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On the Path to Building a Better Mouse --
and Man: Inaugural Methuselah Mouse
Prize Awarded to Further Anti-Aging

WASHINGTON, DC/EWORLDWIRE/June 3, 2003 --- The Methuselah Foundation, which takes its name from the man reputed in Biblical records to have lived the longest in human history (969 years), has announced it will award the first ever "Methuselah Mouse" Prize (MMP), designed to stimulate serious anti-aging research and intervention, during the 2003 annual American Aging Association Conference in Baltimore, Maryland on Sunday, June 8.

"Dreams grow from small kernels of possibilities. Congratulations to the first of a long list of Methuselah Dreamers," says Roger Holzberg, Advisor to the Methuselah Foundation, and Senior Show Producer/Director of Walt Disney Imagineering, home of the most recognized mouse in the world.

A cash prize will be awarded in two categories. A Postponement Prize will go to the producer of the world's oldest ever mouse, restricted to the species used in laboratory work, Mus musculus, in recognition of extending healthy lifespan. Starting a year from now, a Reversal Prize will also be awarded to the producer of the world's oldest mouse whose life was extended due to effective late-onset life-extension interventions. Each prize will be awarded from a fund to which anyone can contribute, initially $5,000 for each prize; the amount won depends on the margin by which the previous record has been broken.

The inaugural "Methuselah Mouse" Postponement Prize will be awarded to Andrzej Bartke and "GHR-KO 11C", whose age at death was 1819 days - the equivalent to a human lifespan of 180-200 years. "Although the first award recognizes a mouse posthumously, future awards will acknowledge living mice that surpass the previous "age goal post" established by the first two pioneering prize recipients" said Aubrey De Grey, architect of the Methuselah Mouse Prize, and Senior Science Advisor to the Methuselah Foundation.

David Gobel, President of the Methuselah Foundation, explains, "The Methuselah Mouse Prize is meant to inspire and encourage serious scientific progress and innovation in extending the healthy human lifespan. We believe the Methuselah Mouse Prize can effectively raise public optimism and enthusiasm about potential human application of successful life-extending interventions used on laboratory mice that have already reached an advanced age."

The Methuselah Foundation also intends to promote public interest and involvement in mammalian life extension research by accepting public donations for future prizes along with corporate sponsorships.

Current prize sponsors are the Methuselah Foundation, HMX Inc., Dr. Peter Greenman and Diana Stackhouse of the Animal Health Institute. Online donations started to arrive as soon as the site was opened on May 31st; donors already include Dr. Peter Proctor, a prestigious pioneer in the field of free radical chemistry in aging.

For more information about The Methuselah Mouse Prize, how to contribute to the prize fund, existing donors and contestants, see www.methuselahmouse.org or contact David Gobel at The Methuselah Foundation via e-mail at david.gobel@dhs.gov.

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