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Aubrey de Grey, 2008
De Grey is the author of the general-audience book "Ending Aging," a detailed description of how regenerative medicine may be able to defeat aging entirely within a few decades. He works on the development of what he has termed "strategies for engineered negligible senescence" (SENS) - a tissue-repair strategy intended to rejuvenate the human body and thereby allow an indefinite lifespan. To this end, he has identified seven types of molecular and cellular "damage" caused by essential metabolic processes; SENS is a proposed panel of therapies to repair this damage.
De Grey has been interviewed in recent years in many news sources, including CBS 60 Minutes, BBC, the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, the Washington Post, Popular Science and The Colbert Report. His main activities at present are as chairman and chief science officer of the Methuselah Foundation and editor-in-chief of the academic journal Rejuvenation Research.
Aubrey de Grey was educated at Sussex House School, Harrow School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Prior to his work in cellular and molecular biology, he studied computer science. In 1985, he received a B.A. in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge and joined Sinclair Research Ltd as an AI/software engineer; in 1986, he co-founded Man-Made Minions Ltd to pursue the development of an automated formal program verifier. Until 2006, he was in charge of software development at the University of Cambridge Genetics Department for the FlyBase genetic database.
During this time Cambridge awarded de Grey a Ph.D. by a mechanism available only to previous Cambridge undergraduates (of whatever discipline) — the "special regulations," which require evidence of "...a significant contribution to scholarship," and are evaluated by the usual methods (examiners appointed; oral defence of the submitted work) but do not require an applicant to have been registered as a Ph.D. student while performing such work. The degree was granted in 2000 on the basis of de Grey's book concerning the biology of one aspect of aging, The Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging (ISBN 1-58706-155-4), which he wrote in 1999. The book controversially claimed that obviating damage to mitochondrial DNA might by itself extend lifespan significantly, though it stated that it was more likely that cumulative damage to mitochondria is a significant cause of senescence, but not the single dominant cause. A February 8, 2007 search for "de Grey AD [au]" on PubMed  revealed 61 publications in 25 peer-reviewed journals, of which 19 are in Rejuvenation Research (impact factor 4.728), the journal edited by de Grey.
Regarding his background as a computer scientist (and subsequently a bioinformatician in genetics), he states:
- "There are really very important differences between the type of creativity involved in being a scientist and being a technical engineer. It means that I’m able to think in very different ways and come up with approaches to things that are different from the way a basic scientist might think."
De Grey argues that the fundamental knowledge needed to develop effective anti-aging medicine mostly already exists, and that the science is ahead of the funding. He works to identify and promote specific technological approaches to the reversal of various aspects of aging, or as de Grey puts it, "the set of accumulated side effects from metabolism that eventually kills us," and for the more proactive and urgent approaches to extending the healthy human lifespan. Regarding this issue, de Grey is a supporter of life extension.
As of 2005, his work centered upon a detailed plan called Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), which is aimed at preventing age-related physical and cognitive decline. He is also the co-founder (with David Gobel) and chief scientist of the Methuselah Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Springfield, Virginia, United States. A major activity of the Methuselah Foundation is the Methuselah Mouse Prize, a prize designed to hasten the research into effective life extension interventions by awarding monetary prizes to researchers who stretch the lifespan of mice to unprecedented lengths. Regarding this, de Grey stated in March 2005 "if we are to bring about real regenerative therapies that will benefit not just future generations, but those of us who are alive today, we must encourage scientists to work on the problem of aging." The prize reached 4.2 USD million in February 2007. De Grey believes that once dramatic life extension of already middle-aged mice has been achieved, a large amount of funding will be diverted to this kind of research, which would accelerate progress in doing the same for humans.
De Grey has published papers in this area in prominent journals with some of biogerontology's foremost researchers, including Bruce Ames, Leonid Gavrilov and S. Jay Olshansky, as well as other thinkers such as Gregory Stock. He has also received support from other prominent scientists, such as William Haseltine, the biotech pioneer of Human Genome Sciences, who in March 2005 stated regarding the Methuselah Mouse Prize "there’s nothing to compare with this effort, and it has already contributed significantly to the awareness that regenerative medicine is a near term reality, not an if."
