The Problem, Illustrated

Why, despite the great range of potential applicable biotechnology, do we not see hundreds of millions of dollars invested in startups attempting to address the aging process? The answer is buried in this New York Times article on Sirtris: "Dr. Westphal and Mr. Sinclair stress that they are not working to 'cure' aging, a condition that, so far at least, is common to all humanity and that most physicians do not consider a disease. 'Curing aging is not an endpoint the federal drug agency would recognize,' Dr. Westphal says dryly. Instead, both men say, they are working to ameliorate the diseases of aging." For so long as unelected government employees can declare, with no accountability and full force of law, what medicine is permitted and what is not, there will be no direct venture funded efforts to cure aging - or even to take the first steps by aiming to repair specific, identified age-related damage in order to intervene in the aging process. There is no lack of companies, research groups and billions of dollars ready to be directed to that end, as any brief survey of the biotechnology marketplace will show you - but the ignorant few who write policy continue to bury all that potential. The work that could have gone to advance the cause of healthy longevity is instead confined towards the backwaters of patching specific age-related conditions.


Comment Submission

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.