Can Medicine Overcome Biological Limits on Longevity?
Biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey likens the human body to a VW bug. In the future, medicine will enable us to replace our aging parts, extending life far beyond current limits.
What's the Latest Development?
The debate over whether there are biological limits to longevity has been heavily influenced by medical and lifestyle changes in the planet's wealthiest nations, says biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey. "In a sense, it is obvious that such a limit must exist. This is because so much of aging is independent of lifestyle, diet, stress level or anything else that might distinguish some people from others—in particular, a great deal of the rate of aging is determined by the chemistry associated with oxygen consumption. In a nutshell, breathing is bad for you...but it’s rather non-negotiable."
What's the Big Idea?
Nonetheless, de Grey is working to debunk the notion that biological limits on aging imply a limit to the capabilities of modern medicine, and future medicine, when no such link exists. By analogy, de Grey asks how we manage to keep 50 year-old VW bugs on the road (answer: by replacing their aging parts). "Technology is about transcending what nature has created. To say that the biological limits to longevity are any kind of evidence of what we can do with medicine is a mixing of apples with oranges of the most egregious nature." Aging itself causes untold suffering and, ultimately, unnecessary loss of life.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
- Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.
- The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
- The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
- Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.
Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you.
A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.
- A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
- This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
- The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.