Timeline of life extension
This is a timeline of life extension, attempting to describe significant and illustrative events on the topic, covering advocacy, experiments, some scientific research, and industry. For more content on life extension research, visit Timeline of senescence research and Timeline of calorie restriction.
- 1 Sample questions
- 2 Big picture
- 3 Numerical and visual data
- 4 Full timeline
- 5 Meta information on the timeline
- 6 See also
- 7 External links
- 8 References
The following are some interesting questions that can be answered by reading this timeline:
- What are some of the multiple approaches having been tried or researched in order to attain life extension in organisms?
- What are some notable organizations engaged in life extension?
- Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Organization".
- What are some sample research studies having been conducted with the purpose to attain life extension?
- Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Scientific development".
- What are some notable publications specializing in the topic of life extension?
- Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Literature".
- You will see some illustrative publications discussing the topic and proposing different aproaches, ranging from healthy habits to nanotechnology.
|Time period||Development summary||More details|
|Before 20th century||Prescientific period||Historical documents on life extension attempts date back to ancient times, when there is no science and superstition is is almost the only approach. The period ranging from the 3rd to 17th century isknown as the period of alchemy.|
|20th century||Early scientific attempts||Early life extension scientific experiments, although having began around late 19th century, proliferate in the 20th century. Attempts of rejuvenation by methods of cell injections begin in the 1930s. By the 1970s, the concept of what would be called longevity escape velocity is already present in the life extension community.|
|21st century||Increased anti-aging movement||Modern anti-aging organizations merge and their proliferation multiplies toward the 2000s. During the first half of the 2010s, small political parties appear in different countries, making the promotion of anti-aging technologies part of their political platforms, for example, the Science Party of Australia, and the U.S. Transhumanist Party. In the second half of 2010s official discussions about the possibility of recognizing aging as a disease emmerge.|
Numerical and visual data
The following table summarizes per-year mentions on Google Scholar as of June 28, 2021.
|Year||radical life extension||radical life extension ethics||radical life extension enhancement||radical life extension immortality||slow aging||slow aging interventions|
The chart below shows Google Trends data for Negligible senescence (Topic), from January 2004 to June 2021, when the screenshot was taken. Interest is also ranked by country and displayed on world map.
Google Ngram Viewer
|Year||Event type||Approach (when applicable)||Details|
|259 BC–210 BC||Early development||Elixir of youth||Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang lives. Having united China under his rule, all his life he would persistently search for an elixir of youth and died trying, presumably taking pills of immortality, containing mercury.|
|156 BC–87 BC||Early development||Magic||Chinese emperor Wu of Han lives. This monarch would persistently try to find a way to achieve immortality, mainly by means of magic. He would use services of various magicians and thoroughly recheck their abilities. If he saw that the person is a quack, he would executed him.|
|1513||Early development||Fountain of Youth||While leading the first known European expedition that would discover La Florida, Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León is thought to be looking for the Fountain of Youth as one of the purposes of the expedition.|
|1550||Literature||Healthy habits||Italian nobleman Luigi Cornaro writes The Art of Living Long. Translated into English, French, Dutch, and German, this book would become the bible of prolongevity advocates who assert that a long and healthy life is a very real possibility. |
|1889||Scientific development||Hormone injection||French doctor Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard conducts a rejuvenation experiment, making himself a few subcutaneous injections from the testicles of young dogs and guinea pigs and claiming that the injections are accompanied by significant and long pain, but then he would observe an improvement of the physical condition of the organism and increase of mental activity. Experiments of other scientists, at first, produce the same results, but later it becomes clear that the period of reinforced activity is followed by a period of decline. This method lays the foundation for the development of hormone replacement therapy. |
|1913||Organization||Hygiene and disease prevention||The Life Extension Institute is inaugurated as a longevity research center, with US president William Howard Taft as chairman. It describes its philanthropic goal of prolonging human life through hygiene and disease prevention.|
|1914||Scientific development||Testis transplant||Dr. Frank Lydston from Chicago performs human testis transplants on several patients, including himself, saying that there are some rejuvenating consequences (such as returning his gray hair to its original color and improving of sexual performance).|
