Major Problem in Biogerontology


This interview potpourri covers the opinions of well-known gerontologists about the possibility of late-onset interventions to prolong life. The scientists are the authors of a paper in the Science Translational Medicine, which advocates that the funding for research is increased and interventions in aging processes are developed.

I’d like to draw your attention to Jan Vijg’s words: “People are a little afraid to confess that they want to cure aging. I think it would be a good thing to make it very clear that that is exactly what we want to do, we want to try to get rid of aging.” Dr. Vijg discerned one of the major problems in biogerontology – the fear and pretence of the scientists, who want the grant money, but don’t want to sound “inappropriate.” I have to say this approach of not saying what you have in mind is lethal. For everybody.

Why is so much money being spent on cancer research? Because cancer researchers cry out loud that cancer is a very dangerous disease that needs to be cured. They clearly state their goal. Biogerontologists, on the other hand, would never say their goal is to cure aging. This is why they don’t get the money. This is why the whole field rather survives, not lives.

I believe this attitude has to change. Researchers have to state their noble goal – to defeat aging. They should be neither afraid, nor embarrased to say this explicitly. This is the only right way to get public attention and needed grant money for studying the fundamental mechnisms of our worst disease – aging.

2 Comments

Filed under Funding, Regenerative medicine

2 responses to “Major Problem in Biogerontology

  1. Mark B

    I couldn’t agree more. But why is it that people are afraid to announce to the world that they are trying to find a cure for aging? Personally, I blame religion. Having been brought up a Christian, it was drilled in my head at an early age that if I questioned God’s existence, I risked losing out on the opportunity to go to heaven when I die. It is amazing just how many people still feel that way (strongly). I suspect any scientist who is interested in trying to find a cure for aging is keenly aware of how many religious individuals they might upset/outrage/offend once they announce their plans to the world. Undoubtedly many are afraid of the backlash they would face, the condemnation and perhaps even death threats they would receive from the religious masses. When you live in a country where the President publicly speaks of god and praying, it certainly seems contrary to be asking for money to cure aging. After all, the church going majority feels as though they already have eternal life and need not bother seeking other alternatives, especially if doing so were to mean they could lose the one opportunity that they have.
    My message to the religious community…….WAKE UP PEOPLE! Nothing supernatural exists on this planet. We have seen no irrefutable evidence of a supreme being to date (nothing even close) and we never will. Sorry for being so blunt but I hope you live long enough to thank the longevity scientists for what they are trying to do for you.

  2. “I believe this attitude has to change. Researchers have to state their noble goal – to defeat aging. They should be neither afraid, nor embarrased to say this explicitly. This is the only right way to get public attention and needed grant money for studying the fundamental mechnisms of our worst disease – aging. ”

    So, true, Maria; thank you for the post. I think we can all be inspired by both the need and the opportunity listening to the scientists in this video.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s