The modest goals of the mainstream longevity science community are outlined by one of its members in this article - to enable everyone to age as slowly as only some people presently do. No radical life extension or rejuvenation, as would be enabled by the damage repair approach to longevity science, but rather just a gentle slowing of aging, enabled by technologies that would probably not emerge in time to benefit those of us in middle age today. "It is the aging of our cells that causes us to develop most diseases, says Dr. Nir Barzilai, professor of medicine and genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. 'We know this, paradoxically, because of the amazing success we have had in treating heart disease. We have been able to save people from heart attacks with stents and bypass surgery - only to find that within a year or two they develop Alzheimer's, diabetes or cancer at an alarming rate. Why? Because we have never treated the underlying aging of their cells. We have simply treated the disease manifestation.' So, explains Barzilai, if we can find the processes in the body that control aging and find a way to treat them, we will be able to protect people from the diseases of aging. Barzilai heads a unique longevity study of more than 500 people who have reached the age of 100. The LonGenity study is looking at the genetic makeup of centenarians to identify the biological markers that explain why they live so long and so well. Because the remarkable thing about these people is not simply that they live to the age of 100, it is that they live to 100 in pretty good health. Just why they live that long without getting sick and dying is what Barzilai wanted to find out."