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SENS fundraiser: $125,000 matching fund...

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Re: SENS fundraiser: $125,000 matching fund...

Postby Get Real! » Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:41 am

Sotos wrote:In any case ... imagine how much more terrible death would be if you could live for virtually forever as a young healthy person. Imagine a 30 year old (practically an infant with the new standards) dying in an accident. And then there is also the question of overpopulation ... if people stop dying, then making babies would be inevitably banned and would be allowed only in a few rare cases! So living that much longer would mean that much less people would be created. 1000 year lifespans would create a totally different kind of world.

Not only, but all countries would go bankrupt from seemingly eternal pension payouts! :lol:
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Re: SENS fundraiser: $125,000 matching fund...

Postby tsukoui » Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:44 am

Aubrey and others have been convincing governments, corporations and billionaires slowly for some years now and interest is starting to pick up, but for many people it is still taboo and the consensus, though changing, is still trying to understand aging as a process rather than invest in treating the symptoms we know already. The following extract from a Reddit with a biogerontologist PhD shows the extent of the current debate:

On SENS and the meaningful results front, the SENS folk have been saying "clear senescent cells" for more than a decade now. There was a demonstration of this in normal aged mice just this year, and hey look it produces meaningful benefits:

One would think that this would be a point in favor of SENS, especially given their role in kicking the funding and scientific communities, and providing funding themselves, in order to get anyone doing anything with senescent cell clearance. It hasn't been a smooth road there at all. Absent the SENS efforts, we'd presently have exactly no demonstrations of the utility of senescent cell clearance as a partial treatment for degenerative aging.

[–]SirT63PhD|MBA|Biology|Biogerontology[S] 19 points 3 months ago

Full disclosure: I like SENS. I think the organization is a force for good in the biogerontology community. It engages the public, raises awareness, and even does a bit of research.

That said, put yourself in the shoes of an established researcher in the field. Along comes Aubrey deGrey (who doesn't even have a degree in biology), saying that they have been doing everything wrong. If only they would listen to his plan, we could solve aging in ten years.

Compound this with the fact that Aubrey deGrey seminars are famous for being light on data. The last one I went to was an hour long, and he showed only two slides of research. It can get frustrating at times.

Absent the SENS efforts, we'd presently have exactly no demonstrations of the utility of senescent cell clearance as a partial treatment for degenerative aging.

I strongly disagree with this. The major drivers in senolytics have been Judy Campisi, Jan van Deursen, and Norman Sharpless. They all showed that killing senescent cells is good for the organism, and they all did so independent of SENS.

But back to my original statement. I like SENS. It does way more good than bad. And as it grows, it is starting to do more research. I'm excited to see what they can do.

[–]JoeDerivative 9 points 3 months ago

I think SENS does more research than just a bit ( edit: you probably have seen this since you linked a subpage of it, hadn't noticed you're OP, sorry), certainly not as much as they would with more money, and some of that money has to be spent in advocacy, because not many other people do that.

Sure enough AdG didn't go through the "normal" academic path, but seriously, he's got a PhD from Cambridge for his mitochondrial thepry of ageing, he's spent the last 20 years studying biology and many distinguished specialists endorse his approach, so while I understand that other established researchers could be a bit pissed off, I do think that they should look at the facts he presents. I agree that, at least the talks by AdG I see on the Internet are light on data, but I think that's because they're meant for the general public, i.e. people who would leave the room if presented with scientific data they don't understand. Also, I think he generally says we have a 50-50 chance to implement first-generation SENS therapies within 25-30 years, which isn't the same as saying we could solve ageing in 10 years :P

I don't want to play fanboy—not my thing—but I think there's evidence to say that AdG knows his shit, even though it's not granted that SENS will ever work, and not even established experts can really dismiss his work just on the basis of how he got where he got (I know this isn't what you were trying to say).

I share your excitement, and since you're an expert, it would be nice to hear your opinion on the different parts of SENS. I don't think I've ever read an educated opinion by a somewhat neutral part that goes beyond "yes it might work/no it won't".

[–]reasonattlm 4 points 3 months ago

Worth remembering, as people don't seem to, that all of de Grey's timeline predictions are explicitly predicated on the arrival of sufficient funding, about a billion dollars over ten to twenty years to find the programs currently on the SENS agenda. Until that happens timelines are indeterminate.

[–]plaverde 3 points 3 months ago

To be more precise, that budget is how much de Grey would like to have. We never have exactly what we want and we often still manage.

Google's Calico alone is planning to spend more than a billion dollars on aging in the next few years.

So while the SENS foundation itself does not have billions, SENS is greatly benefiting from what others are funding.

