When you look at life from a “cell’s eye” perspective, then every cell alive today sees its own history as having been alive since the dawn of life some 4 billion years ago.
That is true of cells in bacteria, plants or us.
From the perspective of each of those cells, every time a division happened, it was the “other one” that went and did whatever it did.
Thus, the default mode of cellular life must be indefinite.
Age induced cellular senescence must be an added layer of systems.
It is not a primary aspect of cellular life.
As such, we must be able to regulate it in some fashion.
We just need to model it.
To my mind, nothing is more important than building a working digital model of a cell, complete will all the levels of interaction that happen.
It is a massive computational task, and once we do it, we will be able to use statistical tools to find those interactions that mediate the “aging” mechanisms. Then we can design and test effective mitigation strategies.
This much was obvious to me in 1974.
How we alter our social and technical institutions to mitigate all the other sources of risk to long life has been the dominant question in my mind since 1974.
It seems that the very idea of measuring value in exchange, in markets, is now the single greatest generator of such risk.
Full automation of production and distribution put the interests of market value and the interests of human life in direct opposition. Anything universally abundant has zero value in a market, but humans require a universal abundance of a basic set of goods an services to survive and flourish.
Markets were a great tool in times of genuine scarcity, but as our ability to to automate exponentially expands the incentives of markets and the needs of humanity become diametrically opposed.
We are in that transition zone.
How we manage that transition will define our survival probabilities.