Getting To Be That Time Again

The end of the year is closing in, and this is about when I usually make an annual donation to the Methuselah Foundation. I prefer the periodic lump sum donations over monthly contributions as it's a good way to force an occasional check on whether you're still making a good choice. In the years since the Foundation's inception, I've donated to the Mprize fund. The fund predates the option to directly sponsor Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senesence (SENS) research aimed at repairing the damage of aging, but I've continued to put money towards the research prize, as I consider it to be important.

Time for a change, I think. This year's donation will go towards SENS research - but not because I think the Mprize is any less worthy. At this point, it looks like the best plausible growth path for the Methuselah Foundation over the next few years is based on following through with present initiatives to establish and publicize a steady stream of modest SENS research achievements. I've long said that advocacy and tangible results have to go hand in hand for optimal progress; when one gets too far ahead of the other, it tends to slow down.

You get what you pay for in this life - so if we want to see that steady stream of research achievements, we have to fund the research. Other people hang around in the wings waiting for more confirmation and mass of support for these projects, but those of us who better understand the science and potential of SENS are the ones who must pay to start the ball rolling. My contributions aren't large, but then no one person can form a crowd. I would hope that discussing this topic moves those of you yet to donate to make that small effort to help progress towards engineered longevity.


as many of the manifestations of ageing relate to the health of the vascular tree and as much is known now about the positive effects on the endothelium of nitric oxide--shouldnnt the methusula society be promoting some longevity studies in mice whereby drugs that release nitric oxide are given? most of the science behind nitric oxide's effects have been done in mice and rats. the drugs i had in mind are the pde5 inhibitors viagra and cialis-(tadalafil). thanks ahead of time for responding to this comment. gbest, m.d.

Posted by: george best m.d. at December 2nd, 2008 8:52 AM

Part of the problem for the support of meaningful longevity science is that people can't get past the drug mindset, I think.

Yes, nitric oxide and the endothelium - some interesting science there that I've noted in the past. But the issues with the aging endothelium are, like most others, caused by an accumulation of damage. Throwing around nitric oxide is a patch upon the issue - it doesn't address root causes. See:

Until more funding goes towards addressing root causes by moving beyond the drug mindset - such as by repairing mitochondrial damage and removing the buildup of aggregates - you're not going to see all that much progress.

Posted by: Reason at December 2nd, 2008 9:11 AM

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