4. Februar 2010

Is Aging a Disease That can be Cured?

Filed under: Presse — Schlagwörter: — berndvo @ 22:11
„It’s a repair and maintenance approach to extending the functional life span of a human body. It’s just like maintaining the functional life span of a classic car, or a house. We know — because people do it — that there is no limit to how long you can do that. Once you have a sufficiently comprehensive panel of interventions to get rid of damage and maintain these things, then, they can last indefinitely. The only reason we don’t see that in the human body now is that the panel of interventions we have available to us today is not sufficiently comprehensive.“~ Aubrey de Grey, molecular biologist and author of End of Aging

Cambridge University researcher Aubrey de Grey argues that aging is merely a disease — and a curable one at that. Humans age in seven basic ways, he says, all of which can be averted.. De Grey is 46 years old, going on 1,000. He says old age is optional and why any rational being would choose it, is nuts. But others think de Grey is the one who’s “nuts”. Even so, no one has been able to show that de Grey does not have plausible scientific theory on his side. His well-thought argument that some people alive today could live in a robust and youthful state for 1,000 years is theoretically possible. Possible maybe, but will it happen?

There are people with a lot of money who are betting that it can happen—if the cause gets enough funding. In fact, they’re willing to support the “mad” scientist in his ambitious goal to end ageing for mankind. De Grey, whose original academic field is in computer science and artificial intelligence, has become the darling of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who believe changing the world is just something you do. Peter Thiel, for example, the co-founder and former CEO of PayPal has already dropped $3.5 million on de Grey’s Methuselah Foundation.

„I thought he had this rare combination—a serious thinker who had enough courage to break with the crowd,“ Thiel says. „A lot of people who are not conventional are not serious. But the real breakthroughs in science are made by serious thinkers who are willing to work on research areas that people think are too controversial or too implausible.“

Back in 2005, the MIT Technology Review offered $20,000 to any molecular biologist who could demonstrate that de Grey’s plan for treating aging as a disease—and curing it—was „so wrong that it was unworthy of learned debate.“

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