Pieces of the Puzzle: Aging Research Today and Tomorrow

Dr. Leonid A. Gavrilov gives us a fascinating tour of the current state of aging research, suggestions for the future, and an overview of some of his most interesting work. More of Dr. Gavrilov's scientific work can be found his website. What is Aging? Aging is a summary term for a set of processes that -- over time -- contribute to the deterioration of health and ultimately death. Any process that contributes to age-related decline in performance, productivity and health is a component of the aging process that deserves our attention and intervention. Intervention in this context can include preventative...

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Activism for Healthy Life Extension

Despite widespread apathy, disinterest and ignorance of science in our society, there has been a real growth in size and sophistication of healthy life extension communities in the past few years. As a group united in our vision for a better future, we have come to the point of being able to say: "We want to live healthily for longer. We want real, meaningful healthy life extension therapies. What shall we do to make it all happen?" This is the key question! Copyright © Devon Fowler. Based on a piece by Devon Fowler that appeared originally at Transhumanity and the...

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From The Genomics Age

Read interviews with some of the scientists working hard to extend our healthy life spans, reprinted with permission from Gina Smith's The Genomics Age: How DNA is Transforming the Way We Live and Who We Are. Copyright © Gina Smith Eighty and Loving It! "Sixty Is the New Thirty" reads a cover of the AARP magazine, the one with the beautiful (and at the time of the photo, fifty-nine-year-old) Lauren Hutton on the cover. It is a breathless cover story and hardly scientific, but it makes you think. Thirty has been a magic number. Aristotle once said "the human body...

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Winning the War Against Aging

From the pages of THE FUTURIST, Joao Pedro de Magalhaes asks "why die?" There may soon be nothing preventing great-grandparents from being as agile in body and mind as their descendants are. Copyright © Joao Pedro de Magalhaes Imagine that your grandmother looks like a teenager, plays soccer, parties at the clubs all night, and works as a venture capitalist. Or imagine your grandfather teaching you the latest high-tech computer software in his office, which you hate to visit because of the loud heavy metal music. Such a scenario is hard to envision because we are taught to accept aging...

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Closing in on the Cure for Death

Time is on your side if you're under 30, suggests biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey in an optimistic discussion of healthy life extension. With more than 20 first-author publications in the past six years, de Grey is a leader in turning healthy life extension hopes into reality. This article is based on an interview by Shannon Foskett originally published at Betterhumans. You can find out more about Aubrey de Grey's work at the SENS Foundation. Copyright © Aubrey de Grey. Indefinite Healthy Lifespans, When? I am bullish on the prospects for indefinite lifespan. If you're interested in living a far longer,...

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From Fantastic Voyage

Read about the vision that Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman have for the future of healthy life extension, reprinted with permission from their new book, Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever. Copyright © Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman. Immortality is Within Our Grasp Do we have the knowledge and the tools today to live forever? If all science and technology development suddenly stopped, the answer would have to be no. We do have the means to dramatically slow disease and the aging process far more than most people realize, but we do not yet have all the techniques...

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The Tithonus Option is Not an Option

Anti-ageing technology may present us with the awful scenario of extended lifespan but limited improvement in quality of life. Living forever -- or at least for long periods of time -- with dementia is known as "The Tithonus Option." This paper argues that the Tithonus Option is unlikely to eventuate. Copyright © Chris Lawson [0] IntroductionSummaryAnti-ageing technology may present us with the awful scenario of extended lifespan but limited improvement in quality of life. Living forever -- or at least for long periods of time -- with dementia is known as "The Tithonus Option."This paper argues that the Tithonus Option...

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The Case Against Aging

More and more researchers now agree that radical human life extension is only a matter of time. Aging is a biochemical process and humans will learn how to intervene in it and slow it down. Abolishing aging is theoretically possible. It is a goal that is not quite within reach yet, but it will be one day. Copyright © Nick Bostrom More and more researchers now agree that radical human life extension is only a matter of time. Aging is a biochemical process and humans will learn how to intervene in it and slow it down. Abolishing aging is theoretically...

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Why Cryosuspension Makes Sense

We're all genetically programmed to die, but advances in nanomedicine are expected to allow for "radical life extension" by 2050. Meanwhile, there's cryostasis - freezing the body immediately after death with a view toward resuscitation in the future. Copyright © Terry Grossman M.D. We're all genetically programmed to die, but advances in nanomedicine are expected to allow for "radical life extension" by 2050. Meanwhile, there's cryostasis--freezing the body immediately after death with a view toward resuscitation in the future. What About Us? Now that the oldest of my own generation, the "baby" boomers, are on the verge of becoming "geezer"...

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Caution and the Way Forward

Max More, Extropy Institute founder, here examines the reasons behind the excessive caution and rejection of healthy life extension research by Leon Kass, Francis Fukuyama and others. What is the best way forward for a world in which the precautionary principle is used to stifle medical progress? Copyright © Max More. A deep metaphysical and existential anxiety lurks behind the diverse opposition to change brought about by technological progress. This anxiety is common to Leon Kass' fear of going "Beyond Therapy," Francis Fukuyama's fear of "our posthuman future," and the fears expressed by the more extreme wielders of the precautionary...

