Life Extension Research
posted on May 22, 2007
"Once you start to make this comparison between the cost of degeneration and other goals that could be achieved with the same use of resources, it quickly becomes clear that the level of resources we direct as individuals to medical research is low to the point of irrationality."
If you take a closer look at the staggering numbers, it quickly becomes apparent that no level of investment in healthy life extension research - that could plausibly be attained by the human race - could ever be too much. The level of destruction caused by aging dwarfs that of global wars, and yet we are blind to it, because it is constant and omnipresent.
Some avenues of medical development for the next decade or two are foregone conclusions: now obvious, planned and underway. This known technology in waiting is impressive, even without considering the impact of unforeseen new discoveries. To pick one example:
"The use of biodegradable guide materials in conjunction with signaling chemicals is in the very first stages today, but I'm sure you can see just how sophisticated this could quickly become. For example, the growth of entire organs or complex tissue can be envisaged: researchers a decade from now will use rapid prototyping technologies to build three-dimensional guide material frameworks, layered with chemicals known to produce the right growth and cellular differentiation characteristics, and add stem cells to get the job started. These initiatives and technologies exist today at varying stages of progress and sophistication ... Regeneration of bulk parts and replacement of damaged tissue is not rejuvenation, but it should lead to a fair degree of healthy life extension. If life extension of 10 to 20 years is plausible from a simple extrapolation of systems biology, then a far better control over regeneration should add to that. It certainly won't hurt our prospects."