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Rueda de prensa con Aubrey de Grey y José Luis Cordeiro (bilingüe español/inglés)

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JLC: Well, good morning everyone on behalf of TransVision 2018 that we finished a few days at the Ateneo de Madrid, where Aubrey de Grey made a presentation from California, where had some meetings. We are going to conclude the part of the event and we have here for all of you, for those who could not come, well, a little gift, your bag with your pen, with your notebook and one of our sponsors, which is the Life Extension Foundation, gives you not just the magazine but also a annual subscription, for those who fill out this form, when you finish filling out the form you can give it to us, so that you receive your subscription, a whole year, and so that you know what to do to avoid die. In the event we covered the areas of artificial intelligence and robotics, and for that reason we had the robot Sophia with one of his parents, the father of the software, which is the scientist Ben Goertzel, and it was spectacular, we dressed her as a "sevillana", in flamenco clothes, if you saw it, and she spoke in four languages, which I believe no human can do. She spoke in Spanish, in Catalan, in Basque and in Galician, and there are not many humans who speak in these four languages ​​besides English, but robots can do it, for robots it's very easy. The other area we touched is the subject of longevity, rejuvenation, regenerative medicine, and that's why we are doing this press conference because this is growing in the world in a way which is hard to believe, people who are not involved in this are don't understand. Aubrey de Gray just arrived from London this morning, where there was a conference about longevity, which was opened by the Minister of Health of the United Kingdom. So, he's not just anyone, this is being done in England, you can look it up, it's called The Longevity Forum, in London, and other activities that he did with different investors, because a lot of companies are emerging, multi-million dollar companies, on the area of rejuvenation, and he personally, and his SENS Foundation, which he will talk more about, finances several of these new companies and startups that are emerging in the medical space, because there is a disruption: with the sequencing of the human genome, medicine is becoming computing. Medicine is no longer just the thing that was traditionally medical issues, or even pharmaceutical issues. Nowadays it's turning into computing, and there are several companies that are doing it in Spain too. Here I have a case, a Spanish company, Bai Gene, it's a Basque company, and there is another one in Valencia, and another one in Barcelona. This is happening in Spain. And there are also companies that sequence telomeres There is one, the main one, I would say, in the world, which is here in Madrid, which is Life Length, which was started by some friends of María Blasco, who is the president of the CNIO, of the National Cancer Research Center. But apart from Life Length, with whom I was talking yesterday, with the president, here in Madrid (who cannot come because he has left for Valencia), there is another one company, also in the United States, that does the same thing, which is called TeloYears. I have sequenced with both, to compare. You have to compare and check what things work and what things do not work. What I want to say: there is an explosion of companies, of startups, in medical issues, and Aubrey de Grey has created many of these companies, is an investor in many of these companies, and is working on some of these companies, so, he's very experienced about this. Additionally, at his foundation, the SENS Foundation, last year they set up a contest for scholarships for young people, PhD's, post docs, to go to California, to Silicon Valley, to work on this with all expenses paid in the United States, in California. We hope that this will continue for next year, because there are so many, many opportunities, that are emerging from things that did not exist five years ago, nor ten years ago. Among the things did not exist are the world conferences that are being organized on the subject of rejuvenation, and Aubrey and I are part of something called, here I have it, of Life Length, so that the friends of Life Length don't get angry, which is the largest and is Spanish, but Aubrey, we are Board Members of what is called Coalition for Radical Life Extension, and we do an annual event called RAAD FEST, Revolution Against Aging and Death, We did it for the third time now in San Diego, California. San Diego is a biotech hub, it is very important in the United States, and next year we are going to have two events: one, again, in the United States, and another one in Japan, in Tokyo. And why Japan? Because Japan is the country where people live longest, and Spain, for those who don't know, is currently the second, and for the year 2040, according to a study by the OECD, will be the country with the longest life expectancy in the world. Spain, in 2040, greater life expectancy than Japan or than the United Kingdom, which is where he is from. Well, there are many conferences, I repeat. You are welcome to come to RAAD FEST, in California, next year, or Tokyo, with me. I lived in Tokyo for three years, I adore Tokyo. We produce some documents with the latest advances, which we published for the first time in the history of humanity, the first Age Reversal Update document, with the first scientifically approved treatments in the United States, with work from the Food and Drug Administration, from the FDA, it must be understood that this is scientific, that this is happening, that this is real, and, however, it is only the beginning, it is only the beginning of what is coming. Speaking of events, Both Aubrey and I will travel to Valencia tomorrow, where there is another international event, called the Longevity World Forum, which is organized in Valencia, in the Palacio de Congresos, where he will be speaking tomorrow afternoon. And after that we go to Brussels, to Belgium, where we have another event, called Eurosymposium for Healthy Aging, which is organized by another group in Brussels, in Belgium, about aging and how to counteract aging. And then, in March of next year, Aubrey de Grey organizes a conference called Undoing Aging, which name is similar to his book, as his book is Ending Aging. Ending Aging, a book that I recommend, as well as I recommend my book. I am very proud of my book, because Aubrey de Grey wrote the prologue and Antonio Garrigues Walker wrote the epilogue, a book which I wrote with a British coauthor, is David Wood, who is the inventor of Symbian, the operating system later used by Nokia, the first smart operating system. He is a Cambridge mathematician, and he is now dedicated to biotechnology, too. Because I repeat, there is... a disruption in medicine, and it's not the traditional medicine, now it's computational medicine, it's bioinformatics. Here you can see three versions of my book. The book is being published in differebt]]nt parts of the world. This is a Peruvian edition. You can see: It costs 99 soles in