Tag Archives: Methuselah Foundation

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Jason Hope on Philanthropy – Article by Reason

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Categories: Science, Transhumanism, Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The New Renaissance Hat
Reason
November 30, 2015
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Jason Hope, you might recall, has provided half a million dollars in research funding to the SENS Research Foundation, used to establish a SENS laboratory at Cambridge in order to push forward with the Foundation’s AGE-breaker program. AGE-breakers are drugs or other treatments capable of breaking down advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). These are a class of metabolic waste product that accumulate in our tissues to cause significant harm that includes the progressive loss of elasticity in skin and blood vessels.

There is, on the whole, far too little work undertaken today on AGE-breaker treatments in comparison to the benefits that a treatment could bring. What little research has taken place over the past twenty years unfortunately produced no effective therapies. As it turned out the AGEs that are important in short-lived laboratory animals are not the same at all as those that are important in humans – something that would have been challenging to identify until comparatively recently, and which resulted in promising animal studies that then went nowhere in commercial trials.

Now, however, researchers know that the vast majority of all AGEs in human tissues consist of just one type, called glucosepane – so the way is open for bold philanthropists and forward-looking researchers to build therapies that will be effective in removing this contribution to degenerative aging. Glucospane removal is one of the areas in which the SENS Research Foundation and its backers pick up the slack, undertaking important rejuvenation research that is neglected by the mainstream, even though it was exactly the mainstream research community that produced all of the studies and evidence that demonstrate the important role of glucospane in aging.

In any case, I should point out that Jason Hope runs a website and blog in which he discusses his take on philanthropy and his support for research aimed at extending healthy human life and rejuvenating the old. This makes for an interesting follow-on from yesterday’s post on big philanthropy. More folk of this ilk would certainly be a good thing, and I’m always pleased to see more of the better connected people in this world of ours speaking openly of their support for rejuvenation biotechnology.

Philanthropy

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Philanthropy has become a big focus for me. The organizations I have chosen to stand behind have come from many facets of my life. One of my passions has become the research done at the SENS Research Foundation. Their involvement in anti aging is not just about wanting to live forever. It’s about creating a longer, better quality of life.

Foundations like SENS are taking a different approach to anti-aging. They are focused on finding cures for disease that break down the body and thus cause us to age faster than we should. Disease like Alzheimer’s and heart and lung disease affect all functions of the body. Traditional medicine looks at treating these diseases after they happen. We want to focus on stopping these diseases from ever happening. We have spent so much time focused on medication for treating disease and not enough time on preventing that disease from ever happening.

By supporting scientific research that thrives through innovation and is not afraid to challenge the modern school of thought we will continue to break down walls.

A 21st-Century Philanthropic Model For Philanthropy

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Can you conceive of a world without age-related disease, disability and suffering? What about a world in which it’s possible for the average person to live 120 healthy years? While it may sound like a utopian dream, such a world is the exact goal of some of society’s most brilliant scientists and visionary leaders. At this very minute, groundbreaking work is underway at universities across the globe as researchers attempt to apply regenerative medicine to age-related disease through the repair of damage to tissue, cells and molecules within the body. While this research couldn’t be possible without the leadership of the world’s wealthiest philanthropists, it also relies upon the collective power of everyday people who have joined forces in their commitment to a better quality of life for all.

Traditionally, big ticket donors have been the primary target for fundraising programs. Research has consistently shown that the bulk of donor funds come from a small percentage of the wealthiest donors: in fact, a full 75 percent of funds raised come from gifts of over $1 million.

Instead of resigning themselves solely to the influence of the individual, non-profits are turning to the collective power of a group. The MFoundation’s “The 300 Pledge” fundraising campaign is an exciting example of this method in practice. The 300 Pledge asks 300 funders to commit $1,000 a year for 25 years toward critical research aimed at ending age-related diseases. When broken down, this goal is manageable for many households: just $3 a day or $85 a month – less than your daily tab at Starbucks. Obviously, the model is working: to date, 291 people have taken up the challenge, with nine spots remaining.

As evidenced by the magnificent philanthropy of people like Peter Thiel, Bill Gates and others like them, it’s obvious that one person can make a difference. However, fundraising challenges, like MFoundation’s “The 300,” also demonstrate the power of a dedicated group of people to foster real world change for the billions of people living in the world today as well as the generations that follow. In doing so, those who take up the challenge create a unique and world-altering legacy for themselves.