[–]SirT63PhD|MBA|Biology|Biogerontology[S] 3 points 3 months ago

I think in principle, SENS strategy for alleviating aging is interesting. It looks experimentally challenging, requiring a nearly complete mastery of gene therapy and cell therapy (both relatively young technologies) and it looks SENS has an incredibly optimistic viewpoint on their ability to manipulate the immune system, but taking on big challenges is how science moves forward.

My personal critiques would be: I think some of the technology applications are almost fanciful, akin to daVinci's helicopter (note: helicopters were a good idea, just way ahead of their time). A narrower critique is that I think removing telomerase from all cells is a pretty bad idea. AdG wants to do that to prevent cancer. My concern is, cancer can still evolve w/o telomerase, and that normal stem cells need telomerase to function. So that idea, seems to create just as many problems as it solves. But I would love to be proven wrong. Plus, the whole thought process involved in thinking about big picture ideas to end aging is pretty fun.

If you haven't seen it, this ten year old complaint summarizes how a lot of people felt at the time about AdG/SENS. I'll let you judge how valid those concerns were, and how much has changed.

[–]JoeDerivative 3 points 3 months ago

I tend to think too that the predictions of AdG are optimistic, even assuming the 10% chance he says we have of not getting to a fully-implemented SENS platform for at least 100 more years. My guess is that showing more optimism can get more competent people on board and more funding, thus increasing the chances of this being a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I don't know about removing telomerase (WILT). It scares me too, but as far as I knew the plan was to get rid of telomerase and ALT, so how can cancers evolve without both? I thought they were the only ways for cancer to be able to continue growing indefinitely. If there's another way AdG hasn't taken into account I'm sure he'd like to know.

I have seen that complaint, didn't read through the whole thing, but as far as I recall it was for MIT challenge and the judges said that "it falls considerably short of proving SENS unworthy of learned debate", and at the same time that "the proponents of SENS haven't made a compelling case for it", which wasn't the point at that stage I think—obviously still SENS needs a lot of research. I suppose that SENS has gained a lot more support, but especially for a non-expert it is really difficult to try and guess how well it will do in the future, and what are the odds of seeing at least first-gen anti-ageing therapies of any kind within, say, 50 years. What do you think?

[–]plaverde 1 point 3 months ago
De Grey's anti-cancer is not about removing telomerase. It is a gene therapy to prevent telomere elongation.

Please check it out again : ... rous-cells

[–]_ChestHair_ 5 points 3 months ago
I was wondering if you could explain something to me. I understand that AdG makes wild claims on when research can be completed, and that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

My issue is with how I've seen the scientific community argue against AdG. Aubrey claims that with concentrated effort, we can develope, relatively quickly, a comprehensive set of treatments that would meaningfully affect aging. Most of the arguments I've seen against this is something along the lines of "prove it, show us an animal model right now that you've solved aging in. Oh you can't? Surprise surprise..."

This is obviously impossible if the treatments haven't been researched and developed yet. It's like saying "I don't believe you can run a 5 min mile in 10 years because you can't do it now." Maybe I haven't managed to find the more legitimate discussions, but that's kind of what I've seen so far.

[–]SirT63PhD|MBA|Biology|Biogerontology[S] 3 points 3 months ago
Can you outline legitimate issues with the SENS approach?

I certainly don't want to speak for the scientific community. I've already expressed broadly supporting SENS and the work it does. And I don't particularly like how aging/SENS conversations turn into a false dichotomy of "SENS is wasting money selling snake oil" versus "traditional researchers can't see the big picture, and their plodding pace is costing people lives".

That said, here is a fairly typical exchange between deGrey and more 'established' gerontologists:

de Grey: Resistance to debate on how to postpone ageing is delaying progress and costing lives (Open access article).

Warner et al.: Science fact and the SENS agenda (Open access article).

Note this debate is a decade old now. I'll let you be the judge of how much things have changed in the intervening years.
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Re: SENS fundraiser: $125,000 matching fund...

Postby tsukoui » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:12 pm

The target was met a couple of weeks ago, with $125,000 donated matched by another $125,000 from philanthropists bringing the total raised to $250,000 much earlier than expected. Another $50,000 matching fund until the end of December has been put up by the Foster Foundation offering a potential extra $100,000 to fund SENS research, there is still a few days left... alternatively you could try herbs and qi gong like the Taoist immortals.
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Re: SENS fundraiser: $125,000 matching fund...

Postby tsukoui » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:19 am

What is the reason Calico invests in genetics as opposed to repair? Simple, animal rights. If we can completely model the human virtual body then we can do away with experiments altogether. SENS is largely experimenting on cellular cultures at the moment. Studies in mice and animals are expensive as to get results one has to wait for the entire lifespan of the beast in question to expire. However, failing herbal experiments on ourselves, this is the only way we will live to 2000 before our time is up, hic.
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Re: SENS fundraiser: $125,000 matching fund...

Postby repulsewarrior » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:55 pm

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