Here is a short article from earlier this month in a popular science magazine. SENS, the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence, is a research and development program that aims to repair aging by reverting the known root causes. These are forms of cellular and molecular damage cataloged by the research community over the past century; it has been three decades since the last was discovered, so there is a fair degree of confidence that the list is completely enough for now. For each of these types of damage there is a clear path towards the production of treatments:
Aubrey de Grey wants to save lives. He wants to save as many as he possibly can, as soon as he can, and to do it he is going to fix ageing. The prominent scientist and futurologist is on a crusade to beat ageing and when he does it will mean that we stay healthy and live longer - possibly for up to hundreds of years. But, as de Grey emphasises, his primary goal is not just making people live longer; he wants us to live healthily, he wants to restore us to a state of health that is "fully functional in every way". The ability to live for hundreds of years is just a side effect. The work carried out by de Grey and his colleagues at the SENS Research Foundation will ultimately raise new challenges that need to be tackled, both in medicine and society, but there is no scientific reasoning why the body, with the right treatment, cannot be healthy for much longer.
The idea of treating disease and the disabilities of old age will not be treated by one breakthrough de Grey says. It has to be broken down into a series of manageable tasks. "We don't really think there is going to be one particular technique that will do the job. We believe that the process of ageing has to be recognised as a chaotic somewhat uncoordinated set of processes such that a truly effective treatment of it is going to involve a divide and conquer approach, essentially sub-dividing the problem into a variety of types of damage that accumulate and figuring out therapies that can address each of them."
In a world where getting old is no longer an issue, concerns will arise about population levels and resources that the planet can provide. But this view does not give credit to other technologies that are developing at a faster implementation rate than anti-ageing, and people can have a blinkered view about this. "They just don't look at the problem properly, so for example one thing that people hardly ever acknowledge is that the other new technology is going to be around a great deal sooner than [SENS rejuvenation biotechnology], or at least sooner than [SENS] will have any demographic impact. For example we will have [a much lower] carbon footprint because we will have things like better renewable energy and nuclear fusion and so on, so that it will actually be increasing the carrying capacity of the planet far faster than the defeat of ageing could increase the number of people on the planet."