The Fight Aging! 2014 fundraiser to benefit the work of the SENS Research Foundation launched a month ago and will run for another two months - until the end of the year. Until the end of December a $100,000 matching fund waits to be drawn down by your donations: for every $1 given to the Foundation to help expand their rejuvenation research programs, $2 is drawn from the fund. So donate!
Why give to support the Foundation? The SENS Research Foundation funds research programs to produce the basic technologies required to build rejuvenation therapies, treatments that will be capable of repairing the various forms of cellular and molecular damage that cause age-related frailty, disease, and death. Some of this research already takes place in the mainstream, such as in the cancer and stem cell research communities, but these are only a few of the many lines of work needed to produce a working rejuvenation toolkit and the clinical community to support it. Despite great progress in biotechnology over the past decade, and despite a good understanding of the goals and the damage that must be repaired, that other research is still largely languishing. The SENS Research Foundation is perhaps the only organization in the world that is wholly focused on speeding all of these necessary threads by funding research groups and laboratories.
Stem cell based regenerative therapies and even a partial cure for most cancers alone will not greatly extend our lives, even though they provide significant improvements over the present state of affairs for people suffering age-related disease. Aging is caused by other processes as well, and if one doesn't get you then one of the others will. To help the old and to help prevent ourselves from suffering in same way as today's old people the research community must also tackle other important issues in the aging body and brain: metabolic waste products building up inside and around cells; growing levels of mitochondrial DNA damage; immune system dysfunction; and senescent cell accumulation. All of these produce eventually fatal medical conditions on roughly the same timescales, and thus removing frailty and disease from aging will require progress on all of these fronts.
As noted, however, far too little work takes place on most of these projects. That is why our assistance is so important; that is why we must have fundraisers and philanthropy and advocacy. The work funded and encouraged by the SENS Research Foundation represents the future, and the SENS vision of repair of the causes of aging is to my eyes the only viable replacement for the present day collection of poor strategies for tackling aging in medicine. There can and should be more than just palliative care, or attempts to slightly slow down aging, or the same old-style drug discovery programs attempting to do more good than harm for people in the very end stages of aging. The near future can and should be one of targeted, designed treatments that zero in on the known forms of cellular and molecular damage that cause aging. The more support we can provide to organizations like the SENS Research Foundation, the faster this future will arrive, and the better all of our lives will be as a result.
We're now a third of the way through our 2014 fundraiser and over the last month more than 300 people from the community have generously stepped up to provide more than $16,000 dollars of the $50,000 target. If you're on the fence, consider this: you'll probably spend more than most of these folk gave on coffee and cake this coming month, and what is that going to do for your future prospects? So invest a little in the rest of your life, in making the future a place you'd like to live in, I'd say. Small actions taken now will snowball, and make large differences down the line.