The solar system beyond Neptune is a dark and mysterious place. It is also crowded. Besides Pluto and its moon Charon, there are planetesque chunks of rock and ice like Sedna and the recently discovered 2003UB313 as well as a host of asteroids and comets in the Kuiper belt and beyond. Determining which of these objects constitute new planets and which do not remains controversial work currently under review by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Some astronomers have even argued that Charon deserves to share the planet title since it is roughly half the ninth planet’s size and might have a similar atmosphere. But new observations, reported today in Nature by Amanda Gulbis of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her colleagues prove that Charon lacks an atmosphere and therefore lacks one potential criterion for planet status. “I think having an atmosphere is a key component,” Gulbis says. “Our findings show that it doesn’t have an atmosphere. I would say that Charon is definitely not a planet.” The astronomers took advantage of a rare moment when Charon crossed in front of a distant star and blocked its light to determine whether it has an atmosphere. If it had one, the star’s light would be gradually blocked as opposed to the more precise cutoff that would be expected for a nearly gas-less moon. On July 11, 2005, Charon passed in front of UCAC2 26257135, revealing less of an atmosphere than either Pluto or even Earth’s own moon has. “It’s astounding that our group could be in the right place at the right time to line up a tiny body three billion miles away,” says team member Jay Pasachoff of Williams College.
This occultation, the first to be observed since 1980, also allowed the scientists to come up with a measurement of Charon’s radius, roughly 605 kilometers or “about twice the size of Massachusetts,” Gulbis notes. Using this radius and mass measurements from the Hubble Telescope, the astronomers calculate that Charon is only roughly 63 percent rock. This means it may have formed in the same way as our own natural satellite: when a large object hit the parent planet and ejected a plume of lighter materials that coalesced into a moon. Similar occultations could provide data on Sedna and 2003UB313. That, in turn, could decide whether they are planets, because the IAU is working on a definition based on minimum size. If Pluto continues to qualify as a planet, then 2003UB313 may indeed become the 10th planet because it appears to be roughly the same size, meaning that Charon–the ferryman of the Kuiper belt–may help a new member of the solar system cross a river of doubt.

Aubrey de Grey
Aubrey de Grey
Aubrey de Grey may be wrong but, evidence suggests, he’s not nuts. This is a no small assertion. De Grey argues that some people alive today will live in a robust and youthful fashion for 1,000 years. Life expectancy is increasing in the developed world. But Cambridge University geneticist Aubrey de Grey believes it will soon extend dramatically to 1,000. Here, he explains why. Aubrey de Grey, an elaborately bearded scientist at Cambridge University attracts almost universal derision among the ‘ageing community’ for his thesis that a ‘solution’ to old age is just around the corner, probably consisting of a cocktail of drugs and genetic therapies that will counter the effects of free radicals and other harmful metabolic processes that weaken the bones, make our skin brittle and cause our organs to slowly fail. The attacks on de Grey are motivated by rational scepticism, but also, by that puritan morality that states that life extension is a place where science has no place going.
A true maverick, Aubrey de Grey challenges the most basic assumption underlying the human condition — that aging is inevitable. He argues instead that aging is a disease — one that can be cured if it’s approached as “an engineering problem.” His plan calls for identifying all the components that cause human tissue to age, and designing remedies for each of them — forestalling disease and eventually pushing back death. He calls the approach Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS).

(Video hosted on Youtube)
Aubrey de Grey, photographed at San Francisco’s airport,
created the Methuselah Foundation to support scientific research into
extending the life span, oh, 900 years.

early all scientists who study the biology of aging agree that we will someday be able to substantially slow down the aging process, extending our productive, youthful lives. Dr. Aubrey de Grey is perhaps the most bullish of all such researchers. As has been reported in media outlets ranging from 60 Minutes to The New York Times, Dr. de Grey believes that the key biomedical technology required to eliminate aging-derived debilitation and death entirely—technology that would not only slow but periodically reverse age-related physiological decay, leaving us biologically young into an indefinite future—is now within reach.
In Ending Aging, Dr. de Grey and his research assistant Michael Rae describe the details of this biotechnology. They explain that the aging of the human body, just like the aging of man-made machines, results from an accumulation of various types of damage. As with man-made machines, this damage can periodically be repaired, leading to indefinite extension of the machine’s fully functional lifetime, just as is routinely done with classic cars. We already know what types of damage accumulate in the human body, and we are moving rapidly toward the comprehensive development of technologies to remove that -damage. By demystifying aging and its postponement for the nonspecialist reader, de Grey and Rae systematically dismantle the fatalist presumption that aging will forever defeat the efforts of medical science.

