Skip to content

All Aboard the Ennui Train!

This guy aims to extend longevity, drastically. It's the same old story: science barging forward, wondering if it can, but not stopping to ask if it should. Such a question would require the input of philosophers and theologians and other non-empirical folk who aren't greatly esteemed in the scientific sphere, so the scientists either ignore the higher questions or presume to have answered them satisfactorily based on that morning's shower musings. And then they do what they want.

In any event, it's interesting stuff. Here's a description of this man's theory:

“De Grey's premise seems sober enough: Aging, he says, is a set of mechanical processes that happen inside and around our cells, causing them to eventually die one by one. Were we to cure every disease that afflicts older people, human beings would still drop dead after 120 years or so. That's because while our cells rejuvenate themselves by dividing, they seem programmed to divide some predetermined number of times and then stop. This is the "Hayflick limit," discovered in 1961 by University of California researcher Leonard Hayflick. Other age-related problems–degenerating components and accumulating junk–seem to cause normal cellular machinery to quit (even as mutant cancer cells keep right on growing). All of this is standard aging theory; now de Grey thinks he has identified the seven deadly processes that make aging lethal. He argues that if researchers would quit fooling around and focus on fixing those seven problems, through gene therapy or other methods, they could stop the runaway train of aging. Let others figure out how the locomotive works. De Grey just wants to find the brake lever.”