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Hangout on Air: Projects to accelerate radical healthy longevity

What are the most important ongoing projects to accelerate radical healthy longevity?

This "London Futurists Hangout on Air" will feature a live discussion between several leading life extension activists - Franco Cortese, Ilia Stambler, Maria Konovalenko, and Aubrey de Grey.

The panellists will be sharing news and views on:

• Projects they (or their organisations) have recently completed

• Projects they are working on and/or planning to do next

• Any issues that are blocking them from doing more.

The panellists will also discuss ways in which a wider community of people can usefully become involved in activities to accelerate radical healthy longevity.

Live questions

Viewers of the live broadcast on Google+ will be able to vote in real time on questions and suggestions to be discussed by the panellists as the Hangout proceeds.

(The use of the built-in 'Live Q&A' feature of Google Hangouts replaces previous plans to coordinate questions using the older tool Google Moderator.)

Marking Longevity Day

The London Futurists event is part of worldwide activities marking Longevity Day, which occurs each year on October 1st.

Note: October 1st has previously been designated by the United Nations as "International Day of Older Persons". However, whereas "International Day of Older Persons" can be seen as anti-ageist, "Longevity Day" is better viewed as anti-aging.

About the panellists:

Ilia Stambler, PhD, is a researcher at Bar Ilan University, Israel, an affiliate scholar at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET), and an activist at the International Longevity Alliance (ILA).

Ilia worked as a scientific writer at the Biophysical Schottenstein Center for the Research and Technology of the Cellome, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. He studied biomedical engineering in Moscow Polytechnical Institute, biology at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and has an MA in English literature from Bar-Ilan University.

Ilia received his PhD degree at the Department of Science, Technology and Society, at BarIlan University. His thesis subject, and his main interest, is the History of Life-extensionism in the 20th Century (http://www.longevityhistory.com/ ).

He is active in the Israeli chapter of the Humanity Plus (http://www.singulariut.com/), the Israeli Society for the Biology of Aging (http://www.bioaging.org.il/) and the International Longevity Alliance (http://www.longevityalliance.org/).

Franco Cortese is a Futurist, Author and Editor. He’s an Affiliate Researcher at ELPIs Foundation for Indefinite Lifespans (a non-profit research organization located in Larnaca, Cyprus and London, U.K.), a Fellow at Brighter Brains Institute (a San-Fransisco Bay-Area Think-Tank and public policy & advocacy center), and a columnist for H+ Magazine and LongeCity.

Franco is also a regular contributor to the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, an Advisory Board Member for Lifeboat Foundation (on their Futurists Board and their Life Extension Scientific Advisory Board), and Executive Director of the Center for Transhumanity (a Canadian non-profit think-tank promoting the safe and ethical development of emerging technologies in general and Human Enhancement Technologies in particular).

Franco is the editor of the recently published book Longevitize!, which contains 160+ essays divided into 6 parts: Longevity's Possible Problems; Longevity Philosophy; The Politics of Longevity; The Art of Longevity; Longevity Pragmatics; and Longevity Popculture and Events.

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK and Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Research Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging.

Aubrey received his BA and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 2000 respectively. His original field was computer science, and he did research in the private sector for six years in the area of software verification before switching to biogerontology in the mid-1990s. His research interests encompass the characterisation of all the accumulating and eventually pathogenic molecular and cellular side-effects of metabolism (“damage”) that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or obviate that damage. He has developed a possibly comprehensive plan for such repair, termed Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), which breaks aging down into seven major classes of damage and identifies detailed approaches to addressing each one.

A key aspect of SENS is that it can potentially extend healthy lifespan without limit, even though these repair processes will probably never be perfect, as the repair only needs to approach perfection rapidly enough to keep the overall level of damage below pathogenic levels. Dr. de Grey has termed this required rate of improvement of repair therapies “longevity escape velocity”. Aubrey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organisations.

Aubrey is the author of the book Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime.

Maria Konovalenko is Vice President at the Science for Life Extension Foundation. The main goal of this Foundation is to make radical life extension a global initiative. The Foundation integrates efforts in order to increase funding for research in regenerative medicine, gerontology, genetics, neuroscience, systems biology, and related sciences aimed at studying the mechanisms of aging and searching for methods to increase human longevity.

Maria has a Masters degree in Molecular Biological Physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University) (MIPT)

Maria is also an active supporter of the Longevity Party, described as follows:

• Longevity Party is an international union of people, who believe the main goal of each and everyone is development of scientific and technological progress, significant life extension and supporting unlimited enhancement of capabilities of a personality.

• Longevity Party is the party of common sense.

• Everyone has their own values in life – family, children, creativity, love, beauty, freedom, money, traveling, sex, power… But all these things can only make sense if the person is alive. The basic condition for existence and implementation of all values is life. Its significant extension by rational, scientifically proven methods is the wisest strategy for every one of us.

• Longevity Party strives to fairness and happiness.

• There is nothing more unfair than death. People don’t deserve death. Death, senility and diseases make a person unhappy. Fight for fairness and happiness for everyone is a fight against diseases, suffering, pain, aging and fighting for radical extension of human life...

Event logistics:

This event will take place between 7pm and 8.30pm UK time on Sunday 29th September. You can view the event:

• On Google+, via the page https://plus.google.com/104281987519632639471/posts - where you'll also be able to vote on questions to be submitted to the panellists

• Via YouTube (the URL will be published here 15 minutes prior to the start of the event).

There is no charge to participate in this discussion.

Note: there is no physical location for this meetup (despite the postcode given above - in compliance with something that the Meetup software seems to insist upon).

Join or login to comment.

  • Erica

    continuing.....Many drugs that are marketed for degenerative conditions are designed for repeated long-term dosing and don't really 'cure' these conditions (ie lipid and BP lowering agents, glucose control) etc. What I am saying ultimately is that in order to make progress in anti-aging we may need a paradigm shift in terms of how we approach disease prevention and a change in the current model of disease-focused treatments. As Aubrey mentioned the publics perception of the issues will need to be changed as well. A tall order perhaps but I think the example of cigarette smoking some decades ago offers an analogy, hardly anyone thought cigarette smoking was bad before the 1960s, then evidence began compiling, there were PR and legislative efforts to educate and curtail marketing and eventually the public perception changed, so it can be done, with time and effort and a worthy goal.

    1 · September 30, 2013

    • Anette

      If the subject – more funds for research. Funds need to come from outside current health care budgets. From some angle it may look right to demand diversion of public funds from disease treatments and equal health care into longevity. But from another – before launching full scale lobbing, which would be eventually a big part of the public image – there is a need to look at all affected parties who could receive less public funds if you succeed. We will find there, e.g. curable cancer and orphan diseases lacking assess to medicine because NICE found it economically not viable to treat them. Dying people represented by very strong patients groups. And here you are with your longevity idea already attractive to retired billionaires wishing to live longer. One needs to choose the battle and think long term impact. Stopping wars or changing economy model could give funds of different scale and no guilt attached that one live longer at expense of another.

      September 30, 2013

    • Anette

      On pharma - after solving HIV puzzle so well it walked straight into major crisis. It has to be left to recover. The health care procurement and market competition are dealing with the price issues just fine. However there is a need to be very careful with border line indications like MCI or mild Alzheimer. Most such drugs were developed for real diseases but failed to meet efficacy criteria, then milder criteria applied in attempts to commercialise it somehow anyway. Regulators see this through. If you lobby for more of these “mild” ill-defined - that could only give more options for these otherwise failed drugs.

      September 30, 2013

  • Erica

    Well I may be incriminating myself somewhat but I should add that I have over 20 years of experience in bio-pharma in clinical development. I am not optimistic or confident in the motivation) of relying on pharma to address the issue of anti-aging and if they do it will be prohibitively expensive for most people I am afraid. I think part of the problem is the model of health-care or realty disease-care in general. I think a large part of most anti-aging approaches will be preventative and pharma does not generally design preventative drugs. What will get developed are drugs with the most profit incentive (for rare-diseases some of the treatments cost upwards of $200,000/yr per patient - yes not a typo)

    1 · September 30, 2013

  • Anette

    A drug is not just something to treat. It is also everything which contains ingredients that could harm and require animal and human research to establish save use limits. It is also anything made and used the way it could harm - e.g. injected. It is also anything that claims it could treat while has nothing in it that otherwise would require efficacy and safety proving research. The field is more complex. One needs to work way back from end task to develop right strategy. Aging as disease - too much work on setting borders with the norm and assessing impact on these who seen as normal now but will be seen as ill then.

    September 30, 2013

  • Erica

    Thanks for an informative discussion. I do think one of the challenges is definitional and regulatory. That is aging is a manifestation of different disorders and not a recognized therapeutic target.
    Identifying/defining biological markers of aging may help define the issue/convince regulators of aging as a therapeutic target and open the door for novel therapeutic strategies. Perhaps makers of inflammation, mitochondrial damage or decline, etc would be useful in this regard. I do think self-quantification with one's own baseline biological data as reference may play a role in the future because longitudinal controlled studies in humans may be too costly and impractical.

    1 · September 29, 2013

    • Mark G.

      Botox may not be the model to copy - it was first used on humans for medical treatment (crossed eyes) in 1980. After clinical trials it was given approval for cosmetic use in 2002. (Wiki).

      September 30, 2013

    • Mark G.

      For each of the different strategies (I'll use the Negligible Senescence model - fixing Aubrey's 7 categories of aging damage) I think target enzymes/stem cell treatments/vaccines (+viral vectors?) would need to be (discovered,) developed, tested, trialled and approved. This is where we would need the WHO to recognise Aging as a disease in order to fund it. So I think it may be easier to piggy back established conditions. Eg. Alzheimers Disease. With annual US costs of $80-100billion rising to $1trillion mid century and assuming a subset of the 7 categories would be used, (maybe just AmyloSENS - extracellular junk but that's my wishful thinking!) so would be part of the standard commercialisation process.

      September 30, 2013

  • Breestyle

    Great video conference! Excellent panel and moderation. Looking forward to more discussions... especially in the various areas of science, current developments/projects and collaboration. Thank you all for your time, assembling this meeting and sharing it with us.

    1 · September 30, 2013

  • Anette

    The questiin remains. The aging population already created socio - economical tension. Should not money be invested into finding new social model which accomodates immortal without increase in child mortality or into new economical model which could accumulate significantly more wealth without half population working or benefiting from industrio - military machine. Socio-ecomonists, if there are any working in such field, have to be brought in and given some crowd money.

    1 · September 29, 2013

    • David W.

      Re finding new social models - agreed! I think that there are some suggestions about this in among the 160+ essays from over 40 contributors in the "Longevitize!"­ collection edited by Franco Cortese.

      I'm thinking of setting up a separate discussion focussing on that point, since there are some big questions involved there.

      1 · September 29, 2013

  • terence f.

    Informative, well chaired and wide ranging

    2 · September 29, 2013

  • Anette

    Great content and promissing technology. Big thanks to David for attracting wide range of speakers. Was not able to ask questions.

    1 · September 29, 2013

    • David W.

      Hi Anette - Thanks for the feedback. It was a fine mix of speakers.

      Regarding not being able to ask questions, were you watching via YouTube or via the Google+ page

      Questions should have been possible via the latter, but only if people were logged in with a Google account (that's a Google limitation, sorry).

      1 · September 29, 2013

  • david s.

    Very inspiring

    2 · September 29, 2013

  • Wilfried

    Optimistic and stimulating

    2 · September 29, 2013

  • Kirsten Zverina (nee A.

    Thank u - it was very interesting to hear progress to date

    2 · September 29, 2013

  • David W.

    The Hangout On Air can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwNp5dsYp-I, from 7pm UK time onwards.

    (But if you use the G+ page mentioned in the main posting, you'll be able to use the built-in Questions app for better interaction with the panellists and other audience members.)

    1 · September 29, 2013

  • Nick van B.

    where to find the hangout? :o

    September 29, 2013

    • David W.

      Re "Is there a G+ group?" - I'm open to suggestions for how to use the G+ infrastructure better. There's a "London Futurists community" on G+ at https://plus.google.co...­, but I'm not sure how best to use that page

      September 29, 2013

    • David W.

      I've shared my current understanding of how to use Google Hangouts at http://dw2blog.com/20...­

      September 29, 2013

  • Erica

    Thanks for organizing this. I am looking forward to hearing the presentations. I have over 20 years in clinical development in traditional pharma/biotech. However I have utilized my knowledge and access to the literature to develop my own science-based anti-aging/health optimizing strategies which I use and am starting to share: http://www.eraseage.com/

    1 · September 27, 2013

  • Nick van B.

    Awesome! Live forever

    1 · September 27, 2013

  • David W.

    See http://londonfuturists.com/2013/09/17/projects-to-accelerate-radical-healthy-longevity/ for a short video introduction to the topics to be discussed at this event.

    1 · September 17, 2013

  • terence f.

    If a Hangout why the Google postcode?

    September 14, 2013

    • David W.

      Because if I omit an address, Meetup.com doesn't accept the event (as far as I can see). But if you know a way round it, I'd love to get rid of that postcode

      September 15, 2013

    • terence f.

      I did not know that. Thanks

      September 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent Idea to have this online..

    2 · September 14, 2013

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