The prospect of extending the human life span is a source of joy for some, and a horror for others, as we contemplate a population explosion and a society of decrepit elderly which will bankrupt the country.
A combination of biological, mechanical, and nanotechnolgical therapies may in fact alter not only increase our life span, but preserve our youth in the process. Robert A. Freitas Jr., who applies nanotechnology to medicine, has said, “Such interventions may become common place a few decades from today. Using annual checkups and cleanouts, and some occasional major repairs, your biological age could be restored once a year to the more or less constant physiological age that you select. You might still eventually die of accidental causes, but you’ll live at least ten times longer than you do now.”
In the future, extending the lifespan will not be a matter of drinking the fabled Fountain of Youth. More likely, it will be a combination of several methods:
1. growing new organs as they wear out or become diseased, via tissue engineering and stem cells
2. injesting a cocktail of proteins enzymes that are designed to increase cell repair mechanisms, regulate metabolism, reset the biological clock, and reduce oxidation
3. applying gene therapy to alter genes that may slow down the aging process
4. maintaining a healthy lifestyle (exercise and a good diet)
5. using nanosensors to detect diseases like cancer years before they become a problem.