Maria Konovalenko of the Science for Life Extension Foundation here reports on the recent Genetics of Aging and Longevity Conference, held last month in Moscow and attracting researchers in the field from around the world.
It has been a while since I've posted my blog updates. The reason was the Genetics of Aging and Longevity conference. I have been involved in preparations of this meeting since December and the last month before the event was especially tough. Anyway, the conference turned out to be pretty good. I was surprised to hear so many good responses and impressions from the attendees and the speakers, so I am proud to say that the meeting was a success. The talks were superb, a lot of new and even unpublished data, a lot of discussions during the breaks and meals. I saw quite many people walking around with burning eyes - from excitement of science, of course) Some of those eyes are in the photos below. I believe this was a ground braking event on life extension topic in Russia, a truly unique gathering of minds. The more meetings like this we have, the more attention they get in the media, the better chances we have to live longer.
The post includes a great many photographs of folk from the aging research community; browse through if you are interested in putting faces to the names you read about in the science press. Konovalenko concludes with this note:
Quite a lot of researchers said that we are on the verge of a breakthrough in the area of life extension. Maybe we have already discovered something fantastic, but haven't yet realized it'd effective for people. Even if we have a drug that slows aging down, we still need a panel of biomarkers to prove the effect. I do hope we will have both the breakthrough and the markers soon.
I'll point you to something I said a while back about concrete and conferences:
I'm a fan of the "concrete and conferences" metric for measuring the health of science. Two side effects of increasing research funding in a field are new buildings at universities and research centers (the "concrete" part of the metric) and new gatherings of researchers (the conferences). Both of these symptoms are also fairly easy to track. The more of both, the better, with new buildings indicating more money entering the system than new conferences.
More conferences generally indicates a larger population of researchers with budgets, interest in the field, and progress in their laboratories to talk about.