Aubrey de Grey declares an end to generations


Aubrey de Grey at Lift 2010

(Video) Geneva, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – “There won’t be generations anymore,” says Aubrey de Grey of tomorrow’s world where anti-aging treatments will give us at least 30 extra years of life. You’ll be able to keep up with your granddaughter on the ski slopes, he told his host at the Lift 2010 conference in Geneva Thursday 6 May. And for de Grey, the future is close: we can expect to see such treatments within our lifetimes, he believes.

De Grey is a biomedical gerontologist who is the chief science officer for the Sens Foundation in Cambridge, England. The foundation is a non-profit charity that focuses on combating diseases of old age.

The questions people invariably ask de Gray focus on such mundane matters as where all these extra people will live, how pension plans will pay for them and what they’ll do with their time, but he says the questions are not the right ones. We should balance out these against the problems caused right now by “100,000 people a day getting very sick and staying that way a long time and then dying.”


Mother and daughter: soon the same generation?

De Gray says he does not work on longevity, but rather on combating aging, “specifically in combating aging using regenerative medicine.” Old age is something most of us have wrong. “People will say, that is what we want to die of. And they think, if you die of aging, that’s dying of natural causes, a biological process.

“But that makes no sense at all! Aging is a process that goes on throughout life,” says de Grey. “When we talk about combating aging we’re talking about defeating the diseases of old age.”

Old age kills about two-thirds of the people who die every day in the world, he notes, and in the developed world, that rises to about 90 percent.

The figures need to be improved, not just for reasons of health and happiness, but “there is a financial incentive, $200 billion a year to provide care for people, and that’s just in the US.

The solution is to develop treatments that address cell maintenance, and not just prevention and repair of damage to bodies. “Damage that doesn’t repair itself accumulates” and eventually causes the diseases of old age,” de Grey says.

“We’re within striking distance – I think it will happen within the lifetime of the people in this room.” He has dubbed the process “robust human rejuvenation” with an initial treatment that should give 30 years of extra life but it must go further. “Longevity escape velocity” is the rate at which these therapies will be improved in order to stay one step ahead of the problem, allowing a second, third, or perhaps further treatments that will continue to extend that initial 30 years.

De Grey is the author of a book, Endless Aging, published in 2008.

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  1. kurt9 says:

    I am quite familiar with the SENS concept. Hopefully it will be successful in the next two decades.

  2. Advill says:

    Problem here is having the tools to repair what we now know is deteriorating us without affecting our quality of life………for example, calorie reduction diet, we all know since 30 years ago that calories reduction in 40% increase life expectancy…are we ready to adapt our life style to that?.

    Another point is sexual life, we know that sexual life send messages to cells that “mission is accomplished…now you can die”…are we ready to live with a childhood to the 60´s?, a “full sexual “in the 90´s?.

    If Mr de Grey can convince us to live 30 more years without a misery life…he has a 64 billion answer.


  3. Michael says:

    Hi Advill,

    It’s exactly because of the limitations of things like Calorie restriction that SENS Foundation is not targeting lifestyle interventions or interfering with metabolic pathways, which are often suggested as ways to at least slow down aging. The regenerative engineering approach is a new platform of biomedicines, that directly remove, repair, replace, or render harmless the cellular and molecular damage that accumulates in our tissues over time, impairing their function and resulting in the progressive rise in frailty, disease, disability, and death that people now suffer with age. By clearing out that damage from the tissues, functionality can be restored and youthful health and vigor with it. SENS Foundation is working hard to accelerate the development of the regenerative engineering suite, to bring the benefits as soon as possible to as many people as possible.

  4. […] to see such treatments within our lifetimes, he believes. Autor: Ellen Wallace —– Weiter zum Konferenzbericht auf einem Genfer Newsportal vom 06.05.10 inclusive einem viereinhalbminütigen […]

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  6. […] to see such treatments within our lifetimes, he believes. Author: Ellen Wallace —– Read more in a conference report on a newsportal from Geneva, May 06, 2010, plus a short video wherein Aubrey […]

  7. Kevin says:

    This is fascinating…I had no idea that extending life expectancy by 30 years was possible in the near future.

    “100,000 people a day getting very sick and staying that way a long time and then dying.” –It is hard to imagine that extending life expectancy won’t make this worse?

    Also, the financial and social pressures this will cause will be anything but “mundane”.

  8. Kate Anne says:

    There won’t be generations anymore? how can Aubrey de Grey say that? Did he see the real future? Well i am not agree on that one and specially on the 30 additional years to your life. It is impossible! If it is your time, it’s your time no matter what happens our life span depends to the God above.

  9. Mayjex says:

    Having 30 additional years to our age is very impossible, perhaps there’s a scientifically proven life span but for example we encountered an accident, where is the 30 additional years? Even i am not believing on this one but i am hoping and wishing.