Sonia Arrison on Aging 2008

From TechNewsWorld: "More than 200 scientists and longevity activists gathered at UCLA recently to discuss advancements in repairing humans. New technology is making it possible to imagine a world with ever greater life spans, but old world issues pervaded the discussions. ... 'We should mount a war on aging where it is not a disease, it is THE disease,' said Gregory Stock, Ph.D., director of the UCLA Program on Medicine, Technology and Society. To do this, Stock proposed an 'aggressive publicly funded program.' While no one challenged this idea on the panel, during the two days of the conference, it was clear that some questioned the efficacy of such a plan. Indeed, in a less formal setting, [Bruce] Ames lamented the fact that under the mostly government-run system of science grants, the 'true visionaries are not getting funding.' This is not surprising, given that government agencies are by nature political, making decisions with an eye toward public opinion, not necessarily the best and brightest ideas. Agencies like the U.S. National Institutes of Health and particularly the Food and Drug Administration typically become risk averse over time, as it's easier to deny approval for an idea or product that no one ever finds out about than it is to take a chance on a revolutionary idea and have it flop."



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