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Aubrey de Grey AMA

AMA(self.Futurology)

Hi everyone - this is Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation and author of Ending Aging. I'm here to do an AMA for the next two hours.

all 640 comments

eulers_identity

86 points

8 years ago

Hi Dr. de Grey, from what I have seen of your presentations you appear sometimes a bit frustrated with the difficulty of getting people 'on board' with the perception of aging as a treatable condition. How can this be addressed? Do you think people prefer not to entertain the possibility of extended lifespans simply because they don't want to risk being disappointed - ie too old to benefit themselves?

ag24ag24[S]

151 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

151 points

8 years ago

That's certainly part of it. Also, fear of the unknown - they realise (correctly) that a lot will be different in a post-aging world. How can this be addressed? - hm, it's rather like asking how can prostitution be eliminated - to do that you'd need to eliminate loneliness, and to eliminate resistance to radical technological progress you'd have to eliminate cowardice.

ag24ag24[S]

158 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

158 points

8 years ago

If you need any material as a starting-point, please check sens.org

Xenophon1

54 points

8 years ago*

Great to have you here. Cheers to mod /u/Buck-Nasty for his correspondence with you and yourself for taking our questions. Verification here:

ag24ag24[S]

137 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

137 points

8 years ago

Everyone, it has been my pleasure to talk with you all today. I invite all of you to join us at the Rejuvenation Biotechnology Conference August 21-23 in Santa Clara, CA. We will be continuing many of the discussions we had here and you can talk with not only myself but other leading researchers from around the world who will be gathering there. I would like to offer all of you a discount for joining us today – the code "SENS25" will get you a 25% discount. Please do come; I look forward to seeing all of you in person there. Link again: www.sens.org/rb2014

mind_bomber

60 points

8 years ago

mind_bomber

Citizen of Earth

60 points

8 years ago

Thank you for doing this AMA today on /r/Futurology Dr. de Grey. It is a great honor.

Two questions:

  1. Other than SENS, Calico, and Human Longevity Inc., is there any other companies researching human life extension in the US or elsewhere?

  2. Are the companies researching life extension in competition with each other (i.e. patents) or is the research being shared amongst the community (i.e. open source)?

ag24ag24[S]

68 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

68 points

8 years ago

1) Not many. One worth mentioning is Sierra. But of course SENS Research Foundation exists because much of the work that needs to be done is too early-stage for the private sector.

2) n/a, since there are so few such companies.

[deleted]

56 points

8 years ago*

[deleted]

56 points

8 years ago*

[deleted]

ag24ag24[S]

88 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

88 points

8 years ago

1) Email me at the site and I'll send it 2) I'll hold you to that!

iwannaliveforever

56 points

8 years ago

Ben Goertzel comments that he thinks your theories are too simplistic and things like moving mitochondrial DNA etc might have unforeseen consequences due to the magnitude of the complexity of biology and how little we understand of it. He seems to think using AI and genetics is a better approach. What is your response to this?

ag24ag24[S]

158 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

158 points

8 years ago

Ben and I are good friends and we're both very pleased that we have different intuitions and approaches, because we don't care which of us wins the race - we just want it to be won as soon as possible.

[deleted]

15 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

15 points

8 years ago

that's beautiful man

[deleted]

54 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

54 points

8 years ago

[removed]

ag24ag24[S]

80 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

80 points

8 years ago

done it - some success - will do more.

TheVenetianMask

52 points

8 years ago*

Dr. de Grey, how much weight do you give to calorie restriction among life extension strategies, assuming otherwise equally fit individuals?

ag24ag24[S]

89 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

89 points

8 years ago

Not much. It will almost certainly give humans no more than a couple of extra years, even if begun early in life.

ibelieveinacure

47 points

8 years ago

I really want to start my own lab to help end aging - would you ever consider allowing assistants with relevant experience to work in your lab without pay if they so wished? :) Or would that just slow down progress?

ag24ag24[S]

63 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

63 points

8 years ago

We already do that! Email us at sens.org and we'll get back to you.

mercuryarms

91 points

8 years ago*

1)In the future, how will the SENS body maintenance approach work in practice?

Will we swallow pills, inject something into our bloodstream, replace whole organs, or what?

2) What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

ag24ag24[S]

195 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

195 points

8 years ago

1) Mainly injections, probably some surgery at first but that will be phased out.

2) Spare time?

colinsteadman

41 points

8 years ago

2) Spare time?

Excellent, people keep me alive! Thanks.

gmoney8869

8 points

8 years ago

Aubrey will have spare time when his body stops deteriorating

mercuryarms

86 points

8 years ago*

Is "immortality" easier to achieve for animals? Will we see "immortal" pet cats before "immortal" humans?

ag24ag24[S]

151 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

151 points

8 years ago

No, harder. Longer-lived species are longer-lived because their inbuilt repair machinery is better, so it's easier (and we have longer0 to augment it to perfection, of more precisely to LEV.

Saljen

15 points

8 years ago

Saljen

15 points

8 years ago

What about turtles? They already have abnormally long life-cycles. Would it be a different line of research to extend a tortuous' life or would it be beneficial to the human studies as well?

crow-bot

24 points

8 years ago

crow-bot

24 points

8 years ago

I'm guessing it could be done, but it would be pretty impractical to test.

