Project4Awesome is live: act now to help life extension

Project4Awesome, the initiative by the Foundation to Decrease Worldsuck that I posted about two days back, is now live.

What it means in short is that, if you are able to upload videos to a YouTube channel, you can make videos to support your favourite charities—SENS Research Foundation and the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation come to mind—upload them, and then submit them to P4A’s website, where viewers can vote for the videos/charities they liked the most. The event will last for the whole weekend, and the most liked charities will receive a prize of $25,000 each.

I wasn’t at all into making videos until I heard of P4A; for the occasion, I opened a Rejuvenaction YouTube channel to upload my videos to. I really don’t see myself becoming a regular YouTuber, but for now you’ll at least find my videos in support of LEAF and SENS there.

So, what happens now?

However many or few videos in favour of LEAF, SENS, and other rejuvenation-focused charities there are, we need to get people to vote for them! Ask your friends and family to vote for your videos, if you made any; if possible, get them to vote for other videos endorsing SENS, LEAF, etc. Spread the word on your social media, Reddit, and wherever you see fit. Don’t assume you don’t need to bother because others will, because… that’s exactly what they are thinking, and that’s a sure-fire way to get near-zero votes.

You can vote for my videos on the Project4Awesome website here (LEAF) and here (SENS). (I don’t personally gain anything from having my own videos voted, but I can’t link every single one, and this is a good way to get you to go there and have a look at the rest 😉 )

UPDATE: You can find all LEAF videos here; all SENS videos can be found here. Remember to check these periodically, as new videos may be coming all weekend.

You can also watch my videos below, but PLEASE, do not forget to go to P4A and do your voting. Every video endorsing charities in the rejuvenation field is a good video to vote for.


Project4Awesome: An easy way to help life extension

Busy as I am studying biology and helping out LEAF, my posts here have become rarer than water in the desert; thus, when I break the silence—like I’m doing right now—you know it’s for a good reason.

Have you ever heard of Project4Awesome? If not, read on. If you have, read on anyway.

Project4Awesome—P4A for short—is an initiative by the Vlogbrothers, Hank and John Green. Each year in December, P4A invites YouTubers all over the world to make videos and publish them on YouTube to let everyone know about their favourite charities. Videos are then submitted to P4A’s website where people can vote for them. Charities with the most votes are awarded a prize by the Foundation to Decrease Worldsuck—created by the Green brothers—and yes, more than one charity can win. To my knowledge, this year’s prize is $25,000 per charity. Charities in the rejuvenation business could do a lot with that kind of money.

Speaking of which, this is a great occasion to help both SENS Research Foundation and LEAF. My readership will hardly not know who they are, but just in case: SENS Research Foundation is a charity and pretty much the leading organisation working on rejuvenation biotechnologies against ageing. LEAF, the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation, is a charity working to popularise and crowdfund research against ageing. You can help these charities either by making a video yourself, or voting for videos on them on P4A’s website.

As explained on P4A’s website itself, your video needn’t be professional-looking; it can be a short, cellphone video. (As a matter of fact, short videos, say 2-4 minutes, are strongly encouraged.) In addition, you can submit a video for each charity you like, so for example making one for SENS doesn’t mean you can’t make one for LEAF, and vice-versa. More detailed instructions on video-making and how to proceed can be found here, but I’d like to remind you that your video needs to be submitted to P4A between December 15th-17th. That’s also when you’ll be able to vote for other people’s videos. If you do make a video, make sure to get your friends to vote for it, and in general, spread the word: The more people in the life extension community will know about this, the higher the chances SENS and/or LEAF will win a prize; more importantly, this is a great occasion to bring life extension to the attention of Hank Green, who’s rather interested to begin with and has a rather huge follow on Facebook, Twitter, and through different YouTube channels, such as SciShow.

I have already made my video for LEAF, and one for SENS is in the making. If you don’t have a YouTube channel, that’s no big deal because you can easily make one; anyone with an account on YouTube can. That’s what I did—I didn’t have a channel until it was necessary for this very reason. (I wouldn’t expect much else to become available on my channel, but you never know.) I will post my video here after I submit it to P4A.

Please, don’t pass on this chance! It’s fairly easy and costs you nothing. Don’t leave it up to other people to make a video, don’t leave it up to other people to vote: Take the initiative and do something yourself! If everyone left it up to others to do something, no one would do anything and sayonara rejuvenation biotechnologies. Take control, and help us make it happen.


Two awesome videos

Even though I have already shared the news on Rejuvenaction’s Facebook page, this is such good news that it is definitely worth repeating myself. Today YouTube channel Kurzgesagt has released a video titled: Why age? Should We End Aging Forever?

The video is fantastic to say the least. It explains briefly what ageing is, promises a later video about some of the nitty-gritty of rejuvenation biotechnologies, and it depicts the whole thing in a very positive light. On top of that, CGP Grey made another video on pretty much the same topic, just much, much, MUCH more blunt. I definitely recommend you give both a look.

The video above was made with the help of, which is also mentioned in the description. I don’t think CGP Grey’s video was released also today by sheer coincidence—he did talk about teaming up with Kurzgesagt, if I’m not mistaken—but is not involved in the making of his video. Still, it is awesome.

How would you like an easy way to help the cause? Share these videos on your social media, like them and upvote them. If you’re one of those brave souls who dare looking at the comments, please do and let people know about where appropriate. Like comments that mention it. Both channels have a rather large number of followers (we’re talking millions), so this could really help get the ball rolling.


Ending Aging in Portuguese

I would like to let you know that a crowdfunding campaign to translate Aubrey de Grey’s book Ending Aging in Portuguese is currently hosted on, Brasil’s largest crowdfunding platform.

If successful, this campaign will allow professional translators Nina T. Zanvettor and Nicolas Chernavsky to create both a paper and an e-book version of Ending Aging—or, in Portuguese, O Fim do Envelhecimento. The campaign will last until June 5th, 2018, so there’s plenty of time to collect the goal of R$ 28.000, a little less than 8.000 US dollars. On the campaign page, you’ll find a description of the project both in Portuguese and English; if you like, you can follow the campaign both on its own website and its Facebook page.

Importantly, this project has the endorsement of none else than Aubrey de Grey himself, as you can see in the video below.

If you speak Portuguese and would like to read Ending Aging in your own language, or you’d simply like to help spread the word in more languages, this crowdfunding campaign may interest you. I also invite you to spread the word on your social media, especially among your Portuguese-speaking friends. 🙂


News from campaigns

Before I’m too late for the party, I’d like to let you know that’s crowdfunding campaign AgeMeter for the development of a diagnostic system to measure functional human age has been extended by two weeks. Presently, 70% of the necessary funds have been collected, i.e. a little over 20.000 dollars out of 30.000. It would be great if yet this other campaign made it to its goal, so if you haven’t made your donation yet, please do—remember, there’s no such thing as a donation which is too small: Broadly speaking, as long as the amount you donate is a positive real number, it is much appreciated! The AgeMeter campaign will end on September 16, 2017.

Contextually, another crowdfunding campaign has been launched: MouseAge, an AI project aimed at assessing ageing biomarkers in mice visually, using image recognition techniques. If successful, this approach could help speed up rejuvenation research and reduce animal suffering. I’ll let the researchers speak:

MouseAge ends on October 14, 2017. As always, please donate if you can, and do spread the word as far and wide as possible. Thanks!


Introducing Rejuvenaction Italia and other news

I’m pleased to announce the launch of Rejuvenaction Italia, the Italian version of Rejuvenaction. As you might know, Italian is my native language, and while I have neglected/postponed online advocacy in Italian for over two years now, I realised that, as the topic of rejuvenation starts to reach broader audiences, there’s a necessity to make information available in several languages, for the benefit of those who don’t speak English. Regardless of one’s native language, the questions people have about rejuvenation are always the same: How do you do it? Why? Have you thought of overpopulation? And tyrants living forever? and so on. Thus, Rejuvenaction Italia (henceforth officially nicknamed RJi, and accordingly Rejuvenaction will be simply RJ) is essentially a clone of RJ, except in Italian. The blog won’t be nearly as lively as that here on RJ because, you know, there are only 24 hours in a day. I will translate some of the most substantial posts or important news from RJ to RJi, though, and there will be RJi-specific posts that won’t be worth translating into English.

If you speak Italian and/or know someone who does, it may be worth checking out RJ’s Italian clone and share the news on your social media. I would appreciate that very much. 🙂 There’s a link to RJi at the top of the sidebar.

As I translated the contents of RJ into Italian, I took advantage of the occasion to rewrite some articles that were long due for an update, and added entire new sections. You might have noticed them silently popping up here on the English site, together with a minor graphics revamp.

The Ageing section has been extensively rewritten. While I was planning to have a much more comprehensive and technical biology section, I eventually discarded the idea, for three reasons: It would have taken far too long (especially given my lack of specific expertise); it would no longer be the simple, newbie-friendly yet extensive introduction to the topic that I aim for; and it would essentially be duplicating what FA! and LEAF already are doing. Nonetheless, you might want to check out the new What is biological ageing? and What is rejuvenation? pages, as well as the What else can be done? page.

How to help used to be a single, rather messy page; now it is a section in its own right, with a page explaining how to donate, one about how to advocate and join the rejuvenation community, and a little one for scientists or scientists-to-be.

The new Resources section contains a guide to advocacy and a brief list of books of interest; the Links page has been reorganised.

Finally, I decided to group all info about yours truly and this website in a single About section, which also contains a sitemap to ease navigation, contact info, and licence info.

Other minor tweaks aren’t worth mentioning; what I do want to mention (horribly late) is LEAF’s new AgeMeter crowdfunding campaign to realise a tablet device for scanning ageing biomarkers. The campaign was created by the Centers for Age Control, and as of this writing it has reached 60% of its goal. You can read more about biomarkers and this campaign here. The campaign will end on September 2, 2017; I have already made my donation, and I hope you will make one too.


Update bundle #4

Gone are—for now—the golden days when I would publish a new post each week. So, for as long as my schedule is going to be this busy, I’ll have to be content with update bundles. I thought I’d let you know about a few news items and interesting things going on in anti-ageing community.

News from LEAF

On June 30 LEAF will host their first Journal Club event, with dr Oliver Medvedik. The topic will be the implications of epigenetic alterations on aging and as a primary aging process.

The recurring crowdfunding campaign to support LEAF has reached $1110, thus surpassing the first goal of $1000. The next one is $2000, and it’d be great if you could help us reach it, and advertise the campaign so that others may help too.

Another way you can help is by becoming a volunteer—there’s never a shortage of stuff to do in the world of anti-ageing research advocacy, and your talents may be precious. You can also join the community on discord to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

Keep an eye on LEAF, because new campaigns are to be expected fairly soon.

The state of the art

Rejuvenaction does a lot of rejuvenation advocacy, but doesn’t talk much about rejuvenation science. That is on my to-do list and is going to change; for the time being, here’s a brief update on a few research projects, categorised for simplicity the SENS way. None of these is exactly news, but they may give you an idea of where we are in terms of progress, in case you have been out of the loop.


Clearing up the indigestible junk that accumulates in our lysosomes as we age is crucial in the fight against age-related diseases. The SENS approach to the problem of lysosomal dysfunction consists in upgrading our lysosomes with genes that allow them to produce enzymes that break down the previously unbreakable. A first example of this type of therapy moving towards the clinic is that of LysoCLEAR, an enzyme product in the pre-clinical trial stage specifically tailored to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and its early onset version, juvenile macular degeneration. AMD is one of the leading causes of blindness among the elderly; if successful, LysoCLEAR would not only help old and young alike get back their sight, but it could also pave the way to similar treatments for lysosomal dysfunction in different tissues of the body. Indeed, while LysoCLEAR is targeted to treat the macula, its creator Kelsey Moody is optimistic that the method behind LysoCLEAR can be adapted to target different tissues.

This is not exactly full-scale LysoSENS yet—because we’re not talking of inserting new genes anywhere but rather of a treatment based on enzyme replacement therapy—but it’s an excellent step forward and it definitely is a maintenance-based approach which, at the end of the day, clears out unwanted junk. I suppose it can be seen as a ‘manual’ version of LysoSENS, since the necessary enzymes to clear up the macula aren’t produced directly by the body but are delivered by the drug itself.

Another project, a joint effort by SENS Research Foundation and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, may help us get to the ‘automatic’ version of LysoSENS. The goal of the project is testing out an improvement on somatic gene therapy that uses CRISPR to control where specific genes are added to the genome. Further coverage can be found on FA! —which I always recommend as your primary source for anti-ageing science, together with LEAF. (See Jim’s comment below for a clarification.)


Another cause of pathology in old age is the accumulation of senescent cells—cells that should die, but do not have the decency to do so. These felons have stopped replicating entirely, but don’t die. Instead, they stick around and secrete harmful chemicals. Their existence is a bit of a trade-off: They’re useful in small amounts (they play a role in wound healing and help preventing cancer), but once we hit old age they’ve built up to intolerable amounts, and far from being a solution, they become a problem. That’s why they’re one of the primary targets of ApoptoSENS.

In the past few years, senolytics—drugs capable of targeting and destroying senescent cells—have been often in the spotlight among the anti-ageing research community. Several biotech companies, such as Oisin, Unity, and CellAge, are working on different types of senolytics to get rid of excess senescent cells. The Life Extension Advocacy Foundation ran a rather successful crowdfunding campaign for CellAge last year, and Unity’s senolytics are supposed to enter clinical trials in 2018. Additionally, SENS Research Foundation and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging have recently joined forces on a research project focussed on the clearance of senescent cells in the immune system, led by renowned expert Professor Judy Campisi.

Methuselah Foundation’s new fund

Earlier this year (I told you I’m a slow poster) Methuselah Foundation launched the Methuselah Fund, aimed at providing financial help for promising scientific teams that would like to launch their own company focussed on rejuvenation biotechs. Professional investors’ interest is definitely welcome, and you can get in touch with if you’re interested; however, participants to the Methuselah 300 can complete their pledge by investing in the Methuselah Fund as well.

Upcoming MMTP Longevity Panel

MMTP will host a panel with dr. Alexandra Stolzing, dr. Aubrey de Grey, and other guests in early June—the exact date is to be confirmed. The panel will be livestreamed on Facebook and is offered as one of the rewards for donating to MMTP’s fundraiser on in 2016. If you have any question to for Alexandra or Aubrey, or the other guests, be sure to submit it to

Advancing Conversations with Aubrey de Grey

If you want an inexpensive, lightweight book that discusses the key points of the rejuvenation cause, either for your own reading or to recommend to others who aren’t willing to go through Ending Aging, I suggest you take a look to Douglas Lain’s Advancing Conversations: Aubrey de Grey—Advocate for an Indefinite Human Lifespan. It’s short, not sciencey and thus simple to read, and it answers quite a few questions that a newbie to the cause may have.