The idea of life extension entering mainstream in Israel


The 8th European Congress of Biogerontology: Healthy Aging and Regenerative Medicine, that took place on March 10-13, in Beer Sheva University and the Dead Sea, Israel, was a huge success. This was just a continuous series of amazing presentations. Panels ranged from the “Integrative view on ageing and related pathology,” through “Stem cells, induced pluripotency and tissue remodeling”;  “Fibroproliferative repair – an emerging challenge of the 21st century”; “Cellular senescence, immunoaging and immunocorrection”; “Novel strategies for the treatment of neuro- and muscle-degeneration”; “Genetics and epigenetics of ageing and longevity”; “Biomarkers and signatures of ageing”; and finally the panel on “Lifespan extension – where we are and where to go?” and the Round Table “Converging Science and Health Policy: Is Ageing a Common Mechanism of Age-Related Diseases?” The complete book of abstracts can be downloaded here. The general consensus at the conference, as expressed in the final round table, can be paraphrased: ‘Yes, aging is the root cause of age-related chronic diseases, hence, in order to combat disease, strong scientific, medical and societal efforts should be directed toward combating aging itself.’  Adopting and spreading this view can produce wide ranging positive impacts on public health and research policy. And generally it was just a great pleasure and honor to meet all those wonderful people who have dedicated their lives to the fight against aging and death. Many thanks to Prof. Vadim Fraifeld of Beer Sheva University for organizing this fantastic and influential event! The conference, and the topic of life extension generally, received wide coverage in the Israeli media. First and foremost, the topic was covered yesterday, March 16, on Channel 2, in the widely watched Weekend News in the program by Lee Abramivich entitled “Soon: Life Eternal?” (Bekarov: Hayey Netzach?). See here In addition, at the same prime time, Channel 10 produced an additional program in its News Magazine hosted by Oshrat Kotler, entitled “We will live to the age of 200” (Nihye ad gil 200). However, unlike biological life extension in the former program, this program focused on cybernetic/bionic approaches for extending longevity. See here Yet the common subject in both programs was the same: the practical possibility of significant (and even radical) life extension. Altogether, it can be estimated, the 2 programs were watched by over 1.5 million people. More reports in several Israeli newspapers are forthcoming soon (the list will be updated). 

Thus, it can be safely said that, even though not yet universally shared, the idea of significant or even radical life extension is beginning to enter the mainstream in Israel.