The institute hosts an online community, in the form of a web site, chat-room, and on-line discussions. It also distributes literature, and hosts conferences.
It has free membership, but charges dues to full members, who get additional privileges. It also solicits donations.
One of its more interesting public-service projects is that it sponsors a competition called the "methuselah mouse prize," periodically awarded for the longest-lived mouse to date. The plan is that the prize will encourage researchers to carry through anti-aging experiments. Then, techniques easily developed for mice will be promoted by the prize and possibly adapted to human therapies. As a prize, it rewards only successful therapies, which is important given the institute's poverty compared to other sources of funding for medical research.
The prize is important because anti-aging biology and treatments are very poorly funded at this time (2003), receiving less than 1% of the money allocated to aging-related diseases such as heart disease and cancer. This state of affairs continues even though aging biology is a major cause of such disease, and the treatment of causes is invariably more fruitful than the treatment of effects.
Many members are interested in biomedical methods of preventing age-related diseases. There are also discussions of uploading and other extropian and transhumanist topics. Many members are also contributors to caloric restriction, life extension, cryonics, extropian and transhumanist discussion groups and web sites.