Curing aging has 4 stages: mild aging deceleration, dramatic aging deceleration, achieving negligible senescence and rejuvenation. Today we can definitively claim that the task of mild aging deceleration is theoretically solved.
We know the drugs and interventions that slow down aging in mammals. The only thing that we don’t know is dosages, regimes and drug combinations. Defining all of that is the goal of pre-clinical and clinical studies. They can be started immediately. It is also a good idea to do clinical studies of various diets aimed at improving human longevity.
Dramatic aging deceleration will be achieved using gene therapy. Breakthrough studies of lifespan extension in old model animals happened in this area quite recently. We know the genes and delivery methods, now we need a set of powerful experiments aimed at radical life extension. The subject of the intervention will not only be the human genome, but the genomes of the human microbiota.
Rearrangement of how the genome works, as well as genetically modified stem cell therapy and therapeutic cloning can provide negligible senescence.
However, rejuvenation of the organism is likely to be competing with the idea and the very possibility of changing the body as the personality substrate to something else. It is likely that our goal will be not the youth, but creating a more advanced organism capable of solving the task of its own indestructability.
We all know how competitive Craig Venter is. Last time he won in the race against the Human Genome Project participants, and now he is up against Google’s Calico. Together with Peter Diamandis and Robert Hariri he co-founded Human Longevity, a company that aims to scan the DNA of as many as 100,000 people a year to create a massive database that will lead to new tests and therapies to help extend healthy human life spans.
Human Longevity has an agreement with the University of California at San Diego to perform genome sequencing of patients at the Moores Cancer Centre. In addition to providing DNA data to doctors at the university, the goal is to make individual genome data directly available to patients once the company meets US regulatory standards for providing clinical-level information. In addition to genome and microbiome data, the company will collect data on biochemicals and lipids circulating throughout patients’ bodies.
This sounds like a plan. The thing that Calico hasn’t got yet. Or at least hasn’t announced yet. I believe in Dr. Venter and I like his plan – gathering as much information about a person’s biological data and applying it to cure age-related diseases is a great goal. They are not saying anything about aging per se, but I’m pretty sure the data will speak for itself and at some point of time the researchers will realize they are dealing with different mechanisms of aging. So yay! for a very particular, very solid step towards defeating aging.