Can the Human Lifespan Reach 1,000 Years -Some Experts Say "Yes"
Follow the Daily Galaxy
Add Daily Galaxy to igoogle page AddThis Feed Button Join The Daily Galaxy Group on Facebook Follow The Daily Galaxy Group on twitter
 

« Panic in Level 4: The X Virus | Main | Earth Hour: The First Global Vote About the Future of Our Planet »

March 27, 2009

Can the Human Lifespan Reach 1,000 Years -Some Experts Say "Yes"

Immortality_3 Cambridge University geneticist Aubrey de Grey has famously stated, “The first person to live to be 1,000 years old is certainly alive today …whether they realize it or not, barring accidents and suicide, most people now 40 years or younger can expect to live for centuries.”

Perhaps de Gray is way too optimistic, but plenty of others have joined the search for a virtual fountain of youth. In fact, a growing number of scientists, doctors, geneticists and nanotech experts—many with impeccable academic credentials—are insisting that there is no hard reason why ageing can’t be dramatically slowed or prevented altogether. Not only is it theoretically possible, they argue, but a scientifically achievable goal that can and should be reached in time to benefit those alive today.

“I am working on immortality,” says Michael Rose, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine, who has achieved breakthrough results extending the lives of fruit flies. “Twenty years ago the idea of postponing aging, let alone reversing it, was weird and off-the-wall. Today there are good reasons for thinking it is fundamentally possible.”

Even the US government finds the field sufficiently promising to fund some of the research. Federal funding for “the biology of ageing”, excluding work on ageing-specific diseases like heart failure and cancer – has been running at about $2.4 billion a year, according to the National Institute of Ageing, part of the National Institutes of Health.

So far, the most intriguing results have been spawned by the genetics labs of bigger universities, where anti-ageing scientists have found ways to extend live spans of a range of organisms—including mammals. But genetic research is not the only field that may hold the key to eternity.

“There are many, many different components of ageing and we are chipping away at all of them,” said Robert Freitas at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, a non-profit, nanotech group in Palo Alto, California. “It will take time and, if you put it in terms of the big developments of modern technology, say the telephone, we are still about 10 years off from Alexander Graham Bell shouting to his assistant through that first device. Still, in the near future, say the next two to four decades, the disease of ageing will be cured.”

But not everyone thinks ageing can or should be cured. Some say that humans weren’t meant to live forever, regardless of whether or not we actually can.

“I just don't think [immortality] is possible,” says Sherwin Nuland, a professor of surgery at the Yale School of Medicine. “Aubrey and the others who talk of greatly extending lifespan are oversimplifying the science and just don't understand the magnitude of the task. His plan will not succeed. Were it to do so, it would undermine what it means to be human.”

It’s interesting that Nuland first says he doesn’t think it will work but then adds that if it does, it will undermine humanity. So, which is it? Is it impossible, or are the skeptics just hoping it is?

After all, we already have overpopulation, global warming, limited resources and other issues to deal with, so why compound the problem by adding immortality into the mix.

But anti-ageing enthusiasts argue that as our perspectives change and science and technology advance exponentially, new solutions will emerge. Space colonization, for example, along with dramatically improved resource management, could resolve the concerns associated with long life. They reason that if the Universe goes on seemingly forever—much of it presumably unused—why not populate it?

However, anti-ageing crusaders are coming up against an increasingly influential alliance of bioconservatives who want to restrict research seeking to “unnaturally” prolong life. Some of these individuals were influential in persuading President Bush in 2001 to restrict federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. They oppose the idea of life extension and anti-ageing research on ethical, moral and ecological grounds.

Leon Kass, the former head of Bush's Council on Bioethics, insists that “the finitude of human life is a blessing for every human individual”. Bioethicist Daniel Callahan of the Garrison, New York-based Hastings Centre, agrees: “There is no known social good coming from the conquest of death.”

Maybe they’re right, but then why do we as humans strive so hard to prolong our lives in the first place? Maybe growing old, getting sick and dying is just a natural, inevitable part of the circle of life, and we may as well accept it.