Reason is the founder of The Longevity Meme (now Fight Aging!). He saw the need for The Longevity Meme in late 2000, after spending a number of years searching for the most useful contribution he could make to the future of healthy life extension. When not advancing the Longevity Meme or Fight Aging!, Reason works as a technologist in a variety of industries. 
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This work is reproduced here in accord with a Creative Commons Attribution license. It was originally published on FightAging.org.

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Life-Extension Activism Opportunities for All – Article by G. Stolyarov II

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Categories: Education, Science, Transhumanism, Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The New Renaissance Hat
G. Stolyarov II
June 5, 2014
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You do not need to be a biologist or medical doctor to help hasten the arrival of indefinite life extension. An important array of activist endeavors, which are laying the groundwork for the eventual achievement of unlimited lifespans, can be implemented by anybody. They range from giving out books to playing games to simply running one’s computer – all the while making important contributions to scientific progress and the receptiveness of the general culture to the feasibility and desirability of indefinite longevity.

If you want to glimpse the possibilities in 90 seconds, watch my recent video, “What Anyone Can Do to Advance Indefinite Life Extension”.

In this article, I offer a more detailed overview of some immediately available activism options that anyone can pursue. The time commitment involved in each ranges from minimal to modest, but virtually any of them can fit into the schedule of anyone who recognizes the value of this amazing life we have and the importance of prolonging it as far as possible.

Movement for Indefinite Life Extension (MILE)

MILE_Logo
The Movement for Indefinite Life Extension (MILE) is not a formal organization, but rather a coalition of activists working toward the common goal of achieving indefinite lifespans for people alive today. The MILE coordinates projects and shares articles, images, and news stories via its Facebook group – also accessible using the URL http://themile.info. One of the MILE’s major purposes is to raise awareness of the feasibility and desirability of indefinite life extension and to create a critical mass of support for this most vital of goals. The number of “likes” on the MILE Facebook page is a concise indicator of the movement’s reach, and the eventual goal of the MILE is to achieve 8 million likes by July 17, 2017. Following an incremental approach, the MILE seeks to raise its support by an order of magnitude each year. The goal of 800 supporters was readily exceeded prior to July 17, 2013, and the MILE has launched a concerted effort to reach its Year 2 goal of 8,000 supporters by July 17, 2014. Eric Schulke, who spearheads and coordinates the efforts of the MILE, has launched the MILE Year 2 Goal Fundraiser to fund hundreds of dollars of Facebook advertisements that have already shown success in spreading the message of indefinite life extension to new demographics.

I am proud to have contributed resources to run several ads for MILE that incorporate the core message and the cover image of my children’s book Death is Wrong. These MILE/Death is Wrong ads were designed by my wife and illustrator Wendy Stolyarov and are accompanied by the following text:

Death is WRONG.
Together we can fight it.
Join the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension.

Reaper_MILE_Ad_FBDIW_MILE_AdTo help the MILE reach its Year 2 goal, you can start by clicking the “Like” button on the MILE Facebook page. Beyond that, if you would like to contribute to the advertising campaign and even develop your own custom advertisement that conveys the message of indefinite life extension, this would go a long way toward building the critical mass needed to catalyze public support for life-extension research.

Death is Wrong Book Distribution to Children

DIW_HannaAfter the successful conclusion on April 23, 2014, of my Indiegogo fundraiser to spread over 1,000 copies of the illustrated children’s book Death is Wrong to kids, free of cost to them, I have worked assiduously to coordinate a worldwide distribution effort. Already, 644 out of the 1,029 total available books have been sent to longevity activists throughout the world. Countries where the books have been shipped thus far include the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, India, Indonesia, and Singapore. Tens of dedicated longevity supporters have already come forward to request absolutely free shipments of books, but we need more activists to help us distribute the remaining 385 books in their local areas.

Recipients have wide discretion to use their creativity in how to offer the Death is Wrong books to children, as long as the books are made available free of cost and are not resold. Books may be given away to kids directly, lent to multiple kids, given to schools and libraries that will accept them, or used at public readings – among possible other options.

The early successes of the book-distribution effort are among the most heartening and encouraging developments I have observed. Here are some photographs that longevity activists have sent in of their book shipments.

DIW_Amechazurra_ShipmentDIW_Books_Received_CvdB_3
DIW_Books_Received

Here is a charming interview by Aleksander Kelley of his sister Hanna, who is spreading Death is Wrong to the kids she knows.

Help make future scenes like this happen. Requesting a shipment of Death is Wrong books is simple. Send me an e-mail to gennadystolyarovii@gmail.com with (i) your name, (ii) your mailing address, (iii) your statement of support for indefinite life extension, (iv) the number of copies of Death is Wrong requested, and (v) your plan for spreading the books to children, free of cost to them.