In a 2008 broadcast on the Arte German & French TV, de Grey confirmed that according to him « the first man who will live up to 1,000 years is probably already alive now, and might even be today between 50 and 60 years old ».
The seven types of aging damage proposed by de GreyEdit
- Main article: Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence
- Cancer-causing nuclear mutations/epimutations:
- These are changes to the nuclear DNA (nDNA), the molecule that contains our genetic information, or to proteins which bind to the nDNA. Certain mutations can lead to cancer, and, according to de Grey, non-cancerous mutations and epimutations do not contribute to aging within a normal lifespan, so cancer is the only endpoint of these types of damage that must be addressed.
- Mitochondrial mutations:
- Intracellular junk:
- Our cells are constantly breaking down proteins and other molecules that are no longer useful or which can be harmful. Those molecules which can’t be digested simply accumulate as junk inside our cells. Atherosclerosis, macular degeneration and all kinds of neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer's disease) are associated with this problem.
- Extracellular junk:
- Harmful junk protein can also accumulate outside of our cells. The amyloid plaque seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients is one example.
- Cell loss:
- Cell senescence:
- Extracellular crosslinks:
Technology Review debate Edit
- Main article: De Grey Technology Review debate
A debate over the validity of the de Grey's theories on ageing was published in MIT's Technology Review. In the end, none of the challengers to de Grey were able to convince the judges that SENS was "so wrong that it is unworthy of learned debate."
- Rejuvenation Research (online reference) Editor: Aubrey de Grey. Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. ISSN 1549-1684 - Published Bimonthly
Titles and positionsEdit
Recorded public appearancesEdit
- Aubrey de Grey speaking at Cass Business School, London, UK, on 12 FEB 2008 "Prospects for extending a healthy life - a lot".
- Why we age, and how we can stop it -- Discussions on Advancing Regenerative Therapies -- April 21, 2008
- Unconventional Wisdom -- Thinking Digital -- May 23, 2008
- Understanding Aging: Biomedical and Bioengineering Approaches -- June 27-29, 2008
- Defeating Aging -- NASA Ames Research Center -- August 7, 2008
- A True Cure for Human Aging - Culture and Convention Centre, Lucerne, Switzerland -- October 27, 2008
- Prospects for defeating aging altogether - Changing the World Conference -- Convocation Hall, Toronto -- November 15, 2008
- Edmonton Aging Symposium presentation (28:45) -- Took place March 30-31, 2007
- Google TechTalk Video (1:01:06) -- 1st Appearance (May 2007) entitled "Prospects for extending healthy life - a lot"
- Google TechTalk Video (1:13:10) -- 2nd Appearance (June 2007) entitled "WILT: taking cancer seriously enough to really cure it"
- Google TechTalk Video (1:02:26) -- 3rd Appearance (December 2007) entitled "Aging of the Other Genome: A Decisive but Ambitious Solution"
- Our Right to Life: A talk advocating a pro-life stance by de Grey
- Tomorrows People Forum 2006: Longer? (2:00:58) The "Longer?" lecture (Presentation 3) for the Tomorrows People Conference Forum 2006 that took place on the 14-17 of March 2006 at the Saïd Business School at Oxford.
- TED conference 2006 - Fixing Humanity's worst problem (23:05) Presentation at the Technology Entertainment Design TED Conference 2006.
- The unfortunate influence of the weather on the rate of ageing (10:35) Excerpt of talk at CR-IV (2006 Calorie Restriction Society Conference), held April 6-9 in Tucson, Arizona, United States.
- Immortality Institute conference presentation (29:49) Presentation at the Immortality Institute's conference in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
- An interview for meettheauthor.com filmed in November 2007
- GoogleTechTalks: Aging of the Other Genome (Dec. 2006, 62 minutes) On mutations of mitochondrial DNA and de Grey's MitoSENS
- Template:Youtube (22:28) Aging and death are solvable problems, and we can live for centuries, if we approach the aging process as an engineering problem.
- Defeating aging - held July 2005 in Oxford, England - TED (conference) (29:59) longer version with interview.
