The Seven Reasons Our Bodies Age, and What to do about it

By | January 25, 2009

Many things go wrong with aging bodies, but only a few of them are primary changes in the structure of the body itself — that is, aging damage. Other changes (such as increases in inflammation and oxidative stress) are the secondary consequences of this primary change: either the direct results of those damaged components’ inability to carry out their normal role in metabolism, or the body’s adaptive or maladaptive attempts to compensate for those changes. Thus, by removing, repairing, replacing, or rendering harmless the damage of aging, we restore the normal functioning of the body’s cells and essential biomolecules, and the secondary changes are given the chance to return to their normal, youthful baseline.

Scientists have spent decades looking for such changes in aging bodies, this research has led to the surprisingly optimistic conclusion that there are no more than seven major classes of such cellular and molecular damage (see Table 1).

Aging Damage Discovery

SENS Solution

Cell loss, tissue atrophy 1955 Stem cells and tissue engineering (“RepleniSENS”)
Nuclear [epi]mutations

(only cancer matters)

1959, 1982 Removal of telomere-lengthening Machinery (“OncoSENS”)
Mutant mitochondria 1972 Allotopic expression of 13 proteins (“MitoSENS”)
Death-resistant cells 1965 Targeted ablation (“ApoptoSENS”)
Tissue stiffening 1958,


AGE-breaking molecules (“GlycoSENS”); tissue engineering
Extracellular aggregates 1907 Immunotherapeutic clearance (“AmyloSENS”)

Intracellular aggregates 1959 Novel lysosomal hydrolases (“LysoSENS”)

The specific metabolic processes that are ultimately responsible for all of this damage are still poorly understood. But as we discussed on the main SENS Platform page, this ignorance doesn’t matter for “engineering” purposes. All that matters is our ability to periodically fix the damage, at the right time: after it has formed, but before it builds up to levels high enough to interfere with our youthful functionality.

The even better news is that we know how to fix all of this damage today. For each major aging lesion, a SENS solution for its removal or repair either already exists in prototype form, or is clearly foreseeable from existing scientific developments…

Thanks to the generous support of our donors and volunteers, the Methuselah Foundation is now funding scientific research in the areas that are currently the greatest bottlenecks to the achievement of this first wave of rejuvenation therapies, including projects in LysoSENS, MitoSENS, and OncoSENS. We have also just reached an agreement to launch a project in ApoptoSENS, and are working out a collaboration in GlycoSENS.  With preliminary results from these projects proving exciting, and with greater funding coming onstream every day, the Methuselah Foundation is pushing forward to take on additional research projects. To support this critical SENS research, join the ranks of generous Methuselah Foundation donors and help us make this new rejuvenation science a reality. – MFOUNDATION

A lot of money has been raised by this group. I’ve joined the Methuselah Foundation Newsletter. I’m curious to keep up with the best things we can do for our health and long life as of right now.

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