Lifespan.io Crowdfunding Initiative for AgeMeter Development

The latest Lifespan.io crowdfunding campaign is in support of AgeMeter development, an infrastructure technology used to assemble the data needed for compound biomarkers of aging built from existing simple health measures. The development of a reliable, accurate, and low-cost biomarker of biological age, that reflects an individual's burden of molecular damage, and thus risk of disease and mortality, is an important topic. Without such a measure, it is very time-consuming to test potential rejuvenation therapies, as the only practical approach is to wait and see what happens over the life span of the test subjects. That is a formidable expense even for mouse studies. With such a measure, most of that work could be replaced with a quick set of tests before and after the use of a potential therapy.

While a great deal of attention is given to biomarker development that is based on patterns of DNA methylation, there is a school of thought that suggests researchers could build something just as useful by suitably combining existing simple measures such as heart rate, blood pressure, grip strength, and so on. The greatest challenge in the development of such a biomarker lies in ensuring accuracy and reliability at the point of data collection, while still allowing large numbers of people to be tested cost-effectively. This initiative seeks to modernize and improve existing approaches, now a more pressing concern given the advent of potential rejuvenation therapies such as clearance of senescent cells.

Centers for Age Control has launched a fundraising campaign on Lifespan.io in support of the AgeMeter, a diagnostic system to measure human functional age. The device is meant to assist in the assessment of therapeutics that address the aging processes during clinical trials, as well as being a useful tool for the general practitioner. As research efforts intensify towards developing effective rejuvenation therapies, the need for cost-effective ways of measuring the rate of aging becomes all the more urgent. An effective functional age test would be a very useful tool in determining this, complementing the data from biochemical tests.

The list of biomarkers AgeMeter will assess includes auditory and visual reaction time, lung capacity, muscle coordination, decision-making time, memory, and a few others, which are reliable predictors of functional age in previous studies. AgeMeter will be used by physicians for the health assessment of patients and to help highlight areas of concern. This will allow a doctor to work with the patient to develop an effective personalised healthcare strategy and could be of great value in helping people to maintain health.

"AgeMeter is a modernized successor to the H-SCAN functional age test that was originally developed in 1990 to assess physical biomarkers of aging. We have gathered an impressive experience in measuring functional age with H-Scan. Now we can make it serve humanity even better. AgeMeter will be a low-cost, modular touch screen device with special peripherals for integrating multiple cognitive and biometric assessment technologies. We hope to not only make a functional prototype suitable for research needs, but also to create software for a user account system for each test participant. This will enable individual users to store and access multiple test results, and therefore analyze the progression of one's metrics over time and in response to potential anti-aging interventions. We believe this is the most valuable part of the project for people who care about their health and want to be sure their lifestyle is good for them."

Link: http://www.leafscience.org/introducing-agemeter/

Comments

I don't actually know how useful this will be. You can buy cheap spirometers, but the accurate ones used in clinical trials cost around USD 10,000. If this device is only capable of rubbish measurements, is it worth doing in the first place?

Wouldn't the time and money be better spent on a home lab on a chip test of some sort?

Posted by: Jim at July 20th, 2017 8:04 AM

Allow me to give my crass and ignorant impression of this project : none of the biomarkers are actually biologically measured from within... it's not a 21st century scientific advancement. It's not SENS-grade frontier research. It may be useful but I find it disappointing.

Posted by: Spede at July 20th, 2017 8:35 AM

Can they use these 'functional' measurements to validate some more fundamental measures of aging such as DNA methylation or telomere length? If a strong correlation could be found it would go some way to validating these more advanced approaches. Otherwise, I agree - I am not sure this advances us much.

Posted by: Mark at July 20th, 2017 10:20 AM

BTW, I see that Lifespan.io has begun promoting supplements ¬¬

Posted by: Antonio at July 20th, 2017 12:25 PM

? Donde ? I haven't seen any such thing on their landing page.

Posted by: Spede at July 20th, 2017 1:32 PM

@Antonio we do not promote supplements no that is not true. We write about geroprotectors but we dont recommend any, big difference.

Posted by: Steve Hill at July 20th, 2017 1:34 PM

That said, if anyone does have questions, comments or concerns about our campaigns and or content please feel free to contact at the URL below:

http://www.leafscience.org/contact-us/

Posted by: Steve Hill at July 20th, 2017 1:48 PM

@Jim - I have fowarded your question to the AgeMeter team. I will update you.

