Research is beginning to support the notion that aging is a disease rather than a natural part of life. This is encouraging anti-aging researchers to boost their efforts in "curing" aging. And if they succeed, humans could be living to 1,000 years old, or even more.
Aging is a disease?
After looking at the entire life histories of thousands of roundworms, researchers from biotech company Gero say they’ve debunked the misconception that there is a limit to how much you can age. In a study published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, the Gero team revealed that the Strehler-Mildvan (SM) correlation associated with the Gompertz mortality law model is a flawed assumption.
The Gompertz mortality law is a model that represents human death as the sum of two components that exponentially increase with age – the Mortality Rate Doubling Time (MRDT) and the Initial Mortality Rate (IMR). The SM correlation uses these two points to suggest that reducing the mortality rate at a young age could accelerate aging, meaning that any development of an anti-aging therapy would be useless.
With the publication of this new study, it's now certain that aging can be reversed. Living longer without the deteriorating effects of aging should be limitless.
The nature of life extension
In an earlier forecast on Quantumrun, the ways in which aging can be reversed have been outlined in detail. Basically, due to senolytic drugs (substances that stop the biological process of aging) such as resveratrol, rapamycin, metformin, alkS kinatse inhibitor, dasatinib and quercetin, our life spans can be extended through the restoration of muscle and brain tissue among other biological functions. A human clinical trial using rapamycin has seen healthy elderly volunteers experience an enhanced response to flu vaccines. The rest of these drugs await clinical trials after yielding incredible results on lab animals.
Therapies such as organ replacement, gene editing and nanotechnology to repair age-related damage to our bodies at a micro level are also predicted to become a fully accessible reality by 2050. It’s only a matter of time before life expectancy reaches 120, then 150 and then anything is possible.
What the advocates are saying
Hedge fund manager, Joon Yun, calculated the probability of a 25-year-old dying before they turn 26 is 0.1%; thus, if we can keep that probability constant, the average person could live up to 1,000 years or more.
Aubrey de Grey, chief scientific officer at the Strategies for Engineered Senescense (Sens) Research Foundation, has no qualms claiming that the human who will live to 1,000 years is already among us. Ray Kurzweil, chief engineer at Google, claims that with technology advancing at an exponential rate, the means to extend one's life will become achievable with greater computing power.
Tools and techniques like editing genes, diagnosing patients accurately, 3D printing human organs will come with ease in a matter of 30 years given the rate of this advancement. He also adds that in 15 years, all our energy will come from solar power, so the resource-limiting factors keeping us from expecting humans to thrive past a certain point will soon be resolved as well.
If humans can live past the age of 120, never mind reaching 1,000, the impact will be massive. An earlier forecast on Quantumrun gives greater thought to this.
The way people arrange their lives in developed countries will need to be rethought since there won't be any rush to finish one's education by the age of 22-25 and retirement may become obsolete. Economies could profit off a virtually immortal workforce so that investing in anti-aging health programs won't be a problem.
Though our bodies may cease to age, the effect this will have on our minds remains unclear. Will our mental health crumble? Will we lose our purpose in life, or will we thrive on working on new projects for centuries?
The issue of overpopulation may become worse, but projects to colonize the moon or Mars may help with that. More important, the way we think of death will change enormously. Will it still be something that must happen eventually or will we never cease to try to prevent its coming?