Defining this prize's Preferred Future State

NickOttensNickOttens Community ManagerBarcelona, SpainPosts: 874 admin
edited August 31 in Impact
For every prize, we define what we call a Preferred Future State.

This is not the end state of the competition, but rather a longer-term vision of the future the prize can usher in. Our prizes are designed to unlock innovation that, if properly nurtured, sets humanity on a path towards the Preferred Future State.

We welcome your feedback on what the Preferred Future State for XPRIZE Age Reversal should be!

It may include the following elements:
  • The biological aging process is dramatically delayed through widely available interventions that extend the human life- and health spans.
  • Age-related illness are rare, and physical and cognitive deterioration are greatly reduced.
  • Humanity has embraced the ability to remain youthful for a much longer time throughout physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy lives.

Comments

  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 874 admin
    @jonathankolber, @ymedan, @GlobalFuturist, @markjayct, @Elizabeth, @Jerome, @Halal, this is a question for the futurists in our group! What is the long-term vision we should aspire to in an age-reversal XPRIZE?
  • ymedanymedan Posts: 123 ✭✭
    Have human retire from their bodies in a healthy state at age 120 or beyond (by choice)
  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 874 admin
    Is "retire from their bodies" a euphemism for euthanasia or transferring the brain from the body?
  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 874 admin
    @temmmmm, @Terenceericson, @Jeffrey, @NewWorldOptimist, @wendyinfutures, can I ask for your feedback on this discussion as well? We're thinking about the future we want to pull forward with an age reversal XPRIZE.

    Imagine it's, say, the year 2040 or 2050. It's been several decades since XPRIZE Age Reversal concluded successfully with a treatment to reverse aging, kicking off more research, more successful treatments, and spawning a whole industry in longevity. What does that future look like, and how is it different from if we hadn't had the XPRIZE?
  • jewhitsonjewhitson Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Posts: 4
    I think a major thing that needs to be sorted out in defining this prize is whether it should focus on healthspan, lifespan, or both. In the geroscience field currently, most of the focus is on healthspan. The reason being that there is no purpose in extending late life if we can't first improve the quality of late life. No one wants to live to be 200 if 100 of those years are spent on a sick bed.

    This partially comes down to how you want to define biological aging. Is it a pathologic condition or not? It's difficult to call it a disease state if 100% of people undergo it. So is what we are fighting really aging or just age-related diseases?
  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 874 admin
    Welcome to the discussion, @jewhitson!

    Absolutely - this is an ongoing discussion in our prize design teams. We don't want to just add years at the end. Our priority is extending the healthspan, so people can live longer and healthier lives.

    When it comes to the question of whether or not to define aging as a disease, one of the suggestion for our "Preferred Future State" is exactly that: aging being considered a disease. That would not only change the mindset, but change policy and unlock approval and funding for treatments.
  • NewWorldOptimistNewWorldOptimist Member Posts: 1
    Will need to ponder this a little longer, but I imagine that with the help of a successful XPrize campaign there will be a higher likelihood of successfully making these treatments more widely available. As with any technology, as it advances, the prices come down.
  • JeanHebertJeanHebert Professor, Neuroscience and Genetics Posts: 7
    @NickOttens I don't think it's premature for XPRIZE to be bold and design in the near future a prize that truly lives up to its name - Age Reversal. In other words, not just striving for healthier states in old age, but moving toward reversal of biological age (which necessarily means increased health, healthspan, but now also indefinite extension of lifespan). If we eliminate age-related diseases, individuals will be healthier, but would still age and die somewhere between 80 and 120 (depending on their constitution), even if peacefully in their sleep from a heart or lungs so worn by time that they can't take another beat or take another breath. I've previously brought up the advances in regenerative medicine (cell and tissue replacements) as one approach that in principle could reverse age reversal, but there may be others, and all would be worth considering.
  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 874 admin
    Thank you for your feedback, @JeanHebert! I'm not sure we can do everything in one prize: extending healthspan and life expectancy?

    Although living healthier AND longer lives can be part of our "Preferred Future State" - the future we want to (help) pull forward with this prize.