Peru. This is the first Spanish edition. This is the second Spanish edition, as you can see, and we will soon release the third Spanish edition. And at the moment I am working in five more languages, the book will come out next year in Russian, in Chinese, in Korean, in Portuguese, and one edition for India, and another one in English. As you can see, we really are in an incredible revolution, and we are in what I call "the death of death", and both Aubrey de Grey and I don't think we are going to die. And, as we say, in the year 2045 we think we will be younger than today, because what we work on is in rejuvenation. And, with these words, I now want now Aubrey speak, and I will translate something at the end, but you can ask whatever you want, in Spanish or English, and I will translate them for Aubrey. So, let's have an applause for Aubrey, and... AdG: Hello everybody! I'm here to answer your questions. JLC: No, no, you have to say something. AdG: Alright... [audience laughs] JLC: Ten minutes... / AdG: Ok, so... I do not understand Spanish, so I don't know very much about what José was telling you just then, but I am always very pleased to come here. I will be here in Spain for several days, because of today's events and also the events in Valencia you just heard about, also I will be speaking at another event in Burgos in a few days, after the events in Brussels. I am interested in bringing the news about the undoing of aging to the rest of the world. That's why I do so much public speaking and so much media, because it is still not very well understood. Most people still don't really believe that we could turn back the clock of aging, and take people who are already 60 or 70, make them biologically 30 again. And of course we can't do that today, but we're getting awfully close. In order to do that, we will need to develop many different technologies that will repair the damage of aging, the damage that accumulates in the body throughout life, and eventually kills us. And some of those technologies are already working in animals, and being tested in humans One of those technologies, one area that's really important, is stem cell therapies, and I'm sure that all of you know that many stem cell therapies are already being tested in the clinic. But now we're getting close, with several of the others, especially the elimination of things called senescent cells, cells that are not working correctly, and they are poisoning the body. People have figured out how to remove those cells, so that the body is younger again in that way. We at SENS Research Foundation are working on all of the most difficult areas of damage repair, the areas that nobody else thinks could be done. But, we are succeeding. In all of these difficult areas we have been able to make big progress. And, in many of them, we have been able to take our projects, our advances, and turn them into new companies, startup companies, that can attract investment from all over the world, so as to take the next step towards the clinic. So, this is coming. And of course it matters that it's becoming and industry, that the private sector are becoming involved now, because that is the way to bring much more money, much more financial support for these projects, which will make them go more quickly. I am still heading this foundation, SENS Research Foundation, which is a non-profit based in California, a charity, because there are still some projects which are not far enough along to be possible to do in companies. But I'm also now involved in one company, called AgeX, which is working on new ways to use stem cells against aging, and, therefore, I believe that this technology is very close to actually working. Now, what it means, is that people will stay healthy for as long as they live. That means, of course, that people will probably live a lot longer than they live today. And many people, specially many journalists, tend to focus on the longevity. They say: "Oh, people will live a long time." They think about what it will mean for society, and so on. And that's ok. But, if you do that, you must always remember, and concentrate on the fact that this increased longevity will be a side-effect of health, of staying healthy. And nobody wants to get sick. So that's a really good thing, that people won't get sick just because they were born a long time ago. So, if you are worried about some concerns like, you know, there will be too many people, or we will have difficulty paying the pensions, it's ok, you know, we have to answer these questions, but we must remember always that the world's biggest problem today is the problem of people getting sick when they get old. It causes far more suffering than anything else in the world today. So, we have a duty to solve that problem as soon as we can, and to work as hard as we can to do that. JLC: A quick summary: First, that he loves to come to Spain, he was here 2 times last year, 2 times this year, and he still lacks presentations here, in Valencia, and then in Burgos. And he will keep coming, because he is the number one communicator in the world for this. He is the world's top expert working on this. Also, he is a great communicator, in his own way. He says that many people, of course, still doubt this, because we have not yet managed to revert the biological clock completely, although I would argue that we did, as Shinya Yamanaka, with cellular reprogramming, managed to turn an old cell into a young one, and that's why experiments are starting to be done with animals that will soon be tried also do with humans. One of the technologies that he speaks about are stem cells. There are many therapies that are using stem cells. Another area is senolytics, senolytics, which is about eliminating senescent cells, old cells. This is starting, there are many investments of billions in senolytics. He is also undergoing a transition in the SENS Foundation, which he created. He has created many things, he also created Methuselah Foundation, and then the SENS Foundation, and now he's in a company that's called AgeX. AgeX, which is working on some therapies that say they are very close to go to the market, you heard right, "very close"... remember that, for the questions... He's a person who... he didn't say it, but I will... he has donated all his money and an inheritance he received of millions of dollars dollars from his mother, all of it, towards research. That is, you have to take off your hat, when one speaks with a person like him, who is putting his money where his mouth is. And he works in health, because, as he says, what we want is to be healthy. And that's why that is the goal, to be indefinitely healthy, not indefinitely old, indefinitely sick, but indefinitely healthy, and that humanity's biggest problem is aging, because if there is no aging, there are none of the others related diseases, which are mainly three: cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative. So, if we stop aging, we stop all these diseases. And in countries like Spain over 90% of the population dies of aging and aging-related diseases. So, it's the main cause of suffering in Spain and the world, because even Africa's poorest countries, half of the population today dies of aging, of course there are wars, and there is AIDS, and that there is malaria, and that there are many things, of course there are... but, statistically, the main cause of deaths in the world today, even in Africa, it is aging. So if there is an ethical cause, a moral cause, to which to dedicate one's life, that is the fight against aging. Let's begin with questions in English or Spanish, and I will translate, more or less. AdG: Yeah, what he said. LS: It was published recently in longevityworldforum.com that the medication to reverse aging will be a reality within 5 years. What will be its mechanism of action, roughly, and...? AdG: Well, there will not be just one medicine, there will be a lot of different medicines, and they will all have different mechanisms of action. So, for example, some of them will be stem cells, where we put cells back into the body, and they replace cells that the body is not replacing on its own. Sometimes they will be drugs that kill cells that we don't want. Sometimes they will be genes, you know, gene therapy, that gives cells new capabilities to break down waste products, for example. Sometimes they will be vaccines, or other immune therapies to stimulate the immune system, to eliminate certain substances... Many different things. Now... In 5 years from now, we will probably have most of that working. I do not think that we will really have it perfect by then, probably we will still be at the early stages of clinical trials in some of these things. And then we will need to combine them, one by one, to make sure that they do not affect each other negatively. So there will still be some way to go. But yes, I think it's quite likely that in 5 years from now we will have everything, or almost everything, in clinical trials. LS: Ok, and then clinical trials for 7 years until it's perfected... AdG: Well, clinical trials... LS: ... take a long time, no? AdG: It depends. So, for example, in aging, because there is this progressive accumulation of damage, then you could have therapies that slow down the rate at which damage accumulates, or you could have therapies which repair damage which has already happened. Ok? Now... The second type of therapy is what we think is going to be most effective, and is going to be easiest to do, and you can see results from that very quickly, like in 1 year, or 2 years. Now, of course, you still want to know what happens later on, but the first thing is to determine whether this is working at all, and as soon as it starts to work then you can start to make it available. Clinical trials are changing in that way. Historically, clinical trials had to be completed before anybody could get this drug. But now we are getting new policies, there is a thing called adaptive licensing, which is becoming popular in the US and elsewhere, where the therapy becomes approved at an earlier stage, and then it's monitored after that. JLC: A quick translation. He says that in five years we are going to have the first proven treatments, and that it's not going to be a magic bullet, a silver bullet, like the ones to kill the vampire with, but that they will be several different things. He spoke a lot of stem cell therapies. He also spoke about senolytics, I repeat, which is to eliminate the senescent cells, the zombie cells that are in the body, he also spoke about some types of special vaccines, other types of gene therapies. And that there will be clinical trials, but that the clinical trials are now changing, so that we won't have to wait so much time before seeing results, and especially what is already known to work in experiments with animals, what is working already. Woman: The only cells that we currently know that reproduce normally in the body are the cancer cells. <br> JLC: But you speak English... although, it's better if you speak English ... Woman: Don't challenge me, please... I'll speak in Spanish and you translate... We know that cancer cells are the only cells that... reproduce permanently, that's why they are called neoplasic. We are talking about rejuvenation. Neoplasic cells are very young, because they were just born, they just reproduced. How do you... how do you relate facing a disease like the cancer with this type of cell rejuvenation therapies that you propose, these new alternative treatments and medical protocols? JLC: She's asking you about cancer, because cancer, basically, are immortal cells, considered biologically immortal, so... What can we learn from cancer? And, actually... Maybe it is not good, because cancer is not good, and what we do might be bad, at the end...? And... How can we apply these cancer techniques into normal cells? AdG: So, first of all, you are absolutely right, cancer is part of aging, almost all cancers happen late in life, but it is very different from the other parts of aging, the parts that are degenerative. And, in some ways, it is the opposite. So, we have to do the opposite things to protect ourselves from cancer, or to protect ourselves from the other parts of aging. For example, if we try to manipulate the telomeres, the ends of our chromosomes, in cancer we don't want the telomeres to get longer, but in the rest of aging maybe it is good if the telomeres get longer, because cells can become more regenerative. Now, we have worked on cancer, quite a lot, and of course many other people are doing the same thing. There has been huge progress in the past few years, especially in activating the immune system against cancer, and people are quite optimistic now that that will be the main way in which we can bring cancer under control. But we must still look for other things as well, we never know for certain what's going to work until it does work. JLC: Well, I think it was clear, but he said something very interesting about immunotherapy, which is starting. In fact, this year's Nobel Prize for medicine was for immunotherapy, precisely, because cancer also happens when cells age, they mutate, and then there is a way for them not to want to age, and they become carcinogens which are always young, then... but this happens because the cells age. If the cells didn't age or you have a working immune system, the immune system would kill these cancer cells right off. And so, he thinks that immunotherapy is going to be one of the main treatments to combat cancer. And, again, it was the Nobel Prize for medicine this year. Woman: You have commented that in 5 years the the clinical trials will be completed for the new therapies and, I don't know... when will it really happen? When will the reversal of aging be a reality? Maybe there's an estimate of a... a date. And then I think he said that they were working on... that he was working on a new project that is very close to being launched. Not if you can give us more details about... JLC: Yes... One thing... He says in 5 years... Actually, well, this is beginning and these therapies are starting, right? JLC: Her question is because of the 5 years that you talked about. This is the beginning or the end of the clinical trials? And then she has 2 more questions: When can we have these anti-aging treatments? And, for that, actually, I mentioned... one of the papers I had was the Age Reversal Update... But she wants to know... when will we have these commercially? And, 2, about AgeX, she wants to know what you are doing in this new company. What is AgeX about? AdG: Ok, some of the parts of this damage repair panel are already in clinical trials, and the clinical trials will be done in 5 years... will be completed. Some of them, maybe the trials will have only just started, 5 years from now. So, different parts are at different stages of development. And, of course, as I mentioned earlier, after they have been tested and proven individually, then they have to be combined, in order to get the most benefits. But even before they are combined, they will still benefit some people. Because everybody is different, some people accumulate certain types of damage more quickly than others... and some people will accumulate a different type of damage more quickly. That's why some people die of cancer, and some die of heart attacks, and so on. So yes... The clinical trial process will be a complicated combination of many trials. Age X is working on various types of stem cell therapy. In particular, we have two technologies that we are pursuing very heavily. One of them is called Pure Stem and it is really just normal stem cell therapy, but the way that we create the stem cells is better than what people have done before, so that we can create a particular type of stem cell, that does a particular thing, with higher purity than people could do. In previous technologies, if you want a particular type of stem cell, which will become a particular type of normal cell, then... the way you make it, you have a lot of contamination, with other types of stem cells that will make other types of cell. And we have fixed that, so... at the moment, we are mostly going to use it to create brown adipose tissue, brown fat, which is probably going be very protective against diabetes. The other technology that we are developing is to make cells that are already in the body behave more like stem cells than normal, so, to turn back their differentiation. Other people have worked on this as well, including my friend Manuel Serrano, who is based here in Spain. But we are doing it in a different way that we think will be safer, because it will not have the risk of making cells too primitive. Quickly, right? About your first point, right? They are already being tested, there already are clinical trials. Indeed, not all of them will be finished in the next 5 years, but... and this is an ongoing process, right? And he also said that, since every person is different, each treatment is going to be different, and you have to combine some of these therapies, and they're also beginning to study that, which therapies work for each thing. Number 2, about what things they are doing specifically: One, he talked about something called Pure Stem, in Spanish it would be something like "Pura Madre", which are stem cells which are super-refined, super-pure, which is better than the body does on its own, because your body makes you many different cells, etc., while this is about grabbing a cell and multiplying it indefinitely, your own stem cell, directly. Another one, is what Manuel Serrano is doing, which is heading a biotechnology center in Barcelona and, more or less, but a more advanced technology that will not have side effects, as he mentioned. I want to make an additional comment. The proof that, that are we going to get there... This is a technical problem. The proof that we are going to succeed in curing aging is that we know that cells like cancer cells do not age, or that stem cells do not age. So, the proof that it is possible is that it already exists, we are not inventing the wheel, it already exists. Sorry, I just made an additional comment that the proof that it works is that we already know that there are immortal cells. I mean, we just need to know how it happened. Woman: I am absolutely convinced that everything they are saying is true, that science will manage to avoid aging, in fact, now we live much more than a few centuries ago: people died at age 30, tops. But a moral dilemma emerges, for me... and it is that all this is all going to mean... it's going to mean a greater gap between the first world and the second world, between the most developed countries and the least developed countries, between rich and the poor. Does science have anything to say about this, or is it simply going to continue? JLC: Ok, her question is about the ethical issues, moral issues... Specifically, about the breach between the rich and the poor. If science has anything to do about it, any... Today, expensive new medicines for the elderly are normally not available to most people. They are limited by people's ability to pay. But it won't be like that with these medicines. Not just because there will be a humanitarian need, but actually just because of economics. Because, when you have medicines like today, they cost a lot, but they don't actually work. They don't make people healthy again. You know, you spend a lot of money, and people are still sick, and eventually they die. You know, economically it's a big problem, but these medicines are going to actually work, they're going to bring people back to being useful again, and that means that those people will still be able to contribute wealth to society. So that means that these medicines will pay for themselves. So, every country will do better, will be more prosperous if it spends the money to ensure that the old people do not get sick. That's why this will definitely be available to everybody who is old enough to need it. JLC: Aubrey de Gray, and also Ray Kurzweil, they say that all technologies, when they start up, they are expensive and bad, but when they are democratized, when they are popularized, when they reach mass adoption, they become good and cheap. So, this will eventually be within anyone's reach, almost freely. To give a specific example, sequencing the genome for the first time cost a billion dollars in... the US system, that is, a thousand million dollars. Today you can sequence your complete genome, currently for $700... and it's going to cost $10, as the cost falls exponentially. But since this is so important, since people still don't understand it... because this is going to be eventually free, because we're very cheap ourselves, chemically, as I mention in chapter 4 of my book, which you must read, where I explain that humans are water bags, we are 70% water. And we are not Evian water, or Perrier, or Cabreiroa water... we are water from Manzanares river, tap water, water from the faucet... and the other 30% is made of the most abundant and cheap elements: carbon, potassium, nitrogen... So, we are cheap, we are cheap water bags, and maintaining a cheap water bag, when we know how to do it, and with nanotechnology, will be cheap. AdG: Did I say all that? JLC: No, I just added that we are water bags, and, therefore, to keep a water bag alive, once we know how to do it, it will be cheap. DGM: What do you think about the Horvath's Clock for a biomarker for aging? And, do you think that its use could accelerate the development of new geroprotectors? AdG: The Horvath's Clock is a really interesting recent development in the biology of aging. At first, I wasn't too sure, and thought... "well, maybe it isn't really measuring the things that matter." But now I think there's plenty of pretty good evidence that it can be used reliably to judge people's biological age. So, yes, I think that it will help people to test new drugs, new therapies, more quickly, more easily than we could without things like that. The creator of this indicator, this biomarker, was with us a few months ago in Berlin and he is doing very interesting things, as Aubrey also mentioned, and many more will come, many more will come. I am very positive. Soon we will be able to radically measure our state of biological age, including technologies like telomeres. LS: Beyond the humanitarian perspective to avoid the pain and suffering that comes with old age, if the fact of increasing the years of healthy life in people will significantly reduce health care spending by governments, why don't they increase and promote the research in this area? AdG: You're absolutely right. It's quite strange that governments are so short-sighted. But, of course, the real problem is psychological: it's not just governments that are short-sighted. Almost everybody in the world is short-sighted about this. The reason I believe why that's true, is people still can't quite convince themselves that it's going to happen. You know, since the beginning of civilization we have known that there is this terrible thing called aging, and we have been desperate to do something about it, to get rid of it. And people have been coming along, ever since the beginning of civilization, saying: "Yes, here's the solution, here's the fountain of youth!" They've always been wrong. So, when the next person comes along, and says they think they know how to do it, of course there is going to be some skepticism, until they have really shown that it's true. And of course if you don't think it's going to work, then you're not going to support the effort financially. So, it's very short-sighted, but it's understandable. AS: Hi Aubrey, I am Alejandro Sacristán, from Trends 21. Mi question, sorry, is in Spanish. It's about the longevity ecosystem of Spain... AS: In Spain, through José Luis Cordeiro and many researchers and communicators who are working in longevity, there has been a great double effect. There is the very important (at a global level) research which has been carried out by María Blasco in Spain... María Blasco, Manuel Serrano, and other Spanish scientists like Izpisúa, at the Salk Institute. But there there was also an big event, a large conference, in which you participated, the Longevity & Cryopreservation Summit, promoted by José Luis Cordeiro, and after that event there have been two other major events, of a scientific and informative nature, and many universities, dozens of them... there have been many events organized by universities about longevity Are you doing some kind of lobby with the Spanish government to promote the research and development of this longevity industry in Spain? ... Given that Spain not only has that scientific and informative base, which has been sufficiently tested, but also has global geostrategic importance in tourism and in health, fundamentally. And the second question would be whether they are collaborating directly from the SENS Foundation, or from his company, with Spanish scientists, in Spain. JLC: And also, he just came from an event in London, which was opened by the minister of Health of the United Kingdom. We should have seen see his face. I wish we had with us, well, people from the Ministry of Health of Spain. and Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte - and all of these, that I invited, like you, last year, to this first event in Spain, that has changed the idea about longevity in Spain so much that universities are organizing things, the Longevity World Forum that you are coming tomorrow, many things have appeared because of that. And so, he's asking... there are also bad effects, because some people are trying to take advantage of this, but anyway, he wants to get involved with the government... Have you had any approaches to the government? Will you have any approaches to the government? And the second one is specifically about, yeah, the SENS Foundation, and maybe AgeX collaborating with Spanish scientists, working with people here, or taking Spanish people there. AdG: Well, first of all, yes, absolutely, Spanish researchers have become very prominent in this field. One other Spanish researcher I should mention is Ana María Cuervo, who is based in New York. She's originally Spanish, of course. She is one of the most important people in this field. But, certainly, also all the people you mentioned, and many others. And, of course, as this moves forward, it becomes more respectable, more respected by governments... You know, it's fantastic that María Blasco is the head of the CNIO, you know, it's a big government organization. This is the kind of thing that needs to happen more, and it will happen more every year, not just in Spain, but all around the world. Now, it is slow, and the reason it's slow is because governments are always waiting to see whether there are votes in it, you know, whether supporting something will help to get them re-elected. But it's happening more and more quickly now. I think it will mostly be led by the private sector, though, by companies, more than by governments, at least in the near term. Now, at SENS, we certainly have a global reach, you know, María Blasco is on our Scientific Advisory Board, so is Ana María Cuervo... You know, we... We bring these people to our conferences... So, we have plenty of connections in that way... Also, we have an education program, in which we put students into laboratories, where they can work on these things over the summer, for example... And this is a new addition to the education program, where we are helping to bring more senior people in. These things are mostly in the United States, but not entirely, sometimes we are doing it in other countries. JLC: Only two points: That governments are slow, and governments wait to see whether there are votes here, and sadly they do not realize that there are going to be many votes, there will be many votes, and that's why we can talk about politics later. And so, that's why the private sector is the one which is leading many of these things, and Michael Greve, from Germany, the person who organizes Undoing Aging with Aubrey de Grey, as well as SENS Foundation events, bets on the private sector, because he says that as soon as we have the first treatment in 5 years, then there will no longer be any doubt, we will know that it works, it's going to be the proof-of-concept, and this is going to happen, the private sector is going to be faster, as he says. And he also said that, via the SENS Foundation, he does a lot of education, and has many interactions with people not only from Spain, but also Latin America, and also mentions another very important Spanish scientist, Ana María Cuervo, and I would add another Spaniard, Carlos López Otín, another outstanding Spaniard, who is working on this. Woman: You have to explain to her, first of all, that I work for a socioeconomic magazine... Here's my question. One of the world's most powerful lobbies is pharma, and I would like to know what relationship you have with them, because the democratization of the possibility of not dying and curing all diseases will go through the pharma companies, which have a lot of power. So, I would like you to tell me, a little, about that relationship. JLC: Ok, she's with a socio-economic magazine, and she wants to know about the power, influence of the pharmaceutical companies, both good and bad, and the disruption, also, maybe... AdG: Yeah. So, a lot of people are asking this kind of question, because they know that today the medical industry makes its money out of sick people. Keeping people alive but sick. Right? So... people will then say: "Well, hmm... The pharmaceutical industry will not like these medicines, because they will keep people healthy." But that's not... that's a bit too simple. Because, really, the only reason why the medical industry makes money from sick people is because the public are not yet convinced about preventative medicine. There are very few successful preventative medicines. So, we want to change public opinion. Again, we want to educate people so that they understand that prevention is possible and it works better. And, when that happens, everything's gonna be fine. The pharmaceutical industry will follow the money. JLC: He said that the pharma industry, of course, is under the old paradigm, where it was thought that money is made from the sick, and if there are no sick people, well there is no money. But, since things are changing, and the pharma companies are going to want to survive, so they will start to make money, in the paradigm shift from *curative* medicine to *preventive* medicine, which is the key thing: let's move from the healing side to the preventive side. Especially with the sequence of the genome, this will allow us to see... many things before they happen, and we are moving towards that preventive world. DGM: What's the current state of other therapies against, for example, 7-keto-cholesterol, beta-amyloid or glucosepane crosslinks? AdG: We are very happy with our progress with eliminating molecular problems in aging. Most of what I have said so far has been about cells, but... about molecules. So... The first company that we created, about 4 years ago, was to focus on eliminating oxidized cholesterol, especially this one you mentioned, 7-keto-cholesterol. We've kind of had to restart that once because the first company didn't work too well, but that's now a company again. Second... Similarly, we did this for the material that accumulates in the eye in macular degeneration. In both cases we used, I think you probably know, this method of finding bacterial genes that could break these things down. And it worked very well in both cases. So, both of those are now companies. To get rid of cross-links in the extracellular matrix, again, we made some great breakthroughs in the research we supported at Yale University, and that's going to be our next company, it's probably going to be incorporated this month, in fact. So yeah, beta-amyloid, we haven't worked on that, because other people have worked on it, and they succeeded. So now there are several vaccines produced by other companies that can get rid of beta-amyloid. We work on a different type of amyloid, the one that accumulates in the hearts of old people. And, again, that's been turned into a company now. The professors that we supported to do the important work they have quit being professors, they now work at this company. So yes, all of these things are going really well. JLC: I would just like to add that, many startups are emerging using these things that are being discovered in lab. Today a young person can discover something that a pharma company didn't, and that's why the disruption happens, and the disruption, in my opinion, is eventually unstoppable, because people are going to see that this is good, and they're going to want it, and that's why the votes and the politicians will come too, because they will see that this is good. Any other questions? Please... Woman: If we find a remedy for the three most important causes of death, which are cancer, cardiovascular diseases and degenerative diseases, a question comes to mind: What are we going to die of? JLC: If we eliminate the 3 major causes of death today - cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and cardiovascular - what are we going to die of? AdG: Well, of course, that's not good enough. If you only eliminate those 3 things, then there are still other parts of aging that can kill you. You know, if the immune system is not working so well, you may die of influenza. Or, if you are still getting osteoporosis, then you may die from falling down the stairs, or breaking your leg, and so on. But even if we fix all of those things... yes, then, we will die from accidents. You know, from getting hit by trucks, or maybe the planet will be hit by an asteroid. or something like that. It will not have to do with how long ago we were born. Don't laugh, that's how it's gonna be. JLC: Then, you can talk about the difference between amortality and immortality, no? AdG: No, you talk about that. [audience laughs] JLC: These are the three main causes of death, certainly, but there are others and there are always going to be things that will happen to us, accidents, in a bus, or a meteorite will hit us, and that's why the word "immortality" is wrong, in fact, because we will never be able to be immortal, because it's always the case that something can happen to us in the future that we can't predict today. So the right word is "amortality". "A" in Greek means "no", then it would be like death not being mandatory, so to speak. So death will be optional, but there are still going to be suicides... / AdG: No... JLC: ... Since there are suicides today, there will also be suicides in the future. But, as I say, only boring people will be bored, because life is very exciting, and we speak not only of life extension but of life expansion. AdG: Yeah, no... He's wrong. We won't have suicides. JLC: No suicides? / AdG: No suicides. JLC: Oh, ok good! How come? AdG: Well, I mean... because we try to check... When people want to kill themselves even if they are healthy, we are quite good at changing their minds. That's why we have suicide hotlines. And, you know, if you are old, and you ring a suicide hotline, they will still try to change your mind. It doesn't matter how old you are. JLC: He says that in the future there will no longer even be suicides, because if you're not going to be old, and if you're going to be healthy, and you won't be depressed, then why would you commit suicide? See his point? It is an interesting point, I mean, that suicide could eventually even disappear, because you will not be sick, depressed, "loveless", or however it's called... right? Nobody will break your heart. Woman: We need another world. We'll see... Venezuelan woman: Are there studies to eliminate human evil? That is also one of the things that kill. Us, Venezuelans, know a lot about that. JLC: Yes... Right, right... a philosophical question... AdG: Well... [audience laughs] At the moment we are not very optimistic about our abilities. You know, we don't think we can fix aging, and we don't think we can have world peace, and we don't think we can fix climate change, and so on. If we fix one of those things, aging, then we will be more optimistic, we will be better at aiming high. And, I think, maybe we will have a better chance to solve these other very difficult problems. Well, the translation is that, in the future, maybe we're going to eliminate evil. Just like today we think we cannot eliminate death, and us, on this side, think that we *are* going to eliminate death, well maybe in the future we will be able to eliminate evil. That's what he mentioned, that because it is impossible today does not mean that it will be impossible tomorrow, and that you have to be optimistic, right... Any other question? There are two, ok, three. Well, let's go, because we're running out of time. One, two and three. Man: It's mostly just a thought... Are we all ready to internalize all of this so quickly? To assume all these facts, because they are facts, as you said. Are people ready to accept this? What would be these points, or recommendations, about these new technologies? JLC: If this happens so quickly, are we ready? Can we adapt, not to die? AdG: Well, that's a very very good question. When I talk to banks, or insurance companies, or, you know, pension funds, I tell them we are only a few years away from these clinical trials, - we have talked about that already - but maybe it will be 15 years, maybe longer, before everything is really working, and we have this big increase in longevity. And they will often think: "Well, ok, 15 years, that's a long time, I'm not worried about it yet..." You know, so they don't feel like they have to prepare. So, what I always tell them is, that's the wrong way to think. Even 5 years from now, I think it's very likely that everybody will see that this is coming, and everybody will expect that it will come along in time for them... which means, that they will expect to live a lot longer. That's when we're going to have the real, you know, changes in society, and how people spend money, and so on. So yes, you're quite right, we need people to be thinking about this now, about how to re-structure society so that this transition into a post-aging world can be a smooth transition. JLC: Excellent point, right? He says that we must, indeed, consider how this will play out, but since the world is going to change, and in five years people will know that this is going to be possible, finally, we're going to prepare ourselves more, over time. I also like to say that, in 30 years, when we look back, we're going to reflect on this, how we were so ignorant, and so primitive, that we allowed people to die. Really, remember this: in 30 years, we're gonna look back and we're going to talk about how ignorant and primitive we were, that we accepted death. DGM: Are you trying to do any effort to convince the WHO to re-classify aging as a disease? And, do you think it would be a stepping point for anti-aging research? AdG: So, there has been great progress in that area over the past couple of years. There were 2 big things that happened: The first one, about 2 years ago, was when the Food and Drug Administration, in the USA, approved a clinical trial to test a drug, metformin, against aging. Now, they didn't say that they were testing it against aging, but the clinical end point, the thing that they are looking for, was a complicated combination of many different so-called age-related diseases, so... it really is aging in all but name. The second thing, perhaps more importantly, was very recently, just a few months ago, when the WHO did basically classify aging as a disease. But they did it in a clever way... They created a new code in the ICD, the International Classification of Disease, which was for aging, but it wasn't a regular code, it was what's called an extension code, which means it's a qualifier of any other code, and that's hugely important. It makes it much easier to ensure that a drug which works against some problem in old age will actually be used. And so, the people who developed it can make their money back, and so on. That's a very important development. JLC: I would like to add, because it's something I also touch in the book, and I participated in the process with the World Health Organization of, so that aging is added as a disease. It has not yet been achieved, but "age-related diseases" is used, for the first time in history, in the World Health Organization. The next step, and I'm part of a group that is working on this, is that, just as there are more and more diseases that didn't use to exist - for example, how many of you know about sarcopenia? very few, well, and this is a group of informed people... Well, sarcopenia was barely considered a disease a mere decade ago, just like Alzheimer's didn't exist a century ago, it was not known, etc. Well, we're working on this, that's the goal, also, with the World Health Organization. LS: According to the analogy with a car that you used - you say that a car is built to last 10 or 15 years, but with proper maintenance it can last up to 100 years - isn't it implicit here, the idea that aging is programmed, as well as the life of a car is also programmed? AdG: No it's not. So... All of you know that, a long time ago, Henry Ford invented this concept called planned obsolescence, which was a way of building a car so that you could predict pretty accurately how long it would last. But, of course, the only reason that the prediction works, is because people are lazy, and they don't mind replacing their cars. So they only do the minimum amount of maintenance that the law tells them to. And the reason some cars last 100 years is not because those cars were built differently, it's because there are a few people out there who fall in love with their cars and they don't want them to get old. So, it really is exactly the same. In the human body we have aging because there are certain types of damage that are not automatically repaired when they happen. Of course, many types of damage in the human body are repaired automatically, when they happen, so we don't need medicine for that. But some of them are not. So, if we can develop medicines that do fix those things, it's exactly the same as with a car. JLC: Aubrey is famous for making an analogy between the human body and a car. And how we change parts in a car, as it ages. I also talk about the water bags. We are water bags. JLC: Besides the car analogy, I talk about we being water bags, we are basically water bags. A car is chemically more complex than a human being. Us humans are cheap, cheap water bags. A car is much more expensive than a human being. Again, the problem is that we still don't know how to repair the human being, but we're going to know. Nanotechnology is beginning, it involves repair atom by atom. Any other questions? It's really a pleasure and an honor to watch you blood and bone, not on TV or the Internet. If you were to bet on the first human being ever living 1000 years, who would you place your bet on? I mean, can you tell us about his or her identity, or at least profile? Is he or she rich? Is he or she already alive? Is he or she famous? Is he or she an artist, a scientist...? And the second question has to do with the future you may envision for religions. If we ever achieve this goal of being victorious over death, what are your prospects about this issue, religions, in the future? AdG: So the first question, really the only thing I can say is that the first person to live to 1000 will almost certainly be a woman, and it will almost certainly be someone... PM: Why? AdG: ... because women live longer already, hang on, I'll explain... It will almost certainly be somebody who would naturally live very long, like 110... today, with today's medicine. There are not very many people like that. But the thing about living a very long time is, you don't do it by staying alive in a sick state of health... People who live to 110 today, they took a long time to start going downhill. So, they stayed healthy. Maybe somebody who is 85, but biologically they are the same as the average 60 year old, or something like that. That's why it's almost certain to be a woman, because hardly any men get to be that old. How old they are now... well, of course, that depends how soon the therapies start to work. And, while I have been giving predictions today about time frames, all of those predictions, you must understand, are probabilistic, I'm just saying we have a 50% chance of getting there in... 20 years, shall we say... With at least a 10% chance that we won't get there for 100 years... so, I don't know... About religion, well... I look at it the same way as what happened 150 years ago when evolution was invented. You know, a lot of people thought: "Well, this is the end of religion"... because it removed one of the big arguments that people used to use for proving that god exists. But, here we are, and there's still plenty or religion. So no, I don't think it's gonna do anything like that. JLC: He mentioned that the first person to live 1000 years is going to be a woman. And people as, why? Well, because women live longer already, I mean... from the start, without doing anything, women live longer. So maybe women will be the first. But we're going to have treatments in the next few years so that these first women live. Now, I'm going to ask him a question, first I'm going to tell you in Spanish, and then to him, so that he understands, because in fact I do not intend to die, as I said publicly many times, and not only do I not intend to die, but I intend to be young in year 2045, as my other great friend says, Ray Kurzweil, with whom I was in California last month, and Ray Kurzweil explained that he expects to reach longevity escape velocity in two years for himself, because he has already reprogrammed his body through all the supplements, and the things he eats, right? So... Aubrey de Grey is famous for those two expressions that he has popularized: one, the longevity escape velocity (LEV), and two, the Methuserality, which is the Singularity of Methuselah. Ray Kurzweil says, I repeat, that he thinks he will get to his own Methuselarity in two years, but for everyone, at a popular, commercial level, it will be in year 2029, and for the year 2045, it's going to be the immortality, or young longevity for all who want it. I'm going to ask this question now to him. JLC: Ok, I also had to make a question, so I explained it to them first, now for you. We were with Ray Kurzweil last month in California, and then he said that he expects to reach his own longevity escape velocity in 2 years. You know Ray as well as I do, and he has been 86% on target, on his predictions. So... saying that he plans to reach that... - even though he says for everybody, commercially, will be in 2029 - and then, basically, indefinite life extension at the latest by 2045. So... 2 dates, and 2 concepts: longevity escape velocity (LEV), and Methuselarity. And Ray gives dates, and I believe in those dates, and, like himself, he does not plan to die, and he plans to be younger in the future, therefore, he is already the first person to live 1000 years... and you too, and me too. Anyway... Some comments on the Methuselarity, longevity escape velocity, and you being one of those first truly millennials of one millennium alive. AdG: I mean, the first thing that we need to remember is, that there definitely won't be any 1000-year-old people for at least another 900 years... Whatever happens. Right? And... that's important to remember, because... [coughs] JLC: He says there will not be any millennials still for 900 years, so, whatever happens, we have to wait for 900 years. AdG: ... and that's important to remember, because a whole lot happens in 900 years... right? So, you know, we should be thinking in the near term. We should be thinking about the benefits that we're going to se soon. And those, of course, are the health benefits. People will just not be sick any more. And that's rather important, because it's gonna be rather good. JLC: And that many things are going to happen in 900 years, and that therefore what we have to dedicate ourselves to is to the area of health, which is what matters, and he always says that he works on health. JLC: Any final comments about Methuselarity, longevity escape velocity? AdG: Well, so the concept of longevity escape velocity is this very simple thing, it just says that these therapies do not need to be perfect in order to give us indefinite life spans, they just need to be good enough to buy us time to make them better, to buy us more time, and so on. So yes, the word Methuselarity was not my invention, it was invented by a friend of mine, but it just means "the point at which we get to that stage of being able to repair things well enough to be able to stay one step ahead of the problem." JLC: See how courteous and how humble he is, he said he did not invent the word, Methuselarity, another common friend of ours did, but he popularized it, and the expression he did coin is longevity escape velocity. And essentially it's the same thing, Methuserality is a way of referring to the longevity escape velocity, which is that time when, if we reach it, we will constantly be buying more time, as he said, in order to reach increasingly advanced therapies, so that we will not only be able to live longer, but even rejuvenate, and this is the idea of ​​the longevity escape velocity, and it's very close. JLC: Any dates for the Methuselarity? AdG: I think we have a 50/50 chance of getting there within 15 to 20 years. JLC: Between 15 to 20 years, so do not die, please. Ok, an applause for Aubrey.

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Duration: 1 hour, 11 minutes and 27 seconds
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Language: Spanish (Spain)
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Posted by: sergiotarrero on Nov 13, 2018

Press conference with Aubrey de Grey & José Luis Cordeiro (bilingual Spanish/English)
Hotel Intercontinental, Madrid
7 de noviembre, 2018

Vídeo: Alianza Futurista
Producción, edición: Sergio M.L. Tarrero
Cámaras: Sergio M.L. Tarrero, Iñigo Cores
Ayudantes: David García Monaj, Paco Mota

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