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The SENS Challenge


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#1 Live Forever

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 11:23 PM


As first mentioned by Aubrey in this post, the magazine Technology Review will be announcing whether there are any winners for "The SENS Challenge", from the field of three submissions that they received, in their May/June issue. (along with an article about it I'm sure) For those who don't know, "The SENS Challenge" is a $20,000 ongoing challenge to "establish whether SENS is worthy of serious consideration" as a scientific pursuit. Here is a link from when the judges were announced (as well as the rules), and here is a link to the articles in the current issue of Technology Review. (which I assume will be updated with the new stories when the May/June issue is released)

I think we are all (of course) hoping for Aubrey to be triumphant (his response to each challenge will also be published). May is only a few days away, so hopefully we will know the results soon.


Edit: As mentioned below, it was pushed back one issue to the July/August issue, due to the originally tight timeframe.

Edited by liveforever22, 27 April 2006 - 12:05 PM.

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#2 opales

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 09:44 AM

I think we are all (of course) hoping for Aubrey to be triumphant (his response to each challenge will also be published). May is only a few days away, so hopefully we will know the results soon.


Commentary on existing submissions (2/5 down the quite lenghty post)
http://lists.calorie...ety&D=0&P=42239
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#3 ag24

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 10:46 AM

Update: the May/June issue was an impractically tight timeline for everyone so the July issue is now the one. The three submissions (with my rebuttals) are going to the judges any day now.
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#4 Live Forever

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 11:58 AM

Update: the May/June issue was an impractically tight timeline for everyone so the July issue is now the one. The three submissions (with my rebuttals) are going to the judges any day now.


I thought that it sounded pretty quick when you first provided the link. We will all (I'm sure) be looking forward to the July issue. [thumb]
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#5 jaydfox

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 01:41 PM

Commentary on existing submissions (2/5 down the quite lenghty post)
http://lists.calorie...ety&D=0&P=42239

Heh, after I read that on the CR list, I almost posted that at ImmInst myself, because it seemed too good to just leave on the list.
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#6 ag24

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 10:48 PM

Latest news is that the submissions and my rebuttals wil be made available on the Technology Review website at midnight EST (five hours from now).
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#7 RighteousReason

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 11:00 PM

woo hoo!
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#8 DJS

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 11:00 PM

SWEET!
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#9 maestro949

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 11:11 PM

Damn, I was just about to uncork a couple of bottles of wine. I'll be out cold at midnight.
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#10 ag24

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 11:41 PM

Hold your horses everyone - the submissions and rebuttals will be posted, but not the decision... that won't be revealed until July 11th.
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#11 Live Forever

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 03:23 AM

I will still enjoy reading the challenges and responses, and will be anticipating July 11th and a glorious victory.
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#12 Live Forever

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 04:24 AM

As manofsan stated, here is the link to the submissions and rebuttals:

http://www.technologyreview.com/sens/
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#13 DJS

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 05:33 AM

I just killed a tree printing every last page...
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#14 Mark Hamalainen

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 06:28 AM

Some brief initial comments...

Mobbs
Clearly this is the least interesting challenge, from the counter response its hard to tell if they even read Aubrey's rebuttal... They also seem to have the (obviously) mistaken impression that SENS is calling for a hault on all basic research.

Weinstein
Here at there is at least some interesting ideas presented. However the consistent theme seems to be that additional problems would crop up after an initial increase of maximum lifespan achieved by SENS. However difficult one may expect those additional problems to be, they are already admitting that some life extension could be achieved, which certainly disqualifies him from winning the challenge.

Estep
The best contender, or at least the most adamant... they correctly and repeatedly point out that SENS is very optimistic, but that in itself does not discredit it from scientific discussion. For example:

de Grey’s “arguments” that accumulation of heterogeneous waste products in lysosomes can be dealt with in a manner similar to therapies for lysosomal storage diseases, do not constitute proof in the least

Obviously SENS is not a 'proof'... its an educated guess and proposal to solve a problem which is solvable but for which the difficulty cannot be fully predicted.

As far as I can see, none of the entries meets the challenge. They all focus on what could be wrong about SENS, without aknowledging that the best way to find out the truth is to openly discuss and research the proposals that SENS makes.
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#15 opales

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 09:45 AM

Finally, they suggest that the method my coauthors and I outlined[7] for isolating such hydrolases is
”obvious pseudoscientific pretense and technological window dressing.”
This is a most revealing
statement [4], unlikely to have been made by a scientist who had checked the credentials of the
coauthors most likely to have contributed the material, namely the bioremediation specialists. The
passage in question was in fact contributed by Prof. Bruce Rittmann, who, as Estep et al. could
have discovered by consulting his online CV [9] is a universally acknowledged world leader in
bioremediation.
Perhaps Estep et al. simply regard the whole field of bioremediation as
pseudoscience? That would be a surprising opinion for a biologist to hold of a field that has a 30-
year history of outstanding scientific, technological and commercial success.


[lol]

Yeah, in your face [lol]
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#16 Da55id

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 03:21 PM

If any of you are inclined to politely comment on the submissions, the discussion capability has been turned on on the TR Challenge Sens site.
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#17 doug123

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 03:23 PM

I want to make a shirt that says: "What, you don't think we can live forever?" with this pic on on the front...could we get a more...angry shot? On the back...

SENS you!
http://www.technolog...images/sens.jpg
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#18 Karomesis

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 04:00 PM

Please excuse the analogy, but in weightlifting there is a saying; "inch by inch is a cinch". I believe the saying will prove similar to the discussion of extending the human lifespan.

The populace is reluctant to concede the possibility of 5000 year lifespans.....right now, but by assimilating the concept of a few years here, and a few dacades there, the masses, who already deeply desire the true fountain of youth, will be far more likely to rally together in support of it.

I think that is the real battle that must be waged, the battle for the hearts and minds of the citizenry, then scientists who are holding to seemingly ancient gerentology pardigims will be forced to make way for the new ideas being presented by the likes of aubrey and others, or be consigned to a bygone era.

The second half of the chessboard is upon us, who will stand with the pioneers and who will fall by the wayside?
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#19 maestro949

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 04:36 PM

If any of you are inclined to politely comment on the submissions, the discussion capability has been turned on on the TR Challenge Sens site.


I've only glanced them over so far and can't really comment yet. I plan to digest them over the weekend. It would be easy to throw out a kneejerk reaction but I really want to study them and make sure I have had time to give them and Aubrey's response some thought.

Regardless, this is a big win for aging research. Dialogue is crucial to shaping theories. If there is resistance to ideas from bright experienced people there is probably a good reason. We just need to tease those apart and figure out what the next steps are for moving the ball forward.
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#20 manofsan

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 11:12 PM

The second half of the chessboard is upon us, who will stand with the pioneers and who will fall by the wayside?


Hehe, Darwinism is on our side -- those who don't believe in pursuing life-extension will perish, while those who pursue it and succeed will live on to set the agenda. :)

I'm particularly optimistic, because the baby-boom generation are approaching their retirement years, and will be increasingly demanding cures for their ills and infirmities.

The marketing is slowly but surely bending more and more in the right direction, and eventually the fruits of this will be undeniably in grasp.
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#21 peterragnar

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 11:47 PM

Manofsan, being a pre-boomer, Damn right, Charles got a pretty good insight. Read my post on the magnet / Dr. Chui debate. In the next few years as we double our knowledge of the disease of aging, we will have a cause for optimism beyond measure. New tools we never thought of will suddenly appear! And dear Karomesis, all we need do is have control of the center of 64 to win forever!!!! You know what I'm talking about.
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#22 Karomesis

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 12:58 AM

And dear Karomesis, all we need do is have control of the center of 64 to win forever!!!! You know what I'm talking about.


