Is there any point in living longer if we can’t stay young?

royal gorge
Image: Sugar Bowl/Royal Gorge

Aging, like bankruptcy in Hemingway’s description, happens two ways, slowly and then all at once.

“…Over the past century, we’ve created the greatest gift in the history of humanity—thirty extra years of life—and we don’t know what to do with it! Now that we’re living longer, how do we plan for what we’re going to do?” [said Joseph Coughlin, the founder and director of the AgeLab]

Where fifty years ago it was taken for granted that the problem of age was a problem of the inevitable running down of everything, entropy working its worst, now many researchers are inclined to think that the problem is “epigenetic”: it’s a problem in reading the information—the genetic code—in the cells.

We don’t have to micromanage the repair, the Harvard molecular biologist George Church observes: “If we think epigenetically, we can see that we can make the cells industriously do the repair themselves.” … He is also among a group of engineer-entrepreneurs who are trying not to make better products for aging people but to make fewer aging people to sell products to. Perhaps aging is not a condition to be managed but a mistake to be fixed.

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“How old can people grow?” he says. “Well, if our approach is truly effective, there is no upper limit. But our goal isn’t eternal life. The goal is youthful wellness rather than an extended long period of age-related decline. …”

Read full, original post: Can we live longer but stay younger?

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