The Battle of Biotech: Peter Fedichev vs Aubrey de Gray

1 min read

In a recent debate for a $10,000 prize, Aubrey de Grey and Peter Fedichev discussed their different views on reversing aging. The event took place in San Francisco on May 27, 2024, and was sponsored by Foresight Institute, Open Longevity, and Say Forever. While de Grey believes in the potential to extend human life by hundreds of years, Fedichev argues that a more modest extension of 10 to 20 years is more realistic.

Aubrey de Grey’s Perspective

Aubrey de Grey, the head of the LEV Foundation, suggests that addressing chemically detectable damage can significantly extend life. He focuses on two types of damage: chemically detectable damage and informatic damage. Chemically detectable damage includes the buildup of cellular waste and the decline of stem cells. Informatic damage involves changes at the genetic and epigenetic levels.

De Grey is optimistic about a concept called “informatic redundancy,” which implies that cells retain some pristine epigenetic information despite accumulating damage. This concept is supported by partial cellular reprogramming, a process that rejuvenates cells by activating certain genes. De Grey believes this technique shows that significant rejuvenation is possible without needing an “oracle” to guide the process.

Peter Fedichev’s Viewpoint

Peter Fedichev, the CEO of Gero, takes a different approach. His theory, influenced by his background in physics, involves analyzing how epigenetic information changes with age. He identifies two types of changes: linear and exponential. Linear changes result from normal cellular processes and represent entropy, the gradual decline into disorder. Exponential changes, on the other hand, occur when these processes start to affect cellular function, leading to increased morbidity and mortality.

Fedichev argues that reversing entropy will be extremely difficult, likening it to reassembling a broken egg. He believes that without addressing entropy, true rejuvenation is unattainable. Instead, he suggests focusing on slowing the accumulation of damage from entropy to achieve limited lifespan extension.

The Debate Outcome

After both scientists presented their views, the judges awarded Peter Fedichev 42 points and Aubrey de Grey 38 points, making Fedichev the debate’s winner. De Grey maintains that targeting chemically detectable damage could extend life by hundreds of years, while Fedichev remains skeptical, suggesting a more modest extension of 10 to 20 years.

Moving Forward

Despite their differing views, both researchers agree on the importance of continuing research into aging. De Grey’s approach focuses on removing chemically detectable damage, while Fedichev emphasizes the need to address entropy. Although partial cellular reprogramming shows promise, it may not be applied to humans soon. Meanwhile, treatments targeting chemically detectable damage, such as autophagy enhancers and senolytics, offer potential for extending life, whether by decades or centuries.


Leave a Reply

Previous Story

Over 100 years of Achievements: Supercentenarian Marita Camacho Quirós

Next Story

Live, Laugh, Love, Longevity

Latest from Politics

Don't Miss