The good news for today is that the longevity science grassroots centered at the Immortality Institute have successfully raised $8,000 to fund research into laser ablation of lipofuscin. Those funds will be matched up to $16,000 at the SENS Foundation and put towards work on a method of eliminating one form of damaging metabolic byproducts that build up with age:
Lipofucsin is an aggregate of many different biochemical byproducts that builds up in your longest-lived cells, leading to dysfunction and disease. Lipofuscin levels are a very straightforward difference between old and young people, and removing it at regular intervals should have a noticeable impact on age-related degeneration. This is in fact an aspect of one of the seven avenues of Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) research - removing damaging aggregates from the body.
Mr. Schooler has conducted preliminary qualitative research using laser pulses to destroy lipofuscin in nematodes (round worms). VIDEO HERE. This investigation was the subject of a presentation at the UABBA conference at UCLA in 2008. The current proposed research will use various pulsed laser treatments to investigate the effects on worm lifespan. Human cell culture models will also be used to investigate the dynamics of lipofuscin destruction microscopically in actual human cells.
The fundraising deadline was yesterday, Monday 17th, and as is so often the case in these efforts, racing against the clock proved to be very focusing. Congratulations are due to the volunteers and advocates who managed the fundraising efforts. This sort of thing is a great model for the future of biotechnology, in which important proof of concept research becomes so cheap - indeed, has already become so cheap - that it can be funded in this manner.
It will take a couple days to get the exact accounting of the amount donated. Then Imminst will cut a check to [the SENS Foundation, who will be managing the actual research project]. Nason [Schooler] has already begun preparations for full blown experiments and expects to keep us up to date when things start in earnest. So things are already set-up and should get going in about a week or two.