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How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?


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#1 Guinevere

  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted 04 July 2011 - 05:23 AM


Aging research seems to be progressing rather slowly at the moment; instead, most efforts have been directed at age-related diseases (extending healthspan rather than maximum lifespan). Is it possible that aging would be cured in the next 20-30 years, even with the current financial crisis?
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#2 1101 Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:United States

Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:02 AM

I'd disagree on both points.

Modern medicine actually tends to focus on keeping people alive rather than improving their health (if you haven't noticed there are a lot more old people around than there used to be) and we have made more advances in the bio sciences in the last two decades than in the entirety of human history. I think there are three reasons you don't hear as much about anti aging medicine.

1) Some people find it controversial
2) It's only in the last couple of years that an indefinite human life span has become a reality
3) Anti aging tech doesn't receive any kind of federal funding (this is a big one at least for the United States)

I expect that in the next 30 years we will have a great deal more control over our DNA and I wouldn't be surprised if we had the ability to remove cancer causing mutations from our chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA, as well as add telometric repeats to the end of chromosomes with relative ease. Research into tissue differentiation, stem cells, and or regeneration could probably replace things like neurons that don't readily replace themselves naturally and also potentially repair things like cellular matrices. Plain old pharmacology or possibly nanotech could take care of inter and extra cellular aggregates. That's the seven causes of aging (according to de Grey) right there. Our ability to effectively cure aging is going to depend mainly on how well we can manipulate the DNA, RNA, and proteins in our bodies, and we are just starting to get really good at that.
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#3 VidX Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:54 AM

IMHO there's quite a good chance there will be some serious "bridges" for these, who are determined enough/financially secure, to get to another side of the shore so to say... Stuff that has been mentioned already, supply of stem cells for exhausted "pools", etc.. Lets not forget that one single intervention can have a positive effect on many levels, as it's all interconnected, so basically the first goal is to have some kind of a manageable equilibrium in your cellular homeostasis.
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#4 Stefanovic Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

Posted 09 August 2011 - 09:20 PM

I'm 29 now. Is there a good chance that I can still be as young as I am now by the time I hit 45-50? Will there be a time that people going out to a party won't see the difference between a 25-30 yr old and a 70 yr old as they are biologically the same age?
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#5 brokenportal Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:Stevens Point, WI

Posted 09 August 2011 - 09:37 PM

Aging research seems to be progressing rather slowly at the moment; instead, most efforts have been directed at age-related diseases (extending healthspan rather than maximum lifespan). Is it possible that aging would be cured in the next 20-30 years, even with the current financial crisis?


People throw a lot of numbers out there. One person says maybe 20 years, another says it seems like 30, one organization pins breakthroughs at 2029, etc. Any of them could be right, but the most accurate way to think about it is that the goals of indefinite life extension get here in direct proportion to the collective speed at which the world goes to get there. Hence the importance of informing the world about this cause as fast as we can. There are many organizations and projects working on informing people.

Then also, as people point out, especially Ray Kurzweil, in many places, including the latest medium of the movie "Transcendent Man": things move along slowy, but thats fine, because they grow exponentially. For example, they set a goal to complete the Human Genome Project, and then half way through it the critics pointed out that they were only 1% done. However, as Ray pointed out, 1% done was right on track because if you double 1% seven more times you end up at 100% done. That's exactly what happened with the project, and they completed it ahead of schedule. Ray also pointed out that the exponential progress of most all technologies is rarely fazed by anything. Even the great depression, he shows, only made a tiny dent in the progress, from which the growth snapped back to where it would have been with out the depression anyways.
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#6 VidX Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

Posted 09 August 2011 - 10:02 PM

Before opening this thread again I was about to write the same, what Brokenportal just've wrote about Rays example of genome project. The situation may be not that bad as it sometimes looks I think.. We just need to work towards that goal.
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#7 niner Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 09 August 2011 - 10:14 PM

Aging research seems to be progressing rather slowly at the moment; instead, most efforts have been directed at age-related diseases (extending healthspan rather than maximum lifespan). Is it possible that aging would be cured in the next 20-30 years, even with the current financial crisis?

I agree with 1101 on this; aging research is progressing faster today than at any point in history, and it's accelerating. The words 'possible' and 'cured' lead to some funny answers. I would say that it is likely we will see significant progress in rejuvenative therapies in the next 20 to 30 years. Healthspans will lengthen. To use the word 'cured' seems to me to require a disruptive new technology. Such a thing may well come along, possibly even in the above timeframe. However, the timing of such a thing is inherently unpredictable.

