If Aubrey de Grey’s predictions are right, the first person who will live to see their 150 birthday has already been born and the first person to live for 1,000 years could be less than 20 years younger.
De Grey, a biomedical gerontologist and chief scientist of a foundation dedicated to longevity research, reckons that within his own lifetime doctors could have all the tools they need to ‘cure’ aging – banishing diseases that come with it and extending life indefinitely.
The field of gerontology is gaining popularity, as more and more people are considering the option to live longer, or at least, healthier. Life extension science, also known as anti-aging medicine, experimental gerontology, and biomedical gerontology, is the study of slowing down or reversing the processes of aging to extend average lifespan .
With reality getting tougher, people are resorting to find salvage in fantasies. Anti-aging creams and medicines have renewed the obsession with myths like The Fountain of Youth and being ‘eternal and forever like Methuselah’.
De Grey, an English theoretician and author in the field of gerontology, compared the future of anti-aging treatments, to the journey of human-powered flight. Since time immemorial, man dreamed of flying. Nothing happened. But then, 500 years ago, Leonardo Da Vinci presented detailed drawings of flying machines, but he too was accused of being ahead of his time. Then finally, in a mad rush, flight got translated into reality by the Wright brothers to Lindbergh to the Concorde to the space shuttle.
Aubrey de Grey is highly hopeful of the success of life-extension science, as the number of its potential consumer is swelling by the second!
WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BY NEWS DESK
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2011.