In his presentation at Ending Age-Related Diseases 2020, David Gobel of the Methuselah Foundation discusses current innovations in a historical context. He discusses a past without drug or food regulation, and brings up the Poison Squad, a group of people who self-experimented in order to determine what substances were and were not toxic. He then discusses the Nuremberg Code, a set of laws developed after World War II that require animal testing before human trials can begin, resulting in the modern state of rodent research. However, rodents cannot completely mimic human beings, which has led to thalidomide and imperfect Alzheimer’s models, and as he explains, our current system of creating therapies out of initial reserch is extremely slow, and some researchers have returned to self-experimentation in order to get more rapid results.
In the second part of this talk, he discusses the use of Organovo’s 3D-printed tissues as models and experimental substitutes in order to gain the benefits of human experimentation, potentially saving years of research without putting actual humans at risk; it may also be possible to use such tissues to facilitate personalized medicine.