19 June 2009

Anti-aging Science: v.2.0

Dear colleagues!

The value of a long and healthy life is obvious to every reasonable person. Therefore, aging is a serious and currently insurmountable problem. Slowly, but inevitably, aging reduces the quality of life, makes people weak and helpless, gets in the way of implementing life plans. Sooner or later it leads to death.

Today, the need for a long, high-quality and healthy life has grown in developed countries. This confirms the high demand for sports and wellness services, anti-aging services, medical prevention of aging, etc. The proportion of people openly expressing the need for life extension is also growing. According to a public opinion poll conducted in 2008, 78% of Russians do not want to grow old ever.
The problem of aging is also becoming relevant in politics. Demographers warn that in the coming decades, the aging of the population and the decline in the birth rate will put a heavy burden on the social and pension systems in all developed countries. The remaining working population may simply not be able to cope with the support of a growing number of pensioners.
Leading gerontologists from 10 countries of the world said in an open letter that aging can be slowed down and healthy life extended. We share the point of view that the problem of aging can be solved in the next few decades, and humanity already has everything necessary for this.

  1. The society has the financial capacity to solve this problem – the costs of a major project to combat aging will amount to about $ 30 billion.
  2. A large amount of knowledge about aging has been accumulated, on the basis of which a detailed unified system model of human aging can be created.
  3. Powerful new technologies in the field of genomics, drag design, computer modeling and many other branches of science make it possible to control and influence processes in a living organism more and more.
  4. Many promising ideas and hypotheses about aging have been developed to solve the remaining problems.

But, unfortunately, all these and other opportunities are not being fully realized, the efforts of scientists are not coordinated, society and science have not set a global goal – the fight against aging.

Obviously, in order to significantly prolong life, it is necessary:

  • to analyze the current state of scientific research aimed at combating aging,
  • set appropriate science-based goals,
  • to create a unified action program in the field of fundamental gerontology,
  • develop new medical technologies.

The task of radical struggle against aging is extremely difficult – both in the scientific field and in the field of practical implementation, planning, organization. It is advisable to combine individual approaches and projects in the field of biophysics, biochemistry, pharmacology, genomics, cryobiology, immunology and other branches of science into a comprehensive scientific program. Gerontology should define a strategy for other biological sciences. We must clearly realize that the main task of scientific research is to prolong life. Scientific collaboration will provide a synergistic effect in solving the problems of eliminating aging faster and better than in the case of uncoordinated and uncontrolled research. The difference in terms, perhaps for decades, will save the lives of millions of people.

In order to unite the efforts of individual scientists, scientific and medical institutions, public and political organizations, an international coordination center for this project is needed. The main tasks that he must solve:

  1. Attracting leading experts in the field of life sciences, management and project promotion.
  2. Creation of a scientific and organizational program.
  3. Development of a plan for the implementation of this program.
  4. Promotion of the program in society, business and political circles.

In Russia, a working group on the development and promotion of a comprehensive program of radical struggle against aging was established by the Science for Life Extension Foundation in October 2008. This project has already been supported by many Russian and foreign scientists.

It is clear that the creation of a comprehensive research program to combat aging (and to conduct research) in a reasonable time will require the joint efforts of many organizations from different countries. Such a program should be created and implemented with broad international support from scientists, politicians, businessmen, and society.

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that most of this program should be of a managerial and organizational nature. Its successful implementation will unite scientists from different countries, integrate and help commercialize intermediate scientific results, opening the way for attracting large-scale funding from state and international sources.

We understand that the fight against aging is a very difficult task, but humanity has already solved such large–scale tasks more than once. The conquest of space, the human genome decoding project, and mega-scale construction projects are a demonstration of our capabilities. This experience gives us confidence that such an ambitious project as the elimination of aging is feasible in principle.

We believe that all actions on the way to creating a Program should be carefully planned: from the development of a common methodology for extracting expert knowledge to the distribution of research tasks and funding between different laboratories.

We encourage scientists and organizers to share their knowledge and experience in creating scientific partnerships, organizing research, using expert knowledge, lobbying and managing large projects.

At the moment, the Foundation's project team is working on the first important document – an overview of the key aspects of the fight against aging. This document will help to clarify a very vague area and will give the project participants basic knowledge on this topic. With the help of this document, program participants, experts, journalists, politicians and the public will be able to gain a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of the fight against aging that are important for the success of the project.

We call on the heads of scientific organizations, lobbyists, sociologists, PR specialists, financiers, methodologists and all specialists interested in the effective fight against aging to provide feasible and even intensive assistance to the project. We are currently conducting the first round of consultations with experts on the sections of the review. The format of consultations includes individual conversations with experts and working sessions involving several (3-5) specialists. During the sessions, we formulate additional questions to study, and the information collected is included in the review. As a result, the knowledge necessary to combat aging becomes available to everyone.

We propose for discussion, correction and addition one of the approaches to the preparation of the program "Science against Aging", proposed by Russian scientists. According to this scheme, the materials will be structured after the development of all sections of the program is completed.

Download the booklet of the program "Science against Aging" (1 Mb, pdf) here.

Contact information:
Foundation "Science for Life Extension", 15 Leninsky Ave., Moscow, 119071.
+7 495 748-69-37
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru/


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