When various talking heads unite to tell us that the longevity industry isn't actually working to extend human life span, and it is all about letting you die at the usual time with less arthritis and pain, I'm not entirely sure who they think needs to be reassured in this way. The character of the powers that be, in the English language world anyway, appears to be that they are terrified of all possible change, and project that fear onto the populace. Their propaganda follows that apparent view. Under the hood, from person to person, who knows why they think it is necessary to toe the current party line that work on the mechanisms of aging will not lengthen life spans. It continues to puzzle me.
Altos Labs has signed up a dream team of scientists, numerous Nobel laureates among them. They will start work in the spring at two labs in the US and one in the UK, with substantial input from researchers in Japan. Their aim is to rejuvenate human cells, not with an eye on immortality - as some reports have claimed - but to stave off the diseases of old age that inexorably drive us to the grave. "This is not about developing the first 1,000-year-old human; it's about ensuring old age is enjoyed and not endured. Who wants to extend lifespan if all that means is another 30 years of ill health? This is about increasing healthspan, not lifespan."
Phrases such as "solving ageing" and "solving death" are seen as wrong-headed. "Apart from being silly at the moment, it raises all kinds of societal issues. I think it's morally dubious. Huge things would percolate through society with a substantial increase in life expectancy brought about by human intervention. We're living longer and longer already. People are suffering from disability and loss of quality of life because of ageing. That's what we should be trying to fix. We should be trying to keep people healthier for longer before they drop off the perch. Stay healthy then drop dead, die in your sleep. I think that's what most people want."