Aubrey de Grey's Google TechTalk Presentation
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As noted at the Methuselah Foundation blog, in the latest Longevity Meme newsletter and over at the Immortality Institute, biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey recently presented to a crowd of folk at Google as a part of the Google TechTalk series. The talk is online at Google Video:

It's longer than many of de Grey's other presentations, and delves more deeply into the details of presently ongoing research aimed at repairing the damage of aging, as well as the science behind the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence.

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I really enjoy the way that Aubrey went into a lot of detail about the SENS approach they are funding/currently working on. I suppose it is because he had a lot more time than he usually does in his lectures, but it was really interesting the way he explained everything.

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What did everyone think, while Aubrey was answering one of the questions, that he suggests there really is nothing in supplemental form that can slow down aging?

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He's correct. There are no supplements proven to make an appreciable increase in human longevity.

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Yeah, you might slightly increase your lifespan if you did everything exactly right, but compared to the stuff he is working on it is so minute not even to be a blip on the radar.

Which is a good point. The "anti-aging" marketplace, or perhaps plain old human nature, has conditioned people to think about what they can ingest right now. If no-one moves beyond that, we'll all age, suffer and die just like our ancestors. Guaranteed healthy life extension of years and decades requires - absolutely, no doubt about it, requires - research and development in nascent, exciting new fields in biotechnology and medicine. The future of healthy life extension is gene therapies, nanomedicine, bioremediation, viral vectors for targeting specific cell populations, regenerative medicine, rebuilding the immune system, protofection of mitochondrial DNA, and so on - it is in engineering medicine, deliberately identifying and repairing the damage that is aging. The future of healthy life extension is not pills, diet and exercise.

If you're not supporting rapid progress in the most modern medical science, then you're not helping to extend your life in any meaningful way; you're just along for the ride, and rolling the dice on the efforts of other people.

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Comments

I agree with you as to priorities, but I think you and Aubrey give too short shrift to supplements, lifestyle, etc.

I have made significant changes to my regimen, and can see dramatic results in how well I am functioning, thinking, and enjoying life. I don't know if I will live longer as a result, but the changes were certainly worthwhile in terms of quality of life today.

The biggest effect in terms of supplements is from omega-3 intake; increasing DHA intake to 1g/day made a measurable difference in brain processing speed, and subjectively makes a big difference in how well I can think. See Seth Robert's blog entries on this, most recently at http://www.blog.sethroberts.net/2007/06/03/science-in-action-omega-3-conference-submission/

It seems clear that everyone should make sure they get enough omega-3 (DHA in particular), and Seth suggests that omega-3 deficiency may be today's scurvy.

Posted by: Tim Lundeen at June 5, 2007 11:19 AM

The "anti-aging" movement is really the health movement. Supplements do not increase a person's maximum possible lifespan (~120 years), but they can help a person come closer to this figure, possibly 20-30 years closer if supplements are a part of an overall health & fitness plan. Those extra years give a person a far better shot at escape velocity.

Posted by: Scott Miller at June 6, 2007 9:29 AM

YOU'RE ALL FULL OF TALK
I AM 73 6-1 185 ALL MUSCLE. LOOK 50. WORK OUT 2 DAYS A WEEK
JUJITSU 4 DAYS A WEEK
SHOT GH 6+ YEARS. TEST CREAM SAME. DHEA. KEEP DHT IN LINE. APPROX 30 BLOOD TESTS/MO SO I KNOW WHERE I AM AT.
SHOW ME YOUR BLOOD TESTS. EVER CHECK THE WATER AND OIL IN YOUR CAR OR DO YOU JUST TALK ABOUT IT
CASEY PURVIS

Posted by: CASEY PURVIS at June 10, 2007 3:18 PM
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