Google’s Calico: the War on Aging Has Truly Begun

Google's Calico project means that hearts and minds have been convinced that we can defeat aging

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To paraphrase Churchill’s words following the Second Battle of El Alamein: Google‘s announcement about their new venture to extend human life, Calico, is not the end, nor even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

(MORE: Google vs. Death)

Since the dawn of civilization, humanity has been enslaved by the knowledge that no lifestyle choice, no medicine, no quirk of fate can enable anyone to live for more than a few decades without suffering progressive, inexorable decline in physical and mental function, leading inevitably to death. So soul-destroying has this knowledge been, for almost everyone, that we have constructed our entire society and world view around ways to put it out of our minds, mostly by convincing ourselves that the tragedy of aging is actually a good thing. And why not? After all, why be preoccupied about something one cannot affect?

And yet, there have always been those few who aimed high: who were not cowed by this fear, but who instead found fulfilment in dedicating their lives to the crusade to bring aging under some kind of medical control. The earliest of those efforts may seem almost laughable to us today in their naivety, but that is the nature of the initial, exploratory phase of any pioneering technological quest.

The exploratory phase never ends cleanly, but rather by a series of fits and starts: leaps of faith that a judicious combination of tried and tested elements can deliver more than the sum of its parts. Often that faith is misplaced and the design fails, but that’s still progress: what is learned from the failure goes to inspire the next design, and success is eventually achieved. And so it will be with the development of medicine to maintain youth. As with any technological goal that is high on humanity’s priorities and is consistent with the laws of physics, it’s just a matter of time.

As little as 20 years ago, when I joined the pitifully small band of academics who call themselves biogerontologists, the prospects for defeating aging were so bleak that it was widely considered unscientific even to discuss it: according to the respectable view, our only option was to continue discovering more about the nature of aging until, by some miracle in the distant future, our body of knowledge took sufficient shape to reveal a route to intervention. A string of advances in the late 1990s, mostly made by researchers not focused on aging per se, changed that: it allowed, for the first time, the formulation of a realistic divide-and-conquer strategy against mankind’s most formidable foe. Many components of this strategy were at a dauntingly early stage of development, but all could be described in sufficient detail to offer hope for foreseeable success. As so often in science, many established luminaries voiced skepticism, and some still do; but the plan progressively attracted the support of world-leading experts in all the relevant disciplines, and as it has done so, funding —albeit far too little to maximise the rate of progress —has materialized too.

Now is the right time for a commercial entity to get heavily involved. One of the key activities of SENS Research Foundation, as a non-profit, is proof-of-concept research on key components of the anti-aging arsenal that are still too early-stage to constitute an attractive business proposition for all but the most visionary investors. But we’ve always made clear that our ultimate goal is to kick-start a real anti-aging industry: not the essentially cosmetic industry that goes by that name today, but a bona fide rejuvenation biotechnology industry, providing people with truly comprehensive restoration and preservation of youthful mental and physical function however long they live. And yes, one side-effect of this advance—a side-effect that we should all celebrate —is that most people will live a great deal longer than today, and will do so in the prime of health.

The “beginning of the beginning” of the war on aging  began in the 1990s. Since then, the battle for hearts and minds as to that quest’s feasibility—especially among the high-profile academics who occupy the pinnacle of opinion-formation—has been proceeding at full tilt. With Google’s decision to direct its astronomical resources to a concerted assault on aging, that battle may have been transcended: once financial limitations are removed, curmudgeons no longer matter. That’s why I think it is no exaggeration to state that the end of the beginning may have arrived. I won’t go so far as to say that my crusading job is done, but for sure it just got a whole lot easier.

32 comments
ValeryChuprin
ValeryChuprin

Dear Dr. Levinson!                                                                                                                                

Our research ("Three Layer functional model and energy exchange concept of aging process" Valery Chuprin & William Mihajlovic) argues that old human organism is able to rejuvenate its aged body and make it young again, as it restores damaging, disease, weak body makes strong. This conclusion is confirmed by the experience of medicine, and athletic development. You should help organism to fight aging. Without help, its live processes weaken and fade over time. People call it aging and death.                                                                   

Calico, or the “California Life Company,” aims to extend life by tackling aging and disease. Allow us to offer for your consideration our conception of aging and rejuvenation and little practical experience, which confirms the correctness of this study. We are sure this is the way to eternal youth. 

ValeryChuprin
ValeryChuprin

Old skin is the main and basic evidence of old age. Skin getting older first in the body. Old skin makes the whole body old. But the old skin can regain their youthful structure and function. It's like a muscle and skeleton develops from stem cells and can develop. And young skin will make the old body young again. 

ValeryChuprin
ValeryChuprin

Aging is not a disease. A disease is an abnormal condition that affects the body of an organism.(Wikipedia). Aging is a normal condition. Aging is a natural attenuation over time energetic processes that create living matter. This is in accordance with the laws of thermodynamics. There is no perpetual motion in the surrounding nature. Aging is not necessarily, it can be avoided, and the aged body can be rejuvenated.

