Friday, April 6, 2012

The Cost-Effectiveness of Anti-Ageing Research - Aubrey De Grey for 80000 Hours

This new video is very much worth watching and is very comprehensive in its coverage. It examines many areas that are quite contraversial and asks a lot of questions about what effect curing aging may have on our future as a society.

Dr Aubrey de Grey

I get quite a few emails asking where people can get information regarding SENS and Dr Aubrey de Grey and without doubt You Tube is the best source.

The two below are quite recent but if you search Aubrey de Grey on You Tube you will find a vast range of material that is worth checking out. For the SENS foundation website see

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Five Technologies That Lead to Radical Life Extension

I have always pointed out that five technologies will play a major role in our progress toward radical life extension. These technologies are listed below and in my opinion for radical life extension to fail all five of these technologies would also need to fail and clearly that is highly improbable:

  1. Biotechnology
  2. Nanotechnology
  3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  4. Advanced Robotics
  5. Genetics

The most important factor in my opinion is that any of the five have the potential to lead to radical life extension albeit by very differing routes and I have always felt that the likely outcome is that a combination of the five will get us to where we need to go. This year has been very interesting with a great deal of progress in tissue engineering and robotics and as far as robotics are concerned the clips below show how fast we are progressing in this key area.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Signs of ageing halted in the laboratory

Original Article at

Elderly woman  

Will it one day be possible to stop ageing?
The onset of wrinkles, muscle wasting and cataracts has been delayed and even eliminated in mice, say researchers in the US.
It was done by "flushing out" retired cells that had stopped dividing. They accumulate naturally with age.
The scientists believe their findings could eventually "really have an impact" in the care of the elderly.
Experts said the results were "fascinating", but should be taken with a bit of caution.
The study, published in Nature, focused on what are known as "senescent cells". They stop dividing into new cells and have an important role in preventing tumours from progressing.
These cells are cleared out by the immune system, but their numbers build up with time. The researchers estimated that around 10% of cells are senescent in very old people.

“Start Quote

I've never seen anything quite like it”
Quote Dr James Kirkland

Scientists at the Mayo Clinic, in the US, devised a way to kill all senescent cells in genetically engineered mice.
The animals would age far more quickly than normal, and when they were given a drug, the senescent cells would die.
The researchers looked at three symptoms of old age: formation of cataracts in the eye; the wasting away of muscle tissue; and the loss of fat deposits under the skin, which keep it smooth.
Researchers said the onset of these symptoms was "dramatically delayed" when the animals were treated with the drug.
When it was given after the mice had been allowed to age, there was an improvement in muscle function. One of the researchers, Dr James Kirkland, said: "I've never seen anything quite like it."
His colleague Dr Jan van Deursen told the BBC: "We were very surprised by the very profound effect. I really think this is very significant."

The treatment had no effect on lifespan, but that may be due to the type of genetically engineered mouse used.

Eternal youth? The study raises the tantalising prospect of slowing the signs of ageing in humans. However, senescent cells cannot be just flushed out of human beings.
Dr Deursen said: "I'm very optimistic that this could really have an impact. Nobody wants to live longer if the quality of life is poor." He argued that young people were already clearing out their senescent cells. "If you can prime the immune system, boost it a little bit, to make sure senescent cells are removed, that might be all it needs. "Or develop a drug that targets senescent cells because of the unique proteins the cells make." Dr Jesus Gil, from the Medical Research Council's clinical science centre, said the findings needed to be "taken with a bit of caution. It is a preliminary study".
However, he said it was a fascinating study which "suggests if you get rid of senescent cells you can improve phenotypes [physical traits] associated with ageing and improve quality of life in aged humans".

This article is especially interesting because it ties in closely with what Dr Aubrey de Grey has claimed for many years see Senescent CellsApoptoSENS

Thursday, October 20, 2011

This is a very interesting article Regarding Ageing in the UK Daily Mail Newspaper

This is a very interesting article in the UK Daily Mail and tends to support my view that that we are not only making progress but that the concept of life extension is moving into the mainstream. My opinion is that we will achieve a decisive level of control over aging within 20 to 30 years but it goes without saying that the sooner we make progress the more lives will be saved and a great deal of suffering avoided.