Aubrey de Grey may be wrong but, evidence suggests, he's not nuts. This is a no small assertion. De Grey argues that some people alive today will live in a robust and youthful fashion for 1,000 years.
Aubrey de Grey
Aubrey David Nicholas Jasper de Grey (born 20 April 1963) is an English author and theoretician in the field of gerontology, and the Chief Science Officer of the SENS Foundation. He is editor-in-chief of the academic journal Rejuvenation Research, author of The Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging (1999) and co-author of Ending Aging (2007).De Grey’s research focuses on whether regenerative medicine can thwart the ageing process. He works on the development of what he calls “Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence” (SENS), a tissue-repair strategy intended to rejuvenate the human body and allow an indefinite lifespan. To this end, he has identified seven types of molecular and cellular damage caused by essential metabolic processes. SENS is a proposed panel of therapies designed to repair this damage.
An article about SENS published in the viewpoint section of EMBO Reports by 28 scientists concluded that none of de Grey’s therapies “has ever been shown to extend the lifespan of any organism, let alone humans”. De Grey argues that this reveals a serious gap in understanding between basic scientists and technologists and between biologists studying ageing and those studying regenerative medicine. The 15-member Research Advisory Board of his own SENS Foundation have signed an endorsement of the plausibility of the SENS approach.
De Grey is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, the American Aging Association, the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and an adviser to the Singularity Institute. He has been interviewed in recent years in a number of news sources, including CBS 60 Minutes, the BBC, The New York Times, Fortune Magazine, The Washington Post, TED, Popular Science and The Colbert Report.
See also:
* Immortality….
* Living forever….
* Read more….: The Tibetan book of the death.
* Read more….: Cryonics.
* Read more….: Near Death Experiences (NDE).
* Read more….: Immortality.
* Read more….: The mystery of life.
Further readings:
Chapter Three “Can i live forever please?” page 56, from 10 Questions Science Can’t Answer (Yet) A Guide to the Scientific Wilderness Michael Hanlon First published 2007 by
Macmillan
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS and
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10010
Companies and representatives throughout the world
ISBN-13: 978–0–230–51758–5 hardback
ISBN-10: 0–230–51758–7 hardback
Wikipedia:
Abrey de Grey.
See also:
* “Human regenerative engineering – theory and practice”, Humanity+ UK 2010 London, April 24, 2010
* Aubrey de Grey speaks at The Scientific Society at Trinity College, Oxford University, 2010
* Aubrey de Grey appears on CNN, 2009
* Aubrey de Grey speaking at Cass Business School, London, February 12, 2008 “Prospects for extending a healthy life – a lot”], 2008
* Why we age, and how we can stop it — Discussions on Advancing Regenerative Therapies — April 21, 2008
* Unconventional Wisdom — Thinking Digital — May 23, 2008
* Understanding Aging: Biomedical and Bioengineering Approaches — June 27-29, 2008
* Defeating Aging — NASA Ames Research Center — August 7, 2008
* A True Cure for Human Aging – Culture and Convention Centre, Lucerne, Switzerland — October 27, 2008
* Prospects for defeating aging altogether – Changing the World Conference — Convocation Hall, Toronto — November 15, 2008
* Edmonton Aging Symposium presentation (28:45) — Took place March 30-31, 2007
* Google TechTalk Video (1:01:06) — 1st Appearance (May 2007) entitled “Prospects for extending healthy life – a lot”
* Google TechTalk Video (1:13:10) — 2nd Appearance (June 2007) entitled “WILT: taking cancer seriously enough to really cure it”
* Prospects for extending healthy life — a lot. — Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley — October 2, 2007
* Google TechTalk Video (1:02:26) — 3rd Appearance (December 2007) entitled “Aging of the Other Genome: A Decisive but Ambitious Solution”
* Our Right to Life: A talk advocating a pro-life stance by de Grey, 2006
* Tomorrows People Forum 2006: Longer? (2:00:58) The “Longer?” lecture (Presentation 3) for the Tomorrows People Conference Forum 2006 that took place on the 14-17 of March 2006 at the Saïd Business School at Oxford.
* TED conference 2006 – Fixing Humanity’s worst problem (23:05) Presentation at the Technology Entertainment Design TED Conference 2006.
* The unfortunate influence of the weather on the rate of ageing (10:35) Excerpt of talk at CR-IV (2006 Calorie Restriction Society Conference), held April 6-9, 2006, in Tucson, Arizona, United States.
* Immortality Institute conference presentation (29:49) Presentation at the Immortality Institute’s conference in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, 2006.
* An interview for meettheauthor.com filmed in November 2007
* GoogleTechTalks: Aging of the Other Genome (Dec. 2006, 62 minutes) On mutations of mitochondrial DNA and de Grey’s MitoSENS
* Defeating aging – held July 2005 in Oxford, England – TED (conference) (29:59) longer version with interview.
* Presentation at Popular Technology conference Poptech (45:06), 2003.
Ending Aging
Ending Aging

Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime (Hardcover)
In Ending Aging, Dr. de Grey and his research assistant Michael Rae describe the details of this biotechnology. They explain that the aging of the human body, just like the aging of man-made machines, results from an accumulation of various types of damage. As with man-made machines, this damage can periodically be repaired, leading to indefinite extension of the machine’s fully functional lifetime, just as is routinely done with classic cars. We already know what types of damage accumulate in the human body, and we are moving rapidly toward the comprehensive development of technologies to remove that -damage. By demystifying aging and its postponement for the nonspecialist reader, de Grey and Rae systematically dismantle the fatalist presumption that aging will forever defeat the efforts of medical science.
– Hardcover: 400 pages
– Publisher: St. Martin’s Press; 1st edition (September 4, 2007)
– Language: English
– ISBN-10: 0312367066
-ISBN-13: 978-0312367060
In Pursuit of Longevity.

(Video hosted on Youtube
Sens Foundation.

Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK, and is the Chairman and Chief Science Officer of the Methuselah Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of “Rejuvenation Research”, the world’s only peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging. His research interests encompass the etiology of all the accumulating and eventually pathogenic molecular and cellular side-effects of metabolism (“damage”) that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or obviate that damage. He has developed a possibly comprehensive plan for such repair, termed Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), which breaks the aging problem down into seven major classes of damage and identifies detailed approaches to addressing each one. A key aspect of SENS is that it can potentially extend healthy lifespan without limit, even though these repair processes will never be perfect, as the repair only needs to approach perfection rapidly enough to keep the overall level of damage below pathogenic levels. de Grey has termed this required rate of improvement of repair therapies “longevity escape velocity”.