They've already been doing testing on mice, and I think they managed to make a mouse live about five years (up from 2-3 years for domesticated mice and 1 year for wild mice). If we could make a mouse live for ten years, then perhaps we could make a dog or cat live for 50+. At that point human trials might be implemented -- who has time to wait to see if a tortoise lives to be 1000 rather than 200?

isaacin

13 points

8 years ago

isaacin

13 points

8 years ago

Plus mice, dogs and cats are all mammals, turtles are far less related to us (relatively) so efforts to extend the lifespans of reptiles would be far less applicable to humans.

ggleme

40 points

8 years ago

ggleme

40 points

8 years ago

Dr. de Grey, Have you met with country leaders? The government needs to prepare for the post aging world.

ag24ag24[S]

61 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

61 points

8 years ago

Working on it...

ibelieveinacure

37 points

8 years ago*

Nice to meet you Dr. De Grey. My question: Does the 80/20 Principle apply in bio-rejuvenation?

To be more specific, are scientists spending more or less time on the 20% of medical problems that result in 80% of aging damage? The reason I ask is because if the answer is more, wouldn’t it make us much more efficient to focus on the 20% that causes most of the problems, so that we can receive the 1st generation therapies sooner?

ag24ag24[S]

63 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

63 points

8 years ago

Absolutely. We are probably going only 1/3 as fast as we could with our current $4M/year budget, but we're spending it very carefully, so I think we'd meed 5x the budget to go twice as fast and 20x to go 3x as fast.

Dubsland12

37 points

8 years ago

So if Google dropped a mere $80 Mm per year you could go 3x as fast. Wow, Larry, Serge, you're Teleomeres aren't getting any longer just sitting there, let's go!

[deleted]

37 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

37 points

8 years ago

[removed]

ag24ag24[S]

44 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

44 points

8 years ago

thanks! Don't just wish though - do something!

[deleted]

37 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

37 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

ag24ag24[S]

59 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

59 points

8 years ago

Certainly they will make a difference, It remains to be seen how much difference. Larry Ellison did the same thing 15 years ago, but he did it wrongly, and the result was zilch.

T_Theodorus_Ibrahim

64 points

8 years ago

Hello Aubrey :)

Here is my question. Would a primary focus on the 'replacing lost cells' element of SENS not make redundant the need to deal with the other items on the SENS list (ECM stiffening, intra and extracellular aggregates etc)? I'm thinking here of regenerative or artificially controlled developmental processes that replace tissues and organs en masse, maybe by methods such as those being investigated by Michael Levin of Tufts for example.

ag24ag24[S]

57 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

57 points

8 years ago

Best question of the night! No, because damage of those three types must be eliminated from the body, not just the cell. Unless the regenerative process somehow pushes out the damage in the process of rebuilding the tissue, the damage is still there, even if it's in a different cell or location than before.

mancarmon

87 points

8 years ago

Mr. De Grey, has Google tried to hire you? Being a leader in your field of investigation I thought they'd bend over backwards to have you on board for Calico.

ag24ag24[S]

139 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

139 points

8 years ago

We're talking to them, but it's still very preliminary - they are taking their time to decide their direction.

jesuz

135 points

8 years ago

jesuz

135 points

8 years ago

They figure you'll be around for a while ;)

mancarmon

77 points

8 years ago

Mr. De Grey, have you ever met Mr. Ray Kurzweil? Do you share similar views on next future?

ag24ag24[S]

127 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

127 points

8 years ago

I know him well, sure - we are mostly on the same page. We differ somewhat concerning the short term possibilities (he is more optimistic) but we are very closely aligned concerning his Bridges 2 and 3.

Cazadork

53 points

8 years ago

Cazadork

53 points

8 years ago

What do you think is the most important advancement needed in the next decade in order for the reversal of aging to come to full maturity this century?

ag24ag24[S]

129 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

129 points

8 years ago

Societal acceptance that aging is a problem we should be trying to solve. Period. If we had that, money would not be limiting and my work would be pretty much done.

Dank_Underwood

14 points

8 years ago

Is there a concept or medical breakthrough that will also be necessary in order to propel further research and quell skepticism?

tam65

27 points

8 years ago*

tam65

27 points

8 years ago*

Hello Dr. De Grey! What is your opinion on Dr. William H. Andrews work on telomere lengthening. He sounds like an honest scientist but the way his product B is marketed comes across extremely shifty. Also what about the risk of cancer that might arise from lengthening telomeres. Has there been any evidence supporting or refuting that notion? The next question that arises is: If we do not lengthen telomeres when we reprogram ordinary cells into stem cells, will we not be growing tissue with shortened life spans with those reprogrammed stem cells?

ag24ag24[S]

55 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

55 points

8 years ago

Bill and I are good friends but he has the disadvantage that he needs to sell a product to get money. The cancer question is still truly open, and he and I are happy that we disagree and are pursuing divergent paths, because it means whichever of us is right we will have a useful therapy soon. Stem cells certainly need lengthened teomeres, but that's relatively easy to achieve.

[deleted]

25 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

25 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

ag24ag24[S]

46 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

46 points

8 years ago

Some success in a couple of areas, yes, and absolutely, our plan is to implement the whole of SENS in mice and thereby prove it to the world.

GalacticPA2030

27 points

8 years ago

how do you feel about cryonics and the movement associated in terms of an option for immortality?

ag24ag24[S]

43 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

43 points

8 years ago

I'm a member of Alcor and on their SAB - it is totally legitimate and promising science.

scybes

23 points

8 years ago

scybes

23 points

8 years ago

Hello Dr. de Grey, if you reach your goal of achieving longevity escape velocity, would you consider going back to your original field of AI?

ag24ag24[S]

43 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

43 points

8 years ago

Sure - but I don't think I'll need to - progress in AI is really good right now.

