I'm pleased to introduce Greg Benford. He is the author of 35 books. I met Greg, and Arnold bought the rights to license the movie. The hat he is wearing today is as the chairman as Genescient, which has an interesting longevity product coming from the Methuselah fruit fly experiments. He's a home town hero, a professor of physics down the road..

I think the brain is a quantum computer because I'm so uncertain all the time. Before you all leave for coffee., I'm going to describe an approach to a product that we will deploy commercially in 6 months around most of the world. If you are interested in the human physiological trials, write your email on a piece of paper and give it to me, and you will get notified within 2 days. You will have to get some medical measurements made, which cost about $500; but following Christine Peterson's talk, that’s a good idea anyway. The safety trials have already been done. I've been taking the supplements for a half year and I'm not dead yet.

It's a genomics company. Here's the bad news. I put all this data together. This is percentage of survival in time versus years. Most of human history has been bad news if you wanted to live long. Tech was the big issue. In the 1920s, in British India, you were typically dead by age 50. Mexico, where I just came from yesterday, is next to the U.S., and they tend to get technologies first. Technology is the answer for longevity as Christine pointed out.

The aim of Genescient to make that far curve the point. I always tell this story. About 10 years ago, on television, an interviewer was asking a woman who was 104 years old, what's the best thing about being 104, and she said "no peer pressure". The aim of Genescient is to make that little remark obsolete.

These are the mean longevities of males and females in the U.S. for the entire 20th century. There's a lot of ripples. Here's the Spanish Influenza. This oscillation is the ghost of small scale disorders propaggating through time. Because that's the advent of vaccines in 1940s, which changed the prospects. The difference between males and females expands adn continues still. This is the 20th century. We're interested in the 21st. I gave this talk at the Singularity Summit last month. How do you get ot hea ghe where you can live to 150 if you wish? I remember this shot from and I always remembered from how did we get out of the fix. In the past we didn't get out, but now, the good news is that whereas we were previously stumbling around in the dark. This is the effect of chocolate, chocolate is good for you. This kind of simple analysis is not enough. You need to analyze genomic networks. I'm a physicist and this daunts me, and it certainly daunts the biologist because the complexity is getting more and more evident as genomics moves forward. The reason why you can do something new in genomics is because you can now read and analyze the human genome. The crucial thing is that you don’t let fruit flies reproduce until half are dead. That has gone through 740 generations.

The cofounder and I bought these flies and did the genomics. I asked the biologist how many gene snips they thought would be associated with longevity. They guessed 50, but the actual result was 729. We don't know much about mortality and what its genetic implications are. These flies now live about 4.5 times longer than the control flies. We have accelerated the artificial selection. This by the way was all generated by Heinlein's Methuselah’s Children. He actually did have this idea in the 1940s. What the methuselah flies do is live longer and better. The methuselahs, and this seems to be coming up today, they had more sex, they reproduce longer, and they're more vigorous. If you put them in a cage with the other flies, they beat up on them. Vigor and longevity go together in an artificially selected species. They resist all sorts of bad things like infection.

We found about 1000 changes in the fly genome. We're doing the same with mice. That comes later. The problem is that this is a really expensive-- although the expense has dropped by 2 orders of magnitude in the last decade. It's complicated. What we have done is pull out the bad signals that carry through into the next generation.

The overlap between flies and humans is 80%. The flies were the beta testing for everything that followed. We separated from them 600 million years ago. We confirmed in publicly available databases that these are genes associated with longevity. We used the Wellcome Trust data, which was about 18k people. After we used selection as a supercomputer to pull information out of the genome, which nobody has done before on earth, these flies are unique in this regard. We then worked backwards. How do you act to up-regulate the genes? How do you make the flies live longer? This has taken 4 years to develop. We focused on cardio genes. Cardio kills over half of us. And the flies just fly around and eat sugar, dying of all of those disease groups. The first product will have a cardio set. Not just a few genes, but networks of genes, which we have shown in lab animals. Increases of lifespan of 30%. We have repeated this many times. We also have products in the pipeline, about 8 others, that operate on that, and some metabolic problems, and they increase lifespan by 10% to 30% depending on which one you have. The point is that these disorders can be affected by up-regulating gene expression. Eat those vegetables, get some exercise, well that was just my mother. Those things really do up-regulate those genes. What we have is a system for using the genomic information that has been harvested by artificial selection (not natural selection) to produce "nutrigenomic". It has a role in mitochondrial effects. Um. Actually, this is what Genescient has done. It's broken up into steps. The rate of aging can be understood in terms of genomics. We found what that means in humans, orthologs. We used the orthologs to develop a product. There will be many such products following. We have a laboratory hiring all the time. We're looking at every disorder group we have. We want to bring in some new disease groups.

I'm actually a physicist. I got into this because it was effective. I noticed I wasn't getting any younger. We can't open the trials to people under 40. On the other hand, you can buy the product. The control group is between 40 and 70.

We're interested in starting a health revolution on the really new thing: genomics. That's the point of the company. There's no other company that does this because they don't have the animal models. All of the stock holders--there's only a very few,--are determined that we will produce products now, in 2010 we can up-regulate genes. That's the agenda.

We intend to publish the results of the human trials. Unlike the supplement industry, we do not produce "supplements", stuff you already have in your diet. The first product will have something that you're not going to be able to get easily in your diets. Nutrigenomics, are all on the "safe" lists. We do safety and human trials. They will up-regulate genes. That's the key idea. We want to do something now. We want to increase longevity. Sonia pointed out it is an unmitigated good in advanced society.