- Decentralized science gains momentum, offering new opportunities for collaboration and funding in longevity research.
- Blockchain technology empowers biotech firms, opening new channels for research funding and enabling innovative approaches.
- The Longevity+DeSci Summit fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, highlighting the importance of understanding the body as a system.
New York City, August 10-11 – The Longevity+DeSci Summit, held at the Capitale conference hall in downtown New York City, brought together researchers, investors, and enthusiasts to explore the potential of decentralized science (DeSci) in the field of longevity research. The event, organized by Lifespan.io, marked the first time DeSci was included in the summit’s title, reflecting the growing interest in this emerging field.
Decentralized Science Gains Traction
Decentralized science, a concept that dates back to the early 2000s, is gaining traction as a byproduct of blockchain technology. DeSci operates outside of traditional academia, offering researchers and investors new opportunities for collaboration and funding. Keith Comito, mathematician, programmer, and founder of Lifespan.io, opened the conference by drawing parallels between DeSci and the Jimmy Fund. This advocacy group raised awareness and funds for cancer research in the last century.
Blockchain technology and its associated phenomena, such as play-to-earn (P2E) games and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), have opened new channels for biotech firms to fund their research. During his keynote remarks, Todd White, the steward of the Coordination Working Group at VitaDAO, highlighted the potential of blockchain technology to empower DeSci.
Challenges and Opportunities in Longevity Science
Despite the growing interest in longevity science, the field still faces scepticism from traditional researchers. However, the advent of artificial intelligence and other technological advancements are shifting perceptions and attracting massive investments. The conference attendees focused on practical processes and interdisciplinary interactions rather than the more sensationalized aspects of longevity science.
Dr. Vadim Gladyshev of Harvard Medical School, Yuri Deigin of YouthBio Therapeutics, and Omar Elnaggar, founder and CEO of Weavechain, presented their research and discussed the potential of blockchain technology to support their work. Elnaggar introduced a dynamic nonfungible token (NFT) developed for the event to gamify philanthropy, encouraging participants to mint their NFTs and accrue donations.
Intellectual property-NFTs were also a hot topic at the summit. Dr. Morten Scheibye-Knudsen of the University of Copenhagen discussed the Longevity Molecule Project and how blockchain technology has enabled its research.
Kelsey Moody, CEO of Ichor Life Sciences, outlined the drug development pipeline and shared a contentious use case involving a high-net-worth individual seeking to determine their participation in a clinical trial. The issue raised ethical questions about the ability of wealthy individuals to compromise masked studies.
Collaboration and Future Prospects
The Longevity+DeSci Summit differentiated itself by fostering collaborations among participants, encouraging the sharing of ideas and facilitating fundraising efforts. Lifespan.io announced a partnership with the development team of a Dragon Tyrant P2E game to support longevity research.
Panel discussions at the conference highlighted the importance of understanding the body as a system rather than isolated parts. The big questions facing longevity science today revolve around labelling and messaging, focusing on biomarkers for ageing and the potential for society to change its perspective on health.
As longevity science continues to evolve, decentralized science and blockchain technology will be crucial in shaping its future. The Longevity+DeSci Summit showcased the potential of these emerging technologies to empower researchers and investors, paving the way for discoveries and advancements in the quest for longer, healthier lives.
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