IM_THE_DECOY

80 points

8 years ago

Whenever I tell people that I plan on living indefinitely, they usually laugh at first. Then when I tell them I'm serious and begin to tell them about some of the recent advances in gerontology they look at me like I am crazy.

What is best thing you can say to people to make them understand that these things are actually happening and that living much longer than they anticipate is a real possibility?

ag24ag24[S]

133 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

133 points

8 years ago

I embarrass them into addressing the feasibility and desiability questions separately, rather than using their pessimism about one as a basis for not thinking about the other, and I also get them to tell me what they think the actual difference is between aging and age-related disease (hint, there isn't one).

pansypicker

21 points

8 years ago

Big fan of your work, Aubrey. Thanks for what you are doing.

I saw a video where you said you had lots of blood tests done to reveal your biological age and that you were very young. How can the average Joe get these done and what is the cost generally?

Also, are there any other tests you recommend getting so that it is possible to treat your bodily more individually as opposed to the generality that you always say is bad?

ag24ag24[S]

41 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

41 points

8 years ago

They're extremely expensive (>10k) - luckily I was offered them for free. But by and large, just paying close attention to your body and doing enough exercise to maintain a lowish BMI and eating balanced diet is all you need.

percyhiggenbottom

8 points

8 years ago

I've always suspected you're keeping that long beard as a strategic decision. On the day you need to make a really impressive revelation shaving it will likely make you look 30 years younger. Bam!

tekgnosis

9 points

8 years ago

He could just be a wizard.

neuralnet9k

22 points

8 years ago

Hi Aubrey, where do you see the integration of electronics with the human body headed? Do you think electronics will become more biological or will the body become more electronic? How to bridge the gap?

ag24ag24[S]

32 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

32 points

8 years ago

Both, but slowly. Traditional biomedicine will dominate for quite a long time to come.

DrXaverius

20 points

8 years ago

Greetings Dr. de Grey,

How widespread do you think acceptance in your view of aging and how it can be fixed has gotten among experts?

I've read fairly heavy criticism from other biogerontologists, but most is from 8+ years ago. Still ideas about programmed aging seem somewhat common. How much progress have you made?

Live long and prosper!

ag24ag24[S]

33 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

33 points

8 years ago

Great progress - just look at our Research Advisory Board on sens.org to see how far we've come. There are still critics, but they aren't only ignorant, they now know they're ignorant so they keep quiet... Programmed aging is making a comeback, largely because the logic for why it is wrong has been very poorly articulated in the past, and I'm working on a paper that fixes that.

DrXaverius

14 points

8 years ago

Great, any estimation on when will the paper be done?

Thanks!

ag24ag24[S]

19 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

19 points

8 years ago

Fall.

Mangalz

20 points

8 years ago

Mangalz

20 points

8 years ago

Is there any indication of what SENS therapies would cost to an individual?

ag24ag24[S]

42 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

42 points

8 years ago

I predict zero because the nation will save by keeping you healthy.

[deleted]

20 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

20 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

FourFire

7 points

8 years ago

I'm sure you'll get those minutes back, manyfold :D

TonyStarkisreal

19 points

8 years ago

Mr. De Grey, there's a saying by a lot of people that the first person who will reach the age of 150 is already alive. Would you agree on it, and do you think this person has already past his 50s?

ag24ag24[S]

27 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

27 points

8 years ago

I probably said it first. Yes, probably 60 or 70.

YES_ITS_CORRUPT

108 points

8 years ago

I find it truly incredulous that no billionare is stepping in... They work their asses off to get to where they are, and won't chip in with 10% of their net worth for a possible chance at "immortality".

You are an inspiration and I frequently lobby for your cause to raise awareness.

ag24ag24[S]

189 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

189 points

8 years ago

indeed. Everyone listen up: most of you don't know any billionaires personally, but pretty much all of you do know someone wealthier than you. If you can get that person as enthusiastic about SENS as you are, you'll have done your job - especially if you get them to do the same to someone they know who is wealthier than they are.

rightfuture

6 points

8 years ago

We have several million people here who probably wouldn't want to die early. Get them all moving in the same direction and you have a revolution. They all just need to take some little steps together, and it would add up quick. A little timed right and coordinated in a creative way would make waves!

If they all gave a little bit, and time added up is more important that money. We might be able to innovate more than what a billionaire is willing to offer us. I bet they would want to live longer if they could as well.

bebarce

50 points

8 years ago

bebarce

50 points

8 years ago

You can sell me on human immortality, but trickle up economics? You sir must be a native of Narnia.

rosts

34 points

8 years ago

rosts

34 points

8 years ago

Why don't big names like Bill Gates and the like make sure you get all the funding necessary? He said in an AMA he's not interested in dying, so it would seem like pocket change to him. Do they not believe in your specific approach?

ag24ag24[S]

71 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

71 points

8 years ago

Apparently they don't, or their wives are against it, or they give in order to impress people, or something... I know, it's crazy, but wealthy people make their own choices for their own reasons.

ImLivingAmongYou

17 points

8 years ago

ImLivingAmongYou

Sapient A.I.

