Commentary on the Naysayers

From the Daily Mail: "The Elixir of Youth has a terribly bad press. As soon as any scientist mentions that they have discovered a way of making fruit flies or worms or even mice live a bit longer and furthermore states that this might, just might, work in humans (after lots of tests, refinements, clinical trials and so on and anyway it is decades away at best, the caveats will be longer than the original research paper), you can bet a small vat of snake oil that the naysayers will soon weigh in. 'Who wants to live forever? Not me!' one curmudgeonly columnist will opine. 'What would a world be like with all those ancient people walking around, ugh!' will say another writer who, like the first, will have been commissioned mainly on the basis of their own rather advanced years. Because although the bizarre prejudice against anti-ageing research runs deep and wide, it doesn't quite run deep and wide enough for it to be all right for someone the right side of forty, say, to opine that the old really should shuffle off and leave the field clear. Up to now this has been pretty academic as anti-ageing potions have been little more than science fiction but, as an interesting feature in Nature magazine points out, it is beginning to look like a perfect storm of recent serendipitous discoveries and hard-won genetic advanced might - just might - put the holy grail of increasing human lifespan (as opposed to life expectancy, a very different thing) within reach."


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