|1910s–1930s||Scientific development||Surgical operations||Austrian physiologist Eugen Steinach tries to achieve rejuvenation effects by means of different surgical operations such as partial vasectomy for men, ligation of fallopian tubes for women, transplantation of testicles, etc. And although later these operations would be found to be ineffective, they would allow researchers to recognize the role of the sexual glands and sexual hormones in the formation of the first and secondary gender characteristics, enrich physiology, lay the foundation for the science of sexology, and would form the basis for sex reassignment surgeries. From 1921 to 1938, Eugen Steinach would be nominated for the Nobel Prize many times, but would never received it.|
|1926–1928||Scientific development||Blood transfusion||Soviet physician Alexander Bogdanov conducts experiments on rejuvenation by blood transfusion in the world's first Institute for Blood Transfusion espicially created for that purpose. Bogdanov himself would die during one of the experiments, because at this time little is known about the factors of blood compatibility of different people. As of 2021, the institute still exists and is still actively working.|
|1931–1949||Scientific development||Fresh cell therapy||Swiss doctor Paul Niehans develops the so-called Fresh cell therapy, which consists in mainly the use of live animal embryo organs cells which are injected into the patient with the purpose of achieving a revitalizing effect. These cells are generally extracted from sheep’s fetuses because in comparison to other animals, like pigs, rabbits and cows, sheep are clean animals and rarely contract diseases. Whereas animal cells are not able to be included in human tissue, they can secrete factors for rejuvenating. That's why this rejuvenation technology, despite the harsh criticism, it is practiced to this day.|
|1933||Organization||Romanian gerontologist Dimu Kotsovsky establishes in Kishinev the Institute for The Study and Combat of Aging (Romanian: Institutul Pentru Studierea si Combaterea Batranetii), the first institute in the world dedicated to the study of aging. Initially maintained by Kotsovsky's own means, the institute is subsequently recognized by the Romanian government.|
|1936||Literature||Dimu Kotsovsky in Kishinev launches Problems of Aging: Journal for the International Study and Combat of Aging (German: Altersprobleme: Zeitschrift für Internationale Altersforschung und Altersbekämpfung), the first European journal about aging and longevity.|
|1937||Scientific development||Antireticular cytotoxic serum injection||Ukrainian Soviet pathophysiologist Alexander Bogomolets creates antireticular cytotoxic serum in the hope to extend life of people to 150 years. Although the drug would not achieve its main goal, it would become widely used for the treatment of a number of diseases, especially infectious diseases and fractures.|
|1959||Scientific development||Nanotechnology||American theoretical physicist Richard Feynman publishes essay There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom, proposing the idea of a "medical" use for Feynman's theoretical nanomachines. The idea, originally suggested by Feynman former graduate student and collaborator Albert Hibbs, proposes that certain repair machines might one day be reduced in size to the point that it would, in theory, be possible to (as Feynman put it) "swallow the doctor".|
|1967||Organization (non-profit)||The Immortalist Society is founded. It is devoted to research and education in the areas of cryonics and life extension.|
|1980||Organization||The Life Extension Foundation is founded by Saul Kent and William Faloon.|
|1981||Organization||The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) is founded "to encourage scientists to pursue careers in aging research".|
|1982||Literature||Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw publish Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach, which discusses various aspects of aging and includes suggestions on how to slow the aging process and improve health.|
|1986||Literature||Nanotechnology||American engineer K. Eric Drexler, one of the founders of nanotechnology, publishes Engines of Creation, which postulates cell repair machines, including ones operating within cells and utilizing as yet hypothetical molecular computers. This could give rise to life extension through the repair of many processes thought to be responsible for aging.|
|1987||Legal||The United States FDA raids the Life Extension Foundation's warehouse, and charges Saul Kent and William Faloon with 27 counts, including that of distributing unapproved drugs, in later dropped charges. In response, Kent and Faloon open the FDA Holocaust Museum, a one-room museum that contains "books and articles about life extension" and comparisons between the FDA and the Nazis.|
|1990||Organization||Gerontology Research Group||The Gerontology Research Group (GRG) is founded as a global group of researchers in various fields that verifies and tracks supercentenarians. It also aims to further gerontology research with a goal of reversing or slowing aging.|
|1992||Organization||The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) is founded "to promote the anti-aging technoscience agenda". As of 2020, A4M has 26,000 members. It convenes two annual world congresses with several thousand attendees, offers research fellowships and two masters programs.|
|1998||Literature (journal)||Bimonthly peer-reviewed scientific journal Rejuvenation Research is launched.|
|1999||Organization (privately company)||Biotechnology||Sierra Sciences is founded by American molecular biologist William H. Andrews in Reno, Nevada as a biotechnology company with the goal of preventing and/or reversing cellular senescence.|
|1999||Literature||English scientist Aubrey de Grey publishes The Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging, which introduces the term "engineered negligible senescence".|
|2001||Literature||S. Jay Olshansky and Bruce A Carnes publish The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging, which attempts to explain the science of aging and to show which current treatments could be effective and which not.|
|2002||Scientific consensus||Scientific American publishes a position paper signed by fifty-one gerontologists stating emphatically that “there are no lifestyle changes, surgical procedures, vitamins, antioxidants, hormones or techniques of genetic engineering available today that have been demonstrated to influence the processes of aging”. The authors locate contemporary anti-aging medicine practitioners as “entrepreneurial,” “vicitimizing,” and “pseudoscientific.” While they state that although “there is every reason to be optimistic that continuing progress in public health and the biomedical sciences will contribute to even longer and healthier lives in the future,” they condemn the current practice of anti-aging medicine in clinics at the moment.|
|2003||Organization (non-profit)||Aubrey de Grey and David Gobel form the Methuselah Foundation, which gives financial grants to anti-aging research projects.|
|2003||Scientific development||Resveratrol||Australian biologist David Andrew Sinclair at the University of New South Wales discovers the anti-ageing properties of a red-wine compound called resveratrol.|
|2003||Concept development||Prolongevity||Gerald Gruman introduces the term “prolongevity”, which refers to a significant extension of average human life expectancy and/or maximum life span without extending suffering and infirmity.|
|2003||Literature||Embryonic stem cells||American biogerontologist Michael D. West publishes The Immortal Cell: One Scientist's Quest to Solve the Mystery of Human Aging, which emphasizes the potential role of embryonic stem cells in life extension.|
|2004||Concept development||The term "longevity escape velocity" is coined by Aubrey de Grey in a paper.|
|2004||Scientific development||Calorie restriction||A team of scientists led by Stephen Spindler manages to extend the life of a group of already adult mice to an average of 3.5 years using anti-aging therapy. For this achievement, the first Methuselah Mouse Rejuvenation 'M Prize' is awarded.|
|2004||Literature||American inventor Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman publish Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever.|
|2005||Scientific development||Young blood transfusion||Research led by Steve Horvath utilizes young blood plasma transfusions to significantly reduce the epigenetic age of rats.|
|2006||Scientific development||A study of the common supplements and hormone treatments shows that none of them are effective with respect to extending life.|
|2006 (September)||Funding||German-American entrepreneur Peter Thiel announces that he would donate $3.5 million to foster anti-aging research through the nonprofit Methuselah Mouse Prize foundation.|
|2007 (September)||Literature||Regenerative medicine||Aubrey De Grey publishes Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime, which proposes eliminating aging as a cause of debilitation and death in humans, and restoring the body to an indefinitely youthful state. The book introduces a project plan called "strategies for engineered negligible senescence", a range of proposed regenerative medical therapies for periodical repair of all age-related damage to human tissue.|
|2009||Congress||Anti-aging is identified as one of the specific topics to be considered at the 19th World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics in Paris.|
|2009||Organization (non-profit)||Regenerative medicine||Aubrey de Grey and several others found the SENS Research Foundation with aims at conducting research into aging and funding other anti-aging research projects at various universities. It offers research grants, internships and post-baccalaureate programmes, and organizes numerous conferences|
|2009||Industry||Hormone therapy||The industry that promotes the use of hormones as a treatment for consumers to slow or reverse the aging process generates about US$50 billion of revenue in the year in the United States.|
|2009||Scientific development||A review of longevity research notes: "Extrapolation from worms to mammals is risky at best, and it cannot be assumed that interventions will result in comparable life extension factors. Longevity gains from dietary restriction, or from mutations studied previously, yield smaller benefits to Drosophila than to nematodes, and smaller still to mammals. This is not unexpected, since mammals have evolved to live many times the worm's lifespan, and humans live nearly twice as long as the next longest-lived primate. From an evolutionary perspective, mammals and their ancestors have already undergone several hundred million years of natural selection favoring traits that could directly or indirectly favor increased longevity, and may thus have already settled on gene sequences that promote lifespan. Moreover, the very notion of a "life-extension factor" that could apply across taxa presumes a linear response rarely seen in biology."|
|2011||Organization (public company)||Drug therapy||Unity Biotechnology is founded. It develops drugs which target senescent cells.|
|2011 (February)||Organization||Brain–computer interface||2045 Initiative is founded by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov, with the purpose "to create technologies enabling the transfer of an individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality. We devote particular attention to enabling the fullest possible dialogue between the world’s major spiritual traditions, science and society".|
