The Lifespan Society of British Columbia is proud to present its third annual conference. Join us November 15th as we explore recent developments in anti-aging research, personal genomics and biotechnology.
This event will be held at SFU's Segal building in downtown Vancouver. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Aubrey de Grey, will be presenting on the latest developments in biorejuvenation at SENS Research Foundation. Aubrey has not been to Vancouver in over 10 years so this is an exclusive experience.
Get ahead of the crowd by purchasing early bird tickets before they sell out! Get to meet our keynote speaker, Aubrey and other attendees by purchasing VIP tickets which include reserved front-row seating and a three-course meal (vegetarian option available).
Dr. Aubrey de Grey
Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK and Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Research Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging. He received his BA and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 2000 respectively. His research interests encompass the characterisation of all the accumulating and eventually pathogenic molecular and cellular side-effects of metabolism ("damage”) that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or obviate that damage. Dr. de Grey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organisations.
Dr. Aubrey Describes his Talk:
"It may seem premature to be discussing the comprehensive medical conquest of human aging when so little progress has yet been made in even postponing it. However, two facts undermine this assessment. The first is that aging happens throughout our lives but only causes ill-health after middle age: this shows that we can postpone that ill-health without knowing how to prevent aging completely, but instead by molecular and cellular repair. The second is that regenerative medicine is now advancing from a futuristic twinkle in a few visionaries' eyes to a realistic strategy for addressing numerous medical conditions. In this talk I will explain why therapies that can add 30 healthy years to the remaining lifespan of typical 60-year-olds may well arrive within the next few decades, with an emphasis on recent progress both in SENS Research Foundation's own work and elsewhere."
Dr. Clinton Mielke
Dr. Clinton (Cosmo) Mielke completed his doctoral research at the Mayo Clinic on insulin signaling and resistance in skeletal muscle. Cosmo's current research interests include the genetic basis of obesity (specifically in genes that regulate overall metabolism), eating behavior, and sleep. He is the founder of infino.me, a non-profit organization that uses quantified-self equipment to gather information in order to identify and cure chronic diseases. For more information, you can visit his website.
Cosmo will be presenting a talk titled: "Genetic/Neurological Factors Underlying Health And Lifespan"
"I'll be presenting an overview of my previous research of how insulin resistance manifests in our skeletal muscles as a runaway inflammatory and atrophy process that is sparked by genetic predispositions to type II diabetes. I will then give a compelling overview of the evidence that much of our overall health is influenced by hypothalamic control centers in the brain, and that overall longevity is based on factors that influence our metabolism and body weight. Finally, I'll be discussing a nonprofit startup that I have been working on which hopes to bring democratic genomic research to the masses to bring about a revolution in anti-aging research." - Cosmo
Dr. S. Jay Olshansky
S. Jay Olshansky received his Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Chicago in 1984. He is currently a Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Research Associate at the Center on Aging at the University of Chicago and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The focus of his research to date has been on estimates of the upper limits to human longevity, exploring the health and public policy implications associated with individual and population aging, forecasts of the size, survival, and age structure of the population, pursuit of the scientific means to slow aging in people (The Longevity Dividend), and global implications of the re-emergence of infectious and parasitic diseases. Dr. Olshansky is on the Board of Directors of the American Federation of Aging Research and is the first author of The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging (Norton, 2001).
Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson
Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson is the Head of Cancer Genetics at the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at the BC Cancer Agency. She is also a professor in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University. Her current work focuses on the genetics of healthy aging and the genetics of susceptibility to cancer, particularly blood cancers, in families and populations. She leads the Genomics, Genetics and Gerontology (G3) Team for the Study of Healthy Aging, in which exceptionally healthy elderly individuals (‘Super-Seniors’) are helping to determine the genetic influences that contribute to healthy aging and protect against age-related diseases.
Dr. Brooks-Wilson Describes her Talk:
"My lab and our collaborators are studying healthy ‘oldest old’ individuals 85 or older who had never been diagnosed with cancer, cardiovascular disease, major pulmonary disease, Alzheimer disease or diabetes. We call them the ‘Super-Seniors’. We estimate that only about 2% of individuals born at the time these individuals were born (median year 1916) went on to be Super-Seniors. They are thus an exceptional group ascertained based on their unusually long ‘health-span’. The parents of the Super-Seniors were reported to live an average of 14 years longer than their contemporaries. We are studying the genomes of the Super-Seniors using current genomics methods."
Ben Best is the Director of Research Oversight at the Life Extension Foundation. He is a respected member of the life-extension community and has travelled to many longevity conferences. He evaluates life-extension related research proposals and makes recommendations on funding them. Ben has a background in pharmacology and has spoken on a number of topics ranging from cryobiology to biogerontology. He will be giving a talk on dietary supplements for health and lifespan. The Life Extension Foundation has been funding cutting-edge anti-aging research for many years and are well-known for their educational outreach and philanthropy.
To see others who are also attending our event, you can checkout our facebook page. Aubrey de Grey has RSVPed on Fb, have you?