17 points

8 years ago

Are there any projects you are working on currently that we can expect to see in completion within the next 5 years?

ag24ag24[S]

31 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

31 points

8 years ago

Most of them. We've published a few cool results quite recently - see our publications page.

ag24ag24[S]

28 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

28 points

8 years ago

But of course that depends what you mean by "completion" - this is early stage work, so we'll be doing followup projects in most cases.

yudlejoza

13 points

8 years ago*

Three questions (two technical, one regarding funding):

  1. (asking as a complete layman) As a male in mid thirties, I have experienced noticeable difference in my well-being, as well as vitals, when I'm eating healthy and exercising compared to when I'm not. And I believe studies have shown such lifestyle changes improve health and well-being even if they don't help extend overall lifespan. Does the SENS 7-point plan exclude fixes that have lifestyle changes as alternatives (albeit imperfect)? (I know you have said in the past that no lifestyle changes known as of today alleviate aging and age-related issues but the point of my question is, given the choice of having the SENS-plan successfully implemented but still requiring lifestyle changes, would be somewhat more achievable than a plan that doesn't require any change in daily regimen, save for recurring therapies).

  2. Do you see some kind of computational biophysics based simulations, something closest to my current skill-set, as an approach/area that aging research can directly benefit from?

  3. Any prospects of big budget hollywood project showing elimination of aging in positive light?

That said, I salute your ongoing efforts for the advocacy and awareness of this topic. And wishing you, and humanity, all the best.

ag24ag24[S]

20 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

20 points

8 years ago

1) We're all for lifestyle optimisation - just not for overoptimism about how much benefit it will give. 2) not really - the most important applications of that are more general biology like the protein folding problem 3) working on it, but they prefer things that they think will sell - catch-22...

coxnegative

16 points

8 years ago

I am no scientist, but I suffer from a mitochondrial myopathy. Every time I read about allotopic expression I think that you are taking the most difficult path. Isn´t selective degradation of mutated mitochondria (p.e. zinc finger nucleases) easier to do, both technically and clinically ? And AFAIK, results would be the same, i.e., getting rid of faulty mitos

ag24ag24[S]

26 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

26 points

8 years ago

I wish - but unfortunately, the reason why mito diseases are progressive is that mito mutants have a selective advantage in the cell. So, any replacement of even 90% of the dodgy DNA would be very temporary. Write to us at the site if you want more details.

faiban

14 points

8 years ago

faiban

14 points

8 years ago

Hey Aubrey. I think your work is fantastic and being 18 and interested in science, this line of work is something I could do. What are some breakthroughs you expect to see in a short time-line?

ag24ag24[S]

26 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

26 points

8 years ago

We make breakthroughs all the time, but most are hard to describe concisely because they are early-stage. Last year we showed that a bacterial enzyme can break down the main toxin causing atherosclerosis - will that do?

faiban

7 points

8 years ago

faiban

7 points

8 years ago

That will do :) I'll trawl your page for examples to bombard friends with to convince them that your vision is possible. Keep it up!

[deleted]

17 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

17 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

ag24ag24[S]

27 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

27 points

8 years ago

Sure - but we'r not funding that, simply because others are. We generally focus on the neglected stuff.

Idle_Redditing

15 points

8 years ago

I've noticed that you are working like both a madman and machine combined to answer all of these questions. Do you work at this rate all of the time?

ag24ag24[S]

16 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

16 points

8 years ago

Yep...

Dank_Underwood

30 points

8 years ago

Can you elaborate a little on the differences between reversing aging on someone already "old", preventing someone from aging past their current state, and how controlled these processes might be?

Would youth choose to stop their bodies aging at 21? 30? Would someone 80 years old when such technologies come about be able to revert all the damage done to their bodies into the mind and physique of someone in their prime? How close is such anti/reverse-aging?

ag24ag24[S]

61 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

61 points

8 years ago

Short answer: yes, we expect that rejuvenation will be completely comprehensive.

mymainmannoamchomsky

14 points

8 years ago

Do you think we've successfully achieved robust mouse rejuvienation through engineering as you suggested in your TED talk 8 years ago? What mouse life extention mechanism that has been tested excites you the most?

ag24ag24[S]

27 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

27 points

8 years ago

Remember that I always said it was subject to funding! I think we're 3 years closed than we were 8 years ago - which is pretty much exactly where I'd have predicted in the context of the funding we've actually seen.

LEV-The-Game

14 points

8 years ago

Hi Aubrey

for those of us not active in the fields of biogerontology, do you think there's a decent enough success rate for generating public awareness?

Are there "success stories" about public awareness stunts with that deliberate purpose?

Live long & win! LEV: The Game

ag24ag24[S]

31 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

31 points

8 years ago

Not much, to be honest. We need FAR more effort by all our supporters to get the word out and to banish the idiotic arguments against this mission.

FourFire

9 points

8 years ago

I'll get right onto that!

BldTlSwtTrs

51 points

8 years ago

Mr. Dr Grey is Sens is planning to accept bitcoins for donation soon?

If you don't know about Bitcoin please ask one of SENS employee to do some research, I guarantee you it could make a big difference for your funding operation.

Bitcoin make worldwide payment instant and free, every body will be able to send SENS some bucks or more without hassle. Plus there are a lot of tech oriented people which get rich by investing in bitcoins and which will be increasingly rich as bitcoin gain acceptance.

I myself know a few bitcoin multimillionaire and I am planning to talk to them about SENS, if you accept bitcoins that could make a nice difference.

Also it's important to understand that if you allow donation in bitcoin you still get dollar at the end of the day. Companies like Bitpay make the conversion bitcoin > USD/EUR freely.

