Keck Futures Initiative Conference on Healthspan

EurekAlert notes the latest Keck Futures Initiative conference: "This year's topic, 'The Future of the Human Healthspan: Demography, Evolution, Medicine and Bioengineering,' drew scientists, engineers, and medical researchers to discuss new interdisciplinary approaches in the fields of aging, longevity, and healthspan -- the period of a person's life during which they are generally healthy and free from serious or chronic illness. ... We have made great progress in extending the length of life and now must focus on the quality of those added years. We need to be bold and target innovative ways to help people sustain skills and abilities throughout extended lifetimes, assuring enhanced brain health as well as physical well-being." Which seems to be wrong thinking to me - we haven't made all that much of a foray into the realm of the possible when it comes to longevity through medicine, and we won't get much further if researchers stop thinking about pushing the boundaries in favor of patching up the results of aging as we see them today. If researchers instead focused on identifying and repairing the damage that causes aging, we'd never have to worry separately about healthspan - it'd sort itself out in the course of engineering longer, healthier lives.


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