Once the shipments arrive, any additional images and videos of the books and events at which they are shared would be most welcome. They can help spread the message of indefinite life extension even further and show the world that the momentum for this cause continues to grow.

Distributed Computing for Medical Science

Would you like to help cure cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and other deadly ailments, just by running your computer? Most people’s computers spend much time absolutely idle; how about putting that idle time to good use, at minimal additional cost? Distributed computing initiatives such as Folding@home, Rosetta@home, and World Community Grid are absolutely free to join. You just need to download a program that runs the calculations involved in protein-folding simulations and other research efforts while you are not using your computer. Already, these distributed computing initiatives have led to several major medical research breakthroughs, such as this one by Chiba Cancer Center in Japan, which has identified seven drug candidates in the fight against childhood cancer. You can read more about the applications of protein-folding simulations to disease research in this brief post by David Baker of the University of Washington.

While no single medical breakthrough will achieve indefinite lifespans yet, every victory against death and diseases will help us approach that goal. The more of us survive the common killers of our time, the more of us stand a chance of personally witnessing the arrival of longevity escape velocity.

As an additional way to raise the profile of the ideas of indefinite life extension, it is recommended to join a distributed-computing team that explicitly embraces the struggle against senescence and death. On Folding@home, The Longevity Meme team has been folding for years and is ranked 156th out of 220,186 teams as of June 5, 2014. I am spearheading a collaborative effort between The Longevity Meme team, LongeCity, and my online magzine – The Rational Argumentator – to attract renewed participation in Folding@home and The Longevity Meme team among longevity advocates. To provide an additional incentive to join, I am offering a series of five Protein Folding for Life Extension Open Badges, designed by Wendy Stolyarov and available via Badg.us.

FaH-Square-L1 FaH-Square-L2 FaH-Square-L3 FaH-Square-L4 FaH-Square-L5These are badges that you can store and share via Mozilla Backpack to share your achievements with others. The following are the qualifying criteria for each badge:

Level 1: 5,000 points earned on Folding@home;

Level 2: 10,000 points earned on Folding@home;

Level 3: 50,000 points earned on Folding@home;

Level 4: 100,000 points earned on Folding@home;

Level 5: 500,000 points earned on Folding@home.

To request a badge, simply send an e-mail to gennadystolyarovii@gmail.com. Include your user name on Folding@home so that your points earned could be verified. You can earn a badge no matter what team you are on, if any, as everyone’s commitment of resources to the protein-folding effort helps the prospects of indefinite life extension. However, you are also encouraged to join The Longevity Meme team in order to help improve its ranking and raise public awareness of the effort life-extension activists are putting into the fight against disease.

On Rosetta@home, the LongeCity team explicitly embraces the ideas of indefinite life extension. On World Community Grid, the Endthedisease team supports life extension and has been involved in numerous disease-fighting computational efforts since 2007. Later this year, the Endthedisease team is anticipated to begin running contests with prizes for top contributors.

Games to Fight Disease

By flying a spaceship through an asteroid field in a computer game, you can help cancer researchers analyze data at a much faster rate than they could before. Play to Cure: Genes in Space is a mobile game released by Cancer Research UK, which anyone with a tablet or mobile phone can play for free. The stated aim of this game is to hasten the day when all cancers are cured – which is, incidentally, the key objective of one of the seven prongs of Dr. Aubrey de Grey’s SENS approach; Dr. de Grey has emphasized that cancer is by far the predominant way by which age-related nuclear mutations harm us.

You can read about the mechanics of and science behind Play to Cure here and watch this video introduction to the game.

Foldit is another free game that enthusiasts of life-extension research can play in order to add the human touch to protein-folding simulations. In 2011, Foldit players discovered the protein structure of a retroviral protease of the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus, an AIDS-like disease in monkeys.

See this list from the Citizen Science Center for more possibilities regarding games you could play and simultaneously participate in innovative citizen-science initiatives – including many devoted to the fight against disease. Games hold out the promise of enabling monumental contributions to scientific research by the general public. A game designed to be sufficiently engaging could attract thousands of non-scientists to do the work that research scientists could conceivably outsource in order to accelerate the rate at which certain kinds of data analysis are performed. The more quickly scientists can iterate through their experiments as a result, the sooner the cures to major diseases will arrive.

Conclusion

Of course, I would urge all life-extension supporters to donate even modest amounts of money to research and advocacy organizations such as the SENS Research Foundation and the Methuselah Foundation, as well as crowdfunded life-extension research projects that are being undertaken with increasing frequency. Yet, I hope that this overview has led readers to recognize that much can be done in addition to monetary donations. Integrate the active pursuit of indefinite longevity into your life, and you will continue to find easy but extremely important ways to become part of the solution to the most pressing problem of all time. Through our efforts, we will hopefully someday be able to celebrate humankind’s greatest victories in the fight against our mutual enemy: death.

