UPDATE 05/21/2011: The Vegas Group initiative has been renamed to Open Cures, with a new website and a new mailing list. Please do drop by and take a look at what we're working on.
The Vegas Group: a so far fictional community of the next ten years that will merge the longevity advocacy and open biotech communities in order to (a) reverse engineer the most promising life-span-enhancing techniques demonstrated in the laboratory, (b) translate that work into human rejuvenation biotechnologies, and (b) make these therapies available for use via medical tourism to Asia-Pacific region clinics.
I suppose it's not quite so fictional now that a small group of people are talking about how to make it happen. The present focus - for me at least - is on kickstarting a narrow, exploratory project of documentation and reverse engineering:
Given a large idea, the challenge is often finding that starting point. From the broad high level outline of the Vegas Group, I focused on the codex: the necessary how-to documents and body of knowledge that will enable people to participate. ... The codex itself is a very large project [and thus] fairly narrow initial project for the codex must be identified, so that the first group of volunteers to work on it can run into all the brick walls and fall into all of the potholes without risking a great deal if it all fails. ... I propose that reverse engineering and documentation of mitochondrial protofection is a good candidate. This is a technique by which mitochondrial DNA is replaced throughout an individual's cells, and was first demonstrated in mice back in 2005.
But this isn't a project that is particularly owned at this point in time - it's just starting out, a collection of ideas and some people who would like to see them made real. If you have different priorities or interests, such as digging in to the DIYbio aspect of the Vegas Group concept, then by all means join in and run with it. If you feel you can contribute, or even if you would just like to keep an eye on progress from the sidelines, then please do join the mailing list.
Included in the (so far tiny) archive is a discussion on the to-do list: a list of topics for discussion and consideration, the very earliest thoughts on planning that will lead to later, more concrete to-do lists and collaborations. That may help frame the questions or ideas that you bring with you.