R.U. Sirius Interviews Terry Grossman

A quick link for you today: R.U. Sirius discusses radical life extension with Terry Grossman, co-author of Fantastic Voyage.

People tend to be frightened by new ideas, but we need to recall that average life expectancy a century ago was only 47 years, but has now increased to 77 years today. This is a 63 per cent increase. The rate of technological progress is accelerating, and it is highly likely that we will see the same type of increase in life expectancy that occurred in the last century (1900-2000) to occur in the first 20 years of the present century (2000-2020). A 63 per cent increase in life expectancy would mean life spans of over 125 years in the next few years. As the biotechnology revolution begins to unfold (what we refer to as Bridge Two in our book), radical increases in life expectancy will result from several intersecting technologies that are already making their way from the research laboratory to patient care: stem cell therapies (using not only politically sensitive embryonic stem cells, but umbilical cord blood stem cells and even adult stem cells), therapeutic cloning (creation of specific cell types and organs as replacements for defective tissues and organs), bioengineered drugs and gene-based therapies (blocking the expression of harmful genes or their replacement with healthful genes). This will lead to Bridge Three, which will involve the full flowering of the nanotechnology and artificial intelligence revolutions, now in their infancy.

"A 63 per cent increase in life expectancy would mean life spans of over 125 years in the next few years."

I find that rather optimistic in my view. We still don't have the necessary funding directed towards real longevity research yet. The conservatism of the biogerontologists and the general public and the current stem cell controversy are both major hurdles in the quest for longevity. We must let our voices be heard if the scenario Grossman envisions is to be made reality.

Posted by: Andrew the Great at May 4th, 2005 5:58 AM

Agreed - obtaining public support and large scale funding for directed longevity research is necessary to achieve the timelines envisaged by advocates like Grossman, Kurzweil, Aubrey de Grey, etc.

Posted by: Reason at May 4th, 2005 7:48 AM

Yes, I agree that we still do not have the funds directed towards longevity research.

But I still think that the article is a decent view, as it talks about the revolution in biotechnology, and the coming nanotechnology which is already in the research stage.

Both are a reality which will prolong lives, with or without a directed funding towards longevity. But hopefully, more people will come in to support longevity research in the shortest time possible.

Posted by: steph at May 4th, 2005 7:54 PM

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