Living to 100 and maybe much longer: the engineering and biotechnology of life-extension medicine and when it may arrive.

In: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Intelligent Processing and Manufacturing of Materials (J.A. Meech, ed.), 2008, in press.

Living to 100 and maybe much longer: the engineering and biotechnology of life-extension medicine and when it may arrive.

de Grey ADNJ.

Abstract

Abstract:

The present high demand for medicines and therapies that retard or reverse the effects of aging on both one's appearance and one's physical and mental vigour leaves no room for doubt that progressive advances in the efficacy of such interventions will be immensely valued by society. The opposition of bioconservatives and the apparent ambivalence inherent in the public's attitude to extreme life extension, focusing as they do on the sociopolitical challenges that this transition would cause, should be viewed in this context; they can thus confidently be predicted to evaporate almost entirely once these therapies arrive, and to a large extent even when they become widely acknowledged as foreseeable, which will be much sooner. In this article I describe a plan termed "strategies for engineered negligible senescence" (SENS), which is the approach to extreme life extension that I consider the most likely to succeed in the foreseeable future. I summarise where we currently stand in the development of the various biotechnological areas that form components of this approach, and conclude that we have a good chance of demonstrating proof-of-concept in mice within just ten years if the necessary funding is forthcoming, with a 50% chance of translating that result to humans only 15 years thereafter. I also touch on the role that plastic and reconstructive surgery can be expected to play in these techniques.