"A Horrifying Idea"

Here is a little reminder that we advocates for longevity have a way to go yet on overcoming the first knee-jerk reaction people have against living longer. Scroll down in a little in this BBC World Service page of audio players for an interview with biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey. The lead-in:

People are certainly living longer, but would it be possible to extend life indefinitely?

Aubrey de Grey is the chair of the SENS Foundation, which studies regenerative medicine solutions to the disabilities and diseases of ageing. He believes that within just a few decades science could put a stop to ageing altogether. The World Today's Pascale Harter finds that a horrifying idea, but Aubrey de Grey says we just haven't grasped it yet.

It's a funny world we live in: that "putting a stop to aging" is instinctively opposed by so many on first hearing of it; that this opposition is the dominant reaction rather than "ah, so I wouldn't have to suffer all those horrible degenerations and a miserable death. Good."

We humans are a species of technology, achievement, and change - when we put our minds to it. The biggest hurdle on the way to extending our healthy life spans is that very, very few of us in the grand scheme of things have decided that longer life is a good idea and pitched in to help make it happen.

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