Via FuturePundit, an article about how our pets are serving as a testbed to advance rejuvenation and longevity medicine.
I am personally thankful for those who alpha and beta test things that will likely or potentially benefit me and mine in the future. For instance, soldiers in the US army have driven the advance of trauma medicine and prosthetics to a degree unimaginable to some of my friends who served in the military in the 70s and 80s---some prosthetic legs are SO good now that they are likely to be outlawed in competitive sporting events in the near future at the 'only the obsessed need apply level'. These early adopters not only help work out the problems with protocols, therapies, and the like, but they also largely pay the 'Nonrecurring Engineering' costs as well. Being as much of my vocation is nonrecurring engineering, I've always had great affection for those who pay said bill.
Should things not fall apart, and should we not cripple the medical research apparatus further, it is likely that we will continue to make strides towards actuarial escape velocity. It is very good indeed, that we have this alternate channel with possibilities for excellent data quality and price competition providing sane incentive structures to advance the ball under a far weaker defensive regime than the FDA.