Found 9 comments on HN
ari_elle · 2013-03-30 · Original thread
Some interesting material on Aubrey de Grey, the former Computer Scientist, now Biogerontologist behind SENS

[1] TED 2007 - A Roadmap to end aging

[2] TedMed 2009

[3] Documentary: Would you like to live forever

[4] Book: Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime

I also wonder if he is on calorie restriction [5], i think it's quite possible






MikeCapone · 2012-08-26 · Original thread
> Brain cells replaced by stem cell therapy? Have you given this any thought? A brain cell replaced by stem-cell therapy is empty -- it's not a replacement for the cells that contain the memory of your fifth birthday party, or that contain your knowledge of Calculus.

Maybe if you replaced all cells at once or something stupid like that, but that's not what is being suggested here.

From a quick search...

> No, not abstract -- apoptosis is not abstract, it is a fact of life. And we have a very poor understanding of it.

You have a poor understanding of it. First of all, a lot of the diseases of aging come about because apoptosis stops working and these malfunctioning zombie cells hang around and gum things up and produce erroneous signals/proteins. Rejuvenating the apoptosis process is part of the SENS platform. Cells that commit apoptosis are replaced all through your life.. It's when that process stops working well that things go wrong; they don't go wrong because of that process.

In other words, apoptosis doesn't make us old, it keeps us young. It's when it stops working well - along with other things - that we get frail and sick.

> 1. Stop making arguments for other people.

I asked you questions, and you didn't answer them.

> 2. Learn the science. You have suggested stem cell therapy to replace brain cells, but without asking yourself what brain cells do, how they function. You would do well to learn that first.

Have you read Aubrey de Grey's book? It goes quite deep into the biology of his proposals (and he cites the papers that go even deeper). If you haven't, you don't even know what is being proposed so how can you know if it makes sense or not?

I'm sure your public library also has it.

MikeCapone · 2012-08-26 · Original thread
> Yet we are composed of trillions of cells, all 'programmed' to deteriorate over time.

That is incorrect. The diseases of aging are the result of evolutionary neglect, they aren't 'programmed in' as if there was a timer running. They're a bug, not a feature.

I suggest you have a look at:

The lack of progress so far certainly doesn't mean that we can't make progress, especially if we take a different approach and we use tools that weren't available before (and never underestimate using a different angle/mindset -- as long as we consider aging itself 'normal' and just something to be slightly delayed, we certainly won't make progress). The SENS 'engineering' approach mean that we don't have to understand metabolism or fix everything that goes wrong, just to periodically do repairs on whatever long-lived molecules are accumulating over time to cause pathologies. That's a lot easier than the past gerontological approaches of trying to understand and cure everything.

lbo · 2012-04-10 · Original thread
I highly recommend anyone who is interested in this subject read Aubrey de Grey's book on the current state of the science of biogerontology:

It's interesting, thorough, and optimistic. I also recommend donating money to SENS, as this cause is dramatically underfunded relative to its realistic potential to save and enhance human life for everyone.

intenex · 2011-12-21 · Original thread
It actually is inevitable, as even you admit when we begin to reach our 70s/80s ;). If we don't die of something else, all of us will die of Alzheimer's. Simple fact of universal amyloid plaque buildup.

Also technically incorrect on the mental decline as well - our brains do start to irrevocably decline at around age 30. Our myelin sheaths fully develop in the early 20s, and from there, we have a few golden years until it's all downhill :D

reasonattlm · 2011-11-02 · Original thread
We in fact know a very great deal about stopping aging. This book is a crash course in the science and what it means:

If it wasn't illegal to commercially develop ways to treat aging, there would be a lot more progress than has happened to date.

Making humans immune to cancer in the SENS proposals is accomplished via this methodology:

But from where I stand, watching research fairly closely for some years, I'm not particularly worried about cancer - the next generation of targeted and immune therapies under development now will be highly effective, and are looking very good in the laboratory:

The $1 billion figure for realizing SENS is referenced in these items; I'm not aware of a full line item breakout:

MikeCapone · 2010-05-21 · Original thread
We might or might not defeat the diseases of aging anytime soon, but if you want to help the people who are trying to make it happen, consider donating to the SENS Foundation (money goes directly to research):

Sadly, because aging isn't considered a disease by the FDA and other regulatory bodies, there is actually very little research being done on it if you take into consideration the fact that it kills more people than anything else in the rich countries (100-150k/day, usually after a long period of suffering).

If you want to learn more about what they are doing and why they think their engineering approach has a chance of success, check out Aubrey's book (the paperback version contains a new chapter, afaik):

It contains a lot of biology, but should be understandable to the lay person.

And if all you want is a really quick intro, check out his TED talk (it's a bit old now (2005), but the general concepts have stayed mostly the same despite recent progress):

or the talk that he gave at Google (2007):

MikeCapone · 2010-02-09 · Original thread
Indeed, the diseases of aging kill in the range of 100-200k people every single day, while making life miserable for hundreds of millions and negatively impacting the people around these senescent individuals (who here enjoys seeing family and friends get sick and die?). It represents a huge loss of human capital (what if Paul Erdos was still around?), and it costs a huge amount in palliative care that we know ain't going to cure people.

When that is taken into account, the fight against the diseases of aging (actually reversing aging, not just making people live a couple of years more in a senescent state) is incredibly under-funded compared to all kinds of other things.

Vaccines are important, but they're already getting attention. What about saving that kid's life when he's 80 years old? Your dollars make a bigger difference when used doing research in fields that are currently overlooked because aging isn't considered a disease by most (yet). is where I donate most of my charity money.



for background info.

Please at least read/see those before making the same "it won't work/wouldn't be a good thing" arguments that everybody has made a thousand times when first introduced to this. Thank you.

Get dozens of book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.