Aging Is a Disease. Let's Cure it.

Aging is just another non-infectious disease, like Alzheimer's, diabetes or cancer, says Aubrey de Grey. We might be able to cure it using the protective sequences of our own DNA.

What's the Latest Development?

As anti-aging science progresses, we get closer to testing life-extending therapies on humans. But these treatments will be radical, changing human biology on a cellular level. Testing them will require breaking many of the ethical rules established to safeguard patients against dangerous clinical trials. Nicholas Agar, a professor at Victoria University, New Zealand, worries that just as American doctors intentionally infected Guatemalans with syphilis in the 1940s, a loosening of medical ethics could result in exploitation.

What's the Big Idea?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to extending the human lifespan. One takes an incremental approach, seeking to eliminate non-communicable diseases like Alzheimer's, diabetes and cancer. The other treats aging itself as a disease and tries to use the body's own defenses to stop it. One proponent of this latter method is Aubrey de Grey, whose activism includes awarding cash prizes to scientists who succeed at extending the lifespans of mice. Current biology suggests, however, that immortality may make cancer inevitable.

Photo credit:

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less