Healthy aging

On/off switch for aging cells discovered, may hold the key to ‘healthy aging’

diyspartanbiotech – As a biotechnologist I have to disagree with the title. There is no such thing as “healthy ageing”. Ageing is the accumulation of damage from metabolic by-products and gives you age-related illnesses. So ageing is the opposite of health.

If it were true that aging is just the accumulation of damage, then all life should stop – even germ line cells metabolise and should show such degradation.
Simple organisms that do not have separate germ lines should also show such degradation.

Obviously this not the case.

Aging (or more correctly age related senescence), in this sense, is something that has evolved in complex organisms such as ourselves.

Certainly telomeres can be viewed as a last ditch mechanism to inhibit cancer growth, and I strongly suspect there is much more to it (being a “terminal” cancer survivor myself).

And as Gordon says, there are many more threats to life than biological “aging”. If we are serious about life extension then we need to address all classes of risk. On that scale, using markets as a measure of value seems to be the major risk to long term personal security. Sure there are serious risks from pandemic, volcanism, etc, and the major risk seems to come from other humans with a grudge. Markets will never deliver the abundance to all that we are now technically capable of delivering. If we are serious about living a very long time, then we need to start delivering abundance and justice to every human being (no exceptions) – it really is in our own individual long term self interest to do so.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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