The panel and presentations on life extension were the highlight of the Convergence08 unconference.

Gregory Benford’s companyGenescient has bought Methuselah fruit flies. The flies were not allowed to breed until half were dead. So selective breeding over 28 years has resulted in flies that live 4.5 times longer than normal. Over 700 genes have been identified as effecting longevity. The flies share 75% of human genes.
– Genescient will be introducing supplements based on identifying small molecules that activate longevity genes but finding those sequences in natural herbs or foods or items grandfathered by the FDA. Thus no lengthy and expensive clinical trials will be needed.
– Bruce Ames: Whenever you’re short of any micronutrient you’re aging faster. Bruce has developed a low calorie bar to top up micronutrient levels more effectively than vitamin pills and other supplements
– Terry Grossman: Red Yeast Rice can help lower cholesterol as effectively as some statins. Also, take plant sterol supplements. There are cheap tests for early detection of heart disease.

Synthetic Biology panel

– Many synthetic biology companies are targeting biofuels and another means to enhance energy production. It is where big money is and no FDA approval delays.

The Speculist convergence08 wrap up

The Speculist had about twelve radiocost interviews from convergence08 I was one of the people interviewed on the second day of interviews.

My talk at convergence08

Paul Saffo keynote.

– Robots and sensors will be the next big thing

Keith Henson talked about a plan for getting a lot of space based solar power.

Anders Sandberg talked about brain emulation.
Alcor talk on cryonics

PJ Manney on empathy and technology

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