Showing posts with label grey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label grey. Show all posts

Jan 24, 2009

Longevity escape velocity

Aubrey de Grey, a British biomedical gerontologist, states in his book "Ending Aging," that that the fundamental knowledge to develop effective anti-aging medicine mostly already exists.

In a Ted Show presentation he states:

Why should we cure aging?

Because it kills people!

Age damage
There are seven types of aging damage :

Damage rising with age Proposed as contributing to aging by
Cell loss, cell atrophy Brody (1955) or earlier
Extracellular junk
Alzheimer (1907)
Extracellular crosslinks Monnier and Cerami (1981)
Cell senescence Hayflick (1965)
Mitochondrial mutations Harman (1972)
Lysosomal junk Strehler (1959) or earlier
Nuclear [epi]mutations (cancer) Szilard (1959) and Cutler (1982)

Although, for more than 25 years, science suspiciously didn't seem to develop, all kind of medicines to repair these damages are already within reach for mice.

Age damage for human beings is strongly age related:

As the chairman of the Methuselah-Foundation, De Grey stimulates scientists to develop medicines that repair age damage for this living generation.

Experiments on mouses showed that medicines didn't only slow down the aging process, but could reverse it as well (condition: start in time!). It turns out that every time a new medicine is developed and applied, it restores - above a certain threshold of reserve capacity - the lost reserve capacity for about 50%.

This would imply that if new medicines for human beings would be developed within the next decade and the rate of developing new medicines will be fast enough to stay 'ahead of the game', all people of 50 years and younger would be able to live a thousand years or more and people just slightly older could still live for hundred years or more.

In 2006 Technology Review announced a $20,000 prize for any molecular biologist who could demonstrate that De Grey was wrong. Nobody succeeded!

If De Grey is right, actuaries don't even have to start calculating new life expectancies or other (financial) consequences. Life insurance and pension will have to be redefined.
Even stronger: We'll have to redefine our life!

Sources: Ted Show presentation, Pres. 1, Pres 2

Related links:
A model of aging as accumulated damage matches observed mortality ...