I found "Grey is the New Gold" from the Kronos Longevity Research Institute interesting chiefly because it presents a viewpoint merging the Longevity Dividend position of modestly slowing aging with support for more direct-to-the-end-goal research aimed at radical life extension. That's a position not seen too much in the wild to date; mention of reversing aging and Aubrey de Grey next to the pitch for $3 billion in government funding for Longevity Dividend research.
You'll find a podcast interview over at Eons:
Eons: What kind of breakthrough is longevity science on the verge of? Have you guys discovered the Fountain of Youth, yet?
Dr. Harman: No, we haven't, but what I think we are very close to is discovering some of the basic processes that are involved in aging, really understanding how they work, but also understanding how certain of our genes modulate our rate of aging. It's absolutely clear that we can alter the aging process in experimental animals. There's no doubt about that any longer, and we've identified genes in those animals that we have very good evidence are involved in that modulation, in that slowing of cellular and tissue aging that leads to greater longevity and also an increase in the healthy part of the lifespan in these animal models. Well, it turns that people have got the same genes.
Eons: I see the conversation going on, in our community. I saw somebody ask about growth hormone the other day.
Dr. Harman: Exercise is a much better intervention, I believe. You can lose the same amount of fat and gain the lean mass, and it's functional. You'll improve your, if you do the right kinds of exercise, you'll improve your balance. You'll improve your strength. You'll improve you ability to do the things that you really want to do, like go to the grocery store and carry a couple of bags of groceries up a flight of stairs without finding that you're exhausted or puffing at the top.
Which I think illustrates that Kronos is much more on the side of optimizing health and the modest Longevity Dividend approach to extending healthy life - by tinkering with metabolism to slow aging rather than reversing aging by repairing damage - than "Grey is the New Gold" makes out.
Still, a rising tide raises all boats. If the backers of the Longevity Dividend continue to broaden their campaign, and by doing so bring more people to support and understand that healthy life extension is possible, then some of those people will make the leap to see that the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence and the work of the Methuselah Foundation are a much better template for the future.
Technorati tags: life extension