Where does one go now for information on longevity? As I explained in our introductory pages, I have been interested in longevity at least as far back as the 1970s. For the first years of the this site, our focus has been mostly on health and nutrition. In the past two years, however, I have focused more directly on the burgeoning field of biotechnology that is addressing aging, how to arrest it and how to reverse it, the aim of which is to enhance longevity. In this blog I give a list of resources that I use to pursue my interests in this area.
The recent developments in this flourishing, potentially disruptive, field of biotechnology have occurred mainly since about 1990 as a result of the evolution of an ‘engineering’ based approach to analyzing aging. In this approach aging is interpreted as a gradual decline of the functions of the body due to degradation of functions at the cellular and sub-cellular, even molecular level, in the body. In response to this view, the task is to arrest such decline and then to reverse such decline through rejuvenation of the original levels of functionality.
Perhaps the seminal work in this field, the publication of which built on work of the previous decade or two, is “Ending Aging” written by Aubrey deGrey, Ph.D. with Michael Rae in 2007. Added to this publication has been their efforts through the SENS foundation to promote these concepts to lead to treatments that achieve the desired reversal of aging.
Lifespan: Why We Age — And Why We Don’t Have To
Written by David Sinclair, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School with Matthew D. lApLante, this book published in 2019, gives an up to date view of many aspects of the current state of life extension therapies as well as a view of the future. The authors provide some of the background for the belief that aging is a disease that can be treated, information on recent developments in biotechnology to support that belief and some discussion of the implications for society of extending life span.
There is a belief in some areas of the community that the introduction of telomerase into cells will make them perpetual, leading to increased longevity. Stem cells in the body (as opposed to stomatic cells) do have telomerase. Cancer cells also have telomerase and so there is fear in some circles that upregulating telomerase will cause cancer. Telomerase treatments have been done in lab animals and (outside the regulated world) to some humans. There are a few books on telomers as well as many research articles. The Telomerase Revolution by Michael Fossel, MD, PhD published in 2015 is a good introduction to this field
There are a number of organizations that support research, education and political activity to promote longevity. These include:
The SENS organization, is located in Mountain View CA, it supports research and promotes understanding of ageing as a disease
The Methuselah Foundation
The foundation supports research into longevity through grants and educational programs.
Vitality in Aging
This is a longitudinal and interventional program launched at RAADfest in 2019 and funded by Life Extension and the participants. It is an outgrowth of the Age Reversal Network. The founding presentation at RAADfest, by Bill Faloon can be viewed online.
People Unlimited is located in Scottsdale, Arizona and was founded by Jim Strole and Bernadeane who also run the RAADfest. Membership is free through their site. They have many events in Scottsdale and many of the event presentations are available through their site.
Age Reversal Network
The Church of Perpetual Life
The Church of Perpetual Life was founded by Bill Faloon (founder of Life Extension and major contributor to many of the activities in the cryogenic and anti-aging community) to provide a pulpit for expounding on his belief of the possibility of perpetual life. There is a physical manifestation of the church in Hollywood, Florida. The presentations made at the church are available on line and include those by many of the leaders in the anti-aging community.
There is a rapidly increasing number of conferences related to longevity. Generally they serve three constituencies (which overlap): the research community, the investor community and the consumers who are looking for solutions now. There are various lists available of upcoming conferences, a couple of which are:
- John Furber provides a list of aging related conferences on his Legendary Pharmaceuticals website. John’s list tends to be of the more academic sort of conferences
- Reason provides as list of upcoming events from time to time in his weekly newsletter
Below are some of the conferences that I have either attended or hope to attend:
This conference which has been held since 2002 (first biannually and now annually) is mostly focused on the research community with an emphasis on presenting new research, generally within the framework of the SENS program outlined in Ending Aging. It is now held in Berlin under the auspices of SENS and Forever Healthy. The next meeting is in Berlin on May 21 – 23, 2020. In 2019 approximately 500 persons attended. Here are some of my notes from the 2018 conference.
RAADfest (Revolution Against Aging and Death)is now in its 6th year. It is orientated towards the consumer — persons looking for solutions now to enhance their longevity. Founded by James Strole and Bernadeane of People Unlimited, it is closely related to the work of the Life Extension Foundation which was created by Bill Falloon
This conference focuses on delivering information on therapies that are available now. Some of the talks are excellent in terms of science and results. Many others are of little practical use. It is a vibrant community and more than 1100 people attended the last conference. The next conference is in October 2020. Here are some of my notes from the 2019 conference.
Life Extension Advocacy Foundation
The Life Extension Advocacy Foundation sponsors an annual Ending Age-Related Diseases: Investment Prospects and Advances in Research, in New York City conference. This year’s conference will be on August 20-21 at the Stern Auditorium of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York City, USA). Videos of presentations at earlier conferences are available on their website.
The second annual Longevity Therapeutics conference was held in January 2020 in San Francisco. It is anticipated that the 3rd will be next January in the same city. Reason has written an excellent review of the conference.
Magazines, E-magazines and Websites
Life Extension is a company based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL which sells supplements. They produce a monthly magazine, named Life Extension and maintain a website to promote and sell their products and which also provides links to their magazine on-line. Their magazine is free and can be ordered from their website. It contains many detailed and fully referenced articles on aspects of health and longevity. I recommend the magazine.
Fighting Aging! Newsletter
The Fight Aging! Newsletter is an e-magazine that is published weekly. It contains summaries of research papers with comment and review. In addition it provides commentary on the state of longevity biosciences and biobusiness. It is free from the website. At first I found it a challenging read but as I become more familiar with the field I find it easier to read and more vital to my understanding of what is happening.
Forever Healthy Newsletter
Forever Healthy issue a newsletter on an infrequent basis which provides information on research into treatments for aging. It is free by registering at their website
Methuselah Foundation Newsletter
Sign up for the newsletter on their website
Peter Attia Website
Peter is an MD as well as a scientist and athlete. He His website and newsletter provide podcasts and information on healthspan and longevity.