I'm 29 now. Is there a good chance that I can still be as young as I am now by the time I hit 45-50? Will there be a time that people going out to a party won't see the difference between a 25-30 yr old and a 70 yr old as they are biologically the same age?

I doubt that you will be as young at 45 as you are today, but if you do the right things you should be in very good shape. Will there be a time when a 30 year old and a 70 year old are indistinguishable to the outside observer? I suppose eventually, but I don't think that will be real soon. It might be the case that a 70 year old will beat a 30 year old on the basketball court, but the 30 year old will look younger. It might be the case that looking a bit older while still being healthy will be a status symbol correlated with wealth and wisdom, so the old farts (who still look pretty good, not like today's seniors) might get laid more often than the young kids. At least that could give us something to look forward to...
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#8 Stefanovic Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

Posted 10 August 2011 - 09:37 AM


Aging research seems to be progressing rather slowly at the moment; instead, most efforts have been directed at age-related diseases (extending healthspan rather than maximum lifespan). Is it possible that aging would be cured in the next 20-30 years, even with the current financial crisis?

I agree with 1101 on this; aging research is progressing faster today than at any point in history, and it's accelerating. The words 'possible' and 'cured' lead to some funny answers. I would say that it is likely we will see significant progress in rejuvenative therapies in the next 20 to 30 years. Healthspans will lengthen. To use the word 'cured' seems to me to require a disruptive new technology. Such a thing may well come along, possibly even in the above timeframe. However, the timing of such a thing is inherently unpredictable.

I'm 29 now. Is there a good chance that I can still be as young as I am now by the time I hit 45-50? Will there be a time that people going out to a party won't see the difference between a 25-30 yr old and a 70 yr old as they are biologically the same age?

I doubt that you will be as young at 45 as you are today, but if you do the right things you should be in very good shape. Will there be a time when a 30 year old and a 70 year old are indistinguishable to the outside observer? I suppose eventually, but I don't think that will be real soon. It might be the case that a 70 year old will beat a 30 year old on the basketball court, but the 30 year old will look younger. It might be the case that looking a bit older while still being healthy will be a status symbol correlated with wealth and wisdom, so the old farts (who still look pretty good, not like today's seniors) might get laid more often than the young kids. At least that could give us something to look forward to...


Today when I'm amongst people being 22-26 yrs old, they're always like: you're my age, right? Oh you're 29. Or: I'm 27 and I'm sure you're younger than me. Don't know if this is promising for the future?
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#9 mwestbro Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

Posted 10 August 2011 - 03:43 PM

I don't know. I've gotten more skeptical over time. I'm fifty three, and I've been following aging research since I was in grade school. For as far back as I can remember, THE cure for aging has always been twenty years away. Here I am in late middle age, and the final cure is still...twenty years out. We can't even cure cancer reliably yet, and aging is at least an order of magnitude more complex.
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#10 brokenportal Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:Stevens Point, WI

Posted 10 August 2011 - 05:34 PM

I don't know. I've gotten more skeptical over time. I'm fifty three, and I've been following aging research since I was in grade school. For as far back as I can remember, THE cure for aging has always been twenty years away. Here I am in late middle age, and the final cure is still...twenty years out. We can't even cure cancer reliably yet, and aging is at least an order of magnitude more complex.


That's because the goals of indefinite life extension get here in direct proportion to the collective speed at which the world goes to get there. The faster the world is informed, the sooner we get to the goals. Then, that is a major part of why organizations like Longecity are here, to help us all help the cause inform the world faster. I challenge you to sign on to any of these items here with in the next week: http://www.longecity...rd-the-goal-r14
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#11 forever freedom Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

Posted 10 August 2011 - 06:54 PM

No way we'll cure aging (or come anywhere close to it) before 2040. Things could start to get interesting after 2050, though.
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#12 niner Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 11 August 2011 - 03:00 AM

I don't know. I've gotten more skeptical over time. I'm fifty three, and I've been following aging research since I was in grade school. For as far back as I can remember, THE cure for aging has always been twenty years away. Here I am in late middle age, and the final cure is still...twenty years out. We can't even cure cancer reliably yet, and aging is at least an order of magnitude more complex.

