorn would like to get the wider healthy life extension community involved, and he explains how you and I can help his work in a post at the Immortality Institute forums:
As most of you know, Lyso-SENS is a recent effort by the Methuselah Foundation to target age-related storage diseases, which are caused by the accumulation of some pathogenic chemical substance in the body with age. Examples of age-related storage diseases are Alzheimer's disease (amyloid and tau aggregates), heart disease and stroke (cholesterol and oxidized cholesterol species in the artery wall), age-related macular degeneration (lipofuscin of the retinal pigment epithelium) and skin wrinkles (advanced glycation end products of the extracellular matrix). As such, Lyso-SENS targets three of the seven SENS pillars: Intracellular aggregates, extracellular aggregates and extracellular crosslinks.
Lyso-SENS works by using methods from environmental bioremediation to find soil microbes capable of degrading the target substance. We then hope to isolate the enzymes used by these microbes to do so and use them for therapy in a way that is similar to current enzyme replacement treatments for congenital lysosomal storage diseases. However, not all soil microbes are amenable to our screening methods, not all enzymes we may discover will work in the human physiological environment, some will have deleterious side-effects, and so on. So we need many sources of different microorganisms to begin with.
This is where you come in. Please send us soil samples from your area, from places that you think are likely to contain microbes capable of degrading age-related aggregates. About a handfull of soil (100-200 grams) will be plenty. The more microbial diversity we can put into these experiments, the better will be our chances of sustained success. So your participation will truly increase the chances of success of the Lyso-SENS project.
Please read the whole piece for details regarding which samples and locations are likely to be useful, how to package the samples and where to ship them. If you have questions or suggestions, you can post them in that discussion thread.
Do your part to help! Remember that you can also donate money to help fund LysoSENS research at the Methuselah Foundation website.