Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Interview on Aging and Longevity Studies

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-- 'Books Forum' blog
-- 'Health Studies' blog


We are pleased to share with you our new interview given to a popular-scientific journal recently. It is planned to be published in January next year. Comments and suggestions are welcome!

1. You are a proponent of the virtually unlimited lifespan hypothesis, based on the engineering model of human damage-ability and repair-ability. What is the strongest evidence in support of this view? How soon can we expect implementation of therapies based on this paradigm?
Yes, we believe that there is no fixed upper limit to the duration of human life, and the evidence in support of this view is presented in our scientific book "The Biology of Life Span" ( ). Specifically, a section in this book entitled "Is there a species-specific life span limit?" (pages 125-132) presents data on human mortality at advanced ages, which are incompatible with the idea of absolute upper limit to human life span. Instead of anticipated catastrophic growth of death rates with age, as we approach to a hypothetical longevity "brick wall", the death rates actually grow slower than predicted (the phenomenon of the so-called "late-life mortality deceleration" and "late-life mortality leveling-off"). Thus the limits to human longevity are of probabilistic rather than deterministic nature.
As for the time schedule for implementation of anti-aging interventions, our position on this topic is published in the scientific magazine "Journal of Anti-Aging Medicine", 2002, 5(3): 255-263 ( ). In short, it looks like the rates of aging had already started to decline in developed countries after 1950s, presumably because of better control over chronic inflammation and micronutrient/vitamin deficiency, helping to decrease the rates of age-related degeneration. In other words, there is a significant plasticity of the aging process, allowing some positive interventions against it even today. Of course, we can expect implementation of much more efficient anti-aging therapies in the future, depending on the level of research funding in this area.

2. What is the current ideological picture of your field of study? We have seen lots of criticism aimed at views, like the one above, especially against A. de Grey's SENS. Is the tide turning?
Recently a new international research foundation has been established in Russia, named the ""Science for Life Extension" Foundation (
This foundation has developed a detailed research program named "Science against Aging"
( )

As for Dr. Aubrey de Grey, and his activities, he recently organized an international scientific SENS4 conference on anti-aging interventions in Cambridge, UK with hundreds of participants and reputable scientists. Detailed proceedings of this conference will be published in the scientific journal "Rejuvenation Research" early next year.

3. So, turning 100 depends on being a farmer and having at least four children. And city folks rarely live that long. What are the predictors for a long and healthy life today (bar cycling, of course :)? A few simple rules for longer life?
We have found that people born to younger mothers (younger than 25 years) have almost twice higher chances to live to 100 years, compared to later born siblings (brothers and sisters) born within the same family. This research finding is published in a peer-reviewed professional magazine "North American Actuarial Journal", 2007, 11(1): 49-67 ( ).

4. In reference to the above - haven't advances in medical care been outweighed by the proliferation of life-shortening factors (pollution, stress etc.)?
Yes, life expectancy can decrease in developed countries, as it was observed in Russia recently. Our study on this topic is published in peer-reviewed professional journal Population Research and Policy Review, 2008, 27: 551-574. ( ).

5. Your research shows that in a few decades elderly people (60+) will become a massive 30 percent in Europe, Bulgaria being an especially extreme case. If your expectations that we can live 5000+ years prove true, the world may soon fill with centenarians (and later - with millenarians). What societal and economic changes can we expect in the short and the long run?
We do not expect that people will live 5000+ years any time soon. It should take at least 5000+ more years in order this to happen. Instead we anticipate incremental progress, when the onset of age-related diseases, disability and frailty is delayed through new anti-aging interventions. Our study on demographic consequences of defeating aging will be published in the scientific journal "Rejuvenation Research" early next year. When it happens, we will be able to provide more comments on this topic.

Meanwhile we would like to invite the readers to look for additional information at our scientific website 'Unraveling the Secrets of Human Longevity' ( ), and to participate in further discussions at our blog 'Longevity Science' ( ).

Any comments and suggestions are welcome!

Please feel free to post your comments and suggestions below by clicking here.

Longevity Science Blog
New Interview on Aging and Longevity Studies
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Blogger michael nelson said...

Longevity related to stress,and other factors,the chi flow of one's life-have to keep open and flowing-in order to get the most benifit from body rebuilding itself,and apple juices for cleaning and salts for electrolights-the body has fine wiring and is delicate-so these are factors-Ben

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Anonymous Levinson Axelrod said...

Great reading this interview. Nice to see your perspective on this subject.

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