Here is a recent article from the local Los Angeles press, in which the author manages to touch on a broader range of the pro-human-longevity community than is usually the case:
What researchers do know is that there are limits to how far we can naturally extend the human life span. L. Stephen Coles, a UCLA lecturer and executive director of the Gerontology Research Group, documents and studies "supercentenarians" - people who live to 110 or longer. When he started tracking the longest-lived humans around 2000, "the oldest [known] person in history was a Frenchwoman named Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122," Coles says. "I thought that because average life expectancy had increased significantly over the last hundred years, it meant someone would break her record." But that hasn't happened. "It's been more than 15 years, and no one has come close."
Even if scientists do find a way to create more supercentenarians, should they? Blogging for The Huffington Post last year, unofficial Hollywood Conscience Jamie Lee Curtis declared that any attempt to conquer aging was an affront to nature. "I am appalled that the term we use to talk about aging is 'anti,' " she wrote. "Aging is as natural as a baby's softness and scent. Aging is human evolution in its pure form. Death, taxes, and aging."
But she's missing the point, says Maria Entraigues, the L.A.-based outreach coordinator for the SENS Research Foundation, a Northern California nonprofit that focuses on longevity research. "I always tell people, Why is it not 'natural' to get sick?" Entraigues says. "Why do we go to the doctor? Aging is the same thing. If there's something we can do about it, we should."
Aubrey de Grey, a Cambridge University computer scientist turned antiaging theorist, launched SENS, short for Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence, in 2009. Fifty years old with a Rasputinesque beard, de Grey has gained fame through his appearances at TED talks and on The Colbert Report, among other venues, making the case that aging can be vanquished. He's proposed that seven specific types of damage cause human beings to deteriorate over time, including cellular mutations, an accumulation of "junk" inside and between cells, and a gradual loss of important cells in the brain and other organs. If it were possible to fix all or even some of these problems, he argues, the diseases and frailty that come with old age could be postponed or even reversed. And he believes it's possible that aging itself will be brought under medical control - via maintenance treatments of gene therapies, stem cell therapies, and immune stimulants - within our lifetimes.