After weeks of work we had over 150 people show up for a picture in our UV Photo Booth at the Vancouver Mini-Maker Faire this year. This is our first time presenting this booth to the public and it was well-received. We had a preview screen so people could see their photos right after we took them and they had the option of entering their email address to get a higher resolution picture.
The UV Photo shows how protected our skin is against the sun. If sunscreen was applied the person appeared darker in the UV Photo because the UV light was unable to penetrate the skin. The photo also showed light patches were people missed the application of sunscreen. Some people had darker skin and the UV Photo showed how naturally protected they are against the sun as they appeared darker in the UV photo. I was impressed that nearly half of you were wearing sun screen. However, most people forgot to reapply it because there were light spots where the sunscreen had begun to wear away. Most sunscreen wears off within 3-4 hours.
For people not wearing sunscreen that day, the UV Photo was able to show past or recent sun damage. The skin damaged by the sun also shows up darker than undamaged skin. UV light penetrates the skin more than visible light so scars and freckles are highlighted that may not be visible. It was interesting how people with glasses and hats showed up in UV Photos; the photo clearly showed which parts of their faces were covered or not. People who had recently been burned had darker UV Photos than people who hadn't.
We had a few participates describe their UV Photos as "Zombie Photos”, here’s my "Zombie” pic.
Here at the Lifespan Society we're focused on keeping up
on the latest ways to stay healthy because we plan on enjoying life for a long time. I hope to see you soon at one of our upcoming activities.
Lifespan members show up for the first hike of the spring. They say April showers (but may flowers) and we expected rain but we were pleasantly surprised to have encountered sunshine the entire duration of the walk. Terra Nova Rural Park has beautiful views of the city, airport and tidal estuary. Vancouver weather is puzzling sometimes and I actually had to bring sunglasses and an umbrella, but I was glad to have only had to use my sunglasses.
After our walk we had a nice lunch indoors while it started to rain (good timing). We ended up discussing bitcoin taxes and soylent. One of our members will be among the first people in the entire country to receive Soylent meal replacement. We’re all curious about how it will turn out for him.
Anyways, I hope we can catch you at our next event (facebook or meetup).
Cryonics is one area of radical life extension that Lifespan
BC provides information on. We hosted
the first "Super Cool Cryonics Party” in Vancouver on a Saturday evening and
tried to get everyone to wear blue. Within
this casual setting, we provided information about the basic science of
cryonics and answered any questions people had.
Our turnout from the Less Wrong or Vancouver Rationalist Group was
pretty high, a number of their philosophies overlap with ours. Keegan, Luke and I are all Alcor members but
we provided information about all the cryonics providers in the states and how
to fund the procedure. The providers we
briefly went over: Alcor Life Extension Foundation, Cryonics Institute and the
new Oregon Cryonics. We also quickly covered
After the information meeting we headed to James’ place to
make liquid nitrogen ice-cream. It was a
blast and we learned about the chemical properties of nitrogen and made
delicious ice-cream. We also shattered a
few objects like a banana peel. You can watch a short video of this process on youtube.
ice-cream turned out really well, better than I thought it would be; it was very
even and smooth and creamy. We hope to
host more social events like this in the future, so you can find us on
meetup.com or facebook.
Aubrey De Grey was
one of the presenters that weekend.
There were a total of seven people taking a road trip from
beautiful British Columbia to Portland to attend talks hosted by the Institute
for Evidence Based Cryonics. When we
heard of the symposiums: Introduction to
Rejuvenation Biotechnologies and Human Cryopreservation; and Resuscitation and
Reintegration of Cryonics Patients, we knew we had to make the trip. Some of us were stoked to meet Aubrey De Grey
in person, and others stoked to learn more about cryonics from prominent
figures such as Max More and Ben Best. Lifespan's Executive Director, Keegan Macintosh, was
travelling down to give a talk on the legal and logistical considerations of
cryonics patients. We were all brought
together by a mutual interest in the science behind cryonics.
Fun in the sun
along the seawall.
The Lifespan Society of BC was effective in pulling together
like-minded people to attend this cool event, although attempting to organize a
road trip for seven people was not always straightforward. We managed to pull everything together and
fill my entire car for the road trip. A
good rule of thumb: the more people you try to organize on a road trip, the
harder it becomes. It was all worth it
though, because we all had an amazing experience and became best friends for a
few days. Our trip was also very cost effective;
we took my fuel efficient car (2008 Yaris) and rented an entire house with Air
Bnb to house six of us.
Some interesting sights
from our drive including this guy on a bike pulling along his drum set.
Some fine dining
experiences, I had a hemp burger at Bagdad Restaurant while this street
musician performed right outside the patio of this restaurant. The burger was actually pretty good, I wasn't
sure how it would turn out but I was willing to take a stab at it (no pun
We got to meet Aubrey de Grey, but I was too shy to say much to him. (that's not me in the pic)
Dr. Max More
presenting at the Cleaners at Ace Hotel.
I would go into more details about the symposium presentations, but it
might just be better to join us next year.