The article "Living to 100 and Beyond" in The Wall Street Journal tackles some key questions:
- Are there ways we can "conquer aging" --- at least in the sense of prolonging our healthy years significantly longer? Not just another year or two, but what about an extra 50 or 150 or 100 years?
- If we can, what implications? On society, economics, ethics and the like.
The article, by Sonia Arrison, is based on her new book 100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything.
Particularly relevant to this blog, and my related speculative medical thriller, The Life After Life Conspiracy, are some of the anti-aging and related approaches she mentions, certain of which play a role in the plot. In writing this thriller, I started with the foundation that all of the steps are based on real-world research (though I have in places taken the liberty of going a step or so beyond what has actually been done yet, and in other places combining research in novel ways.)
That said, areas of special interest include:
- Gene therapy, citing the work of Cynthia Kenyon at the University of California, San Francisco. I've been following the work of Dr. Kenyon and her "playing with worms" for a decade or more.
- Replacing worn-out body parts, using regenerative medical approaches to "build" new replacement parts, including hearts, livers, bones, and others. She cites the work of Dr. Anthony Atala at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and that of Dr. Doris Taylor at the University of Minnesota.
- Organ printing--- "printing" stem cells around a scaffold of various types.
Enough. I'll leave you to the article and the book: