Thursday, August 18, 2005

Rejuvenation Therapy

NOBODY LIVES FOREVER - BUT we're about to get a whole lot closer, says Aubrey de Grey, a controversial age theorist and gene database manager at Cambridge University.

NEW FACE (If you cannot see this image in your browser, please click the refresh button.)

"The rejuvenation therapies we are on the verge of developing will actually repair cellular damage", says Grey. "We accumulate various types of indigestible junk in our cells, which leads to things like atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and neurodegeneration. We can fix this by introducing enzymes from soil microbes than can break these things down."

In February's issue of the international journal Gerontology, Grey argues that recent advances in our understanding of aging may allow today's sixtysomethings to reach their 1,000th birthday.

For more information on anti-aging research, check out the Maximum Life Foundation, the Immortality Institute, and the Methusalah Foundation.

Note from DC: Can we really live to be 1,000? The beneficiaries of first-generation therapies will allow people to be in just as good health 30 years from now. By then, there will be more comprehensive therapies that will allow them to live until the next generation of therapies, that will allow them to live until the next, etc. Theoretically, people should then be able to live practically forever. The question is: Will they want to?

The Future of Medicine: Super Sims

YOU VISIT YOUR DOCTOR after weeks of feeling fatigued and lethargic. He takes a blood sample, records your DNA profile, does a quick CT body scan, then uploads the raw data to a computer workstation.

Super Sim (If you cannot see this image in your browser, please click the refresh button.)
Within minutes software stitches together a head-to-toe living, breathing digital reproduction of you, which the doctor can poke and prod just like the real thing.
Turns out you have lung cancer. Rather than focus on one treatment, your physician can test various scenarios on your digital sim (simulation) - surgery, radiation, chemotherapy - and watch how your system reacts.

Note from DC: The cure is the treatment that doesn't kill the virtual you.