|2011||Literature||American author Sonia Arrison publishes 100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith, which elaborates on how life-extending discoveries will change our social and economic worlds.|
|2012||Politics||By this time, there are Longevity political parties in Russia, the United States, Israel, and the Netherlands. These aim to provide political support to radical life extension research and technologies, and ensure the fastest possible and at the same time soft transition of society to the next step – life without aging and with radical life extension, and to provide access to such technologies to most currently living people.|
|2013 (January)||Organization (non-profit)||The International Longevity Alliance is founded. It is an international nonprofit organization that serves as an interaction between regional organizations that support anti-aging technologies.|
|2013 (February)||Recognition||Prize||The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is first awarded. Funded by internet entrepreneurs Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan of Facebook; Sergey Brin of Google; entrepreneur and venture capitalist Yuri Milner; and 23andMe co–founder Anne Wojcicki, the US$3 million prizeis awarded for research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life. The ceremony takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area, with the symposiums alternating between University of California, Berkeley, University of California, San Francisco, and Stanford University.. Eleven inaugural laureates are announced: Cornelia I. Bargmann (Rockefeller University),David Botstein (Princeton University), Lewis C. Cantley (Harvard Medical School, Weill Cornell Medical College), Hans Clevers (Hubrecht Institute), Titia de Lange (Rockefeller University), Napoleone Ferrara (University of California, San Diego), Eric S. Lander (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Broad Institute), Charles L. Sawyers (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center), Robert A. Weinberg (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Whitehead Institute), Shinya Yamanaka (Kyoto University, J. David Gladstone Institutes, University of California, San Francisco), and Bert Vogelstein (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Johns Hopkins University).|
|2013||Public opinion||A Spring Pew Research poll in the United States finds that 38% of citizens would want life extension treatments, and 56% would reject it. However, it also finds that 68% believe most people would want it and that only 4% consider an "ideal lifespan" to be more than 120 years. The median "ideal lifespan" is 91 years of age and the majority of the public (63%) view medical advances aimed at prolonging life as generally good. 41% believe that radical life extension (RLE) would be good for society, while 51% say they believe it would be bad for society.|
|2013||Organization (subsidiary)||Biotechnology||Google announces launch of research and development biotech subsidiary Calico, with the purpose of harnessing new technologies to increase scientific understanding of the biology of aging. American researcher Arthur D. Levinson is named CEO of Calico.|
|2013||Organization (private company||Machine learning||Human Longevity is launched by Craig Venter and Peter Diamandis as a venture with the goal to build the world's most comprehensive database on human genotypes and phenotypes, and then subject it to machine learning so that it can help develop new ways to fight diseases associated with aging.|
|2014||Organization (non-profit)||Basic research||The Life Extension Advocacy Foundation is founded as a non-profit organization with mission to support fundamental research on the main mechanisms of aging and age-related diseases, and educate the public on the possibility of bringing aging under medical control in order to prevent, postpone and cure age-related diseases.|
|2014||Recognition||Prize||The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is awarded to James P. Allison, Mahlon DeLong, Michael N. Hall, Robert Langer, Richard P. Lifton, and Alexander Varshavsky.|
|2015||Organization (private company)||Biotechnology||BioViva is founded as a biotechnology company with the purpose to treat aging cells and reverse aging.|
|2015||Literature||S. Jay Olshansky, Jim Kirkland and George Martin publish Aging: The Longevity Dividend, which examines the biological basis of aging, strategies that may extend health span, and the societal implications of delayed aging.|
|2015||Recognition||Prize||The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is awarded to Alim-Louis Benabid (Joseph Fourier University), C. David Allis (The Rockefeller University), Victor Ambros (University of Massachusetts Medical School), Gary Ruvkun (Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School), and Jennifer Doudna (University of California, Berkeley).|
|2016||Scientific development||Bioinformatics, deep learning||Hong Kong-based Insilico Medicine initiates a research collaboration with Life Extension to apply advanced bioinformatic methods and deep learning algorithms to screen for naturally occurring compounds that may slow down or even reverse the cellular and molecular mechanisms of aging.|
|2016 (September 25)||Documentary film||Documentary film titled The Future of Work and Death is released, casting personalities such as Aubrey de Grey and Zoltan Istvan.|
|2016||Organization||Drug therapy||Five Alarm Bio is founded. IT develops a drug discovery platform designed to research on therapies to fight against aging.|
|2016||Scientific development||Regenerative medicine||As part of the implementation of the SENS programs, researchers manage to make two mitochondrial genes, ATP8 and ATP6, stably express from the cell nucleus in the cell culture.|
