Recently, LEAF Outreach Director Elena Milova was featured in an interview over at the Medium blog site Predict. During the interview, Elena gives her views on the industry, tells the story of how she became part of the field, and the challenges the industry faces in its quest to develop effective therapies that address the aging processes.
Interest in prolonging human life goes back to the very beginnings of history. In legends and folklore, people have projected their curiosity and imagination regarding human lifespans onto a vast array of mythical characters, from figures like Methuselah to gods and their spawn, such as Odin and Thor.
These tales held even greater significance in previous millennia, when human lives normally lasted between 30–50 years at most, with a vast swathe of the population wiped out by disease before reaching adulthood. As advances in sanitation, nutrition and medicine were steadily introduced over the last few centuries, average human lifespans have literally doubled to 70–80+ years. Most people now have the opportunity to live, grow in careers, see children raised to their own adulthood, and hope for a decade or two of more relaxed “retirement living” post ages 65–70.
With those advancements in scientific understanding, however, a new dream has arrived backed by burgeoning evidence uncovered in a rapidly growing research community dedicated to finding the root causes of aging and disease and looking for ways to slow — and even stop — those processes. Indeed, aging itself has come to be seen as a disease all its own, and as such, logically must have a cure.