Unless you repeated third grade about 25 times, aging research was more or less nowhere when you were in grade school. In the past ten to fifteen years, aging research has changed radically. No one used to talk about a cure for aging, unless they were so nutty that they weren't in a position to do anything about it, and probably didn't even have sufficient understanding of the science to reliably comment on it. Today is a completely different world. The idea of curing aging is now something plausible that is discussed by real scientists. Today people are working on it, and progress is being made.

I'm not sure that aging is an order of magnitude more complex than cancer. Considering the genetic mayhem that occurs in a mature tumor, the complexity order might go the other way. Curing aging, even just a couple selected subsets of it, will go a long way toward curing cancer.
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#13 mwestbro Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

Posted 11 August 2011 - 04:03 AM

Denham Harman extended mouse lifespan by 45% with BHT in 1968. His achievement was widely reported in the popular science press of the day. I was ten years old, and a bit of a science geek. I remember it very clearly. In retrospect it is clear that he didn't accomplish as much as he thought he had, but you have to admit, it sounds about as impressive as anything resveratrol has done. It was a dead end, but he was not a nut. He was a competent scientist with an idea that proved to be imcomplete and insufficient--something that may yet prove to be true for our current theorists. I hope that you are right and I am wrong, but I'll admit that I no longer expect to see anything more than incremental progress in my lifetime.

Mike
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#14 niner Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 11 August 2011 - 04:34 AM

Denham Harman extended mouse lifespan by 45% with BHT in 1968. His achievement was widely reported in the popular science press of the day. I was ten years old, and a bit of a science geek. I remember it very clearly. In retrospect it is clear that he didn't accomplish as much as he thought he had, but you have to admit, it sounds about as impressive as anything resveratrol has done. It was a dead end, but he was not a nut. He was a competent scientist with an idea that proved to be imcomplete and insufficient--something that may yet prove to be true for our current theorists. I hope that you are right and I am wrong, but I'll admit that I no longer expect to see anything more than incremental progress in my lifetime.

I missed that one! He was real, and was on to something, although I guess BHT didn't prove to be that much of a miracle. I don't know the details of his mouse experiment, but usually things that extend lifespan turn out to be compensating for something else that wasn't right. Apparently not that many people are really good at mouse husbandry. I wonder how BHT would perform in the hands of a guy like Spindler? Despite Harman's free radical theory, the idea of programmed aging was still extant in those days. I really feel like there's been a paradigm shift in the last ten years or so

Incremental progress is probably the way it will play out over the next 20-30 years, but the nice thing about incremental progress is that it stands a reasonable chance of extending your lifespan a little bit more, making it even more likely that you'll be around for the next bit of progress. -The de Grey 'escape velocity' concept.

Edited by niner, 11 August 2011 - 04:34 AM.

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#15 VidX Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

Posted 11 August 2011 - 09:15 AM

"Exponential progress" - sounds better. and that's actually what's happening. As Niner said - look 10-15years back - the amound of data that's flowing - is vastly different, vastly..
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#16 Arcanyn Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

Posted 11 August 2011 - 03:40 PM

You also have to look at where medical science is going too. For most of the time, most diseases have been 'treated' by throwing around crude small molecules which will either mask the symptoms or slow down the disease progression - it has been pretty rare for anybody to even attempt to cure diseases - the aim has always been to slow them down. Fortunately, however, that approach is rapidly reaching the point at which it becomes unprofitable (with new small molecule drugs now costing around about $1 billion each to develop), which means that people are finally cottoning onto the fact that the human body is too complex for anybody to achieve much at all by throwing small molecules at it. As a result, there has been a gradual shift towards sensible, regenerative medicine; the sort of technology that can actually cure diseases, rather than merely treat them, by such means as stem cells, tissue engineering and the like. The fact of the matter is that most treatments up till now haven't really done much; it's all throw a small molecule around so that there will be a bit more of this hormone, a bit less of that, make this cell type a bit more active, but otherwise not doing much in the way of intervention. However, we're now shifting towards much more comprehensive treatments - actually getting in there and fixing what's wrong. So we are entering an age of substantially more effective medicine than we've previously used; which is good reason to be hopeful. And let's face it, all it means to be able to cure aging is just that you have really good medicine available that is capable of genuinely fixing all the problems that crop up.
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#17 Stefanovic Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

Posted 11 August 2011 - 08:31 PM

The question is also: how interesting is it to actually cure diseases when pharmaceutical companies make billions of money in order to NOT cure something.
Most of the time they're not interested in finding out what the cause of a disease is, they just wanna keep things under control by putting people on drugs for the rest of their lives. They're not all like that, but some of them really have to change their attitude.
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#18 niner Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 11 August 2011 - 08:42 PM

The question is also: how interesting is it to actually cure diseases when pharmaceutical companies make billions of money in order to NOT cure something.
Most of the time they're not interested in finding out what the cause of a disease is, they just wanna keep things under control by putting people on drugs for the rest of their lives. They're not all like that, but some of them really have to change their attitude.

