You know it makes S.E.N.S!
I am sure that for many of those reading this article Dr Aubrey de Grey, needs little or no introduction. However, for those less well acquainted with this force of nature, he is one of the most prominent scientists in the longevity field. More than fifteen years ago, Aubrey took up the challenge of persuading the aging research community, that aging was something in which medical science could and should intervene. Aubrey discovered plenty of evidence to show that aging is caused by a limited number of damage categories, seven in fact, which he has termed the seven deadly sins of the cell. Yet that evidence was mostly ignored by the research community at the time, while scientific discussion about the treatment of aging in public could risk losing funding and even end a researcher's career, and the vast majority of aging research was nothing more than a process of gathering data.
However thanks to iconoclasts like Dr de Grey, this situation has changed greatly. Discussions among researchers are now concerned with how aging can be treated not if it can be treated. Public discussion of the subject is no longer a seen as a taboo that risks essential research funding or even threatens to end a career. Numerous peer reviewed scientific publications openly explore aging, and discuss ideas about possible interventions that a mere decade ago could have ended a career.
This radical change was to a great extent due to the work of scientists such as Aubrey and the efforts of advocates within the community who have patiently worked to change the popular view and steered the conversation towards considering aging as something we can do something about. Aubrey created and leads the SENS Research Foundation, an organization that, along with its parent non-profit foundation Methuselah have helped move the goal of rejuvenation technology closer to being a reality.
Many years ago for Aubrey proposed that removing senescent cells could be an approach to treating aging, this was dismissed by many in the research community a mere decade ago despite the evidence that senescent cells played a key role in aging. This has changed and therapies to clear senescent cells from old tissues have been demonstrated to improve health and even increase lifespan in mouse studies, the Major Mouse Testing Program is crowdfunding further studies, and two biotech companies, Oisin Biotechnologies and Unity Biotechnology, are working on bringing these treatments to the clinic.
The world of medicine is changing and whilst it has been an uphill battle to bring about these radical changes the tide has finally began to turn and we should remember the contribution trailblazers like Aubrey have made for scientific progress.