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.


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.

Ending Aging in Italian

As you might know, I’m Italian. I’ve long left Italy, so I won’t be able to attend the event which I’ll shortly tell you about, but I would still like to give it some extra visibility.

Ending Aging, the book by Aubrey de Grey describing how medical science will be able to fully treat ageing in the foreseeable future, has been translated into Italian with the title La fine dell’invecchiamento (literally, ‘the end of ageing’). The book was published by D Editore—an independent Italian publishing house foucused on transhumanism and related topics—and will be presented on December 1st, 2016, at 18:00 at the bookstore Libreria Cultora, located in via Ughelli 39, 00179 Rome, Italy.

If you’re Italian or speak Italian, you might want to attend. If you know any Italian or Italian speaker, you could help the rejuvenation cause by letting them know of this event. Probably, the most effective way of spreading the word is sharing the relevant Facebook event.

I’d like to thank Emmanuele Pilia for the efforts he put into this project. If you wish, you may follow him on Twitter and/or D Editore, both on Twitter and Facebook.


New fundraisers for SENS rejuvenation research

Hiya folks, just a quick note to let you know about two important things.

SENS 2016 winter fundraiser

Thanks to a generous grant from the Forever Healthy Foundation, every dollar donated to SENS until the end of this year will be doubled, up to the first 150.000$. (As a side note, FHF has already pledged 10$ million to SENS and SENS related research. These guys are awesome.)

FightAging!’s new fundraiser

In order to encourage regular donations to SENS, Reason of FA! and Josh Triplett have put together a matching fund of 24.000$ dollars; for a year starting on November 1st, 2016 they will match the donations of anyone signing up as a SENS patron.


Make a difference—help SENS bringing ageing under medical control!

Surprise! OncoSENS continues

The exciting announcement regarding the OncoSENS campaign I was talking about a few posts ago is that it got a 31-day extension, plus a matching fund of 15.000$. In other words, every dollar donated in the next 31 days will unlock an extra dollar from the fund, up to the first 15.000$. Right now the campaign is 58% funded, so there’s plenty of time to reach the goal and beyond. Pretty cool, eh? We’re counting on your help.


I’m a slow poster, you know that. Sometimes I’ve posted about ‘news’ that were a month old. That’s because life comes often in between.

However, this time around life can stuff it. I don’t want to be late for this news.

On July 12, 2016, SENS Research Foundation announced that Internet entrepreneur Michael Greve, who runs the Forever Healthy Foundation and KIZOO Technology Ventures, has committed a whopping 10.000.000$ (let me spell that for you: ten fucking million dollars) to SENS research and to startups focused on bringing rejuvenation therapies to the market.

In the words of Greve himself, “My goal is to provide support for the critical research of the SENS Research Foundation and to facilitate the development of the rejuvenation biotech industry and ecosystem. I think we should have more people contribute to the step-by-step creation of cures for the root causes of all age-related diseases. And we should have a whole rejuvenation industry based on the SENS treatment model including the self-accelerating feedback-loop of success stories and amazing opportunities for scientist [sic], entrepreneurs and VC investors. This will truly accelerate both research and therapies. I have decided to lead by example and make this $10 million commitment.”

Five of the 10 millions will be donated directly to SENS over the course of the next five years, while the other five, as said, will be donated to other startups of the field. The 5mln to SENS constitute 10% of the goal of SENS’s new initiative Project|21, meant to make the first human trials of rejuvenation biotechnologies happen by 2021.

That’s the kind of news that make my day. It’s the kind of news that makes you think rejuvenation biotechnologies just got a lot closer to being a reality.

However, don’t think that our job as rejuvenation supporters is over: We still need to keep spreading the word and donating what we can. Speaking of which,’s OncoSENS campaign has been feeling terribly lonely as of late. It has reached a mere 19% of the goal, much less than other campaigns have reached in the same timespan. Why don’t you pay it a visit and bring in some friends?