"But it's not inevitable, that's the point," de Grey says. "At the moment, we're stuck with this awful fatalism that we're all going to get old and sick and die painful deaths. There are a 100,000 people dying each day from age-related diseases. We can stop this carnage. It's simply a matter of deciding that's what we should be doing."

One wonders what Methuselah would say about all this.

Posted by Rebecca Sato

http://www.healthbolt.net/2007/07/26/forever-young/
http://www.worldhealth.net/p/the-immortal-question-are-we-on-the-brink-of-living-forever-2006-05-03.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4003063.stm

Comments

There is no doubt in my mind that humans could live to be 1000 with all todays techno advancements, sadly though, it will never come to light.

jess
http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

de Gray isn't overly optimistic but he is perhaps a little premature.

Hm. Well. This probably could be possible. The Bible had people living for hundreds of years...

Yes, these "experts" typically have long beards, listen to techno music all day, wear guru clothes and speak in long elliptical sentences that make sane people want to pull their hair out.

Aubrey de Grey is NOT a geneticist at Cambridge University. He studied computer science at Cambridge and worked at software development there. He has some interesting ideas about aging, but he is not the person who can make his ideas come true.

If people didn't die, we'd still be worshiping a pharaoh, believe Earth is flat and that it is at the center of the universe (well, actually Egyptians knew better than that...).

New generations are what brings change and innovation. They challenge the "accepted" belief and find new ways, new explanations, new paradigms.
Without death, we'll become just stagnant and ultimately die as race.

And I'm not event considering over population and lack of food/water (which are serious enough as they are today).

What do they want? A 40 billions people Earth?

Pharoahs? Tyrants? Demagogues and scholars?

That is what murder is for.

I am neutral on this topic but interested. The previous comment on de Grey's work experience are not entirely accurate. From Wikipedia:

Until 2006, he was in charge of software development at the University of Cambridge Genetics Department for the FlyBase genetic database.

During this time Cambridge awarded de Grey a Ph.D. by a mechanism available only to previous Cambridge undergraduates (of whatever discipline) — the "special regulations," which require evidence of "...a significant contribution to scholarship,"[4] and are evaluated by the usual methods (examiners appointed; oral defence of the submitted work) but do not require an applicant to have been registered as a Ph.D. student while performing such work. The degree was granted in 2000[5] on the basis of de Grey's book concerning the biology of one aspect of aging, The Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging (ISBN 1-58706-155-4), which he wrote in 1999. The book controversially claimed that obviating damage to mitochondrial DNA might by itself extend lifespan significantly, though it stated that it was more likely that cumulative damage to mitochondria is a significant cause of senescence, but not the single dominant cause. A February 8, 2007 search for "de Grey AD [au]" on PubMed [6] revealed 61 publications in 25 peer-reviewed journals, of which 19 are in Rejuvenation Research, the journal edited by de Grey.

The statement "it would undermine what it means to be human" is ambiguous to the point of being meaningless. Here in California, proponents of Proposition 8 used similar, ominous-sounding but ultimately vacuous phrases like "preserve the sanctity of marriage" to great effect. It's the kind of language people use when they can't mount a logical, fact based argument. Sure there are valid concerns associated with extended lifespans - but critics should articulate those concerns in the form of rational statements. (Besides, the human lifespan has already more than doubled during the history of our species, did we "undermine" our humanity when we developed the means to live beyond the average age of 25?)

....and then I "undermine" myself by double-posting. What a dork.
[hi Grimax ... we took care of the double comment - Ed.]

Posted by: UK TV Guide | November 11, 2008 at 07:10 AM

Hm. Well. This probably could be possible. The Bible had people living for hundreds of years...


/slap! There's no room for mythology in science!

All these steps in technology (that are suppossed to be forward), are not fully thought through. These cientist just do things because they can, not always wondering if the results are for better or worse.

"But it's not inevitable, that's the point," de Grey says."

See my point?

Now, on the other hand, I think with all of these so called potential achievements, people don't remember the reality nowadays, the political, economical, social barriers. If things like chosing your son's DNA or living forever finally come true, who do you think will benefit from them? Joe six packs and hockey moms? I don't think so.

