The correlation between telomere length and age is very strong. Shorter telomeres directly correspond to shorter human life expectancy, but “cause and effect” are still debated. Finding ways to prevent telomere shortening could be an ideal way to address these issues and answer the question once and for all: Does prevention of telomere shortening extend our lifespans? Dr. Laura Briggs of Sierra Sciences presented on the subject of the organization’s research at the Aging ’08 conference in Los Angeles, California in a presentation titled “Before We Can Add Years to Life, We Must Add Life to Years.”
Gilad Lehmann and Nason Schooler at Understanding Aging: Biomedical and Bioengineering Approaches
Lipofuscin accumulates in the lysosomes of aging post-mitotic cells and progenitor cells, interfering with autophagy. Thus it has been proposed that the removal of this indigestible aging pigment may be a highly effective rejuvenation therapy. It has been known for over forty years that pulsed unfocused lasers can selectively destroy pigmented structures without harming the surrounding tissue. Aging researcher Nason Schooler offered his perspective on the potential benefits of the lipofuscin removal approach at the Understanding Aging scientific conference hosted by the Methuselah Foundation.
Zheng Cui is a biochemist currently serving as an Associate Professor of Pathology (Tumor Biology) at Wake Forest University. Last year his research into granulocyte therapy made headlines by achieving a complete cure for all types of cancer tested in mice. As an oncologist and a cancer researcher he has proposed that certain individuals (estimated at 10% to 15% of the human population) naturally produce a special kind of white blood cell that contains an inherent resistance to cancer. These white blood cells could potentially be extracted from donors and given to cancer victims, thus endowing them with cancer resistance.
Marisol Corral-Debrinski and Bruce Ames at Aging 2008
Bruce Ames is a professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI). He is the inventor of the Ames test, a system for easily and cheaply testing the mutagenicity of compounds. His research focuses on cancer and aging and he has authored over 500 scientific publications. He is among the few hundred most-cited scientists in all fields.
Daniel Perry, Gregory Fahy and Michael West at Aging 2008 in Los Angeles
Daniel Perry, Executive Director of the Alliance for Aging Research in Washington, D.C. heads the leading citizen advocacy organization in the nation, promoting a broad spectrum of research focused on improving the health and quality of life of the aging population. Mr. Perry’s diversity of health policy, government, political and journalistic experiences make him an expert in his field. He frequently is called upon as a speaker on aging research and policy before a myriad of audiences. As a journalist, he has been widely published and was the recipient of numerous awards and citations, including a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize.
Bernard Siegel is the full-time Executive Director of the nonprofit Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. In 2002, Mr. Siegel filed the landmark case seeking a guardian for the alleged clone, “Baby Eve.” The case was widely credited for exposing Clonaid, the so-called “human cloning company” as a sham. In 2003, he traded his 30-year courtroom career to found GPI, which leads the global cause in support of stem cell research. He is a recognized policy expert relating to stem cell research, regenerative medicine and cloning. He also works with grassroots activists throughout the United States, educating lawmakers and formulating effective strategies supporting research for cures.
William Haseltine has an active career in both science and business. He was a professor at Harvard Medical School from 1976-1993 where he was the chair of two academic research departments. He is well known for his pioneering work on cancer and HIV/AIDS. He is the Founder of Human Genome Sciences, Inc and served as the Chairman and CEO of the Company until 2004. He is also the founder of seven other successful biotechnology companies. He serves as an advisor to CMEA, a venture capital company, and to several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
A pioneer in the field of stem cell research, Michael West, Ph.D., has served on the BioTime Board of Directors since 2002 and has extensive academic and business experience in age-related degenerative diseases, telomerase molecular biology and human embryonic stem cell research and development. At the free symposium organized by the Methuselah Foundation life-extension organization, he unveiled an online open sourced database, called the Embryome, whose purpose is to help identify the hundreds of cell types that can be made from embryonic stem cells.
Gregory Stock is a biophysicist, best-selling author, biotech entrepreneur, and the director of the Program on Medicine, Technology and Society at UCLA’s School of Medicine. He has written extensively on the implications for society, medicine and business of the human genome project and associated developments in molecular genetics and bioinformatics. His interests lie in the scientific and evolutionary as well as ethical, social and political implications of today’s revolutions in the life sciences and in information technology and computers.
Aubrey de Grey of the Methuselah Foundation and Tanya Jones of Alcor Life Extension
The free public event preceding the Understanding Aging conference organized by the Methuselah Foundation was entitled “Aging: the disease, the cure, the implications.” Held in Royce Hall at UCLA on the evening of June 27th, 2008, the event aimed at putting the postponement of aging more firmly on the political and social map than ever before. There, biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey offered his own underlying arguments for why aging can and should be the target of current-day regenerative medicine.
The Methuselah Foundation is a 501c(3) non-profit organization committed to the acceleration of progress toward a cure for age-related disease. Biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey has formulated a wide-ranging plan for the comprehensive and eventually indefinite postponement of age-related physical and mental decline, named Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence. He is the organizer of an ongoing series of conferences and workshops that focus on the key biomedical research relevant to SENS, the most recent of which was entitled “Aging: the disease, the cure, the implications.”
Aubrey de Grey is the Chair and Chief Science Officer of the Methuselah Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to combating the aging process. In this talk presented at the February Silicon Valley transhumanist meetup, he outlined the several most notable developments in funding and research taking place at the Methuselah Foundation in late 2007 and early 2008.