SENS Foundation FAQ Posted

The SENS Foundation has posted a FAQ on their work to defeat degenerative aging: "Can anything really be done about age-related degeneration and disease? Isn't getting sicker as we get older just a fact of life? It is informative to think about similar questions which might have been asked at different points over the past century. Can we really do anything about wound infections? After the invention of antibiotics the answer was a resounding, 'Yes'. When will the next outbreak of smallpox occur? After the WHO's program of eradication the answer became, 'Never'. Cholera, and John Snow's work on its epidemiology; polio, and the Salk vaccine... the list goes on. All these advances in medicine changed the answers to questions, and showed that a 'fact of life' is often just a problem waiting for a solution. So it is with the sickness of older age. It has not yet been addressed effectively, but that does not mean that it cannot be addressed. It simply means that we have to find new ways to tackle the problem, and the most promising of these is rejuvenation biotechnology. ... Wouldn't it be easier to find ways to slow down age-related degeneration than to reverse it? First, let's be clear on what 'reversing age-related degeneration' means, in rejuvenation biotechnology. We are not trying to reverse the process which causes degeneration: that process is highly complicated and not well understood. Rather, we are working to repair the result of that process, sidestepping our ignorance of the process itself. We believe that this side of the problem of age-related degeneration can be solved more rapidly and effectively. The human body, by its nature, is a very complex system, built from finely-regulated, metabolic subsystems. Tinkering with one aspect inevitably ripples in unexpected ways through the entire system, and in ways which we can rarely predict with any great confidence. This entails a high risk of negative side-effects occurring when any one of them is modified. Reversing age-related degeneration - in the damage repair sense - avoids the complex pathways of metabolism, and has the potential to be simpler and more effective than methods which only slow it down."



Say your foundation comes up with a solution to aging. How accessible and affordable would the therapy be?

Posted by: Kyle Jones at April 11th, 2013 1:06 AM

It isn't my foundation, and the SENS vision is for a batch of different therapies. Most will look like infusions rather than surgeries, so will likely be equivalent in cost to whatever cutting edge clinical outpatient procedures go for at the time - walk in, get injected, walk out. That cost will then decline over time, as for all technologies.

The best presently existing medicines to compare expectations against in terms of how cost and availability behave are probably items like immune therapies for cancer or immune suppressant therapies for autoimmune disorders. Within those categories you have a range from the new and expensive to the old and comparatively cheap, and cost is pretty much driven by licensing and the need to recoup research and development expenditures rather than aftercare or other time from medical professionals.

Posted by: Reason at April 11th, 2013 8:49 AM

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