They cure bacterial infections, and have for many years. This is profitable. If I got a particular cancer, I (my insurance) would pay a lot to eliminate that cancer. That's a "cure" for that particular instance of the disease. We've been doing this for some cancers for a long time, and are getting better at it. Any company that can cure a previously-incurable type of cancer is going to make a lot of money. That's a motivation, not a dis-motivation.
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#19 okok Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

Posted 12 August 2011 - 11:36 PM

Despite Harman's free radical theory, the idea of programmed aging was still extant in those days. I really feel like there's been a paradigm shift in the last ten years or so


If i read michael rose's article in new scientist correctly, he upended the common interpretation of william hamilton's 'declining forces of natural selection' from bad genes getting weeded out for the reproductive life-cycle to them actually causing aging via group selection (thus explaining the late-life falloff in mortality).

Edited by okok, 12 August 2011 - 11:46 PM.

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#20 niner Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 13 August 2011 - 02:55 AM


Despite Harman's free radical theory, the idea of programmed aging was still extant in those days. I really feel like there's been a paradigm shift in the last ten years or so

If i read michael rose's article in new scientist correctly, he upended the common interpretation of william hamilton's 'declining forces of natural selection' from bad genes getting weeded out for the reproductive life-cycle to them actually causing aging via group selection (thus explaining the late-life falloff in mortality).

Yeah, I guess I was thinking more of people having the attitude that aging was 'programmed' and therefore there was nothing you could do about it. There's still a whole class of aging theories that fall under the 'programmed' rubric, but today we see a lot of possibilities for intervention in the process.
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#21 ihatesnow Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:rochester new york

Posted 21 September 2011 - 04:27 PM

http://the-scientist...crets-of-aging/
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#22 Ellipticality Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:Canada

Posted 15 October 2011 - 02:06 AM

I think its possible but unlikely due to the many roadblocks we will have in gaining new knowledge.

The amount of experiments you can do with the human body are very limited due to a funny thing called ethics. Without the ability to truly study human biology we probably wont be able to do it. We may do it on mice, but we can do whatever we want to mice, we cant do a lot to healthy human beings in the name of science.

Plus then there are political barriers, monetary barrriers. And greed. If someone does find the cure to aging, someone would probably be too greedy to let the public know about it.

Id say that even if they had already made a mouse live for 100 years.. Id still doubt it would be available for humans within that time frame. Or ever.. I dont know if it is in many peoples/ governments/ society / species best interest to start having people live forever.
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#23 Ellipticality Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:Canada

Posted 20 October 2011 - 04:07 AM

I know you don't like hearing anything other than, yes, aging will definitively be cured, probably tomorrow.. But I don't think I deserved to be down voted for posting my opinion on it. The things I said are real concerns of mine, and some issues I mentioned were talked about in a magazine article I just read, particularly the issue of ethics hindering us from gaining new knowledge.

If you want an example of an experiment that would give us needed insight that we could do right now if it wasn't unethical.. one would be optogenetics and another would be embryo mapping. Embryo mapping could help us direct the evolution of stem cells to repair cellular damage and treat diseases say, by injecting a healthy pool of neurons to the brain. They have done this in mice.

I want aging to be cured just as much as anyone else on this forum, but I just think there are other roadblocks that may put a speed limit on how fast science will move.

In my opinion, once they get mice to live indefinitely, then aging will probably be cured 20-30 years from then.

This doesnt mean we dont have a chance to make it!. Infact Im still very optimistic. Also if they do cure aging it probably wouldn't be that much harder to reverse it.. So even if it happens when your a hundred, you may still be able to live like a 50 year old eventually, or even a 30 year old as technology develops, or heck, you may even be able to get a brand new body altogether. Who knows.
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#24 corb Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:Bulgaria

Posted 20 October 2011 - 10:48 AM

The things I said are real concerns of mine, and some issues I mentioned were talked about in a magazine article I just read, particularly the issue of ethics hindering us from gaining new knowledge.


