Hyped up titles and life extension

This Link was posted in the facebook group Life Extension and my response was posted there Revolutions: The incredible potential of induced pluripotent stem cells

This sort of hype (the title) just annoys me.

This was basic and obvious to me when I was doing 3rd year biochem at uni in 1974.

The potential has been obvious for decades – nothing new there.

What is needed is actual instantiated systems for bringing out that potential, and scaling such that it is easily available to every person on the planet.

The big problem there, is that creating anything scalable at that level removes any economic value that it has. So once again, the incentives of the market and the needs of humanity are directly in opposition.

It doesn’t take much thought to see that indefinite life extension must logically be possible – that is simple. Making it happen, that is difficult.

The logic is simple.
Every cell alive seems very probably to be part of a continuum of cellular life some 3 billion years old.

In every cell division in that continuum, each cell would (with justification) consider itself (if it could consider itself, but it can’t – just explicitly saying I am being anthropomorphic here for the sake of narrative) to be the original cell. There is nothing in the division process per se that does anything to rejuvenate the entire system – the system just continues.

Thus the default mode for all cellular life is indefinite.

Thus age related senescence that multicellular life forms experience must have a genetic component, and that must me able to be modulated.

Understand that – we have understood aging.

That much was obvious in 1974.

Exactly how to do that?

That is a much more complex question – deeply embedded in systems with social, cultural, legal, ethical and ecological contexts. Non-trivial complexity.

The solution requires components in every level of context – simultaneously.

No point in enabling biological immortality if the immediate social consequence of doing so is societal collapse.
Deeply complex.

It has dominated my thinking for 45 years.

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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