Back in 1974, when I started telling people it was possible to live on indefinitely, most just looked at me with a knowing sort of look and a “that boy is a little strange” expression.
41 years on, and a lot of people with a lot of money are starting to agree with me:
Calico – Google offshoot Calico is a research and development company whose mission is to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan.
SENS Research Foundation Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence
Buck Institute for Research on Aging
SAGE Science of Aging
The Broad Institute is committed to meeting the most critical challenges in biology and medicine: Assemble a complete picture of the molecular components of life.
American Federation for Aging Research
University of California San Francisco (UCSF) UCSF is the USA’s leading university exclusively focused on health.
British Longevity Society a non-profit society founded in 1992 created for people who want to live a longer, healthier life.
In 1974 it was obvious to me that simple life like bacteria does not display age related deterioration of function, and nor does our germ line – the eggs and sperm that give rise to each of us.
Everything alive today seems (beyond any reasonable doubt) to be part of an unbroken continuum of life going back over 3 billion years.
So far from living a long time being unusual or unnatural, it is actually the original and most natural way of life.
Evolving bodies that age was a trick that one group of animals came up with that allowed for rapid evolution of more complexity. We as a species seem to have taken that trend to a whole new level.
And now the biggest computational company on the planet (Google) is putting billions into the development.
Expect rapid progress.
Back in 1974, once I realised indefinite life extension was possible, the next question became:
What sort of social, political and technical institutions does one need to have in place to allow potentially very long lived individuals a reasonable chance of actually living a very long time.
That has proved to be a very interesting set of questions indeed.