Would you like to live to be 1,000-years-old?
It is likely that someone living on Earth today will make it to that lofty number of years, according to research scientists who are pushing the envelope ever closer to the ten-century limit, News.Com.Au reports.
Leading the charge to virtual immortality is Cambridge gerontologist Aubrey de Grey, co-founder of Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) in California, who told News.Com.Au: “If we ask the question, ‘has the person been born who will be able to escape the ill health of old age indefinitely?’ then I would say the chances of that are very high. Probably about 80 percent.”
However de Grey, whose research focuses on repairing aging’s wear and tear on the body, allowing still-dividing cells to take over and replenish youth, is not the only one battling the encroaching effects of old age.
Largely driven by huge infusions of money from cash-rich Silicon Valley entrepreneurs hoping to buy eternity, research scientists are investigating various avenues to increase the human life span.
Google CEO Larry Page has started the California Life Company (Calico) and will build a $1.5 billion life extension research center in San Francisco, The Australian reports.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has funded the Ellison Medical Foundation and California venture capitalist Paul F. Glenn has poured hundreds of millions into Ivy League colleges’ anti-aging research. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is a supporter of SENS.
The Australian estimates: “Last year the global anti-aging market generated more than $280 billion. By 2018, it will hit $400 billion.”
Harvard Medical School genetics professor Dr. David Sinclair is investigating whether increasing the amount of the naturally occurring molecule nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) will encourage rejuvenation in cells. So far, in mice, it works, and he is planning human trials in the near future, The Australian reports.
“We will be able to live not just a little bit longer, but a lot longer, and to look younger as well. We are on the verge of a number of separate medical breakthroughs that together will allow us to live to 150. These technologies will definitely be available,” he told The Australian.
Researcher de Grey is aiming higher than that, telling Motherboard that the day when we can live to be 1,000-years-old is “going to happen, it’s just a question of when. The work I do is simply speeding up the inevitable.
“But it is very important to me, because for every day that I bring forward the defeat of aging, I’m saving 100,000 lives — thirty World Trade Centers. And I’m very happy about that.”
He told News.Com.Au: “The therapies that we are working on at the moment are not going to be perfect. These therapies are going to be good enough to take middle age people, say people aged 60, and rejuvenate them thoroughly enough so they won’t be biologically 60 again until they are chronologically 90.
“That means we have essentially bought 30 years of time to figure out how to re-rejuvenate them when they are chronologically 90, so they won’t be biologically 60 for a third time until they are 120 or 150.
“I believe that 30 years is going to be very easily enough time to do that.”