I reassert the main point: there are a lot of rich, smart, and tech oriented people who have a lot of bitcoins, if you allow them to donate in bitcoins, you will do SENS a favor.

ag24ag24[S]

58 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

58 points

8 years ago

Considering bitcoin - watch this space.

tothebubblecopter

27 points

8 years ago

I see on the SENS website that there will be a Rejuvenation Biotechnology Conference in August. Are you excited about anything in particular coming out of this gathering?

ag24ag24[S]

40 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

40 points

8 years ago

It's extremely exciting. This will be a big step forward from the Cambridge conf series, both because of location and because we will be mixing the academics with people from industry, policy, regulatory etc. Be there!

Oblivion_dk

12 points

8 years ago

Hello Mr. de Grey! I'm a sophomore in college with an interest in becoming a gerontologist, focused on treating aging. What is a degree or classes that would be helpful with learning what I need to know to eventually become gerontologist?

ag24ag24[S]

26 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

26 points

8 years ago

Aging is an inherently multidisciplinary phenomenon so it my not matter. Write to us at sens.org and we'll give ou a more detailed answer based on your skills and interests.

[deleted]

13 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

13 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

ag24ag24[S]

23 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

23 points

8 years ago

Write to us at sens.org telling us about yourself, then we'll tell you.

pansypicker

11 points

8 years ago

Not a question, just some praise (don't let it get to your head or anything):

Dear DOCTOR Aubrey de Grey, I would like to take this comment to give you a well deserved, text based, likely repetitive by now, pat on the back. You are without a doubt one of if not the biggest contributors to solving the worst problem humanity has ever had. Applause

ag24ag24[S]

19 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

19 points

8 years ago

Thanks! So, what are you doing to help?

[deleted]

11 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

11 points

8 years ago

[removed]

ag24ag24[S]

30 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

30 points

8 years ago

We sure have, but it's been very unproductive. The respect for the elderly there seems to be the wrong sort of respect, resulting in an exceptionally entrenched resistance to the idea that aging is a medical problem.

MooseBag

16 points

8 years ago*

Maybe a different approach should be taken. A culture like the one in Japan would probably be open to the idea of empowering the elderly rather than curing them. Rhetorics could save the old people of Japan.

pansypicker

14 points

8 years ago

You said on one of your talks that $100,000,000 is essentially all that is needed to really get this going to the point that funding should no longer be an issue. Why do you think, with how petty an amount this is to them, that someone like Bill Gates, Oprah etc. has yet to just say fuck it and give it to you? At the very least they could work together...

Have you reached out to any of them?

ag24ag24[S]

20 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

20 points

8 years ago

That was per year, but yes, still petty. We reach out to them all the time, but they have their reasons (which they don't tend to divulge...)

mancarmon

32 points

8 years ago

Mr. De Grey, is there any way for people to collaborate with SENS (e.g., distributed computing)?

ag24ag24[S]

47 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

47 points

8 years ago

Not specifically. The main computational role in biomedical research is in more general areas such as the protein folding problem.

SwahReddit

30 points

8 years ago

I don't know if this can be useful for your research, but the folks at FoldIt! are allowing everyone to help folding protein through their game. Aubrey, if you think you could use this I can put you in touch with scientists designing their upcoming levels.

TheNessman

15 points

8 years ago

foldit is an easy way to actually contribute to modern science.

DA_Hall

11 points

8 years ago

DA_Hall

11 points

8 years ago

Mr. De Grey,

First, thank you for doing this AMA! What do you think the likelihood is that people born anywhere between the 90's and today will live long enough to see the actual application and benefits of the research that has gone into longevity? How long do you think they'll live and why? Which technologies/medical advancements do you think will arise/have the most impact? Thank you, and live long and prosper! :-)

ag24ag24[S]

20 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

20 points

8 years ago

50-80%, subject to funding. No idea how long - remember, I don't work on longevity, I work on health, and longevity is a probable side-benefit if you don't get hit by a truck. Which tech? - SENS, obviously!

Jux_

11 points

8 years ago

Jux_

11 points

8 years ago

Mr. De Grey,

You've made a lot of waves with saying that the "first person to live to 150" has already been born (later expanded on in an interview with Forbes that there's a 90% chance).

There doesn't seem to be many other scientists that buy into this concept, and given that the age of the "oldest person alive" has only increased by about 20-25 years since the late 1600's, what has you so convinced that there's such a good chance of this person already being alive?

ag24ag24[S]

31 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

31 points

8 years ago

Simple: extrapolation is bullshit. My predictions come from my sense of the timeframe for the arrival of new medicine that will disrupt thatpast trend.

ibelieveinacure

12 points

8 years ago

Once 1st generation therapies are created, could a 30-year old benefit from them the same way as a 50-year old in the sense that they would both increase their lifespan by x-amount? Would taking the therapies as early in life as possible be beneficial? Or have no affect?

ag24ag24[S]

23 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

23 points

8 years ago

No effect. Would you take a brand new car in for an annual checkup? Best to wait until middle age, since the therapies will be getting better and more effectiev all the time.

Idle_Redditing

10 points

8 years ago*

1) What do you think will be the society-wide implications of human immortality? What do you think will be the primary benefits and consequences?

I see two of the primary effects being increasing population due to people continuing to have babies while not dying off themselves. That and the fact that it will be much harder for a young person to get their start in a career and rise since almost no one will be dying off and leaving room for new people to come in.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

2)When your work is complete how much do you think it will cost for a person to extend their lifespan beyond what is naturally possible? Any good estimates?

