Longevity Escape Velocity

The idea of Longevity Escape Velocity (LEV) refers to a theoretical point in time at which medical, technological, and scientific advancements will extend human life expectancy faster than time is passing. In other words, for every year that passes, science would extend human life expectancy by more than a year, thus theoretically enabling humans to become biologically immortal.

LEV is projected to be reached within the next ten to twenty years according to predictions by Ray Kurzweil and George Church. Kurzweil believes that in the near future, scientific advancements will enable us to extend life by more than a year for every year we are alive. Currently, it is one year of extra life expectancy for every four years we live. Church notes that the exponential technologies enhancing the speed and cost-efficiency of DNA-related therapies are rapidly advancing the field of aging reversal.

Dublin Longevity Declaration

The Dublin Longevity Declaration highlights the shift in perception towards aging, emphasizing the importance of healthspan over lifespan. It discusses the progress in longevity research, the malleability of aging, and the potential for interventions to extend both lifespan and healthspan simultaneously. The declaration stresses the need to focus on healthspan due to public misconceptions about aging and the ethical considerations of living longer. While current interventions may extend healthspan more than lifespan, achieving better control of aging could revolutionize medical practice, improve quality of life, and address healthcare costs. The declaration calls for a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding aging processes and emphasizes the importance of answering fundamental questions in biology to advance longevity research. It also explores emerging strategies and questions in longevity research, such as combinatorial approaches, novel small molecules, cellular reprogramming, gene therapy, and personalized interventions. The declaration concludes by envisioning a future where aging is controlled, leading to significant societal changes and improved quality of life for individuals.

The Dublin Longevity Declaration has signatories that include most of the world's leaders in the biology of aging; including:

  • Aubrey de Grey

  • George Church

  • David Sinclair

  • Nir Barzalai

πŸ”— Dublin Longevity Declaration

Information Theory of Aging

The Information Theory of Aging, as presented by David Sinclair and colleagues, suggests that aging occurs due to the loss of epigenetic information within our cells. This concept is drawn from the understanding that biological information is stored in two main ways: the genome (DNA), which is stable and acts as a foundational blueprint, and the epigenome, which includes chemical modifications that regulate gene expression and give cells their unique functions. Unlike DNA, the epigenome is more flexible and susceptible to changes induced by environmental signals and cellular damage.

The theory posits that as we age, our cells lose this vital epigenetic information, leading to a decrease in cellular function and identity. This loss manifests as "epigenetic noise," where cells become less efficient at their designated roles, leading to the various symptoms and diseases associated with aging. An analogy used to explain this is a scratched CD or record: the music (or DNA information) is still there, but it becomes harder to read accurately due to damage (epigenetic changes) over time.

However, the theory also suggests a hopeful aspect: the possibility of reversing aging by restoring the epigenetic information, akin to smoothing out the scratches on the CD. This could theoretically return aged cells to a more youthful state. The concept is supported by the existence of "epigenetic clocks," biological markers that are considered reliable indicators of biological age based on epigenetic changes.

πŸ”— ITOA [πŸ”— ICE paper] (https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10166133/)

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