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What Anyone Can Do to Advance Indefinite Life Extension – Video by G. Stolyarov II

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Categories: Science, Transhumanism, Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mr. Stolyarov provides a quick overview of ideas that anyone can implement to accelerate the pace of technological progress and bring about indefinite life extension for many who are alive today.

This is Mr. Stolyarov’s entry in the MILE Video Contest.

References
SENS Research Foundation
Methuselah Foundation
MILE – Movement for Indefinite Life Extension
Folding@home
The Longevity Meme Folding@home Team
Open Badges for Participating in Folding@home
Rosetta@home
World Community Grid
Foldit
Play to Cure

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The Methuselah Mouse Prize: Changing the Conversation about Aging – Article by Advocate of Negligible Senescence

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The New Renaissance Hat
Advocate of Negligible Senescence
May 3, 2014
Recommend this page.
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ANS_Methuselah_Mouse_Prize
Methuselah Foundation created a stir in the research community by introducing the Methuselah Mouse Prize in 2003. The Mouse Prize was designed to directly accelerate the development of revolutionary new life extension therapies by awarding two cash prizes: one to the research team that broke the world record for the oldest-ever mouse; and one to the team that developed the most successful late-onset rejuvenation strategy.Unlike other engineering prizes (for example, the X Prize for lunar exploration), an award of the Methuselah Mouse Prize is not the end of the matter. The winner establishes a record that others have to break.
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Why mice? Mice are genetically similar to humans. They are small and inexpensive to maintain so studying large quantities is feasible. Their short lifespan, about three years, makes it possible to see if interventions result in longer, healthier lives—all in time to be of benefit to our own lives.

The Mouse Prize for longevity was first won by a team led by Dr. Andrzej Bartke of Southern Illinois University. The prize for rejuvenation first went to Dr. Stephen Spindler of the University of California.

Additionally, in 2009, the first Special Mprize Lifespan Achievement Award went to Dr. Z. Dave Sharp for the successful healthy life extension of already aged mice using a pharmaceutical, rapamycin.
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Through programs like the Methuselah Mouse Prize, Methuselah Foundation has helped change the conversation on aging and longevity, lending credibility and prestige to areas of research that once were openly frowned upon.
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Previous winners have already proven that healthy life can be extended; more wins are possible by researchers who can best previous winners’ performances, and each new winner pushes the outer limits of healthy life back even further.

How translatable the lesson of a Methuselah mouse will be to people is a matter of debate. The logic of disposable-soma theory applies to both species.

Private donations made since 2003 have bumped the prize value up to nearly $3.5 million, according to the latest update on the Methuselah Foundation website.

Don’t be misled by the size of the fund into thinking that a small donation will make no difference, because this is fundamentally a popular enterprise, a people’s prize, so the number of individual donors is really just as important as the total.

Searching for a cure for age-related ill health, a problem that kills more people than all other causes combined, is a moral imperative. The Advocate for Negligible Senescence publishes articles that discuss and educate the public about research to combat senescence. See the Advocate’s Facebook page.  

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Support the “Little Mouse” Crowdfunded Life-Extension Research Project! – Post by G. Stolyarov II

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Categories: Science, Technology, Transhumanism, Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The New Renaissance Hat
G. Stolyarov II
October 4, 2013
Recommend this page.
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As part of my escalating efforts to advance the prospects of radical life extension through my individual actions, I have donated $50 to an ambitious new crowdfunding project to research longevity-enhancing treatments in mice.

This international project, undertaken by researchers at the Kiev Institute of Gerontology and supported by the Methuselah Foundation and the SENS Research Foundation, has an Indiegogo fundraising page, titled “I am a little mouse and I want to live longer!”, where contributions can be made.

I am proud to donate to this effort to support longevity research through crowdfunding. This project allows those of us who seek longer lifespans, and who wish to advance the science that will get us there, to contribute directly in a manner whereby each of us can make a sizable fraction of the difference for this research effort. I look forward to the great work that this project will accomplish. Achieving statistically significant mouse life extension in the near future could trigger massive public interest and the influx of major research funds to attain increasingly ambitious life-extension goals in higher-order mammals, culminating in us.

The project has already raised $8,673 and has 16 days remaining to reach its $15,000 goal. The Methuselah Foundation will match each $1,000 given with an equivalent donation – so it is possible to double one’s impact by contributing funds to this research effort.