|2016||Organization (for profit)||Telomere therapy||Rejuvenation Technologies is founded as a biotechnology company. Basd in Mountain View, California, it develops nucleoside-modified TERT mRNA to safely and rapidly extend telomeres.|
|2016||Recognition||Prize||The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is awarded to Edward S. Boyden (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Karl Deisseroth (Stanford University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute), John Hardy (University College London), Helen Hobbs (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Howard Hughes Medical Institute), and Svante Pääbo (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology).|
|2017||Industry||Young blood transfusion||Californian start-up Ambrosia begins selling blood plasma from young human donors as an anti-aging therapy, based on parabiosis mouse-models. This business would cease shortly after a 2019 FDA warning against anti-aging blood transfusion.|
|2017||Organization (public company)||AgeX Therapeutics is established by American biogerontologist Michael D. West, with the mission "to develop and commercialize novel therapeutics targeting biological aging based on an emerging understanding of the ‘clockwork mechanisms’ of human aging."|
|2017||Recognition||Prize||The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is awarded to Stephen J. Elledge (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Howard Hughes Medical Institute), Harry F. Noller (University of California, Santa Cruz), Roeland Nusse (Stanford University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute), Yoshinori Ohsumi (Tokyo Institute of Technology), and Huda Yahya Zoghbi (Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital and Howard Hughes Medical Institute).|
|2018||Organization (accelerator)||Funding||New Zealander venture capitalist Laura Deming launches Age1, a four-month startup accelerator program focused on founders creating longevity companies.|
|2018||Recognition||Prize||The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is awarded to Joanne Chory (Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Howard Hughes Medical Institute), Peter Walter (University of California, San Francisco and Howard Hughes Medical Institute), Kazutoshi Mori (Kyoto University), Kim Nasmyth (University of Oxford), and Don W. Cleveland (University of California, San Diego).|
|2018||Organization (for profit)||Drug therapy||Atropos Therapeutics Inc. is established as a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs against aging disorders and cancer using its proprietary senescence technology. It's headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.|
|2019||Recognition||Prize||The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is awarded to C. Frank Bennett (Ionis Pharmaceuticals), Adrian R. Krainer (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor), Angelika Amon (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Xiaowei Zhuang (Harvard University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute), and Zhijian James Chen (UT Southwestern Medical Center and Howard Hughes Medical Institute).|
|2019||Organizatin (for profit)||Funding||Rejuveron Life Sciences is founded. Based in Zürich, it is an integrated biotechnology platform company that invests in people and ideas to develop therapies and technologies to improve healthy aging and prolong lifespan.|
|2020||Recognition||Prize||The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is awarded to Jeffrey M. Friedman (Rockefeller University and Howard Hughes Medical Institutem), F. Ulrich Hartl (Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry), Arthur L. Horwich (Yale School of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute), David Julius (University of California, San Francisco), and Virginia M.-Y. Lee (University of Pennsylvania).|
|2020 (July)||Scientific development||Scientists, using public biological data on 1.75 million people with known lifespans overall, identify 10 genomic loci which appear to intrinsically influence healthspan, lifespan, and longevity – of which half have not been reported previously at genome-wide significance and most being associated with cardiovascular disease – and identify haem metabolism as a promising candidate for further research within the field. Their study suggests that high levels of iron in the blood likely reduce, and genes involved in metabolising iron likely increase healthy years of life in humans.|
|2021||Recognition||Prize||The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is awarded to David Baker (University of Washington and Howard Hughes Medical Institute), Catherine Dulac (Harvard University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute), Yuk Ming Dennis Lo (The Chinese University of Hong Kong), and Richard J. Youle (National Institutes of Health).|
|2030||Scientific development||Nanotechnology||According to Raymond Kurzweil's The Singularity Is Near, advanced medical nanorobotics could completely remedy the effects of aging by this time.|
Meta information on the timeline
How the timeline was built
The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.
Funding information for this timeline is available.
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What the timeline is still missing
- Category:Anti-aging substances
- Index of topics related to life extension
- Life extension✔
- Anti-aging movement✔
- Category:Life extensionists
- Category:Life extension
Timeline update strategy
- Timeline of senescence research
- Timeline of calorie restriction
- Timeline of brain preservation
- Timeline of biohacking
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