04 December 2010

Aubrey de Grey Response to Rose and Coles

Aubrey de Grey
Next up at H+ @Caltech this afternoon was the famous and fast-talking Aubrey de Grey, who provided a response to previous talks by Michael Rose and Stephen Coles.

This is my take as how I understood the arguments. It was, admittedly, a bit hard to follow.

What we heard from Rose and Coles, explained de Grey, was that we have an exponential rise in deaths and then, we have what de Grey called, a "weird leveling off."

So, he said that as we get older, the data point to the fact that we eventually do reach a plateau in old age when mortality rates decline (passing the "aging phase" into a "biological immortality phase"), an argument of which Coles vehemently disagrees with.

He also said that it would probably not be a plateau like the type that Rose discussed in his talk, and as he showed in fruitflies.

Basically the data are sparse in these older populations, so there's no way we can really know what to expect.

"We definitely need more data," de Grey summarized.

And everyone else appeared to agree with that.

He also re-hashed his SENS approach for ridding the "accumulation of damage" that he says eventually causes the end of an individual's life.

De Grey pointed to the Gompertz Curve to support his arguments and the fact that because there are so few old people, there's too few data to make any kind of sense of whether there's an immortality phase or not.

Previously, about de Grey:
- Anti-Aging with Aubrey de Grey
- How to Prevent an Aging Crisis 

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