ValeryChuprin
ValeryChuprin

The name "Biology of Aging" is incorrect. This statement makes a wrong direction, which has no solution. The correct name is "Physiology of Destruction." We can see that the shell of the human body, its skin, is destroying over time. This is a natural process. As a result, the skin breath weakened, metabolism too. Anoxia internal organs comes. They start to hurt. Skin continues to deteriorate. Nobody stops this process. When destroyed kidney, heart or other organ, all alarmed. But when most large and important organ of the body is destroying - nobody gives it meaning. That's why death occurs. Still wondering - why? Funny and sad.

GPA2030
GPA2030

Aubrey de Grey, Feb 2013: "We think we have a fighting chance of keeping people so healthy that their risk of death each year is the same - however old they were, how ever long ago they were born - as it was when they were in their 20s. And that is very low indeed."

https://vimeo.com/78282480

JoelMunson
JoelMunson

Cell senescence is most likely caused by a deficiency of cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system. The science is starting to show that certain cannabinoids from the cannabis plant are actually essential nutrients that are currently missing from the mammalian diet. There is much research to be done (which will take place as soon as the law allows it), but it appears that dietary cannabis will hold the key to youthful longevity.

alienstarship
alienstarship

Until governments spend money on research and help the people who are in the field of science and medicine nothing will progress fast. If one wants to live longer/hundreds of years than I think it will have to be done with machine replacing body parts.

ValeryChuprin
ValeryChuprin

Art Levinson:

... What underlies aging? - 

It is wrinkled, flabby, bloodless skin. You can not say that a person is 80 years of age, if he has a resilient, ruddy, full-blooded skin.

.....Might there be a direct link between certain diseases and the aging process? - 

Yes, there is a direct link. A tumbledown skin performs its breathing, metabolic and other functions by 15-20%. The internal organs do not get enough oxygen, poisonous metabolic products, fall ill.

It is necessary to restore the young functions and structure of the old skin. To do this  artificially stimulate the mechanisms of skin regenerations. They restore skin’s programmed youthful structures and functions. Young skin means young body. Even if person is 80 years old.

ValeryChuprin
ValeryChuprin

Just breathing and nutrition for the human body, this natural energy machine is not enough to make it work without aging. The body requires artificial stimulation of its life processes in order to stay young. This nobody does. Everyone is waiting for the elixir of youth to eat or drink. This is wrong. Therefore the body is gradually destroyed (aging) and dies.

But the right artificial stimulation allows bald head covered by hair (personal experience), and bloodless, dull, wrinkled skin to become rosy, supple, wrinkle-free. So all the old body can become young again.

RameshRaghuvanshi
RameshRaghuvanshi

Western civilization is based on fear so naturally they day and night  think and search how to increase  lifespan ten years,    be remember you never conquer death.   just read second law of thermodynamic which clear  say even sun moon will finish  how can man live forever. .My experience above 80 man is  unable  work enthusiastically..What is  meaning live vegetable   life  burden to family and society?

ConfiDintial
ConfiDintial

The war on ageing began a decade ago with experts such as Dr Betz who coined the term Healthspan, the number of years a person lives free of chronic disabling disease.  His new book on Amazon, Resveratrol, is there a limit to human lifespan, sets forth a science based prescription which can add up to 10 healthy, vital years to a person's life. It is an easy read for laymen but is also backed up by a huge references section that physicians will find very useful. 

ValeryChuprin
ValeryChuprin

There are two main ways in gerontology. First one, to save the lives of people still living. Second, to create human longevity. The second way I do not know. But the first one is simple: we should to revive the young function and structures the vital organ that to 70-90 years has worn down to a critical state, after which comes the death of the organism. It is our skin, the shell of the body, its lungs, kidneys and external brain, nervous, endocrine, circulatory system, etc. More Ashley Montagu pointed out the importance of this organ. For 70-90 years, it performs much wear and 15-20% of its functions. Hence, the diseases of internal organs, which strongly depend on it, hence the death of the organism.

Is it possible to restore young structures and functions of old skin? It is. Skin as muscles, bones derived from stem cells, and can develop. But nobody does this. Or does wrong. It is matter of technique. Updated, hardened skin, this largest organ, will allow organism stay young and live without time constraints. There are no genes or programs of aging in the body. The human genome is transcribed. Why not check it? This can be done today. It is not expensive, but it will bring huge amount of money.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I wish you all good health and to stay young.  Our aging and death is the result of misunderstanding the nature of this phenomenon by gerontologists. This error has already been fixed.

Valery Chuprin, Mr.