I don't like all these things mostly cause I know if someday thay come true, the only ones that are going to be able to afford and access them are powerful very rich people, who btw are pretty fucked up mentally, most of them.

To live 1000 years...hmmm, I used to want to live forever. But now that I am an adult, with adult responsibilities, I don't think that's a priority for me anymore. It's cool if that's what you want, but not for me. Can you imagine, arthritis, phantom old people pains that just come up out of nowhere...nahh, no thanks, you can have your 1000 year old body. I'll pass.

John wrote:

"If people didn't die, we'd still be worshiping a pharaoh, believe Earth is flat and that it is at the center of the universe (well, actually Egyptians knew better than that...)."


You're a moron man, you should definitely not live 1000 years. By the way your brain functions, that would mean a millennium of failure for you.

These people are psycho to think that we SHOULD be living forever. I mean that will only end in CHAOS. HELLO aren't the murder rates terrible enough in crowded cities? Not to mention the insane traffic to get 20 miles up the road, the amount of noise/light/air pollution. Where are all our "waste" going to go? Space? They already found "space trash" coming back INTO earth. Imagine a huge metal crate filled with excretions landing in your backyard - much worse IN your home?!? These people are retarded to try and prolong life (unless it's with those who are dying of terrible diseases that shorten life) when we haven't even been able to make a habitat anywhere OUTSIDE our own planet!!!! The stupidity of smart people amazes me.......

I find these discussions hilarious! Suuure it undermines "what it means to be human"! What would that be exactly? Tracking through the African savanna and dying as OLD people at 30 having very, very bad teeth? Everyone in favour of tradition is free to live that way ...
The point about overpopulation is also simplistic. Firstly, overpopulation is not the problem it's being made out to be (remember, 2000 was the year when the sky was supposed to fall according to the club of rome ...) and secondly, birth rate and lifespan tend to grow inverse proportional to each other. It's not the "expect to live to 80" cultures that churn out kids by the dozens ...

The people against life extension are the same kind that didn't like the steam engine or electricity back in the day and will be thoroughly mocked by future generations just as we mock their predecessors.

No social good could come out of immortality? None? C'mon now, that's just irrational. Imagine great scientist able to live for thousands of years adding to their knowledge. Imagine the kinds of things Einstein would have dreamed up had he another hundred thousand nights in which to dream. Those opposed to this use sociology and religious meaning to prove absolutely nothing. If you don't want to live for thousands of years, fine, but I do and so do countless others and I've found that the vast majority of futurists with this viewpoint have nothing but generosity and positive change in mind when they ponder what they'll do with all that time. So in my opinion it's in the world's best interest to step off and stop limiting creativity and development for selfish reasons mired in a moral gray-area that doesn't need to exist in the first place.

I hope 1000 years would be long enough to see the Cubs win the World Series... But maybe by then it would be the Galactical Series?

some of these come from very close minded individuals.

yes there are implications but how can we deny the advancements in every field of our knowledge that such an achievment will help to realize. maybe after a 1000 years alive we will be able to answer questions like where did we really come from, is our life truly an anomaly in the universe? maybe after such a long life we wont care.

with the prospect of a thousand year life i feel i would be at much more peace with everything and wouldn't rush around, perhaps the procrastination at the idea of that much time would stop development so fast, who is to know ?

#out :P

Very interesting article - I've been following the cure for senescence off and on for a bit, and unfortunately it seems that it'll always be "just ten more years" before we can hope to see something productive. One can only hope that these researchers' predictions are accurate.

Why would you want to live forever? Unless we could 'freeze' time around age 20, what is the point?

Maybe miracle fruit can make us live longer, lol
http://www.buy-miracle-fruit.com

Good effort! Hopefully our future generations can achieve it.
Meanwhile this gen. has narrowly averted many nuclear confrontations, thanks to God's intervention in the hearts of those statesmen. God the creator also offers certain guarantee of everlasting life (real physical, not wandering smoke-like souls) after physical resurrection from the death, the resurrection through faith in Jesus Christ His Son.
In fact, even the man's mortal life is the benefit from Christ's death, because when Adam sinned he cut himself off from the source of life just like pulling the power cord.
Bible prophecies proofed by archeology.
Bible also said God can't let human suffering any longer.
Search; ''Josiah Litch''in history
My affiliation, bibleinfo.com

