Denis: Fancy retirement reset to the age of 900?
Dec 17 2010 by Denis Kilcommons
WOODY Allen memorably said, “I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying.”
It is a sentiment the rich and powerful have always had and an ambition that seems to be coming closer to reality.
Only this week, Dr Edward Goetzl from the University of California, announced the development of “a fountain of youth pill”.
“We are definitely aiming for longer healthy lifespan and a shorter period of frailty,” he said.
His pill helps people live longer by boosting their immune system and improving the body's ability to fight off illness. It could, he said, soon be given to over-65s, along with the flu jab.
This is only the latest in a long history of scientific research into immortality.
People in the West are living longer, anyway, because of medical progress and better living conditions and experts have said there is no scientific reason that, some time in the future, ageing itself cannot be prevented.
Cambridge University geneticist Aubrey de Grey has said people will soon be able to live to 1,000.
His idea is that science will eventually be able to repair molecular and cellular damage in the human body. In the future, people would no longer become frail or need care as they got older.
“I think the first person to live to 1,000 might be 60 already,” he said.
Scientist Ray Kurzwell goes even further. “I and many other scientists now believe that in around 20 years we will have the means to reprogramme our bodies’ stone-age software so we can halt, then reverse, ageing. Then nanotechnology will let us live for ever.”
Reverse ageing? Can I be 32, please?