One area of technology that is frequently in the news these days is rejuvenation biotechnology, namely the possibility of undoing key aspects of biological aging via a suite of medical interventions. What these interventions target isn't individual diseases, such as cancer, stroke, or heart disease, but rather the common aggravating factors that lie behind the increasing prevalence of these diseases as we become older.
Our guest in this episode is someone who has been at the forefront for over 20 years of a series of breakthrough initiatives in this field of rejuvenation biotechnology. He is Dr Aubrey de Grey, co-founder of the Methuselah Foundation, the SENS Research Foundation, and, most recently, the LEV Foundation - where 'LEV' stands for Longevity Escape Velocity.
Topics discussed include:
*) Different concepts of aging and damage repair;
*) Why the outlook for damage repair is significantly more tangible today than it was ten years ago;
*) The role of foundations in supporting projects which cannot receive funding from commercial ventures;
*) Questions of pace of development: cautious versus bold;
*) Changing timescales for the likely attainment of robust mouse rejuvenation ('RMR') and longevity escape velocity ('LEV');
*) The "Less Death" initiative;
*) "Anticipating anticipation" - preparing for likely sweeping changes in public attitude once understanding spreads about the forthcoming available of powerful rejuvenation treatments;
*) Various advocacy initiatives that Aubrey is supporting;
*) Ways in which listeners can help to accelerate the attainment of LEV.
Music: Spike Protein, by Koi Discovery, available under CC0 1.0 Public Domain Declaration
Some follow-up reading: