Suppressing Aging in Our Lifetime

Fifteen years ago, this paper or one with similar sentiments wouldn't have been accepted for publication - or if it had, it would have achieved nothing but harming the funding prospects of its author. The aging research community has only recently emerged from an era of self-censorship on the topic of engineering greater human longevity, and a field whose members do not talk about achieving a given goal will certainly make no progress towards that goal. From the abstract: "Although we do not know everything about aging, we now know enough to start its pharmacologic suppression using clinically approved drugs. Aging turns out to be driven by sensing-signaling pathways (such as the mTOR pathway). Given that some inhibitors of the mTOR pathway are already in clinical use, there is a unique opportunity to suppress aging, while treating and preventing diseases. By itself this will answer some burning questions in gerontology. Here I discuss a proposal, starting from retrospective clinical studies to animal and cellular models to drug screens in order to develop non-toxic and effective schedules and drug combinations for extending healthy life span in our lifetime." This is representative of the more eager members of the mainstream of biogerontology, focused on slowing aging through metabolic manipulation.


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