With a New Afterword
Must We Age?
Nearly all scientists who study the biology of aging agree that we will someday be able to substantially slow down the aging process, extending our productive, youthful lives. Dr. Aubrey de Grey is perhaps the most bullish of all such researchers. As has been reported in media outlets ranging from 60 Minutes to The New York Times, Dr. de Grey believes that the key biomedical technology required to eliminate aging-derived debilitation and death entirely—technology that would not only slow but periodically reverse age-related physiological decay, leaving us biologically young into an indefinite future—is now within reach.
In Ending Aging, Dr. de Grey and his research assistant Michael Rae describe the details of this biotechnology. They explain that the aging of the human body, just like the aging of man-made machines, results from an accumulation of various types of damage. As with man-made machines, this damage can periodically be repaired, leading to indefinite extension of the machine's fully functional lifetime, just as is routinely done with classic cars. We already know what types of damage accumulate in the human body, and we are moving rapidly toward the comprehensive development of technologies to remove that -damage. By demystifying aging and its postponement for the nonspecialist reader, de Grey and Rae systematically dismantle the fatalist presumption that aging will forever defeat the efforts of medical science.
Aubrey de Grey, Ph.D., is chairman and chief science officer of the Methuselah Foundation. His major research interests are the role and causes of all forms of cellular and molecular damage in mammalian aging, and the design of interventions to reverse the age-related accumulation of such damage. He has published extensively on these and other areas of gerontology, and is the author of the book Ending Aging. He is also editor-in-chief of the high-impact journal Rejuvenation Research, the only peer-reviewed academic periodical focusing on intervention in aging. He has formulated a wide-ranging plan for the comprehensive and eventually indefinite postponement of age-related physical and mental decline, named SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence). He is the organizer of an ongoing series of conferences and workshops that focus on the key biomedical research relevant to SENS, and he also oversees the Methuselah Foundation’s growing sponsorship of SENS research worldwide.