Can Human Life Be Extended?

Geriatrics

02 May 2021 | 1 | by kjh

121060login-checkCan Human Life Be Extended?

There is nothing new about humans wanting to find a way to extend life.  There have been potions, gadgets, and all kinds of ideas to increase human life.  So far, there has been no magic solution to extend human life for an extraordinary amount of time.

It is true that there are many ways to live longer if people take good care of themselves and practice healthy living. But in terms of extending life for an extremely long time, say 25 plus years, there’s no solution so far.

That doesn’t stop many people from around the world who have set up companies to find a cure for the dismal reality of death. Larry Ellison, the billionaire founder of Oracle says “Death makes me very angry. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Death has never made any sense to me. How can a person be there and then just vanish, just not be there?” The Ellison Medical Foundation has established aging as a critical area for medical research. 

British billionaire Jim Mellon started a company called Juvenescence. Founded in October 2016, Juvenescence is investing in a wide range of anti-aging therapies that it believes will have the potential to extend human life.  One of the goals is to achieve optimal lifespan and innovation is key to extending the life span of humans.  Dr. Greg Bailey, C.E.O. of Juvenescence says “If we can figure out how to slow aging, we push out all 10 leading causes of death.” 

People with a determination to stay young have spent lots of money on ways to prolong youth but the FDA warns about gimmicks that are not approved such as plasma infusion from a younger person.  Stem-cell banking is also unregulated.

Dr. Ian Pearson, a futurist, believes extending life could be achieved in several ways.  For example, genetic engineering that prevents (or reverses) the aging of cells.  But what Dr. Pearson really believes is that robots will help us to live longer. If you die, it won’t matter because your mind will still be there. You’ll be able to use an android body instead of the organic one you just lost.

If you don’t believe that futuristic technology will save you at this point, you can still opt for an extension of a few years.  Indeed, taking good care of oneself can prolong life. Many people are still following the many technology companies who say they will have an answer in the near future.

For those who don’t want to rely on technology companies, Dr. Nir Barzilai is conducting exciting research at the Institute of Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Barzilai’s research interests are in the biology and genetics of aging. His focus is on the genetic of exceptional longevity, where he hypothesizes and has demonstrated that centenarians have protective genes, which allows the delay of aging or for the protection against age-related diseases. He is currently leading an international effort to approve drugs that can target aging. Targeting Aging with METformin (TAME) is a specific study designed to prove the concept that multi-morbidities of aging can be delayed by metformin, working with the FDA to approve this approach which will serve as a template for future efforts to delay aging and its diseases in humans.

 

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