Good effort! Hopefully our future generations can achieve it.
Meanwhile this gen. has narrowly averted many nuclear confrontations, thanks to God's intervention in the hearts of those statesmen. God the creator also offers certain guarantee of everlasting life (real physical, not wandering smoke-like souls) after physical resurrection from the death, the resurrection through faith in Jesus Christ His Son.
In fact, even the man's mortal life is the benefit from Christ's death, because when Adam sinned he cut himself off from the source of life just like pulling the power cord.
Bible prophecies proofed by archeology.
Bible also said God can't let human suffering any longer.
Search; ''Josiah Litch''in history
My affiliation, bibleinfo.com

@Oprahress
wtf? No, none of this religious garbage on here. This is a scientific topic, not one about the holy ghost and his word. Now, please take your influences elsewhere.
On subject, I think that what the skeptics say about over-population is wrong. This is living longer, not death prevention. This is one less cause of death, yes, but if all guns and knives were destroyed, then that's be a whole bigger mess to deal with. Allowing people to live for centuries or even forever would only be one less cause of death. The planet can and would benefit from such a scientific breakthrough like this. Now I do have to say, I agree with the fact that changes were made through the inventions and innovations of newer generations, but if more people had longer to live and meditate on life and the planet, things would change. We would be seeing 600 year old men who were selling drugs at age 24 start finding cures for diseases. Say what you will, but this has to be one of the greatest things to ever happen to mankind. Now, if we all look at things in a religious context, the Bible states that god took away the ability to live for long millenniums from humans because, honestly, people weren't following his commands and were rejecting him. Now that we may one day have the ability to give this back to people, we can come up with some of the biggest innovations ever. We all know how we want our future to look; exactly like tv pictured it with jetpacks and flying cars, so now if we all live long enough and have enough time on our hands, we can make those visions into realities.

"If people didn't die, we'd still be worshiping a pharaoh, believe Earth is flat and that it is at the center of the universe (well, actually Egyptians knew better than that...)."


Why?

Some people are at their *most* productive in their later years. The shame is, that's also when they become less physically *able* to contribute.

And there was a time when I believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. I seem to have unloaded myself of those unsupported notions, and well within an average lifetime. Am I really that much more flexible of mind than most people?


"Without death, we'll become just stagnant and ultimately die as race."


People will still die. You can still get run over by a truck. This is about *aging,* not unconditional, magical immortality. It only means you might live long enough to also die in more novel ways, like being aboard an exploding starship. Even now, plenty of people manage to die of things having little to do with aging (wars, for one).

"And I'm not event considering over population and lack of food/water (which are serious enough as they are today)."


I assume you want to see those problems fixed. DOING THAT, TOO extends lives. So does curing whatever diseases you care to name. Are you saying it's okay to fix everything but aging? And do you realize there's a gray area where you move from diseases related to and associated with aging, into those processes (and there's much more than one) that are part of aging itself? Where do you draw the line?


Post a comment

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bf7f753ef00e39826f7ff8833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Can the Human Lifespan Reach 1,000 Years -Some Experts Say "Yes":

» Can Humans Live to 1,000? from Moderators Blog
Cambridge University geneticist Aubrey de Grey has famously stated, “The first person to live to be 1,000... [Read More]

» Can Humans Live to 1,000? from Public Blog
Cambridge University geneticist Aubrey de Grey has famously stated, “The first person to live to be 1,000... [Read More]

» Can Humans Live to 1,000? from Public Blog
Cambridge University geneticist Aubrey de Grey has famously stated, “The first person to live to be 1,000... [Read More]

» Can Humans Live to 1,000? from Public Blog
Cambridge University geneticist Aubrey de Grey has famously stated, “The first person to live to be 1,000... [Read More]

« Panic in Level 4: The X Virus | Main | Earth Hour: The First Global Vote About the Future of Our Planet »




1


2


3


4


5


6


7


8





9


11


12


13


14


15

Our Partners

technology partners

A


19


B

About Us/Privacy Policy

For more information on The Daily Galaxy and to contact us please visit this page.



E