    @jewhitson, @pscheck, @marky, @Jozef, @mashizaq, I'd like to ask your thoughts on this as well. Please join the discussion!
  • mashizaqmashizaq FOUNDER Posts: 33
    NickOttens wrote: »
    Although living healthier AND longer lives can be part of our "Preferred Future State" - the future we want to (help) pull forward with this prize
    @NickOttens I guess the principle behind AGE REVERSAL is definitely to extend life expectancy and healthspan consequently. I therefore do not see the need to separate the three. I think both extending healthspan and life expectancy should be envisioned as the expected end results of the AGE REVERSAL process.
    As quoted by @JeanHebert, whether we like it or not, no matter how much we try, the human body is made to fade away. Although we shall have extended our life expectancy, our different immune systems will play a major role on how far this process can go. Eventually, at one time our lives will be no more.
  • JozefJozef Mr. Posts: 8
    We need to modify human (personal) DNA in desired way regarding health span and life expectancy. There is technology CRISPR for cut and paste the DNA. What is not developed is clever way of understanding what should go where. Process of trial and error is taking too long.
  • mashizaqmashizaq FOUNDER Posts: 33
    Within a quarter century, nonbiological intelligence will match the range and subtlety of human intelligence. It will then soar past it because of the continuing acceleration of information-based technologies, as well as the ability of machines to instantly share their knowledge. Intelligent nanorobots will be deeply integrated in our bodies, our brains, and our environment, providing vastly extended longevity, full-immersion virtual reality incorporating all of the senses, experience beaming and vastly enhanced human intelligence. The result will be an intimate merger between the technology-creating species and the technological evolutionary process it spawned.
  • JeanHebertJeanHebert Professor, Neuroscience and Genetics Posts: 7
    @mashizaq @NickOttens Exactly, age reversal must imply increased healthspan and life expectancy (any approach that leads to age reversal with decreases in either of these would be, I think we would all agree, a failure).
    @Jozef I agree, we don't know yet how to re-engineer genomes to achieve increased life expectancy. An even bigger issue I think is that even when we do know, implementing DNA changes to all or most cells of the body without causing significant unwanted side effects (e.g. using viral vectors?) is hard to imagine (unless of course you are replacing existing cells with re-engineered cells). For a new generation, genome engineering might one day be doable. But for already existing individuals, even re-engineering their genomes will have little effect on the bulk of age related damage, which happens to be in extracellular proteins and carbohydrates in connective tissue (that turns over very little, and in some cases not at all, during the course of a lifetime.
  • JozefJozef Mr. Posts: 8
    @JeanHebert @NickOttens If extracellular proteins do not turn much during lifetime, good. Is possible to design artificial cell with purpose to help to replace all parts what do not turn over in lifetime? My opinions are based on theory, that everything in our body can be represented as information and it is some kind of difficult puzzle.
  • jewhitsonjewhitson Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Posts: 4
    edited August 20
    @Jozef, I see a few issues here. Not the least of which is that editing the human genome is illegal, and for good reason. It opens a ton of ethical questions that extend far beyond a discussion of just aging. I also agree with @JeanHebert that part of the problem is we don't yet know how to engineer human biology better than nature does. The human body is extremely resilient and has so many systems that exist to prevent it from breaking down, yet it still does eventually. That's not to say it can't be done or isn't worth pursuing, but I think we need to carefully consider why the systems in place that provide genomic and proteomic stability eventually fail and how we can bolster them.

    Developing an artificial cell that can replaces low turnover proteins is pure science fiction at this point, although I do think you bring up a good point about how those low turnover proteins may be a good place to focus any therapeutics. Reversing the accumulation of post-translational modifications is another potential target for rejuvenation, and something that we already know drugs can do. Currently I believe that reversing the epigenetic landscape of cells holds the greatest potential in terms of dramatic lifespan extension.
  • jewhitsonjewhitson Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Posts: 4
    @NickOttens Could the preferred future state be something like: "The average human will live to, and remain healthy, beyond 100 years of age"? That succinctly addresses both the lifespan and healthspan component and gives a clear goal.

    Although this brings up another aspect of lifespan. Average lifespan is not just based on aging, it's based on tons of other biological and societal factors too. There are a million things that could be done to greatly increase average lifespan without stepping foot into a lab. If cars were banned tomorrow, the number of deaths in early life would dramatically decrease and average lifespan would increase by several years. So it is worth considering, when talking about lifespan, if you are talking about average lifespan or maximum theoretical lifespan. But if it's the latter and you don't address the first, are you really accomplishing much?
  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 874 admin
    @jewhitson, you're exactly right. Even if we extend health- and lifespans, average life expectancy might not decline dramatically as long as people keep smoking, keep unhealthy food, keep driving cars, etc. So making reference to life expectancy may be unwise.
  • TerenceericsonTerenceericson vice-CEO Posts: 2
    " the year 2040 or 2050. XPRIZE Age Reversal concluded successfully with a treatment to reverse aging, kicking off more research, more successful treatments, and spawning a whole industry in longevity"...
    we can finally live in the same way as before, but without the overnight fear of losing everything because of cancer or neurodegeneration . In other words, we have added continuity to the human experience. Today our lives are made of ruptures (we are healthy, we get hurt, we get well, we get sick, we get better, we get older, etc...), but tomorrow these same lives could gain in continuity, to enjoy a perennial, acquired good health,
  • TerenceericsonTerenceericson vice-CEO Posts: 2
    Finally, there is a decorrelation between chronological ageing (which is desirable, since one becomes wiser and more experienced) and biological ageing (undesirable, since one loses one's physical and mental integrity).
    In other words, aging chronologically is "having time to do", aging biologically is "no longer having the ability to do". And it is a paradox, a limit, that we would have overcome
  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 874 admin
    In other words, aging chronologically is "having time to do", aging biologically is "no longer having the ability to do". And it is a paradox, a limit, that we would have overcome

    Interesting point! I think our attitude toward aging, at least in the Western world, now leans toward the negative. We think more about the negatives than the positives of getting older. Rejuvenation could flip that.
  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 874 admin
    @nlc, @agruen, @12Oyinlola, it would be great to have your sociological expertise here. Please join the discussion!