- The Quest for Immortality - 60 Minutes television interview (January 1, 2006)
- News interview with Janet Street-Porter on Bloomberg Encounters (12:29) A brief overview on how ageing could be curable and extreme life extension could be available in as little as 25 years and the scientific debate surrounding such a proposition.
- Interview on GMTV's Good Morning (7:23) Interview on Britain's GMTV program "Good Morning" with Fern Britton and Phillip Schofield surrounding extreme life extension and its feasibility in the next 25 years.
- Template:Youtube (5:53) Interview for CBC Canada Now.
- Link to Good Morning America Interview Announcements Will be Template:Old fact Interviewed on ABC's Good Morning America on September 17th, 2007
- Interview on the comedy show the Colbert Report
- Template:Google video in the Death in the Deep Freeze documentary
Radio, podcast, and video podcast interviewsEdit
- Video podcast (with audio only available) interview of de Grey (62:46) by Eliezer Yudkowsky on Bloggingheads.tv in December 2008
- Radio interview with Ian Bernard and Mark Edge on Free Talk Live (32:49) A half-hour interview (without commercials) given by Ian Bernard and Mark Edge of Free Talk Live on a discussion of how death can be defeated in our lifetime.
- Aubrey de Grey - Ending Aging Point of Inquiry (40:03) Interview by D.J. Grothe: Aubrey de Grey explains aging, and the SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) program. (11 January 2008)
- Podcast interview with TPN's Cameron Reilly (30:00) A half-hour interview with Aubrey de Grey from 19 May 2008.
- Radio interview with Alex Jones Aubrey de Grey interviewed on Prison Planet radio to talk about aging technology and the question of whether man will ever live forever and the moral and ethical dilemmas that such a development will have to address. (102.14)
- Exploring Life Extension (1:45:32) A film by the Immortality Institute that explores various aspects of extreme life extension including cryogenics, caloric restriction, transhumanism, and other scientific pursuits of extreme life extension.
- Aubrey de Grey was the subject of the documentary film Do You Want to Live Forever? (1:16:36), directed by Christopher Sykes and first broadcast on February 3, 2007 by Channel 4 in the UK.
- ↑ SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence)
- ↑ The Methuselah Foundation
- ↑ Man-Made Minions - HOME
- ↑ University of Cambridge Special Regulations:
- ↑ Reporter 13/12/00: Congregation of the Regent House on 9 December 2000
- ↑ PubMed Home
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Hang in There: The 25-Year Wait for Immortality interview with LiveScience
- ↑ Methuselah Mouse Prize
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Nuland, Sherwin. (February 2005). "Do You Want to Live Forever?". Technology Review.
- ↑ Britt, Robert Roy. March 9, 2005. "Anti-Aging Prize Tops $1 Million". LiveScience. Imaginova.
- ↑ de Grey, Aubrey; Rae, Michael. September 2007. Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs that Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime. New York, NY: Saint Martin's Press, 416 p. ISBN 0312367066.
- ↑ Ben Best (December 2007). "Book Review: ENDING AGING". Life Extension Magazine. Life Extension Foundation. Retrieved on 2007-04-12.
- ↑ Aux frontières de l'immortalité, November 16th, 2008, 23:10, director : Gerald Caillat
- ↑ Aubrey de Grey, Fellow, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
- ↑ Aubrey de Grey, advisor, The Singularity Institute
- ↑ http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/16508
- Machines Like Us interview
- 'We will be able to live to 1,000' Interview with BBC website, outlining views
- Popular Science article
- Popular Mechanics article and podcast
- Interview with Life Extension magazine
- The Man Who Would Murder Death "A rogue researcher challenges scientists to reverse human aging" The Chronicle of Higher Education 2005-10-14
- Antiaging Technology and Pseudoscience (a web site)
- A short interview with AdG at Really Magazine (2005)
- Joel Garreau. 'The Invincible Man: Aubrey de Grey, 44 Going on 1,000, Wants Out of Old Age', The Washington Post, October 31, 2007. Page C01.
- Transcripts of Aubrey de Grey's conference lectures at Accelerating Future
- Interview with Conquest.sede:Aubrey de Grey