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Ask the PEARL Team Anything!

The PEARL team answers your questions about its plans to conduct human trials with rapamycin.


Today, we want to announce we are doing an AMA on Reddit Futurology! The Ask Me Anything thread will be open May 28 and 29 for pre-questions, and on May 30 and 31, the PEARL team will be answering questions.

This is your opportunity to ask questions about the project, which aims to launch human longevity trials with rapamycin.

Ok, but what is rapamycin?

Rapamycin was originally discovered as an antifungal metabolite created by Streptomyces hygroscopicus bacteria isolated from a soil sample taken from Easter Island (Rapa Nui).

Rapamycin is perhaps known best for its use as an immunosuppressant but has also been shown to extend the lifespan of multiple species in studies. It reliably increases lifespan in mice and with far better data than metformin, another frequently touted longevity drug.

Forget live fast, die young. Do the opposite!

Rapamycin appears to slow down metabolism in such a way that it increases lifespan, so unlike the popular phrase, it’s better to live slow, die old! It is thought to increase lifespan due to its influence on the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), an important regulatory pathway for metabolism.

While rapamycin appears to trigger some of the same mTOR pathways associated with caloric restriction (CR), it is not simply a mimetic and has distinct targets in addition to the ones shared by CR.

While the data showing that it can reliably increase lifespan in various species has been published, the lack of human data focused on aging and longevity is lacking. This is where PEARL comes in, as this project seeks to launch meaningful human trials to see if the effects seen in other species translate to people.

Reducing the costs of human trials for longevity

Due to the nature of the PEARL project, particularly its crowdfunded aspects, it is possible to reduce the costs to make a rapamycin trial viable and within reach of our community. PEARL has already smashed its initial fundraising goal of $75,000 and is now into its stretch goals, which expand the scope of the project.

Public funding sources have shown little interest so far in investigating longevity interventions, so we can expect more projects like this to become the norm in the future, as our own community supports the drive to end age-related diseases. If we want the data showing that these things can work, then it seems that we as a community must fuel that progress with initiatives like PEARL.

Join us today for the AMA, and ask the PEARL team anything! We would like to thank the moderators over at Futurology, a subreddit devoted to the field of future studies and speculation about the development of humanity, technology, and civilization.

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Thank You!

About the author

Steve Hill

Steve serves on the LEAF Board of Directors and is the Editor in Chief, coordinating the daily news articles and social media content of the organization. He is an active journalist in the aging research and biotechnology field and has to date written over 600 articles on the topic, interviewed over 100 of the leading researchers in the field, hosted livestream events focused on aging, as well as attending various medical industry conferences. His work has been featured in H+ magazine, Psychology Today, Singularity Weblog, Standpoint Magazine, Swiss Monthly, Keep me Prime, and New Economy Magazine. Steve is one of three recipients of the 2020 H+ Innovator Award and shares this honour with Mirko Ranieri – Google AR and Dinorah Delfin – Immortalists Magazine. The H+ Innovator Award looks into our community and acknowledges ideas and projects that encourage social change, achieve scientific accomplishments, technological advances, philosophical and intellectual visions, author unique narratives, build fascinating artistic ventures, and develop products that bridge gaps and help us to achieve transhumanist goals. Steve has a background in project management and administration which has helped him to build a united team for effective fundraising and content creation, while his additional knowledge of biology and statistical data analysis allows him to carefully assess and coordinate the scientific groups involved in the project.
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