Following the significant interest in my post on the LessWrong forum, Anti-Aging: State of the Art, and upon request from the EA Forum moderators, I will be posting content explaining anti-aging (geroscience) research as a cause area to the EA community.
I have recently presented on this topic for a series of EA chapters, including EA New York City, EA Rochester, EA Philadelphia, EA Munich, and EA Melbourne, and previously co-hosted talks on this topic at EA Oxford.
Part 1: What is aging and why cure it?
- Epidemiology of aging
- Chronological vs Biological age
- Aging is the leading cause of death worldwide
- Exponential risk of age-related diseases with biological aging
- Gompertz-Makeham law of mortality
- DALYs associated with aging globally
- The economic cost of aging
- The 9 hallmarks of aging
- Professor Nick Bostrom on Aging
- Anders Sandberg on Aging
Part 2: What is Anti-Aging?
- Anti-Aging in nature
- Senolytics: anti-aging case study
- The Tithonus error
- Health-span, not lifespan extension
- Taueber's paradox
- Health across the lifespan
- Lifespan.io research projects
Part 3: Anti-aging: state of the art
- Interventions that extend lifespan in mice
- Case Study: Rapamycin
- Case Study: Metformin
Part 4: Longevity Biotech
- Aging research as a neglected area of biomedical research
- Overview of longevity biotech field
- Hundreds of potential compounds testable in clinical trials in humans
Part 5: Evaluating Aging Research
- A simple model for evaluating aging*
- Why is anti-aging an EA cause area?
Part 6: Responses to ethical objections
- 'Only for the rich' / Distributional justice
- Life would lose meaning
- Dictators would live forever
- Longer time spent in ill health
- Adverse social effects
Part 7: How can EA help?
- Direct and indirect means of support
- How much value is at stake?
- Why has EA not focused on anti-aging?
- Top EA cause areas today
- EA criteria for evaluating a cause area
*Note, the figure on this slide should read '720', not'72'. The input values in this model are based on those suggested by the SENS Research Foundation, and discussions with the author of the model, Emanuele Ascani. However, more research is needed to validate this model.
Aging is the largest single source of suffering (30% of all DALYs) and death (70% of all deaths) in humans globally. Research indicates that the aging process can likely be slowed in humans using new therapeutics. Slowing, stopping, or reversing the aging process is potentially associated with enormous QALY savings. However, basic geroscience research remains neglected in terms of funding, despite significant financing of biomedical research in general, and despite substantial financing for longevity biotechnology companies (who typically spin-out research findings from academic labs). Preliminary analysis based suggests the $/QALYs associated with donating to aging research charities such as SENS or Lifespan.io could outweigh the top-rated GiveWell charities by several orders of magnitude. Hence, this field of research should be supported and/or further evaluated as an EA cause area.
I am a neuroscience graduate and guest lecturer at the University of Oxford, Operations Analyst for Revivo Therapeutics, former Vice President of the Oxford Society of Ageing and Longevity, co-founder of Longevity Wiki, and a former resident of the EA Hotel (CEEALAR).
For those who are new to this area, I would recommend reading my LessWrong piece for a thorough introduction to the topic. I would also recommend writings on other EA's on anti-aging, including Nick Bostrom, Emanuele Ascani, Matthew Barnett, and Will Bradshaw.