    @sheesh, @Robin, @shevschenk, @abhikgupta, you may also have thoughts on this. What is the long-term future we should aspire to create with an age reversal XPRIZE?
  • jonathankolberjonathankolber Denver, CO, USAPosts: 22 ✭✭
    I'd suggest that the Preferred Future State be something that can be tested within a reasonable period of time; not lifespan contingent.

    Therefore: "Reversal of all biomarkers in at least one individual person, by a minimum of five years, from the first date of testing to the second date."
  • ErnieRogersErnieRogers Vice Chair Posts: 10 ✭✭
    I am now approaching my 84th birthday. Over 40 years ago, I made a hypothesis about aging and I am still evaluating the results. Here is the basis of the hypothesis. (1) Research (on rats) showed that amino acids in our food (protein) only remain available for four hours after consumption. The experiments involved withholding an essential amino acid from a meal, then giving that amino acid later. If the missing amino acid was obtained within four hours, the animal thrived. After four hours, no benefit obtained. (2) The human body does not have a place where it stores amino acids for future use, but needs for them are continuous, for example to produce enzymes and hormones. (3) I assumed that when a protein or amino acid is required by the body and not available from food, it must deconstruct tissue to fulfill its needs. Later, the tissue is replaced as needed. (4) We know that construction of tissue involves cell division, and our systems only allow a limited number of divisions--approximately 92 in humans according to in-vitro experiments.
    My conclusion was that if I am careful to minimize periods with inadequate protein intake, then I should live healthier and longer. So, I try to include high-quality protein in my meals. The proteins of choice are eggs and milk (or milk products). Quantity of protein is not the goal, but rather good complete protein eaten frequently in the day. The body should rest at night.
    I think the experiment has been fairly successful. I may add that I follow the teachings of Adelle Davis, who emphasized the importance of good nutrition in fighting infections and disease.
  • boblf029boblf029 author Posts: 35 ✭✭
    I would aim for certain objectives. 1.In the area of reproduction I would aim for the ability to become pregnant and enjoy sex well into one's eighties and nineties even. Too many people have kids while they are too young. They have no money to care for these kids. They have no wisdom to impart to their progeny. We need to offer people the chance to have children when they are financially abel to have them and enjoy them. And we need concomitantly to reduce teenage pregnancy and having more children than people can afford to care for.

    2. I would like to see certain paths to getting old closed off. I do not like the idea of brain deterioration before death. Dementia of various sorts needs to be wiped out; I can accept that I do not run as fast or have the stamina for some tasks as I get older. But we should aim for making certain that as we age we get mentally sharper. Our creative work, whether it be art, or science, or government administration should be improved. as we get older. The idea that your best math work is done before forty seems to me to be something that should become quaint. This is really essential if our economies are to thrive because people are going to have to work for a very long period to earn a living. Pensions that start at fifty and continue for fifty years are a ridiculous idea that is ruining many economies. Rather, we should have programs that give us more money as we get older so we can take more interesting trips, tackle more ambitious projects etc. But I do not think we need a future Willie Mays or Mickey mantle belting homers at age eighty. A lot of sports are really kids ' games and we should mature out of them into more complex and socially productive activities.
  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 874 admin
    @barryflanary, @nicolas_cher, @bjcooper, it would be great to have your input here as well. We're drafting what we call our "Preferred Future State" for the age reversal prize, which succinctly describes the future we want this prize to help usher in. It's a North Star for the rest of the prize design.

    What do you think should go into it?
  • nicolas_chernicolas_cher Mr. Posts: 8
    Hi Nick. I strongly suggest that, besides the word "delayed" (referring to the aging process), it should be used the word "reversed". A situation in which aging is just delayed is completely different from a situation in which aging is reversed, since in the first case, death is still a certainty, and in the second case, it's is not certain anymore. Living with the certainty that one will die is very different than the prospect of an indefinite lifespan.
  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 874 admin
    Hi Nick. I strongly suggest that, besides the word "delayed" (referring to the aging process), it should be used the word "reversed". A situation in which aging is just delayed is completely different from a situation in which aging is reversed...

    Absolutely!
  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 874 admin
    A point we may want to add:
    • Rejuvenation treatments are affordable and widely available.

    We don't want to end up in a future where longevity is only available to the rich and powerful.
  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 874 admin
    @NoraEatREAL, @SamLeTardif, @aloufer, do you have thoughts on our "Preferred Future State" for Age Reversal?
  • SamLeTardifSamLeTardif Mr. Posts: 3
    I think the ultimate goal should be having the ability to choose how long we want our lifespans to be. Aubrey de Grey of SENS has argued that reversing the aging process would actually be easier than slowing it down or just increasing "health-span". This, because we could focus on a multi-pronged reproach to repair the damage caused by aging without having to fully understand every mechanism involved in the incredibly complex process.
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