Posted by: Steve Hill at July 20th, 2017 2:30 PM

@Spede: In the right-hand menu.

Posted by: Antonio at July 20th, 2017 2:36 PM

@Antonio - Please read carefully as you seem to have missed this. There is a "supplement" category on our blog. This is because a number of people in the LE community are interested in supplements. However we do not sell, profit from, promote, endorse or otherwise suggest anyone uses them. This is why this appears in every article about supplements:

"This article is only a very brief summary, and is not intended as an exhaustive guide and is based on the interpretation of research data, which is speculative by nature. This article is not a substitute for consulting your physician about which supplements may or may not be right for you. We do not endorse supplement use or any product or supplement vendor and all discussion here is for scientific interest."

And as for "promoting" them, this is absolutely not true.

Posted by: Steve Hill at July 20th, 2017 2:53 PM

@Antonio: It was likely after I asked them to have a tab or search function to easily find all articles on geroprotectors. They have labeled it:"Supplements". I think they should label it:"Geroprotectors".

Posted by: Norse at July 20th, 2017 3:07 PM

@Norse It was once called Geroprotectors but we changed this because the average punter does not know what a geroprotector is but they know what a supplement is so we changed it to a more public facing word. We used the tag gerotprotectors as a nod to its previous name.

And yes Norse we heavily updated our website in June to make it easier to navigate and added the navigation bar to help people find things. This was based on yours and others suggestions so thanks for that :)

Posted by: Steve Hill at July 20th, 2017 3:25 PM

@Norse: You can call them supplements or geroprotectors or whathever you want but, apart from the senolytic quercetin, they are all in the same category, supplements that tinker with metabolism in order to very slightly slow aging, and with dubious evidence. You can find there the usual suspects, like resveratrol and antioxidants.

Posted by: Antonio at July 20th, 2017 3:42 PM

@Jim - The response from Dr. Small is:

"The validation of biochemical and genetic age measurements is exactly what Dr. Church, Dr. Sinclair and Dr. de Grey are expecting and that is why they endorsed our project on our campaign page. We have already sourced spirometers and accurate quality spirometers fit well within the AgeMeter price."

Posted by: Steve Hill at July 20th, 2017 3:56 PM

Yeah thanks Steve. I just feel that this campaign is not very exciting.

There seem to be DNA methylation markers that reliably predict 'biological age'. This 'tablet' will probably sell for a couple of hundred dollars. Oxford Nanopore are looking to sell their MinION USB sequencer for USD 1,000:

"The MinION is commercially available, simply by paying a starter pack fee of $1,000. The MinION starter pack includes materials you need to run initial sequencing experiments, including a MinION device, flow cells, kits and membership of the Nanopore Community."

Oxford Nanopore are even bringing out the SmidgION, a version for mobile phones later this year.

I'd be much more excited about someone producing a kit for the Minion so that people could find out their actual biological age rather than just get "your biological age is 35 plus or minus 10 years" so basically 25-45 which isn't telling me anything interesting.

Posted by: Jim at July 20th, 2017 4:06 PM

@Antonio: I do think a-lipoic acid and l-carnosine are geroprotectors which mechanism dont tinker with metabolism to extend life. They possibly not rejuvenate the body as with rejuvenation biotech but they have an impact better than antioxidants.

Posted by: Norse at July 20th, 2017 4:09 PM

This article is only a very brief summary, and is not intended as an exhaustive guide and is based on the interpretation of research data, which is speculative by nature. This article is not a substitute for consulting your physician about which supplements may or may not be right for you. We do not endorse supplement use or any product or supplement vendor and all discussion here is for scientific interest.

Posted by: Steve h at July 20th, 2017 7:15 PM

@Jim thanks for that and appreciate your comments.

Posted by: Steve h at July 20th, 2017 7:26 PM

@Jim the Minion costs $1000 but each run will cost you a further $300-500 depending on volume on the flowcell, and another $80 or so in reactants. The quality of the data you get is also not at the point where you can use it for methylation analysis (or even variant analysis for that matter)

Posted by: ale at July 20th, 2017 11:40 PM

@Jim which is not to say that the Minion/Smidgion are not extremely exciting, but I think it's too early to be setting up kits

Posted by: ale at July 20th, 2017 11:42 PM

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.