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Why I Joined The Three Hundred

Michael Rae explains why he has chosen to join The Three Hundred and offer his support to the Methuselah Mouse Prize for longevity research. Copyright © Michael Rae. Today, I made the decision to join The Three Hundred. This essay will explain who The Three Hundred are, why I joined them, and why I think you should do so, too. The short answer to all of the above is that The Three Hundred is a commitment to strongly and directly support what I believe to be the most effective vehicle for funding genuine anti-aging research - research that could drastically...

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Less Calories, More Life

Can caloric restriction extend human lifespan? Copyright © Ian Williams Goddard Only one intervention has been proven to extend both the average and maximum lifespan of all animal species tested: reducing the consumption of dietary calories, or caloric restriction (CR). [1-2] While widely recommended, exercise and nutritional supplementation have not been shown to extend maximum lifespan. [3-5] Because CR extends maximum lifespan, scientists believe it actually slows the process of aging. CR is therefore used as a means to study the process of aging. [6,7] The graph to the left shows the lifespans of four groups of mice, illustrating the...

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Death is an Outrage

While you were reading this sentence, a dozen people just died, worldwide. There. Another dozen people have perished. I think this is an outrage. I want to tell you why I think so, and what nanomedicine can do to help. This article is taken from a lecture delivered by the author at the Fifth Alcor Conference on Extreme Life Extension, 16 November 2002, Newport Beach, CA. More extensive original lecture materials are also available online at the author's web site. Copyright © Robert A. Freitas Jr. While you were reading this sentence, a dozen people just died, worldwide. There. Another...

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Some Non-Original Thoughts on Diet, Health, and Longevity

Phil Graves outlines some of his thoughts on life extension through calorie restriction and other forms of diet. Copyright © Phil Graves. As a first principle, there is, or rather should be, no such thing as a "diet" in the sense of a temporary alteration in eating habits, in order to get back to some prior desirable weight or size. Any temporary eating change will lead only to temporary changes in weight. A diet in the best sense of that term is essentially a life-style choice to be followed indefinitely. This is not to say that one’s diet should not...

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Live Long! Live Free!

Russell Blackford is an Australian writer. This article is based, in part, on his "Life Extension and its Enemies", Quadrant magazine, December 1999. Copyright © Russell Blackford I. If some H.G. Wellsian counterpart to me had been alive a century ago, and speculating about the future development of science and technology, how would his contemporaries have reacted if he'd managed to make a series of broadly accurate prophecies about the 20th century? He might have predicted how communications in the developed world would be revolutionized by the spread of telephones, radio broadcasts, television and the Internet. He might have described...

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From More Than Human

Ramez Naam examines the future of population in the light of advancing healthy life extension technologies, a discussion reprinted with permission from his book More Than Human. Copyright © Ramez Naam. How will longer lives affect world population? Certainly anything that keeps people alive longer will increase the number alive at any given point. However, the details of population growth can be rather counterintuitive. Consider that today the countries with the longest life expectancies at birth have populations that are remaining steady or even shrinking. For example, the UN Population Division expects the populations of Japan, Italy, Germany, and Spain...

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Superlongevity Without Overpopulation

The Scientific Conquest of Death: Essays on Infinite Lifespans, a book published by the Immortality Institute, examines many of the social as well as technological aspects of the future of healthy life extension. Max More's contribution to The Scientific Conquest of Death, reprinted here with permission, handily demonstrates that fear of overpopulation is not a legitimate objection to greatly extending the healthy human life span. Copyright © Max More. Proponents of superlongevity (indefinitely extended life spans) have been making their case for the possibility and desirability of this change in the human condition for decades. For just as long, those...

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Nanotechnology and Life Extension

Don't be put off by the title! Chris Phoenix, co-founder of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, has penned a very accessible primer on the role of tiny machines in the future of medicine. These are the technologies that we hope will keep us all healthy in years to come. This article first appeared as a chapter in "Doctor Tandy's First Guide To Life Extension And Transhumanity." Copyright © Chris Phoenix. Introduction This chapter is not really about life extension. Instead, its focus is on health extension: keeping the body in a state of good health. This is a simpler topic,...

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This Wonderful Lengthening of Lifespan

Bruce J. Klein, director at the non-profit Immortality Institute, discusses the lengthening of human lifespan past, present and future. Huge gains have been made, and there is more to come from the medicine of tomorrow. Copyright © Bruce J. Klein Figure 1. Source: sciencemag. This figure illustrates the enormous gains in life expectancy over the past 160 years. Can all of this wonderful life extension continue? Will average lifespan continue to outpace projections? More importantly, can we find a cure for aging altogether or will the bubble burst like some overbought technology sector? Perhaps lifespan will peak at some natural...

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The Curious Case of the Catatonic Biogerontologists

Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) is a detailed plan for curing human aging. It's detailed, thorough and firmly based on established experimental work in the various relevant areas of biology. So, you may well ask, where's the catch? Why, on all the many documentaries on aging that remain so popular, don't my colleagues come out and advocate the same work that I advocate? Copyright © Aubrey de Grey. This is an edited version of the original piece appearing at the SENS website. Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) is a detailed plan for curing human aging. It is an...

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