Reporting on a Recent Presentation by Aubrey de Grey

SENS Foundation cofounder Aubrey de Grey is a tireless advocate for engineering the end of aging, and steers the work taking place on the foundations of rejuvenation biotechnology at the Foundation's research center and in a halo of allied laboratory groups. He gives a great many presentations on the work and goals of the Foundation in the course of any given year, and here is an article noting one such recent event at Princeton University:

The seminar, called "The Science and Ethics of Eliminating Aging," was sponsored by the University's Center for Human Values and chaired by bioethics professor Peter Singer. De Grey presented his research on anti-aging therapy, promoted his vision for a world in which humans do not experience the negative effects of aging and evaluated the benefits of and objections to this future society.

De Grey began his presentation by defining aging. He said his foundation does research on ways to limit damages done to the human body by natural metabolic processes and that he hopes the research will allow them to identify a physical state in which one could perpetually "look and feel and function like a young adult." There are seven specific types of damage aging does to the body, de Grey noted. Although solutions to these have not been reached, he described a scientific breakthrough his group achieved several months ago; a study they had performed showed increased viability of cells in a culture, which he said could have implications for stopping the damage that causes cardiovascular disease.

De Grey then described the feasibility and societal benefits of successful development of anti-aging technology. He said his research suggests a "50-50 chance of developing these therapies within the next 25 years to a level of sophistication that will confer ... robust human rejuvenation."

On a slide comparing two pictures, de Grey simply summarized his views on the positives and negatives of anti-aging: one of young people at play labeled "Fun" and another of a sickly senior citizen labeled "Not Fun." Therefore, he argued that everyone - from biologists to journalists to ordinary citizens practicing advocacy - should work to achieve successful anti-aging solutions.

Finally, de Grey suggested that a society in which people live indefinite life spans would have a higher quality of life. He noted that critics argue that indefinite life spans would lead to overpopulation and that living forever might not be desirable. However, those are not reasons to halt research into anti-aging solutions and those are ethical questions best decided by future generations, he said. "Even if we did have a problem [arising from anti-aging development] and humanity had a choice to make ... that's a choice humanity of the future is entitled to make for itself rather than having that choice imposed on it by our not choosing to develop these therapies," de Grey said.



I get really sick of the comments on "overpopulation". The solution is simple and that is reduce the rates of replenishment. It has been suggested for years and not because of anti ageing research it's because population is constantly increasing anyway. The only difference is people in society will be more productive because the entirepopulation will be around the same demographic.

Why doesn't anyone stop medicine at the advent of penicillin or when Bill Gates attempts to erradicate Polio or when the WHO tries to erradicate aids? Ridiculous. Rejuventation technology is going to happen whether the cynics want it or not the only question is when. Four of the components of SENS are being worked on outside the foundation at the moment and as soon as the remaining three are it's basically end game. No more unproductive philosophical musings that waste time and energy on problems that are a lot easier to solve than the biological damage of ageing.

Posted by: Glen at October 11th, 2012 5:49 AM

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