Why Bioconservatives will Lose

Here's an excerpt from an article in the Wall Street Journal three days ago:

A study published Wednesday found that rapamycin, a drug used in organ transplants, increased the life span of mice by 9% to 14%, the first definitive case in which a chemical has been shown to extend the life span of normal mammals.
[. . .]
Mice given rapamycin -- starting when they were 600 days old, or roughly the equivalent of 60 human years -- lived longer on average than mice who didn't get the drug. Their "maximal life span" -- meaning the age at which 10% of the mice were still alive -- increased to 1,245 days for females, compared with 1,094 days for those not fed the drug, or a 14% increase. For males, the maximal life span was 1,179 days, a 9% increase over the 1,078 days for those not fed the drug.

"This is really extreme," said David Harrison, who led the group studying the drug at Maine's Jackson Laboratory, in Bar Harbor. "No other intervention that I know of has been effective starting so late in life."

And this is a sponsored link that showed up in my gmail browser a few minutes ago:

Rapamycin - www.selleckchem.com - mTOR inhibitor,immunosuppressive 100mg $70; 500mg $275-- Bulk Also

Now, I know nothing about that website, could be straight scam artists for all I know. But what's notable to me is that within days of a publication of a story suggesting that the drug could be life extending, there's already an (illegal) market developing in it. Imagine something safer, and more effective. How quickly would people get their hands on it?

There are those out there who oppose research into extending human longevity. Good luck with stopping the spread of that technology, because it'll get out. Personally, I'd rather it be developed in the United States rather than in China or Singapore, but it doesn't much matter. Even the ultra-risk averse FDA won't stop an anti-aging hospital seastead, or the discreet delivery of pharmaceuticals from overseas when the demand is strong enough. And it will be.

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I don't think that's how

I don't think that's how that ad got there. Rapamycin was already in use as an immunosuppressant for organ transplant patients. Presumably these people bought keyword ads targeting organ transplant patients. Then when rapamycin popped up in the news in this context, the keyword ads came up automatically.

Do organ transplant patients

Do organ transplant patients buy drugs from shady online outfits? I guess it's possible, but it seems like if you're shelling out tens of thousands of dollars in a transplant, you're probably (1) insured, and (2) likely to head down to the hospital pharmacy.

Actually, taking a look at

Actually, taking a look at the actual site, it looks like Selleck markets to researchers, not to consumers. Hence the ad specifying weight rather than number of pills, which I thought was a bit odd. I think your question still applies, though: Do researchers actually make purchasing decisions based on Google ads?


Oh yeah, it's for "research", unless it's mj, which is for "medicinal purposes"... :)