One of the future scenarios that I have focused on for some time is healthy life extension. When I mention to an audience that the first person to live to 200 has already been born — it gets quite the reaction. That scenario is not as far-fetched as people believe. This recent article explored research in the field of senolytics — drugs that work to eliminate cells that degrade tissue function. The drugs are already showing promising results and could become available on the market within the next decade.
The idea of adding a hundred years to our lifespan at a time where things seem to be worsening before our eyes (growing social and economic inequality, deteriorating natural ecosystems, and a warming climate) might sound like signing up for bonus seasons of suffering.
Jessica Byrne — Drug that increases human lifespan to 200 years is in the works
As that quote suggests, the thought of living to 200 will have mixed appeal. There are also several implications that must be considered. For example, can the earth sustain a growing population? What is the future of retirement? What is the impact to an already growing level of global inequality? Importantly, this potential for life extension must include the healthy part of this scenario. As I referenced in an earlier post, healthspan is just as important as lifespan. As the visual demonstrates, a convergence of multiple forces is driving the ultimate realization of healthy life extension.
This very short video describes the science behind these advancements.