Considering the Portrait of Dorian Gray

The Times uses a forthcoming film adaptation as an excuse to pack a little of almost every previously discussed aspect of longevity science into a general interest article. Consider it a sign of the times: "While in the developed world every succeeding generation has enjoyed a longer life expectancy than the one before it - thanks primarily to modern sanitation, nutrition, disease control and a virtual end to infant mortality, which has stretched life expectancy from under 50 years to more than 75 in the past century - it is only this generation that has really dared to think of ageing as a 'disease' that requires curing. So, while the middle-aged of today can look forward to notching up about 80 or 90 years, some biologists have speculated that our children will routinely surpass the 120-year mark with their faculties intact. ... Some researchers believe that if senescence (the ageing of an organism) can be reduced or even reversed, its end point - death - is no longer inevitable. The controversial British researcher Aubrey de Grey sees no reason why the human body cannot last for 1,000 years (barring accidents). He believes that such a modern-day Methuselah already walks among us. De Grey's vision is close to that of 'transhumanists', people who believe in using science to transcend the limitations of being human, the most obvious limitation being death."



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