Scientist and advocate Aubrey de Grey is the co-founder of the SENS Research Foundation, one of the most important organizations in aging research today, given its goal of turning the focus of the scientific community towards the implementation of rejuvenation biotechnology. Too much of the aging research establishment has either no interest in treating aging as a medical condition, or they are only interested in expensive and uncertain ways to slightly slow the progression of aging. If we want meaningful progress towards an end to aging in our lifetimes, with the option of continued health and vigor in our extra years of life, then this must change.
The SENS Research Foundation is supported entirely by philanthropic donations, such as those that you and I can provide. Its staff fund and coordinate research, conferences, and advocacy with the aim of pushing forward critical technologies needed to treat the causes of degenerative aging. In most cases work on repair of the cellular and molecular damage that leads to frailty and disease lags far behind other, far less effective approaches that cannot possibly product actual rejuvenation if implemented. This present state of affairs is exactly why we need both more organizations like the SENS Research Foundation and more funding for these and similar efforts to reshape the aging research community.
My attention was drawn today to a longer interview with de Grey recently published online by London Real. At almost ninety minutes long, it covers a lot of ground.
Aubrey de Grey is a true frontiersman, daring to push out against what seems the most natural and unstoppable forces of nature - ageing. He's not just another voice though, he's a scientist and identifies ageing as a disease, one that can be cured with the right medicine. His work calls for serious scientific exploration of what causes tissue to age and to then find solutions to those components - what he calls the roadmap to defeat biological ageing. In fact, he believes that the first humans who will live to be 1,000 years old are already alive today!
Here is a quote to consider from the opening minutes: "We've got to get people more comfortable with undergoing medical treatments while they are still healthy." As rejuvenation therapies are deployed there will be a change in the provision of medicine from treatments to preventative medicine, and eventually near all medicine will be preventative in nature. I'm on the fence as to whether this will in fact be a hurdle for adoption. People are willing today to pay at least lip service to prevention in the form of supplements and exercise. Equally I'm receptive to the argument that clinics are broadly seen as the place you go when you're sick, not the place you go to ensure that you don't get sick. Yet won't longevity assurance treatments be as irregular in life as vaccinations, once every few decades, once a mature technology? People keep up with vaccinations for the most part.