That's wrong.
Life extension therapies are already being worked on. Extensively. Stem cells. I know it's not the cure all live forever pill most of the people on this forum are expecting but once it becomes the norm in treating some diseases and ailments of old age - rebuilding muscles and joints, rejuvenating the immune system, regrowing lost hair and teeth, etc - people will naturally want more and more, so whether mainstream medicine wants to admit it or not, the same mainstream researchers are working on life extension even as we speak. And they're only going to prompt more interest with their research.

Research is not going slow, they are showing steady progress, they don't come up with ground breaking stuff everyday but the little things pile up. Read a random news site for medical research like medical express, they have at least a couple of articles from publications about genetics and stem cell research every week.

I think we'll have a tested and approved life extension therapy by 2030. Even the most skeptic of medical professionals agree that the life expectancy will steadily grow in the coming decades.
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#25 absent minded Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

Posted 09 November 2011 - 01:29 PM

How would a huge lifespan compliment an overpopulation crisis, and at the same time having no mastery in deep space travel? Do you think only certain people will have access to it? AND at the same time, on top of all of that, there are potentially hitler-like people rising to power who see the grassroots level as disposable... good grief that's awfully a cynical point of view :O

Edited by Raizy, 09 November 2011 - 01:32 PM.

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#26 Mind Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:Wausau, WI
  • yes

Posted 09 November 2011 - 08:30 PM

As long as the birth rate keeps declining, as it has for decades now, then greatly extended lifespans will not add very much to the population. See Gavrilov's Analysis.

Back to the question at hand, despite major economic/societal roadblocks (and a world-wide depression), progress in health/medicine/rejuvenation continues. I don't think you can argue that there will be NO progress in anti-aging therapies in the next 20 to 30 years. There will be at least incremental progress. I tend to think that the converging nature of the sciences and information technology will accelerate anti-aging science quite a bit. Complete cure for aging by 2040? No, but I think we will be very close. Healthspans and lifespans will be extended quite a bit by then.
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#27 euskara Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:Aventura, FL

Posted 18 December 2011 - 04:02 AM

For most of us, by that time all we will need are treatments, I believe Ray Kurzweil described as reaching escape velocity, where the goal would be for the average life expectancy to increase by one year every year
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#28 jans Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:London, mobile: 0783

Posted 25 March 2014 - 06:21 AM

Peter Nygard is featured in a YouTube video claiming stem cell technology being developed in the Bahamas is making him look and feel younger. http://www.cbc.ca/ne...hamas-1.2555831 Hei is probably just full of it http://corporate.nyg...rger-than-life/ marketing his clothebrand.
“From the woman’s egg, we took out her DNA, put my old 70-year-old DNA in its place [and] grew it in vitro,” he says in the video. “I may be the only person in the world who has my own embryonic stem cells growing in a petri dish.”
Then, Nygard makes his boldest claim.
“This is huge. This is a game changer. This could eliminate all disease. This perhaps is immortality,” he says.
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#29 nowayout Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:Earth

Posted 25 March 2014 - 02:01 PM

I remember reading serious speculations in 1980 that balding would be reversible in 5 years. 34 years later we are still no closer than 5 years to reversing balding. And that is a simple problem compared to overall aging.
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#30 addx Re: How likely is that aging will be cured (in the next 20-30 years)?

  • Location:croatia
  • no

Posted 25 March 2014 - 02:55 PM

Death and aging is not a disease to be cured, it is a part of life and an evolutionary mechanism of "avoidance of extinction"(not death of a single organism itself). Without death, life has no meaning and it would not exist.

Species that would not mature and die would seriously reduce their ability to evolve and would be wiped out by any changes in surrounding conditions - first of which would be a species that has evolved "programmed death" in order to produce faster generational evolution. A species that changes generations each 10 years will evolve 100 times faster than a species that changes generations every 1000 years. The faster evolving species would wipe out the slow evolving species. If the species that lives 1000 years did perform more sexual reproduction during those 1000 years(as if they lived only 10 years) in order to still provide some means of evolution they would easily overpopulate, the old unevolved forms would waste resources on their life and on producing less evolved offsprings. This "lag" of death would be detrimental to the population.

Edited by addx, 25 March 2014 - 02:55 PM.

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