Thrilled to announce the Longevity #Impetus Grants, $21M+ towards basic research that could accelerate our understanding and control of human aging.
We welcome proposals from researchers in- and outside the #Aging field. Please share!

More info: & this 🧵
Impetus Grants are $10k-500k (w max 10% overhead). Smaller requests favored, to support more projects. No project period and no strings attached. Scientists at non-profits worldwide can apply with ideas that shift perspectives & capabilities in #Aging research, starting Sep 13th.
Inspiration came from @tylercowen & @patrickc's #COVID19 Fast Grants. Their team made funding decisions in 2 weeks, and the grants have already led to both discoveries and better tools for #testing.
If it's feasible to fund science this way, shouldn't we?…
We're hoping to minimize the quoted phenomenon.
Academic research is peculiar in that we train scientists, then promote them to be fundraisers. PIs not only spend a lot of time writing #grants, but learning 'grantsmanship' and what is likely to get funded.
Privately, I often hear ideas that scientists have shelved as 'unfundable'.
Several major topics in longevity research were first demonstrated without direct funding: epigenetic clocks, heterochronic parabiosis, and partial reprogramming. How many such discoveries are we missing?
We'd like to make more bets on the ideas that scientists find most important, even when the hypothesis isn't already strongly supported. Many such projects won't turn out as expected, but even a few wins could significantly accelerate the field (and we'd learn from the rest too).
On that note, some process experiments:
We want any outcome of these bold projects to benefit the field, and are organizing a special journal issue w short reports that include (robust) negative/unintuitive findings.
Our reviewers are paid for their time, which should be normal.
Moving #Fast was clearly important for #COVID19, but why is #Longevity research urgent?

The world is aging. In ~10 years, 🇺🇸 will have more 65+yos than children. 2/3 of people 65+ suffer from multiple chronic diseases. Healthcare will collapse under this demographic pressure...
...but there's increasingly robust evidence that #AgingBiology CAN address #Multimorbidity, and thus represents our biggest lever on population health. But translation of the basic research takes 10+ years to become therapies, so we need to fund more basic research NOW.
Note: '#Longevity' is a loaded term.
The work we'll fund is not for the few. It's medicine aimed at treating multiple diseases at once. It's enabling healthcare, rather than relying on #sickcare, by attacking the drivers of the diseases, pain, and frailty that afflict everyone.
Impetus has been the first Longevity Apprenticeship project As promised, @LNuzhna, @kush__sharma & @edmarferreira were thrown right into a big project, and did a fantastic job. The infrastructure making these grants possible is all thanks to their efforts
Likewise, this is only possible due to very generous donors who want to accelerate scientific #progress. Founding donor @juanbenet was quickly joined by @jamesfickel and @JedMcCaleb+other (anonymous) donors have since joined.

If you would like to contribute, please reach out!
Research support, both governmental and private, has been a boon to my own science career. With the Impetus Grants, we hope to complement large institutions like @Calico and Altos. We want to hear all the best ideas from the community, and support as many as possible.
Our coffers swell with 1500 #ETH from @VitalikButerin!

We now have ~$26M to give away. It is a privilege to work with people who are invested in uplifting society by supporting scientific progress. Sapere aude.
PS: I'm transitioning the site to .org instead of .com, to better reflect non-profit nature. Both domains will continue to work, and it's not some scam site :)

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More from @MartinBJensen

23 Jun
Arlan Richardson showing that JAX-housed mice, like humans, have undergone a dramatic improvement in #lifespan this century ... by reducing deaths from pathogens. #MindYourModels
Recommends looking at lifespan data as the best indicator of husbandry quality at different institutions/sources. Mean survival should be at least 27-30 months.
Example: 2003 Igf1r study showing 33% lifespan extension (in het ♀️s), but mean lifespan of controls was only 19mos. Lifespan effect largely disappeared when replicated in cohorts with longer control lifespan.
This was my go-to question for fly lifespan studies as a postdoc.
Read 7 tweets
20 Dec 20
I'm often asked how to learn about #AgingBiology, which I hope this thread can address.

Will first list recommended introductory resources, then contextualize and interpret.
There's exciting progress! But also many fanciful ideas, so you can't take everything at face value.
Will mostly skip the Why/philosophy of #AntiAging, since those asking for resources are likely already bought in.

If interested I wrote a Why/Why not post back in 2016:…, and most of the websites I'll list have a version of this discussion too.
The most comprehensive #Aging primer is @ArtirKel's FAQ:
It does a great job of introducing the field, and distilling the science for non-biologists. Bonus points for contextualizing how biology is different from engineering.
Read 13 tweets
15 Sep 20
Very excited (enough to get up at 5am) about this Temporal Single Cell Analysis organized by @singlecellomics. First talk by the amazing Caroline Uhlers, recently snagged from MIT by @ETH_en #SCOGtempSC #SingleCell
Livetweets here. Apologies in advance to any sophisticated 'ML on scSeq/spatial' presenters whose work I misinterpret/misrepresent, still a novice to that field.
Very nice talk by Caroline. Two parts: 1) mapping RNAseq and images to the same latent space, to enable timecourse measurements (w images) of (inferred) RNA state. Seems like WIP but cool.
Read 11 tweets
6 Sep 20
I've been hunting for a delicious decaf coffee, and @elamadej gifted me this @Timelesscoffee (thanks!). At first it looks just high-end artisanal, but then things get a bit strange... Image
An apostle, sure. #CoffeeIsMyReligion and such things. A bit unusual but nice graphic design. Image
Well, this is a bit beyond the usual. Why seven fingers? The eye presumably the esoteric mysteries I'll learn after drinking this? But still, this is #BayArea and I've certainly seen cultier startups than this. Image
Read 4 tweets
1 Sep 20
Livetweets from the 7th Annual Aging Research and Drug Discovery conference #ARDD2020. I can't attend every talk to coverage will be intermittent. Apologies to any speakers left out!
Christian Riedel from @karolinskainst presenting aging clocks. There are a lot of these, but excited to see him (A) making a human clock predicting time to death, not just age, and (B) deconvoluting both their human and model org clocks into FUNCTIONAL parameters. Sorely needed.
Now from Estonia arguing that hand photos are more robust than faces for AI-based aging biomarkers, and that we need more explicit skin tone features for broadly applicable tools.
PS, Estonia is probably the world leader in digital health/EHRs.
Read 24 tweets
10 Jul 20
Cool #Senescence paper #2, in @JCI_insight:….

@marissa_schafer, Xu Zhang, @NKLeBRASSEUR & team dive into the details of SASP, the Senescence Associated Secretory Phenotype first discovered in the Campisi lab @BuckInstitute.
SASP is a prime suspect for how #Senescent cells cause #Inflammation, #Cancer and #Fibrosis. But SASP is a mix of many secreted proteins, so the @MayoClinic looked closely at 24 factors.
1st, they show which factors are secreted by different cell types (in culture).
Next, and more exciting, they measured which SASP factors increase with age in human blood. #ChronicInflammation is an important mechanism of aging, but really defining #ChronicInflammation is hard and often not even attempted. So this detailed analysis is great.
Read 4 tweets

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