 We can live to 150 and stay healthy': Professor says first 'wonder drugs' could be ready this decade

By Rob Cooper

Last updated at 12:35 PM on 19th October 2011

Very old age: Dustin Hoffman plays 121-year-old Jack Crabb in Little Big Man

Very old age: Dustin Hoffman plays 121-year-old Jack Crabb in Little Big Man
Drugs that can slow the ageing process are likely to be available this decade, raising the prospect of people living to 150 or longer.
'Wonder' pills that help the body repair itself are in the early stages of development and will help us live well into our second century - while stem cell therapies will boost our quality of life.
Professor Peter Smith, Dean of Medicine at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, said a girl born today in Australia could  already expect to live to 100.
And rather than suffering a long drawn out decline, he claimed we could live a healthy and active life until just before we die.
Prof Smith told the annual Medicine Dean’s Lecture, on the possibility of happy and healthy ageing, that there will be a dramatic leap forward in life expectancy.
He said: 'I think there is real hope we can extend human life by some decades further.
'But the aim is not just to eke out extra existence but to facilitate a longer healthy life.
'We just don't want to live longer, we want to live longer well. And these drugs will help with regeneration processes in the body so people will live well, much longer.'

Harvard geneticist Professor David Sinclair told the Dean's lecture: 'We are seeing the beginning of technology that could one day allow us to reach 150.'

David Sinclair, Peter Smith, Susan Greenfield University of New South Wales
Lecture: Professor Peter Smith and Oxford neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield at the University of New South Wales

Prof Sinclair is researching resveratrol - an anti-ageing compound in red wine.
A new compound is being trialled which is 1000 times more powerful than resveratrol - and is showing signs of being effective.
He said: 'Our bodies have an extraordinary ability to repair themselves and resveratrol is seemingly able to tap into those healing mechanisms.'
He said that plant-derived compounds like resveratrol had activated enzymes in mice that trigger the DNA repair process.
'Those enzymes exist in human bodies too, so the possibility of drugs that slow the ageing process is very likely within our lifetime,' he said.
Oxford University neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield told the Sydney lecture that people would be able to start second careers when they reach 65.

Longer life expectancies: Professor Peter Smith, dean of medicine at New South Wales University, pictured, said children born today could expect to live to 100
Longer life: Professor Peter Smith, Dean of Medicine at New South Wales University, pictured, said children born today could already expect to live to 100

An older workforce would focus on knowledge-based jobs rather than physical ones, she suggested.
However, Baroness Greenfield, who leads a multi-disciplinary team at Oxford investigating neurodegenerative conditions, added that we had to tackle dementia.
She said: 'We are in an era of unprecedented life expectancy, and science research needs to ensure we live happy and healthy lives, otherwise the social and economic implications could potentially be catastrophic.'

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Big Step Forward: Gene therapy and stem cells unite

Gene therapy and stem cells unite By James Gallagher Health reporter, BBC News * Human 'cloning' makes stem cells * 'Scalpel' hope for muscle disease * Stem cells used in stroke trial Two of the holy grails of medicine - stem cell technology and precision gene therapy - have been united for the first time in humans, say scientists.

Gene therapy and stem cells unite

Chromosomes Could genetically modified stem cells be used to treat genetic diseases?

Related Stories

Two of the holy grails of medicine - stem cell technology and precision gene therapy - have been united for the first time in humans, say scientists.
It means patients with a genetic disease could, one day, be treated with their own cells.
A study in Nature corrected a mutation in stem cells made from a patient with a liver disease.
Researchers said this was a "critical step" towards devising treatments, but safety tests were still needed.
At the moment, stem cells created from a patient with a genetic illness cannot be used to cure the disease as those cells would also contain the corrupted genetic code.
Scientists, at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge, were working on cirrhotic liver disease.
It is caused by a change to a single pair of letters, out of the six billion which make up the genetic code.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Trend toward increased longevity would appear to be accelerating

Check out an article at it is very interesting because I have long predicted that the first significant indication that we are making real progress in life extension would arise when rather than adding the 24-30 months per decade as we have for the last 50 years plus we would see an acceleration in the rate at which life expectancy was increasing year on year. I predicted in 2005 that by 2015 we would see an increase of 5-6 months per annum as opposed to the current 2.5 months so if this trend continues I am confident we might have turned the corner. Below is the crucial part of the article. Quote: The [UK's] biggest firms have increased their pensioner longevity assumptions for the fifth year running in a move which has added about 1% to scheme liabilities, Mercer says. Research from the consultant found FTSE100 companies had increased their UK longevity assumptions by about three months for current pensioners and by about five months for future retirees compared to the previous report in December 2009. It said, on average, male scheme members aged 65 are projected to live until 87.2, while those currently aged 45 who survive until 65 are expected to live until 89.2. Mercer said this represented an increase of about two years in life expectancy from its 2006 report - which means companies believe life expectancy has improved faster than previously expected, which has added to pension bill.