Transhuman Page

Individual Sphere


Immortalism and Life Extension

I will live forever, or die trying.

One of the most important tasks of Transhumanism is the pursuit of Life Extension and eventual immortality, since aging and death represents are two of the most immediate hinders for total self-transformation and personal freedom. Overcoming death is also a social and psychological problem, since most of human culture is based on the assumption of the eventual death of every person. A final argument for the pursuit of Life Extension and Cryonics is that many of the visions of Transhumanism will probably not be possible within our (unaugumented) lifetimes.

Life Extension is directed towards finding ways of slowing and halting aging, and possible repair of age-induced damage. The goal is to extend the active, healthy years, not just to add more time to be old. There may be limitations to this approach which cryonics and uploading seek to circumvent. Cryonic suspension is based on the possibility that people who are cryonically preserved today may be possible to revive in some (distant) future. See the cryonics page for more information. Uploading (see the uploading page for more information) seeks to escape from the biological body altogether.


General Immortalism
Life Extension in General
Life Extension Techniques
Other Sites and Organisations
See Also


Immortalism and Life Extension in General

Will for immortality node in Principia Cybernetica.
Remarks by Samuel C. Silverstein, M.D. before the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus
Cybernetic Immortality node in Principia Cybernetica.
Biology and Man's Estimation of Himself by Peter Medawar. About our responsibility for own evolution.
The Turkey Story by Garret Smyth, a parable about Life Extension.
The Diachronic Self, Ph. D. thesis by Max More. About the personal identity.
Brain Death and Technological Change: Personal Identity, Neural Prostheses and Uploading by James J. Hughes Ph.D. How to define death when technology always pushes the borders back?
About Deathist Memes. From the Cryonics Mailing list.
Misadventure As A Cause Of Death In An Immortal Population by Hugh Hixon.
Meaningfullness and Mortality by Max More. Would life become meaningless if we were immortal?.

General Life Extension


Immortality on Tap by Time Evans (XO Magazine).

Information Sources

Longevity Report


The Life Extension Foundation's Seven-Part Research Plan To Enable Us To Love In Good Health For Centuries by Saul Kent. An overview of the Research Plan of the Life Extension Foundation.
Aging, life span, and senescence by Leonard Guarente, Gary Ruvkun and Richard Amasino (PNAS, Vol. 95, Issue 19, 11034-11036, September 15, 1998). On the aging in model organisms.
Information for Leonard Hayflick. About his books and research. Many useful links and references.

Lifestyle and Implications

Ageless Thinking: Creating a Positive Transhuman Attitude by Natasha V. More. How to maintain a youthful state of mind and body, and avoid ageist stereotypes.
Issues involving lifespan extension (Is it possible? Overpopulation? Economics?)
Speculations on the Future of Aging by Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D. (from 21st Century Online Magazine). Some of the sociological implications of life extension.
The Future of the Old (Rodger Doyle, By the Numbers, Scientific American May 1998).

Life Extension Techniques

There is no shortage of suggested methods of increasing lifespan and slowing aging. At present there exist some treatments that show promise in the lab (such as telomerase or genetic modifications) but are not yet useful for humans, some which appear to promote health but whose long term anti-aging effects remain to be seen (hormone supplementation and caloric restriction) and many treatments (such as antioxidants) of uncertain usefulness.

Life Extension Manual by Jerry Emanuelson
Can We Stay Young? by Jeffrey Kluger (Time Magazine Nov. 25 1996). FAQ
Diet and Nutrition in Aging Page at Aeiveos (with Medline references).


The Mysteries of Aging Become Less Puzzling to Scholars Experiments on animals may provide keys to human longevity by Kim A. McDonald (Chronicle of Higher Education).
Genetic Life Extension. Some ideas about how life extension could be achieved through genetic engineering.
Aging and life span genetics The genetics of lifespan, especially in C elegans.
Dr. Robert Arking. Genetic control of lifespan in Drosophila.

Calorie Restriction

Calorie Restriction FAQ Calorie Restriction is so far the most successful method in al animal experiments, and it appears very likely that it has significant effects in humans.
The Mysteries of Aging: Is Diet a Contributing Factor? Edward J. Masoro.
Anti Aging: Let Food by Thy Medicine by Emily Kane.
Calorie Restriction: A How To Guide by Steve Chambers. A good overview of how to start CR and what to think about.
Natural Life Extension by Leon Chaitow. A web-book about ageing and calorie restriction.


Telomerases. About one possible regulator of cell aging.
What are Telomeres?
Extension of human cell lifespan using telomerase. Press release from Geron Corporation.
Extending Cellular Life-Span with Telomerase (Science)
Missing Enzyme Incites Cancer Debate by J. Travis (Science News). About the problem of interpreting exactly what telomerase does in humans and mice.

Supplements and Hormones

DHEA Home Page. About dehydroepiandrosterone, a substance that might have positive biological effects. Somewhat wild theories, it will be interesting to see how well they work out.
Therapies to Slow Brain Ageing (from Smart Basics Newsletter). About acetyl-l-carnitine. Looks promising.
Abstracts gathered by Thorne Research. Abstracts about various drugs discussed in life extension.

The Supplemental Fallacy by Tom Burkett (XO Vol. 1 (1994)). A sceptical look at the use of some nutritional supplements.
Oxidants, Antioxidants, and the Degenerative Diseases of Aging by Bruce N. Ames, Mark K. Shigenaga, and Tory M. Hagen.

Advances in Recombinant Human Growth Hormone Replacement Therapy in Adults at the MGH Neuroendocrine Clinical Center & Pituitary Tumor Center.

Will Growth Hormone Prove to be the First 'Anti-Aging' Medication? by Edward M. Lichten.

Effects of Human Growth Hormone in Men over 60 Years Old by Daniel Rudman et al. (The New England Journal of Medicine Volume 323 July 5, 1990 Number 1).

A study of growth hormone release in man after oral administration of amino acids by A. Isidori, A. Lo Monaco, and M. Cappa. (Curr. Med Res. Opin., (1981), 7, 475.) How amino acid intake can affect growth hormone release

Melatonin Central. All about melatonin.
Melatonin mania: Separating the Facts from the Hype (Tim Beardsley, Scientific American). Critical article about the hype surrounding melatonin.


Pondering Evolution by William Markiewicz (The Vagabond #9). Points out the importance of creative experiences to limit ageing; while I disagree with the article about the existence of a built-in defense against ageing, I agree with it that creativity and "high" experiences can slow it.

Immortality Stomp by Leslie Fish. Humorous song about life extension.

Other Sites

Immortality Inc., Duane Hewitt's Anti-Aging Page. Contains links and articles.
Pure and Applies Scientific Life Extension
Aeiveos Home Page. Lots of information!
Aging Research Centre (ARC). Provides information about current aging research.
Life Extension Foundation
American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine Roy Walford's website. About CR, nutrition, art and Biosphere 2.
Geron corporation.A company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing products to treat cancer and other age-related diseases, with a strong position in telomeres, telomerase and pluripotent stem cells.
Gerontology Research Group


Roy Walford, The 120-Year Diet, 1986

Leonard Hayflick, Robert N. Butler, How and Why We Age Ballantine Books 1996.

Ben Bova, Immortality: How Science Is Extending Your Lifespan, and Changing the World Avon 1998.

Damien Broderick, The Last Mortal Generation New Holland/Struik 2000

See also

Self-Transformation Page
Cryonics Page
Intelligence Increase Page
Physical Enhancement Page
Uploading Page

Relevant newsgroups:, bionet.molbio.ageing

bionet.molbio.ageing Newsgroup Archive



Anders Sandberg /