Understanding Aging Conference 2008
Located at UCLA June 28th and 29th
As a subscriber to my newsletter, you and your friends are invited to attend a unique FREE forum on Friday, June 27th, in Los Angeles. Leading scientists and thinkers in Life Extension, Stem-Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine will gather at UCLA for Aging 2008to explain how human aging might be modified to your benefit.
Aging 2008 will serve as the opening session for the Understanding Aging Conference to be held at UCLA on June 28 and 29th. The meeting is organized by the Methuselah Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 2002 by Dr. Aubrey de Grey and David Gobel. It is dedicated to extending the healthy human lifespan. If you have a scientific bent, you might want to register for the conference as well. The Saturday and Sunday conference does have a registration fee.
NEXT STEPS FOR SENS LONGEVITY SCIENCE
As it so happens, coaxing your aging immune system back into working shape is one of the items on the list for forthcoming Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) research, funded by the Methuselah Foundation. Reason thoughtfully provided a summary of what we can look forward to:
"During 2008, the Methuselah Foundation will launch a project to develop a procedure for clearing aged T cells from the blood of mice, and potentially thereafter in primates. This work will be supervised by one of the top professors in the immunosenescence field."
If you'll recall, the major issues with our immune system result from the fact that it evolved to protect 15-year-olds who lived in caves and probably wouldn't see the other side of 30. Evolution doesn't care about what happens to you after you pass on your genes, so the immune system is wonderfully engineered for the young... and then later runs headlong into the consequences of short-term optimizations.
One of those optimizations is a limit to the number of T cells. That limit gets progressively eaten up over a normal modern life span by an accumulation of memory T cells specialized for what turns out to be a useless job - remembering varieties of the harmless cytomegalovirus. That growing horde of do-nothing memory cells eventually leaves little capacity left for new T cells intended to fight serious infections, suppress cancer, destroy senescent cells, and so forth.
So, here we have more cells we don't want. As for the senescent cells, killing them seems to be a quick win, rapidly stopping a form of age-related damage by freeing up capacity in the immune system, provided we have the tools to hunt them down without harming other cells. Of course, these tools are presently emerging from the cancer research community.
So we have cause to be optimistic, even if this research remains underfunded at this time. Lack of funding can be changed, and we can all help to make that happen - not having a course of action is a much harder problem to fix.Back to Top