Sharing knowledge and collaborating with others are two major forces of progress that have allowed humanity to create astounding achievements. They are the secret ingredients that have granted us the power to control fire, develop agriculture, and increase human lifespans.
We aim to create a system that utilizes these forces to accelerate the research against aging. Whether you are a researcher
or not, if you want to to see progress against aging, the following is for you.
When I started research 12 years ago, articles were on paper or from books borrowed at the library in whatever language, and contacting researchers was done through letters sent by mail – needless to say the pace of research was much slower then. The Internet and the area of computerized experimental data is changing everything. PubMed is the new bible and collaborations *can* go at the speed of emails. *Can*, because there is still much that can be done to go even faster:
1. The PubMed and email revolution has clearly not reached its potential:
2. Citizen science is a burgeoning new revolution: Imagine what could happen if a large part of the longevity alliance (currently about 5.000 members) was attending lab meetings and helping in one way or another… For example statistics, experiment design, grant or paper writing, or basic administration (another break for research…)
3. Computer intelligence is another revolution that has great potential to help in research.
4. A solid research community - this is the key. Traditionally aging research has grown hidden in the field of various diseases; but aging is the root of most chronic diseases today and needs to be treated accordingly. It deserves a strong, visible, collaborative community.
Luckily we are not the first ones to try to optimise and systematize research, in biogerontology in particular: pioneers have created important bricks for the grand edifice.
Here are some examples:
=> We have the ingredients and now we need to create a recipe to be adopted by aging research
This was clearly highlighted at the Eurosymposium on Healthy Ageing (EHA2012, organised by Heales in Brussels, and where various members of the International Longevity Alliance met). The need for a centralized place for collaboration against aging was strongly raised and a few days later emails were springing on the matter, with names like “Collaborative Resource for Gerontology” (by Georg Fullen, who presented Denigma at EHA2012) or “inSilicoSENS” (by Aubrey de Grey, where SENS = Strategies to Engineer Negligible Senescence). And below is… the recipe we started.
The objective is now clear: we want a strong longevity research community that collaborates around research projects, using the support of an intelligent tool. At the Longevity Alliance we have started to make such a recipe based on two ingredients:
A prototype of this system is currently being built.
It’s important to note that as this is only a prototype at this stage, it won’t be perfect right from the start and we will need your help to shape and improve it further. Also, the final structure, with many bricks fitting together, will have to be discussed and analysed in fine detail. But already…
…to give you a flavor of what’s going to happen:
Many more options and opportunities will be made possible by combining the various bricks with one another. In fact, how fast and how well this distributed aging research center will grow essentially depends on two things; time and volunteers.
Currently there is room for many people, so depending on your skills, contacts, and wishes, you can:
Edouard Debonneuil (Heales, International Longevity Alliance)
It has been a pleasure to coordinate this project so far. This is by and large a team effort and I want to express my enormous gratitude to the many people involved:
An immense applause to Daniel Wuttke from Germany, who initiated the Denigma developments. This includes the forthcoming work of Aaron M Brown from the USA (who leads the simplified Denigma developing environment), Vadim Bartko from Ukraine (who provides Denigma with text mining, natural language processing and artificial intelligence), and the extensive help of Anton Kulaga from Ukraine (who drives numerous projects, in particular “Semantic web technologies for aging research with the use of hypergraphs”).
Also great applause to Daria Khaltourina from Russia for her input on linking experts and organizations on Denigma, Dmitry Borisoglebsky from Ukraine, for providing his analytic and semantic web expertise, Avinash Kumar Singh from India, who leads the development of the videochat, and to Martin O’ Dea from Ireland for his investigations of nice potential communication places such as Teleplace or Second Life. A big thank you also to Dmitri Shytikov and Iryna Pishel’s lab who have been the first ones to have given a “Worldwide Collaborative Longevity Skype Presentation” (presentation here; slides here).
A great thanks to everyone who stepped in and added great inputs, in particular Leo Silvennoinen from Finland, and Ilia Stambler from Israel. And, of course, an immense thanks to the bricks makers and advice sharers, in particular Alex Zhavoronkov and Aubrey de Grey from many places, Joao Pedro de Magalhaes from the UK and Georg Fullen from Germany. Many thanks to HEALES for having accelerated the movement at EHA2012, many thanks to… need to stop somewhere…
This article originally appeared here: http://longevityalliance.org/linking-researchers/