Indeed. [sfty]

Hehe, Darwinism is on our side -- those who don't believe in pursuing life-extension will perish, while those who pursue it and succeed will live on to set the agenda. wink.gif


good point, I mentioned in another thread how the process is leading to something, but what?
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#23 jaydfox

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 03:49 AM

I want to make a shirt that says: "What, you don't think we can live forever?" with this pic on on the front...could we get a more...angry shot?  On the back...

SENS you!
http://www.technolog...images/sens.jpg

Heh, about the same time the TR article came out, maybe a month or two earlier in fact, an article came out in Popular Science that featured Aubrey. It was kind of funny, because the TR article had Aubrey against a stark white background, whereas one or more of the shots in the PopSci article had Aubrey against a stark black background. The contrast was very cool.

If you can't find the pictures, Kevin of the MPrize might have them archived somewhere, perhaps even on the MPrize website.
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#24 jaydfox

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 03:56 AM

Hmm, my bad, not a stark black background, but pretty stark nonetheless:
http://www.popsci.co...ecbccdrcrd.html
http://www.popsci.co...ecbccdrcrd.html
See the 3rd and 4th images in the slideshow especially.

Not sure how long either of these links will be good: the original links to the article went bad. This is one of those sites that sees fit to reorganize from time to time without concern of maintaining link functionality.
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#25 Live Forever

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 06:04 AM

I thought George's response to the post over at Betterhumans (6th response) to Reason's blog post about this was good. [thumb]
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#26 doug123

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 11:54 PM

I like this shot: http://img.timeinc.n...et_c700x890.jpg Aubrey does kind of look like a prophet.

But I think I want a super kind photo of Aubrey on the front and a mean and sorta sarcastic or really serious photo of Dr. de Grey with a smile and a middle finger on the back. It will have to have a controversial message to draw attention. On top of that middle finger could perhaps go a mouse. An infinity symbol ala ImmInst could be worked into the design too. The design I want to look so cool that everyone would WANT to wear one; not just think it "looks cool." It has to look cool enough to wear. I know a really talented artist, I am going to have her work on it, and ask for everyone here to vote on the most appealing design (the question will be: what would you actually wear?) It would have to be a color shirt (not black and white). I can blow up to $1000 or more on production of the shirts, so we'll see what we can do.

Edited by nootropikamil, 11 June 2006 - 12:05 AM.

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#27 opales

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 12:27 AM

I like this shot:  http://img.timeinc.n...et_c700x890.jpg  Aubrey does kind of look like a prophet. 

But I think I want a super kind photo of Aubrey on the front and a mean and sorta sarcastic or really serious photo of Dr. de Grey with a smile and a middle finger on the back.  It will have to have a controversial message to draw attention.  On top of that middle finger could perhaps go a mouse.  An infinity symbol ala ImmInst could be worked into the design too.  The design I want to look so cool that everyone would WANT to wear one; not just think it "looks cool."  It has to look cool enough to wear.  I know a really talented artist, I am going to have her work on it, and ask for everyone here to vote on the most appealing design (the question will be: what would you actually wear?)  It would have to be a color shirt (not black and white).  I can blow up to $1000 or more on production of the shirts, so we'll see what we can do.


I like it. Let's do it. Life extension can be cool after all!

(seriously, if we could portay LE as cool we would reach escape velocity a helluva lot faster)
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#28 doug123

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 12:36 AM

As soon as we have a mascot that is a mouse with gold teeth, gold chains, and "iced out" with diamonds -- "bling bling" it might go mainstream. ;)
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#29 John Doe

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 03:52 AM

It's good to see these critiques.

It seems that the third one has some merit. But I thought Aubrey's quip about the Wright Brothers was telling and exactly right.

But the question of just what Aubrey, and his challengers, needs to prove is horribly murky. This is not just any science experiment. Lives are at stake.
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#30 RighteousReason

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 04:03 AM

This is not just any science experiment. Lives are at stake.


Very valuable insight...
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