Science is Working on Therapies For Healthy Life extension
Because aging leads to frailty, cardiovascular disease, brain disorders, and death, we need rejuvenation biotechnology to reverse the aging processes and thereby restore youth and health.
What is rejuvenation biotechnology?
As explained on our What is Aging? page, aging consists of multiple processes (“hallmarks of aging“) that gradually cause harm and lead to age-related disease. Most products marketed as “anti-aging” or that purport to “rejuvenate” the body do not actually address any of these hallmarks and cannot affect the root causes of age-related disease; therefore, they are not rejuvenation biotechnology.
Rejuvenation biotechnology describes any advanced medical technology that directly addresses any of the various aging processes in order to restore tissue and organ function to a more youthful state, thereby ameliorating, delaying, or preventing age-related diseases. Rejuvenation biotechnology is sometimes described as “life extension”, while technically correct, it is somewhat more nuanced than simply just increasing lifespan.
What is the goal of rejuvenation biotechnology?
Ultimately, the goal of rejuvenation biotechnology (and human life extension) is to make chronologically old and chronologically young people, at every physical level, indistinguishable from one another. Healthy longevity would also be the pleasant side effect of making an older person biologically younger.
However, no single therapy will completely restore someone to a youthful state. Because the causes of aging are so broad and interlinked, rejuvenation biotechnology must be as equally broad and comprehensive in order to bring about rejuvenation.
For example, senolytics are rejuvenative because they eliminate harmful senescent cells, which accumulate with age and are one of the proposed hallmarks of aging. However, because types of senescent cells differ from one another, a comprehensive suite of senolytic therapies is required to directly address this particular hallmark through destroying these cells. Stem cell therapies are rejuvenative because they address stem cell exhaustion, restoring the body’s youthful ability to repair tissues; however, because the body requires many types of stem cells for long-term function, each stem cell niche must be replenished. Finally, therapies that boost or correct the failing immune system can address altered intercellular communication or stem cell exhaustion depending on their exact use.
Because each hallmark requires intensive effort to comprehensively combat, it is clear that building a complete set of rejuvenation biotechnology therapies will require a great deal of research and development. Creating this technology will require help from investors, medical professionals, researchers, policymakers, and members of the public. Poor funding is one of the four bottlenecks of the development of rejuvenation biotechnology.
Of course, creating a world where everyone can enjoy healthy longevity is not going to be without its challenges and from time to time people raise concerns about life extension which we have considered and have responded to some of the more common ones.
Life extension is misunderstood
As mentioned earlier, life extension is a common way of describing rejuvenation biotechnology, and while the name is mostly accurate, it is the subject of considerable misunderstanding and incorrect assumptions. We have created team have created a whole series of informative videos about life extension and the reasons we age which you can find below.