Dear Future Centenarian,
15-20 years ago, I felt like a lone wolf crying the age-reversal story in the wilderness. Look how much and how quickly things have changed.
Last week, I read a very good longevity article from The Guardian a little over a week ago. Then a few days ago, Johnny Adams, a good friend who assumed management of the Gerontology Research Group’s (GRG) activities after Dr. Steve Cole’s temporarily left us (he’s in cryonic suspension), wrote a very good synopsis of the article for the GRG discussion list.
- Joon Yun launched a $1 m prize challenging scientists to “hack the code of life” and push human lifespan past its apparent max. Yun believes it is possible to “solve ageing” and believes our lives and society are troubled by growing numbers of loved ones lost to age-related disease and suffering extended periods of decrepitude, which is costing economies.
- Google’s Calico mission is to reverse engineer the biology that controls lifespan and “devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives.”
- Craig Venter plans to create a giant database of 1 million human genome sequences by 2020, including from supercentenarians. Venter says that data should shed important new light on what makes for a longer, healthier life, and expects others working on life extension to use his database.
- Aubrey de Grey has been on a decade+ crusade to inspire the world to embark on a scientific quest to eliminate ageing and extend healthy lifespan indefinitely. He says just as a vintage car can be kept in good condition indefinitely with periodic preventative maintenance, so there is no reason why, in principle, the same can’t be true of the human body. Aubrey says the world is in a "pro-ageing trance" that can be solved.
- David Masci, a researcher at the Pew Research Centre, wrote “Radical life extension isn’t consigned to the realm of cranks and science fiction writers anymore.” and “Serious people are doing research in this area and serious thinkers are thinking about this.”
- Kevin Lee, a director of the Ellison Medical Foundation, said “If a consequence of increasing health is that life is extended, that’s a good thing, but the most important part is keeping people healthy as long as possible.”
And "Whereas much biomedical research concentrates on trying to cure individual diseases, say cancer, scientists in this small field hunt something larger. They investigate the details of the ageing process with a view to finding ways to prevent it at its root, thereby fending off the whole slew of diseases that come along with ageing."
- Jay Olshansky, a sociologist at the University of Chicago School of Public Health who runs a project called the Longevity Dividend Initiative said "The standard medical approach – curing one disease at a time – only makes that worse." …and ". . . which makes the case for funding ageing research to increase healthspan on health and economic grounds."
- Brian Kennedy, director of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging said “We have really turned a corner.”
- David Sinclair, a researcher based at Harvard says “We’re now at the point where it’s easy to extend the lifespan of a mouse. That’s not the question any more, it’s can we do this in humans? And I don’t see any reason why we can’t.” Reason for optimism comes after several different approaches have yielded promising results. These include metformin.
- Tony Wyss-Coray, a researcher at Stanford leading the work in one of the more unusual approaches being tested is using blood from the young to reinvigorate the old. Tony says if it works he hopes to isolate factors in the blood that drive the effect and then try to make a drug that does a similar thing.
- James Kirkland, a researcher who studies ageing at the Mayo Clinic, says he knows of about 20 drugs now – more than six of which had been written up in scientific journals – that extended the lifespan or healthspan of mice.
The aim is to begin tests in humans. Kirkland says the informal ambition in his field is to increase healthspan by two to three years in the next decade or more. (The EU has an official goal of adding two years to healthspan by 2020).
Added note from Johnny Adams: That's not enough. We need to add some zeros to those numbers!! How are we going to do that?
- Here’s a clue: Tech billionaires want to make death an elective.
Read the whole story:
Why not resolve to launch two extreme longevity plans for 2015?
Plan A – Stay alive by doing everything recommended in Smart, Strong and Sexy at 100 until you can take advantage of emerging rejuvenating medical research.
Plan B – Join Alcor Life Extension Foundation (cryonics) as your backup position to Plan A. I suggest now, because insurance is not for sale when you need it.