Here's another Future Current transcript of biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey at Aging 2008: "Aging is bad for you. It is a degenerative condition, and thus a theoretical target of regenerative medicine. What I have come here today to tell you, and what my scientific colleagues will be telling you over the next hour or so, is that it is no longer simply a theoretical target of regenerative medicine. It is on its way to becoming a practical one. Why is that? Really it comes down to this definition of aging that I have written down. This is something that gerontologists and people who study the biology of aging have known for a very long time, but it has not always been stated quite so explicitly. Aging is very definitely a side effect of being alive in the first place. You accumulate various types of damage, just in the same way that a simple man-made machine like a car will accumulate damage as a side effect of its normal operation. Again, just like man-made machines, the human body can tolerate that damage with more or less no loss of function or performance for a very long time. The damage only starts to really matter when it reaches a threshold of abundance that is prejudicial to the optimal performance of metabolism."