Science Against Aging

Biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey of the Methuselah Foundation will be in Moscow in early March, speaking at the Moscow State University.

From Feb 28 - Mar 4 Aubrey de Grey will be visiting Moscow. His schedule is already fully booked and includes two public lectures:

- 28.02, 12:30, Dom Uchenih
- 02.02 18:00, Moscow State University (main building)

There is a very high chance that the Russian translation of Ending Aging will become available upon Aubrey's arrival to Moscow. Aubrey's visit to Russia was made possible by Michael Batin's "Science Against Aging" campaign.

Some of the "Science Against Aging" foundation documents - in English - are posted to a recent Immortality Institute thread. They are comprehensive and impressive, to say the least, put together by people who have taken a great deal of time to survey the scientific landscape. Take a look for yourself:

Given the breadth of research being condensed down into the diagrams in the first PDF document, and the level of debate within the scientific community, I think that everyone will find something in there to disagree with. You might actually want to start with the second document above, which is somewhat more readable for the layperson. All in all I think you'll agree that this work represents a worthy initiative of the sort we'd like to see more of. From the research plan:

The value of a long and healthy life is obvious to every reasonable person. Therefore, aging is a serious and until now unsolved problem. Slowly but inexorably, aging decreases the quality of life, makes people weak and powerless, prevents the realization of people’s aspirations. Sooner or later, it leads to death.

Today, the growing desire for a long, high-quality and healthy life becomes increasingly obvious in developed countries. This is confirmed by the strong demand for fitness, anti-aging services, etc. The share of people who openly express this desire for life extension is growing. According to a public opinion poll conducted in Russia in 2008, 78% of Russians do not ever want to age.

...

Leading gerontologists from 10 countries declared in an open letter that aging can be slowed down and healthy life can be prolonged. We share the view that the problem of aging can be solved in the next few decades and that humankind already has everything necessary.

1. Our society has financial resources for solving this problem - a major project to defeat aging would cost only about 30 billion dollars.
2. A large body of knowledge about aging has been accumulated that is being used to create a unified system model of human aging.
3. Powerful new technologies in genomics, drug design, mathematical modeling and other fields make it increasingly possible to control and direct processes inside the human body.
4. Many promising ideas and aging hypothesis that can help solve the remaining problems have been developed.

Unfortunately, these opportunities are not being fully used, the efforts of researchers are largely uncoordinated, science and society do not have a clear overarching goal - to defeat aging.

...

The task of eliminating aging is extremely complex - both in terms of science, and in organization, planning and implementation. Separate projects in biophysics, biochemistry, pharmacology, genomics, cryobiology, immunology and other fields should be joined within an integrated scientific framework. Gerontology must set the strategy for development of life sciences. We must realize that life extension is the primary purpose of scientific research. Scientific collaboration will create synergy between different research projects and will allow us to defeat aging faster than with uncoordinated and uncontrolled research. The difference in time - possibly tens of years can - save millions of lives.

To join the efforts of individual scientists, research and health institutions, non-government and political organizations at international coordinating center of the program is needed. It’s primary tasks are:

1. attracting renowned experts in life sciences and research management to the project
2. creating a scientific and organizational program
3. developing a plan to implement this program
4. promoting this program in social, business, and political circles.

In October 2008 a working group was created to develop and promote a comprehensive program to defeat aging. It was set up in Russia by the "Science for Life Extension" foundation. The project is supported by many Russian and international researchers.

If you read through the literature for the Science Against Aging program, you'll see something very like the early iterations of Aubrey de Grey's Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence in intent and motivation, but with a somewhat different focus on the scientific side of things. I'm always pleased to see new advocates with strong connections to the scientific community step up and start working, and this Russian group has quite the few members judging by the credits section of the plan document. The more the merrier - dozens of such groups forming independently in the zeitgeist of the time were evident in past successes in patient advocacy.

Comments

This is great! I think there are lots of people in Russia who want to live long too! New attitudes can be encountered in different proportions. Maybe this could get off the ground better.

Posted by: Tycio at March 1st, 2009 10:23 PM

It is hard for me to see what various approaches like this bring to the table that sens or the evolutionary approach don't.

"dozens of such groups forming independently in the zeitgeist of the time were evident in past successes in patient advocacy." What have you read in that way when it comes to patients? One of a few non health care related examples that makes me think that too is that the civil rights movement was comprised of many independent organizations. The SCLC was an amalgamation of organizations so to speak, and they did things like help coordinate multiple autonomous affiliate chapters. CORE, the Black Panthers, the NAACP and many other organizations worked on various independent aspects of things and teamed up where need be.

Posted by: Eric Schulke at April 10th, 2012 1:18 PM

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