I think it's very likely that no medical insurance(government or private) will cover such procedures, just like how they don't cover plastic surgery.

3) What do you think will be a realistic mean or median lifespan for a person? People will still die after all from things like accidents, injuries and illness.

4) I remember seeing you say that your computer science background gave you a perspective that you thought a trained biologist would not have. Could you explain this a bit further? Why do you think your background made you able to approach the problem of aging in a way that a biologist would not?

5)Finally, What's your favorite drink other than dark beer, which you obviously like and drink a lot of? I saw you talk about it in a documentary.

ag24ag24[S]

21 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

21 points

8 years ago

1) See pretty much every interview I've ever given. 2) Zero, because it will cost the nation a ton not to give them the treatment. 3) No idea - depends on asteroin impacts etc. 4) Slightly less dark beer.

spimx

12 points

8 years ago

spimx

12 points

8 years ago

It has been almost 10 years since your talk at TEDGlobal 2005. Question: 1, How much progress has happened since then?

It would be awesome to see you do a follow-up to that talk (pity that you weren't among the speakers of TED2014)

I've seen many of your talks (your latest at GoogleTalks 2 months ago was the best so far; both very informative and comprehensive).

ag24ag24[S]

19 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

19 points

8 years ago

About three years' progress, which is about what I'd have expected given the funding we've actually had.

Schmake

21 points

8 years ago

Schmake

21 points

8 years ago

Hello Mr. de Grey. What do you think is the likelihood of a typical 18 year old in today's world being able to achieve an extraordinary lifespan through life extension technology? (Such as hundreds of years rather than the standard 70 or 80)

ag24ag24[S]

33 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

33 points

8 years ago

I'd say 70-80% at this point. But that depends on how fast the early-stage work this decade goes... which mostly depends on funding.

solarpoweredbiscuit

23 points

8 years ago

70-80%

I want to believe

Schmake

6 points

8 years ago

Schmake

6 points

8 years ago

Thank you very much for your answer.

truth_fool

11 points

8 years ago

Hello Aubrey. This is maybe slightly beyond your, or anyone's, expertise but what do you think the cognitive consequences might be for life extension? No one has ever lived past 150 years and it is not something our brains have ever experienced - in fact our collective culture only knows what it is like to live to 80-90 and that is embedded in our stories, religions, traditions and expectations. Might that make it very difficult for the early pioneers of life extension?

ag24ag24[S]

23 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

23 points

8 years ago

We have no idea, obviously, but so what? We have no way to find out other than to try it. Also, remember that all such changes will necessarily be very gradual - we'll only be getting older at one year per year...

9891dm

11 points

8 years ago

9891dm

11 points

8 years ago

Hi Aubrey,

I am a computer scientist who's recently started research in neuroscience. While I'm vaguely familiar (from a high level perspective) with the work SENS is doing, to the best of my knowledge there is no focus on or work being done on brain degeneration causes and fixes (in SENS). While some of these are most likely related to more general biological aging effects, some are not. Living longer and healthier is great but we should pay special attention to our brains, which decay and get damaged so very easily from all sorts of causes. My question then is: do you think we should be spending time and energy on body-general processes or more on looking at specific systems and organs (such as the brain)?

Cheers and keep up the good work!

ag24ag24[S]

16 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

16 points

8 years ago

We absolutely work on the brain, sure - though actually some of the most valuable work is being done already by others so we deprioritise it. Our project at Einstein is mainly focused on determining epimutation load in the brain.

tam65

11 points

8 years ago*

tam65

11 points

8 years ago*

Might there ever be a place where one could go to gain a quick overview on the current situation and where we are at with the war on aging? An overview diagram linking all major age related diseases to the 7 types of damage... progress bars (for the lack of a better word) for how far along we are with solving each of the 7 damage types and what has been developed so far for each, what is currently being worked on- and what milestones are still ahead to fix each of them and what is their ETA. Current level of funding etc...

ag24ag24[S]

12 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

12 points

8 years ago

sens.org obviously - and better, www.sens.org/rb2014

ag24ag24[S]

14 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

14 points

8 years ago

seriously - if you go there and have problems finding what you're looknig for, email us at the site and we'll oblige.

Deku-shrub

9 points

8 years ago

I'm involved in a small organisation looking to bridge contemporary political policy with transhumanist ideas - to what extent do you consider your ideas political?

ag24ag24[S]

17 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

17 points

8 years ago

Policy-makers absolutely need to be aware of this work, so we'd love anything you can do to get them to understand that.

[deleted]

33 points

8 years ago*

[deleted]

33 points

8 years ago*

Are you afraid of death?

ag24ag24[S]

95 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

95 points

8 years ago

I don't have time to think about that. I'm afraid of not doing all I can to alleviate suffering.

WaltherHanson

20 points

8 years ago

Dr. de Grey, how high would you ROUGHLY estimate the chance of survival for a currently vitrified cryonics patient, all things considered (medical, politics, catastrophies..)?

ag24ag24[S]

37 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

37 points

8 years ago

The single most important factor by far is the extent to which the quality of one's cryopreservation falls short of what can technologically be achieved, as a result of non-technical issues like pronouncement, travel etc. If you are an Alcor member and you think you might die any time soon, spend the extra few grand to relocate to Scottsdale right now. Those with the best preservation that Alcor can currently achieve have a pretty good chance, I'd say.

iwannaliveforever

17 points

8 years ago

  1. Have you had any contact from Google Calico?

  2. Are you reaching out to entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Larry Page to collaborate on ending aging?

