The Popular Press on Actuarial Escape Velocity

Here's a popular press article that discusses the concept of actuarial escape velocity: "Someone you know could live to be 1,000 years old, according to Aubrey de Grey ... Even for people in good health, cells become damaged through the course of a human life, de Grey said. It's a solvable problem, he said, by providing maintenance to damaged cells. He cited stem cell research and using bacteria as possible means of restoring cells to their youthful state, which would lengthen life - perhaps infinitely. 'It's all about restoring organs and tissue to the way it was before it suffered some sort of damage,' he said, comparing the process to the maintenance that can keep cars running for decades.The research that could lead to these techniques is further along than most people realize, de Grey said, and could begin providing therapies within the next 25 years. Or not, he added, but the possibility exists that today's 20-somethings could be alive in 3011. Not only would they be alive, but they'd be able to live well, he said. The progress toward treatments that can provide such longevity will be incremental, though. The therapies that might exist in 25 years may restore a 90-year-old's body to a 60-year-old's health, but would not extend life indefinitely, he said. The key is reaching what de Grey called 'longevity escape velocity' - the rate of aging combined with the rate of the medical advancements that will prolong life to before-unthinkable lengths. An 80-year-old in 2011 hasn't much hope of living forever, he said, but the younger a person is, the better their chances of living in an age when drastically age-prolonging therapies exist."


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