Free Access to the December 2007 Issue of Rejuvenation Research

The full content of the December 2007 issue of Rejuvenation Research is presently freely available. These promotions don't last too long, so take a look while it's available - there's a lot of good reading in there. For example, Aubrey de Grey's piece on the balkanization of gerontology (PDF):

In my view, the divide between biogerontologists and other gerontologists concerning the desirability of combating aging is a symptom of the pitifully limited amount of communication between these subfields. Though they study facets of the same phenomenon, these researchers' actual contact is very nearly nil. It is thus no surprise that such fundamental differences of opinion persist. Whether anyone is really to blame for this "balkanization" of the field is debatable: it exists in a more limited way even within biogerontology, and the reasons are probably the same, revolving around the much higher priority (in career terms) of maintaining prestige among those who know and understand one’s work best than of disseminating it to others.

There has long been a recognition that this balkanization is regrettable, and token measures have been taken to diminish it: for example, the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) brings together all the gerontological specialties under one roof every November. But token is all these measures are: as anyone who has attended the GSA’s annual meeting will tell you, the event is indistinguishable from a coincidence of three or four conferences going on in the same building at the same time.

Alternately, William Bains' pointed commentary on views of death and aging (PDF):

no one will ever be in a position to ask, "Should I live forever?" We will be asked another, harder question. It is my contention that we should debate that question, and yes debate it in terms of its possible, long-term, science fictional implications if you like, but do not pretend the debate is ‘about’ whether people should seek physical immortality. It is about something more complicated, less black-andwhite, and much more immediate.

...

The question is not, "Do you want to live forever?" The question is, "Do you want to die tomorrow?" Replacing "should we live forever" with "do you want to die tomorrow?" strips away the sheer nonsense that is spouted about what 'might be,' and brings us back to specifics. Many people state firmly that they do not want to live forever. Many say they would not want to live beyond 100. Usually they are less than 60 years old when they say it (few 95-year-olds hold this view; very few 99-year-olds). But these people appear genuinely to feel that they do not want to live to be 100. So they do not want to live another 50 years. Do they want to die tomorrow? No. If I ask again tomorrow, will they want to die the day after? No.

Also an interview with Paul F. Glenn of the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research (PDF):

In our view, aging research is drastically underfunded. Promising opportunities must be pursued, such as the emergence of stem cell research, which offers the possibility of new therapies for treating or renewing diseased tissues or organs.

The growth of an aging population will bring treasury-breaking healthcare costs unless health can be maintained and age-related diseases delayed or cured. Human suffering that accompanies age-related disease is not just a financial burden.

It's a pity that all this more broadly interesting content ends up behind the paid firewall. I can imagine that all parties involved in publishing Rejuvenation Research would be better served by a journal in which the content above - very interesting and accessible to the layperson - is open while the research publications remain as paid access only. If you want more people to see what you have to say, open access is the way to go, and those in the research community who pay for the journal will pay for it regardless of the non-research content.

Comments

Thanks for the heads up. Lots of interesting stuff in there.

Posted by: Michael G.R. at January 28th, 2008 7:22 PM

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