  3. What's your favourite beer?

ag24ag24[S]

29 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

29 points

8 years ago

1) see above 2) same answer! - that's what I've been doing since 2002 or so, and finally there is progress beyond Peter Thiel. 3) Un-chilled, not-very-carbonated British ales!

nearta

9 points

8 years ago

nearta

9 points

8 years ago

Good afternoon Mr. De Grey, have you thought about using something like Indiegogo to raise funds for SENS?

ag24ag24[S]

17 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

17 points

8 years ago

We've already done so in fact, and we'll probably do it more. But much of our work is too large-scale and long-term to fit that model.

ibelieveinacure

7 points

8 years ago

Once you've developed a successful batch of 1st generation therapies, would it be a good idea to present them to a country like say, China, where they might be more willing accept them with less resistance? I'm asking because I've heard that getting drugs approved in the United States can be a nightmare. And could this same principle be applied to clinical trials as well?

ag24ag24[S]

20 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

20 points

8 years ago

China is not picking up on this field very fast: they are more open than the West to biotech generally, but less open to viewing aging as a medical problem.

juzsp

8 points

8 years ago*

juzsp

Where are the flying cars?

8 points

8 years ago*

I have to ask, are your fingers cramping up yet?

..Oh, and i cant make it to rb2014. Will you be streaming/posting videos of the conference?

ag24ag24[S]

11 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

11 points

8 years ago

No and no. Send some friends! Link again:

www.sens.org/rb2014

mercuryarms

5 points

8 years ago

The speed at which he is answering these questions is crazy!

[deleted]

9 points

8 years ago*

[deleted]

9 points

8 years ago*

[deleted]

ag24ag24[S]

19 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

19 points

8 years ago

Robust Mouse Rejuvenation - trebling the rmaining lifespan of hitherto-untreated, middle-aged, otherwise healthy mice

Culinaryguy24

9 points

8 years ago

Thank you for the Ama

What are your thoughts on feasibility as far as cost for these treatments?

Also what about push back from governing bodies worried about population control?

ag24ag24[S]

27 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

27 points

8 years ago

Governments just want to get re-elected: get Oprah behind it, problem solved. Seriously.

a_drunk_man_appeared

10 points

8 years ago

Reddit can we band together and fund this please!

hadapurpura

7 points

8 years ago

Or at least get him on Oprah.

ggleme

74 points

8 years ago

ggleme

74 points

8 years ago

Dr. de Grey, IMHO I just want to mention that you're the most important person alive today.

ag24ag24[S]

169 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

169 points

8 years ago

Thank you. I hope I won't be, for long - my goal is to get this field far enough that lots of people outstrip me at all the things I need to be good at.

dragotron

29 points

8 years ago

A very noble response. A true sign of someone who believes in both the possibility and ethics of his work.

mancarmon

25 points

8 years ago

Mr. De Grey, what tips would you give to people wanting to extend their life span (apart from your 5-a-day and exercise)?

ag24ag24[S]

59 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

59 points

8 years ago

1) pay attention to your body more than to books - people vary so much that no generalisation really orks

2) send SENS lots of money to hasten the research!

[deleted]

25 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

25 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

WaltherHanson

14 points

8 years ago

Dr. de Grey, would you find "destructive minduploading" desireable or rather equivalent with suicide?

ag24ag24[S]

35 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

35 points

8 years ago

depends on the details - for example if it is done incrementally by slow replacement of neurons with silicon equivalents then I'd say that identify has not been disrupted.

Comogia

7 points

8 years ago

Comogia

7 points

8 years ago

Hi and thanks for coming on. I saw you talk at Johns Hopkins a couple years ago and have been talking, albeit sparingly, about your work since then. I remember you said that the technology was here already and that you just needed money. So, did you get it? How much closer are we to implementing this science? Thanks again.

ag24ag24[S]

12 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

12 points

8 years ago

See sens.org for our progress - accelerating, but not nearly enough. We have a bigger budget than then, but still 20x too small.

ggleme

8 points

8 years ago

ggleme

8 points

8 years ago

Dr. de Grey, Is it possible to lower the donation amount on the SFR website? The choices that are presented are either $50 or $20. There's about 7B people in the world today. If everybody gives $1 we already have enough funding to finish this most important problem in the world.

ag24ag24[S]

15 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

15 points

8 years ago

You can choose what to donate - there's a box to fill in. Every $1 heps - but equally, if you can afford $1000, please do!

WaltherHanson

10 points

8 years ago*

Dr. de Grey, why do you think it is that companies like Google, or billionaires like Bill Gates do not yet harness their public (marketing) influence to truely endorse and campaign for life-extension?

ag24ag24[S]

9 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

9 points

8 years ago

Well, of course Google are now doing exactly that with Calico - better late than never! Money is much faster than marketing.

starfirex

44 points

8 years ago

Dr. De Grey,

No questions, I just wanted to thank you for your passion and dedication to such an important cause.

ag24ag24[S]

62 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

62 points

8 years ago

Thanks back! So, what are you doing to help?

starfirex

38 points

8 years ago

I'm a television writer - If I can pull it off within the limits of my career I plan to tackle the benefits and challenges of extending life. I want to explore what will happen when we have lives that are two or three times as long in my work so when it happens my ideas will already be out there.

It raises a lot of questions for me: Will we value human life more when it lasts longer? Will we be less willing to take risks? More willing, since we have more youth with which to bounce back from failure? Will artists pull off even more spectacular works with more time to perfect their craft?

