We write to draw the attention to the need for increased support for biological research of ageing and improving healthy longevity for the population in India. This subject is pressing and urgent for the global society, and for Indian society and economy in particular.
It has been a common conviction among atheist life-extensionists that religion generally, and particular branches of Christianity, are somehow intrinsically averse to far-reaching biomedical interventions or even to the idea of human life-extension, placing a greater emphasis on faith-healing and life in the world to come.
On May 19, 2016, the World Health Organization released its report “World Health Statistics: Monitoring Health for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” describing the recent state of global health. The news is rather encouraging. The global life expectancy increased by 5 years, from about 66.5 to 71.4 presently, recording the fastest increase since the 1960s. The rightly so-called “developing” countries generally showed a much faster improvement compared to the complacently “developed” ones. Thus, Africa generally had the lowest life expectancy.
Does the pursuit of longevity, or even radical longevity, have future in India? The following article will consider this question mainly in ideological, cultural and historical terms, rather than in terms of analyzing current technological and demographic trends. In demographic terms, as was also noted earlier, the life expectancy in India is till relatively low compared to other countries (about 65-66 years), yet it is clearly on the rise and no limit can be set for this increase.
The interventions into the degenerative aging process are still in their infancy. A long effortful road will yet need to be traveled from basic research on cell cultures and animal models to effective, safe and widely available human therapies. And many dangers to human health (such as overdose and overstimulation) and many unsubstantiated false claims yet await on this road that need to be guarded against as much as possible. Yet vast promising research is progressing, especially as regards potential pharmaceutical interventions into the aging process.   Below are some examples.
Mascot Information and Technology Solutions held the maiden edition of Nigeria ICT Fest on December 4, 2015 at Magrellos fast food, Festac Town, Lagos, and December 5, 2015 at Radisson Blu Anchorage hotel at No. 1A, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos, to bridge the technology gap between Nigeria and the developed world.
In the quite famous essay of 2001, “L’Chaim [“To Life”] and Its Limits: Why Not Immortality?” the American bioethicist Leon Kass notoriously placed a limit on the possibility and desirability of life extension, claiming that “the finitude of human life is a blessing for every human individual, whether he knows it or not.” He presented such a view as truly and pristinely Jewish. Speaking in the name of true wisdom and true Judaism, he claimed that “the unlimited pursuit of longevity cannot be the counsel of wisdom, and, therefore, should not be the counsel of Jewish wisdom. L’Chaim, but with limits.”
There has been emerging a tradition by longevity researchers and activists around the world to organize events dedicated to promotion of longevity research on or around October 1 – the UN International Day of Older Persons.
This day is sometimes referred to in some parts of the longevity activists community as the “International Longevity Day”. As this is the official UN Day of Older Persons, this provides the longevity research activists a perfect opportunity, perhaps even a perfect “excuse”, to emphasize the importance of aging and longevity research for the development of effective health care for the elderly, in the wide public as well as among decision makers.
When speaking of the extension of life, or radical extension of life, the question that should immediately arise – what is it exactly that we desire to extend or preserve during life extension? What is that thing that we would wish to preserve in continuity or even in perpetuity? I would argue that the goal of life extension has been associated with a striving for stability and equilibrium, desiring to stabilize and thus perpetuate the current state of the body or personality, and the present social system. In this sense, life-extensionism may be a fundamentally conservative (or conservationist) enterprise.
On May 15, 2015, we celebrate the 170th anniversary of the founder of gerontology, a foundational figure of modern immunology, aging and longevity science, and of modern medicine generally – Elie Metchnikoff (May 15, 1845 – July 15, 1916).
Position Paper: The Critical Need to Promote Research of Aging Below is the position paper on the Critical Need to Promote Research of Aging of the International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD). This paper briefly details the rationales, the technologies and the policies that are needed to promote this research. Thus it can serve as a generally applicable advocacy or lobbying paper in different countries. Please help spread it. Please contribute to the widest possible recognition and support of biological research of aging and aging-related diseases. We welcome the readers to circulate this position paper, share it in your social networks, forward it to politicians, potential donors and media, organize discussion groups to debate the topics raised (that may later grow into grassroots longevity research and activism groups in different countries), translate this position paper into your language, reference and link to it, even republish it in part or in full (for example, the policy recommendations can fit on a single page flyer), join the ISOAD or other aging and longevity research and advocacy organizations.
On November 1-2, 2014, there took place in Beijing, China, the first International Conference on Aging and Disease (ICAD) of the International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD, http://isoad.org/). It showcased some of the latest advances in aging and longevity research, including regenerative medicine, geroprotective substances and regimens.
The Middle East has often been perceived as a constantly belligerent area, where human life has been held cheap, since the time of despots and tribal wars well to the present. Yet, in fact, the Middle East would be more appropriately seen as a cradle of civilization, where many ideas of human development had their roots, where many technological and scientific concepts were first formulated, and where the goals of preserving and extending human life, even ideas of radically extended longevity, have been pronounced among the earliest.
The Need to Promote Research of Aging and Aging-related Diseases as a Way to Improve Health of the Global Elderly Population.
Resolution of the International Conference on Aging and Disease of the International Society on Aging and Disease - ICAD 2014, November 1-2, 2014, Beijing, China: Aging and the Burden of Disease The degenerative aging processes and associated diseases are the gravest challenge to global public health. Aging-related degenerative processes do not necessarily cause a particular disease but rather combine to produce a large set of non-communicable chronic diseases.
On March 26, 2014, there took place in BarIlanUniversity the conference entitled – “Biology of Longevity and Quality of Life” which was also widely promoted under the title “Pathways to Healthy Longevity”. The conference was held as a part of the celebrations of Israel Science Day, under the auspices of the Israel Ministry of Science.
It has been only one year since the International Longevity Alliance (“ILA”) became consolidated in December 2012 at the Eurosymposium on Healthy Aging in Brussels. This is the first annual report of our progress since our inception. The ILA’s mission is to to promote the advancement of healthy longevity for all people through scientific research, technological development, medical treatment, public health, education, advocacy and social activism.
The world’s first International Longevity Day took place on or around October 1, in over 30 countries! These were many small steps on the great road to healthy longevity for all through support of longevity research!
The Longevity Party - started by IEET contributors Ilia Stambler and Maria Konovalenko - already has chapters in 18 nations, after only two months of existence: Russia, the US, Israel, Finland, Georgia, Canada, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Mexico, Uganda, South Africa, Korea, Philippines, Singapore.
A few weeks ago, there began organizing efforts to create longevity parties in several parts of the world – in Russia, the US, Israel and Europe – dedicated to political promotion of life-extension research and practice.
The beginning of the modern period in the pursuit of radical human enhancement and longevity can be traced to fin-de-siècle/early twentieth-century scientific and technological optimism and therapeutic activism.