Saturday, January 26, 2008

What will be the next steps in medicine lenghtening your life?

(apologies for not posting... real life took it's toll. Oh and i'll be a way a few weeks on vacation so not mucho posts to come soon either).

Work is in progress on various fronts related to life extension and some work looks rather promising. What would be the first to come to clinical use and what will be the impact?

Certainly there is a big push and rapid development in the field of regenerative medicine. Already beating heart tissue has been grown in the lab and using a heart as scaffold a full heart has been grown. Vascularisation is in my view the leading problem in this area but clearly progress is well afoot. Say 15 more years and many applications should be at least very close to market in my educated guess.

Also using patient derived stem cells either by apharesis, skin stem cells or possibly soon enough by dedifferentiating cells from a biopsy plenty of clinical applications become possible resulting in vast improvements in cardiovascular disease, dystrophie or ataxia to name but a few. First commercializations are in progress and applications are close to market.

So life extension without touching the underlying processes of aging in a systemic and systematic way is plausible. Many will interject that these steps that at are in progress of being made available regardless of what biogerontology brings to the table will maybe up the life expectancy by another decade but then everyone will develop Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other failure modes of the brain. Well, fortunately we seems to make a lot of progress in these domains too so maybe the most apparent ways in which the brain goes will be treatable in the same time frame? Certainly there is reason for hope.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Living Forever: The Longevity Revolution

Consider that in labs we can get yeast to live 10x as long. Next we will be able to make mice live longer and then people will realize aging is malleable and will demand tackling this next level in medicine.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Matching challange at the Methuselah Foundation

If you have been considering donating for research in the Methuselah Foundation's Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) research program then now is an excellent opportunity. Ryan Scott has set up a $100,000 matching fund for all research donations made in 2008, together with Peter Thiel's $3 million matching fund this means means that all your SENS research donations will be tripled - a $100 donation becomes $300 for new research into longevity medicine.

Add to that the free book everyone who donates more then 100$ receives. The book by itself is a recommended read if you are interested in why we age and what might be done to avoid it or rather what can and in my view should be done to enable us to repair the damage that accumulates in our bodies.

So go ahead, donate and help making this world a better place. I have.