Wed. Dec 2nd, 2020

What Makes Ageing Slower Than Ever

Have you ever realized that a human can make new young cells? How can a 30-year-old mother give birth to a newborn? It is actually quite remarkable that reprogramming takes place at fertilization and a new life can be created from an ‘old’ body.

Couldn’t you also use these cells for yourself?

Scientists have already achieved initial success in slowing aging. By modifying genes, they have managed to age the caenorhabditis elegansworm and fruit flies, and prolong the life of mice by fifty percent. They are even able to make them younger in mice. Older, inactive mice with gray fur, bald patches and osteoporosis became young and active again after reprogramming a number of genes. Of course mice are not humans and this cannot be applied one to one to us, but it does show that aging can be manipulated. There are also studies with promising results in humans. A large English study (n = 180,926) showed that diabetes patients who took the anti-diabetes drug metformin lived slightly longer than non-diabetics.

  • In addition to research into drugs such as metformin, studies have also been conducted into, for example, the extension of telomeres (DNA structure at the end of a chromosome), the removal of “worn-out” cells or the cultivation of stem cells. It is not expected to be one discovery that will make us live a hundred years longer, but a combination of these. This has led to the Longevity Escape Velocitytheory.
  • This theory implies that you always live just long enough to take advantage of new biotechnology discoveries and therefore stay alive. According to Peter Diamandis, a guru in the field of anti-aging, the financially and physically healthy people will achieve this as early as 2036. Or as Bill Maris, founder of the anti-aging project Google Calico, describes it: “Live long enough not to having to die.”

Ethics

But do we have to want all of this? As people get older, this has major consequences on both an individual and social level. If life expectancy increases and we live longer, we would like a good quality of life. This means that you can be healthy and active and that you are not hindered physically and mentally.

Due to the still high price of genetic modification, this technique will first become available to the wealthy. This could create a biological gap between people who are and are not modified. On the other hand, history has proven that this doesn’t have to be a problem. At first, antibiotics were also available only to the wealthy, but soon the price fell exponentially and everyone could benefit. Scientifically you can make use of the nmn powder in this case.

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