Philanthropist Jason Hope Endorses the SENS Research Foundation's Work on Rejuvenation Biotechnology
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Over the past few years Jason Hope has donated a sizable amount of money to fund aspects of the SENS research program aimed at developing the foundations of human rejuvenation therapies. As is the case for Peter Thiel, just as important as the funding at this comparatively early stage in the revolution in aging research is the fact that influential high net worth individuals are willing to give public support to this cause. The more people who speak out to say that it is only sensible to pursue human rejuvenation, and the state of science is plausible enough to fund aggressively right here and right now, the easier it is to persuade those who still waver on the fence. Hope is presently more outspoken in his public support of SENS research than Thiel, as you might be able to tell from his website, and the more of this the better I say.

The tipping point in public persuasion for longevity science in general will come in only a few years, I think, given that large players are becoming involved - but it might take longer for SENS research, as disruptive to the status quo of the broader field of aging research as it is. All sweeping, new and better ways of making progress are initially resisted, and SENS is no exception.

Jason Hope has been engaged in reaching out to the community these past months, as you can tell by the occasional article here, his support for the year end matching funds just past, a plethora of press releases, and the three-part item at Next Big Future quoted below. I am always very pleased to see people with far more leverage and influence than I wholeheartedly endorsing the work of the SENS Research Foundation and its allied labs and scientists - this remains all too rare an event:

SRF Ends the Long History of Aging

Alzheimer's, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other age-related diseases are expensive and dramatically reduce quality of life. The average couple can expect to pay $220,000 in medical expenses throughout their retirement. Age-related illnesses pepper the top ten causes of death in the United States. Despite all the time, money, and effort invested in the treatment of these diseases, scientists have not yet cured any of them.

Those who participated in the early days of the SENS Research Foundation hoped to develop a strategy to mitigate the signs of aging that cause misery and early death. SRF founders predicted that aging would come under medical control someday with advanced technologies, such as gene therapy, stem cell therapy, and immune stimulants.

The founders of the SENS Research Foundation also said they expected this to happen within your lifetime. SENS believes senescence is an engineering problem that they can fix through organized collaboration between the scientific community, policymakers, and the public. SRF aims to create and maintain collaborations that work toward ending the disability, misery and early death associated with the aging process.

The End of Aging is Near

Despite all the advances in medical science, man has yet to cure any age-related diseases. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses continue to ravage our bodies while we grow old, despite the best efforts of our doctors and mountains of medicine.

The SENS Research Foundation, or SRF, hopes to change all that. Through continued collaborative research, education and outreach, SENS will continue to build the industry that permanently eradicates old-age diseases. SRF establishes a path that leads us from where we are today, a time where the scientific community has the wherewithal to lay out a detailed plan like this one, to a tomorrow when prototype therapies reduce the signs of aging in laboratory mice. Because mice experience many of the same aging processes as humans do, negligible senescence in humans is possible.

Reaching for negligible senescence through anti-aging strategies has real-world applications that go far beyond reducing wrinkles and sagging skin in old people. Age-related illnesses, like heart disease, cancer and diabetes are debilitating and expensive. The increases in cost and decrease of quality of life will become more profound as a growing number of people live longer. Without a clear-headed approach to negligible senescence, the aging process will cripple an increasing population worldwide.

SRF Continues Its Fight Against Aging

At its core, SRF is a research foundation. Scientists and administrators associated with the foundation conduct and coordinate research into developing the fundamental technologies capable of halting the aging process. SRF also funds research at universities around the world and in SENS own SRF Research Center in Mountain View, California.

The SRF Research Center houses their internal research laboratory, where their scientists perform advanced rejuvenation biotechnology research. The focus of this work is to address the root causes of aging on a molecular level in a systematic and comprehensive way. Currently, the work of the SRF Research Center focuses on the Mitochondrial Mutations Research Project, LysoSENS, and OncoSENS.

The Mitochondrial Mutations Research Project strives to correct time-related damage to the "powerhouse" of human body cells, mitochondria. Researchers with LysoSENS work towards clearing out the waste that accumulates in cells over time. The OncoSENS research objective is to make cancer mutations harmless.

Comments

Let's hope so.

Posted by: Ian at January 14, 2014 7:52 PM

I think things will really take off once the first treatment is developed. Once something like, say, the treatment to -reverse- atherosclerosis by removing toxic cholesterol derivaties, it will comprehensibly demonstrate the inferiority of the pharmaceutical "don't even try to do anything about the underlying problem, just throw small molecules around in the aim of making the body react in a way that'll make the disease slightly less bad for you" model. Something like that would turn things on their head, a single treatment that fixes the problem would instantly make crap like statins obsolete, which is something everyone would notice. It would also be the first step in the demise of the pharmaceutical companies, taking away one of their biggest profit makers and the beginning of them acquiring an image akin to how say, typewriter manufacturers or horse-drawn cart makers are seen today.

Posted by: Arcanyn at January 15, 2014 2:52 AM

Arcanyn - that's why the work that SENS is doing right now is so important. Their 7KC and A2E projects are probably the closest to providing this kind of demonstration, and they're sufficiently unique in approach that you can expect a LOT of investment to jump on board on proof of concept.

Another one which I think holds a lot of promise, but which is barely starting, is the glucosepane-breaker project. The research groups for this look extremely thin, and they're basically in the toolbuilding phase. This is unfortunate, as I suspect that a good glucosepane breaker could vastly improve quality of life in the elderly.

In other areas, such as Alzheimers and stem cell research, there's already a pile of money being invested, so IMHO it doesn't make nearly as much sense for SENS to invest there.

Posted by: Dennis Towne at January 15, 2014 4:17 PM
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