As Ray & Terry stated in Fantastic Voyage: "Our understanding of the principal components of human aging is growing rapidly. Strategies have been identified to halt and reverse each of the aging processes."
As predicted, these technologies have been developing rapidly.
Essentially, we already have the core knowledge to slow and reverse human aging. All we need to do is put it all together. Meaningful life extension is within our grasp.
Some of the key aging factors that we are overcoming:
> Chromosomal mutations
The majority of our DNA is contained in our chromosomes, in the nucleus of the cell. Over time, mutations occur to damage the DNA sequence.
With the exception of cancer, many cellular mutations are harmless. If we can cure cancer by genetically removing its triggers, cellular mutations should largely be harmless.
Strategies for deleting genes in this way are already available and are rapidly being improved.
Scientists in Oregon have found a way to remove damaged genetic material and replace it with healthy DNA. Read more...
Several cases of leukemia were cured through gene therapy. Larger trials are underway. Read more...
> Toxic cells
Occasionally, cells get into a state where they're not cancerous, but still it would be best for the body if they died. Cell senescence is an example, and so is having too many fat cells.
In these cases we need to kill those cells (which is usually easier than reverting them to a healthy state). Methods are being developed to target "suicide genes" to such cells, and also to make the immune system kill them.
Blocking the telomerase enzyme is one of many strategies being pursued against cancer. Doing this may prevent cancer cells from replicating more than a certain number of times, effectively destroying the cancer's ability to spread.
Telomerase procedures are still controversial. It appears that inhibiting the enzyme can kill cancer cells, but also triggers resistance pathways that allow cancer to survive and spread. Read more...
To read more about the aging process, visit our Wellness Resources section.