Valery Chuprin, William Mihajlovic, Three layer functional model and energy exchange concept of aging process,  AGE Magazine, Springer 2006, 28:111–121  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2464718/pdf/11357_2005_Article_4258.pdf

RameshRaghuvanshi
RameshRaghuvanshi

What can man do living 200 years? General experiences telling us man bored  after 80 when his  mental and physical  energy  diminished,how can he spend life,which  kind of aim he  create in his life.How we solve over population problem,.I know  enlarge lifespan is very old  wish of mankind.no one want to die. I think  nature never allow to us extend lifespan

KhanneaSuntzu
KhanneaSuntzu

Well I most certainly never been a curmudgeon. I'll see you soon, Aubrey.  

But then again, we may have time plenty.

J-Czoch
J-Czoch

 Molecular biology is now expanding at an explosive rate. What would happen of we pushed that rate a little -or even a lot- further? Strange as it may seem, some of us don't want to grow old and die! There are actually people out there who do not want an appointment within several decades or so with the grave or the  furnace. 

Let's Roll !

millermp1
millermp1

Aubrey. WAY TO GO!!!

From 10 years ago, barely filling the Transhumanism club at Stanford with (to be charitable) a ragtag crowd of misfits to bringing the bull into the china shop of gerontology!

I got goose bumps today, on multiple occasions. This moment is up there with the birth of my children. Stunning!!


KevinPerrott
KevinPerrott

Aging is now an approachable challenge.   We may not 'cure death' but we can certainly hope to push our biological expiration date back a ways and allow humanity to benefit from the wisdom and experience of years wielded by healthy people the world over.  

DonLeatham
DonLeatham

Congratulations Dr. de Grey!  I feel positive that Calico would not exist today were it not for your efforts.  Your SENS structure and the recently published "Hallmarks of Aging" provide the frameworks that can foster serious progress towards "solving death".  Thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of all humanity.  

MarkPlus
MarkPlus

Dr. Aubrey de Grey will speak at the Venturists' cryonics convention in Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort  in Laughlin, Nevada, on Friday night, October 25., 2013, at 8:00 PM.

"Title of Presentation:  A Biologist's View on why cryonics is feasible. Many non-biologists persume that cryonics must be fantasy because it is not mainstream.  This is a reasonable inference for those who do not appreciate how appallingly balkanised biology is, with almost all biologists being expert in only a very narrow area and having no time to study other areas.  Since a field's reputation for infeasibility is a reason not to pay attention it, this parlous situation is self-fulfilling.  In this talk I will see to rectify it."


dlhuffine
dlhuffine

If Google is serious about this, then this is the first guy Calico should hire.

MiserblOF
MiserblOF

Gotta find a way to trick the telomeres..

PaulHughes7
PaulHughes7

Lets hope that Google/Calico will fully embrace the SENS model for curing aging. Enough money has already been spent chasing the cure down the metabolic rabbit hole.

RalphWoodin
RalphWoodin

Right, the process of aging is no more 'made of magic' in a person than it is in an automobile. We know how to keep automobiles running indefinitely with proper maintenance and repair. There is no absolute technical barrier to applying the same methods to keep us running indefinitely. The only difference is that the level of knowledge, tooling and materials needed to maintain and repair humans is far more complex than that needed to restore a '57 Chevy or a computer or an airplane. But the principles involved; the application of procedures and methods needed for maintenance and repair, are exactly the same. 

PauloTolentino
PauloTolentino

Aubrey de Grey, reading this from is phenomenal! I hope you continue bringing help towards that goal! If Google isn't enough, here I am!

tdelaveaux
tdelaveaux

ROCK ON DEGREY! Humanity has the power to beat aging, if only we have the courage to see it for what it is.

ValeryChuprin
ValeryChuprin

@RameshRaghuvanshiOrdinary old people (70-80 years) can develop their muscles and become a world champion in weightlifting (Igor Goldman, 78 years old. Weightlifter, Russia). This means that a person can develop,revive his dying skin and make it young and wrinkle-free. Оur skin is the first (or second) lungs of the body.  If they work not good, it starts to hurt the internal organs, and the body dies. We talk about what the human body can stay young in 100 years. But death is always possible.

ValeryChuprin
ValeryChuprin

@ConfiDintialThe war on ageing began a hundred years ago.Russian scientist Ilya Mechnikov - Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1908), the founder of the science of gerontology.

millermp1
millermp1

@MiserblOF WILT: whole body interdiction of lengthening telomeres. Admittedly, i find this is the least satisfying theory of De Gray's. But the man truly is a gawdam genius. My IQ went up just being close to his beard.

RameshRaghuvanshi
RameshRaghuvanshi

@ValeryChuprin @RameshRaghuvanshi One or two examples are  not law,we must consider majority .My observation is most people  unable to work after 80 .many suffered from chronic diseases after 70 this is  common picture world over.That is why we must except old age is part and parcel of our life and face it bravely and joyfully