X-Message-Number: 27625
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 09:19:12 -0800 (PST)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: 50 years old? You have 30 years left

[...but here's a different take on human demography.]

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2005;118:209-19.
A strategy for postponing aging indefinitely.
de Grey A
Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
  It may seem premature to be discussing approaches to the
effective elimination of human aging as a cause of death at a
time when essentially no progress has yet been made in even
postponing it. However, two aspects of human aging combine to
undermine this assessment. The first is that aging is happening to
us throughout our lives but only results in appreciable functional
decline after four or more decades of life: this shows that we can
postpone aging arbitrarily well without knowing how to prevent it
completely. The second is that the typical rate of refinement of
dramatic technological breakthroughs is rather reliable (so long
as public enthusiasm for them is abundant) and is fast enough to
change such technologies (be they in medicine, transport, or
computing) almost beyond recognition within a natural human
lifespan. Here I explain, first, why it is reasonable to expect
that (presuming adequate funding for the initial preclinical
work) therapies that can add 30 healthy years to the remaining
lifespan of healthy 55-year-olds will arrive within the next few
decades, and, second, why those who benefit from those therapies
will very probably continue to benefit from progressively improved
therapies indefinitely and thus avoid debilitation or death from
age-related causes at any age.

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