The Immortality Institute volunteers have pulled together a great lineup from the aging and longevity research community for the regular Sunday chat events over the past few weeks, including Aubrey de Grey and S. Jay Olshansky.
This coming weekend, December 9th, the chat guest is researcher Michael Rose:
Another in the recent line-up of great guests, Dr. Michael Rose will be joining Imminst for the Sunday Night Chat this Sunday December 9th at 6:30pm CST U.S. (0030 GMT). Dr. Rose is famous for his work discovering biological immortality in fruit flies. For a primer check here for his 2005 Imminst conference presentation or look here for a discussion of SENS-E.
Chat Room: http://www.imminst.org/chat
Sun December 9th
Note that here, "biological immortality" doesn't mean what you might think it means. It's more of a statistical term for change in mortality rates. A good explanation can be found in Rose's essay in The Scientific Conquest of Death (PDF), a book released by the Immortality Institute back in 2004 and now freely available for download.
If there is such a thing as biological immortality, it cannot mean survival under all conceivable conditions.
Instead, we can describe immortality more sensibly as a feature of rates of survival or reproduction. An important side issue is whether or not fertility should be included with survival in definitions of aging. For some medical professionals, the loss of fertility with age in both men and women is a clear manifestation of aging. For other professionals, it is merely incidental.
If we use a definition of aging based on declining survival and fertility, we can define immortality intelligibly. If aging can be defined as the persistent decline of these biological variables, then it makes sense to define immortality as a property of organisms that do not exhibit such declines. They may have never exhibited declining survival and reproduction, or they may have reached a point of equilibration at which further sustained declines have ceased.
Rose is a fan of rapid progress in healthy life extension science, something we'd like to see much more of in the broader scientific community. Take a look at his SENS3 conference presentation for a sampling of his viewpoint.