September 28, 2004
Methuselah Mouse Prize Reaches Half Million Dollar Mark

The Methuselah Foundation has announced that their Methuselah Mouse Prize award offered to scientists who break records in lab mouse longevity has reached the half million dollar mark in funding.

Lorton, VA. September 1, 2004. The Methuselah Foundation, creators of the Methuselah Mouse Prize, the world's first scientific prize for research on extending longevity, today announced that it has secured $500,000 in funding commitments and a long term support commitment from an anonymous supporter making his donation in the name of the X PRIZE Foundation, the multi-million-dollar bounty which has successfully encouraged the development of private passenger space travel.

"We've seen how prizes such as the X PRIZE and the Methuselah Mouse Prize can dramatically increase competition and innovation, and create interest for the public," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Founder and Executive Producer of the X PRIZE. "With this contribution, we're signaling our belief that Prizes can not only take us into space, but help bring about breakthroughs in the way we live and age."

"We're thrilled to have the support of the X PRIZE, said David Gobel, Director of the Methuselah Foundation and the Methuselah Mouse Prize. "This landmark contribution will further swell the size of the Prize, and encourage scientific research teams around the world to develop breakthrough techniques for extending the healthy human lifespan. It will create a needed impetus and focus for the development of new rejuvenation therapies."

The Methuselah Mouse Prize is being offered to scientific research teams who develop the longest living Mus musculus, the breed of mouse most commonly used in scientific research. This is a critical precursor to the development of human anti-aging techniques. Currently, six teams around the world are vying for the prize, and this new contribution is expected to swell that number.

"By encouraging the development of technologies that enable sustainable human rejuvenation, the Methuselah Foundation is the first and most developed organization directly promoting the development of human "Projuvenation" technology." Said the Methuselah Foundation's Chief Science Officer - Dr. Aubrey de Grey. "The focus of the Methuselah Foundation is not simply extending human life; it is discovering ways to limit and eventually eliminate the destructive effects of human aging, promoting not only longer life but freedom from the effects of aging-related conditions and diseases."

Your support of the Methuselah Mouse Prize is the best and most effective way that you can help ensure that human biological rejuvenation technologies are developed and widely available as quickly as possible. The future return on your investment is a longer, healthier, and ultimately better quality of life for yourself and your loved ones."

There is an obvious parallel here with the $10 million X Prize for private groups to launch humans into space. The X Prize has been very successful in attracting private groups to make a serious effort to build craft that can fly into orbit. In the latest turn in that fierce competition the Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne may have a leg up over the da Vinci Project due to a parts shortage affecting the latter.

I understand the appeal of building rockets to get into space. It is great to watch the unfolding of the competition to build private space launch vehicles. But priorities seem out of whack when the Ansari X Prize has $10 million now available to the winners whereas the Methuselah Mouse Prize has a mere half million. Look at it this way: Once we can achieve an indefinite state of youth (basically until we die by accident, murder, or suicide) using Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) we will have centuries to migrate into space.

Of course, what is far more out of whack is that NASA has billions of dollars to spend per year while the Ansari X Prize is achieving far more per dollar spent with their prize offering. Similarly, many individual diseases get funding per year of hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars whereas eternal youth research advances with literally orders of magnitude less money spent on it.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2004 September 28 12:39 PM  Aging Reversal

Kurt said at September 29, 2004 12:56 PM:

Has anyone in California considered trying to get a referendum on the ballot that would allocate some of Prop 71's money for SENS research.

I highly recommend that anyone who objects to a cure for aging on the basis of it being "unfair to the poor" or any other "societal" argument read Simon Smith's latest posting over on Betterhumans. It eloquently demolishes all of the "societal" arguments against immortality.

Emerson said at September 29, 2004 7:27 PM:

I wish I had a little more space at the moment. My pharmacology background is pretty much a thing of the past. But I have to admit, this is a strong temptation to try out a few crazy theories I've had and intended to get around to some day. But aside from my own, admitingly somewhat shakey ideas, hopefully many others with more background under their belt are having the same thoughts on hearing this.

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