Late last year the German Society for Applied Biostasis (DGAB) held a scientific symposium on cryonics. A number of researchers from the aging research community attended, as there is some overlap between people interested enough in radical life extension to have become members of the aging research community and people interested enough in cryonics to help advance that work. It is similar to another overlap with the field of artificial general intelligence research. If you move in these circles you'll keep bumping into some of the same people regardless of the topic of the present conference.
Why is this the case? Well, there was a coming together of many disparate futurists in the 1990s and a years-long blossoming in the exchange and synthesis of ideas relating to the rapid advance of computing, medicine, and materials science. This happened as a natural result of the accelerating growth in English-language internet usage at the time, and in particular due to a newly enhanced ability to easily organize ad-hoc communities with similar interests but whose members are widely separated geographically. If you trace the people who were present for those online discussions you'll find that a modest but significant number of them have since forged their careers from what they want to see for the future of humanity: radical life extension, cryonics, molecular nanotechnology, artificial general intelligence, and so forth. There was a period of comparative unity and consensus back then, when fewer people were online and it was all still fairly new, followed by a diaspora of ideas and efforts into diverse but conceptually linked fields of technological development, of making the future real.
This is why there are people who work on the molecular biology of aging found at cryonics conferences, why there are people who fund both general AI and aging research and consider both part of a greater whole, and it is also the explanation for many other similar connections in a still growing web of relationships that started with enthusiastic online discussions of futurist goals that took place a couple of decades ago. The futurism - the transhumanism - of the 1990s is the everyday scientific groundwork of today, and those young futurists are often one and the same individuals as the older team leaders now performing that work.
In any case, here is Aubrey de Grey of the SENS Research Foundation presenting on the topic of rejuvenation biotechnology to the DGAB, many of whom are supporters. If you are up for cryonics as an option, then you should certainly be in favor of extending healthy life through other engineering applications of medical science. If you are already familiar with SENS as a strategy for the development of therapies to reverse aging, then you might want to skip ahead to about 25 minutes in to get an update on ongoing research programs: what is being done, and where things stand at present.
If you have an interest in the science of cryonics and cryopreservation, then you'll find a range of other presentations from the symposium available online:
- Possible Mechanisms of the Cryoprotective Effect of Xenon
- Functional genomics of cryoprotectant toxicity
- History of cryonics
- Definitions of Death
- Age related degeneration
- Protocol for Vitrification of Bulky Biological Objects
- New cryonics technologies
- [1/2] How to sustain an organization for over a century
- [2/2] How to sustain an organization for over a century