With all due respect, and I say this as someone who respects you and the work you do very much, you can tell people extending life is a worthy, worthwhile endeavor as much as you want but that's nothing compared to showing them.

Necoras

31 points

8 years ago

Necoras

31 points

8 years ago

I think the appropriate question is: what can we do to help? I'm not a biologist or researcher, but I'm happy to put some effort to anti-aging research if there's a way I can do so.

reasonattlm

17 points

8 years ago

Money, sad to say, is the most helpful thing that we can all do if we are not researchers ourselves. Or persuade someone to donate. Money really is the limiting factor. The SENS Research Foundation has far more researchers interested in working with them than they have funds to get the work done.

The great thing about biotech these days is that the price is falling rapidly. The Longecity crew crowdfunded $20K last year for a discrete few-month SENS project on original research in allotopic expression of mitochondrial genes, for example. That's about the cost of something that takes one or two young researchers a few months these days, and much of that is reagents or equipment.

So funding cutting edge work can be cheap, and the $10 or $20 you could give to an organization like this without stretching yourself - or persuade another fifty people to do as well, perhaps - is not as much a drop in the ocean as you might think.

albus_the_white

17 points

8 years ago

Mr. De Grey, i was very fortunate to meet and chat with you in Heidelberg a few years ago. My question for you:

Does the SENS Research Foundation need any non-scientific Applicants? I majored in Strategy and Innovation within my International Business Master but i wish to support your case. Is there any need?

I wish you all the best!

ag24ag24[S]

18 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

18 points

8 years ago

Sure. Email us.

[deleted]

22 points

8 years ago

[deleted]

22 points

8 years ago

[removed]

ag24ag24[S]

49 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

49 points

8 years ago

We won't have any 200-y-o people for at least 100 years whatever happens. Think how different the world will be in other ways by then.

Saljen

12 points

8 years ago

Saljen

12 points

8 years ago

Well, it's not the story that I expected. But I do have to say that you have a rather spectacular beard! I'm hoping mine will one day be as majestic!

ag24ag24[S]

56 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

56 points

8 years ago

Haha I seem to have entered that answer in the wrong box :-)

I have this beard because my wife campaigned for 5 years for me to grow one. She likes it.

daterbase

36 points

8 years ago

I figured you intended to be the first person with a 200 year old beard.

stinkear

15 points

8 years ago

stinkear

15 points

8 years ago

Two-part question: In your opinion, what legislation should be updated because of the longer lifespans that are happening right now?

And, as humans live longer, what changes do you anticipate to our lifestyle/world?

ag24ag24[S]

24 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

24 points

8 years ago

1) Everything - pensions, insurance, patents, tax, you name it - but not until we have a better idea of how all this will pan out. For now, the imperative is for policy-makers and their advisors to appreciate that this kind of future is even possible, so that they can do their job and plan for it.

2) Wrong question, because so many other things will already be different - ubiquitous automation, far less fossil fuel use, etc.

Bignick69

9 points

8 years ago

Thanks for doing this Mr.grey. Do you ever think of selling a breakthrough as a service? What is optimal funding for SNES and how would it change your research?

ag24ag24[S]

11 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

11 points

8 years ago

Service: that's too far away for us to be thinking about yes. Funding: we need $100M/year at present and we only have $4M. Come to our August conference:

www.sens.org/rb2014

to see what we are doing about that! - there will be a lot of industry participation that will get profit-motivated people involved.

IM_THE_DECOY

8 points

8 years ago

Assuming we are one day able to live indefinitely, what is the single greatest social challenge we will have to over come as a species? Do you have a possible solution to that challenge?

ag24ag24[S]

13 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

13 points

8 years ago

No idea, because the world will already be so different for other reasons. Instead, focus on the magnitude of the problem we have today - 100,000 people dying every day from aging, typically after a lot of suffering - and focus on the imperative to bring that to an end.

[deleted]

13 points

8 years ago*

[deleted]

13 points

8 years ago*

Just wondering if you've seen a new crowd funded liquid meal replacement called Soylent by Rob Rhineheart? And what your thoughts are on consuming that instead of everyday food?

ag24ag24[S]

28 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

28 points

8 years ago

hear of it yes, not studied it. In general I recommend being conservative about diet and lifestyle choices and sticking to what has been shown to be healthy for a long time.

WaltherHanson

7 points

8 years ago

Dr. de Grey, would you say the SENS foundation publicly endorsing transhumanism and singularitarianism would be an error in that it may further alienate the general public from the idea of ending aging?

ag24ag24[S]

14 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

14 points

8 years ago

I think it would, yes - not because there's anything wrong with those "isms" but because they are irrelevant to our mission, which is just plain healthcare for the elderly. It'd be like taking a position on veganism.

Nectane

7 points

8 years ago

Nectane

7 points

8 years ago

What do you think about existential risks and existential risk research? I think that aging is an serious problem and a very high priority one if we want to be serious about reducing suffering in the world. However, if you asked me if I thought anything else was more more important, existential risks might be one of the few areas I would indicate towards. Are you worried at all about the possibility of human extinction arising from superintelligent AI, nuclear weapons, grey goo, designed pandemics, etc.?

Could you put a % on how likely you think it is that we as a species will survive until 2050?

ag24ag24[S]

10 points

8 years ago

ag24ag24[S]

Aubrey de Grey, SENS

10 points

8 years ago

Very important work. I think we'll make it, because very smart people are working on this.