No one ever said it would be easy to live forever. We may need ultralow-calorie diets—think baked soybeans, sardines and protein powders—and we’ll certainly need to break a sweat at the gym. Throw in a generous helping of scientific advances, however, and beating the current world record of 122 1/2 years starts to look downright doable. You might even live to 150 or longer—perhaps much, much longer.
A growing number of maverick scientists, doctors, researchers, biogeneticists and nanotechnologists—many with impeccable academic credentials—insist that the war against aging can be won. All believe significantly longer life spans—and perhaps eventually true biological immortality—are not only possible but also scientifically achievable. What’s more, it could happen in time to aid those now living.
“The first person to live to be 1,000 years old is certainly alive today; indeed, he or she may be about to turn 60,” says Aubrey de Grey, the Cambridge University geneticist who has become the de facto spokesman of the antiaging crusade. “Whether they realize it or not, barring accidents and suicide, most people now 40 years or younger can expect to live for centuries.” Nutty? Some scientists do dismiss de Grey as a wildly optimistic crank. Plenty of others, though not necessarily accepting all his predictions, have joined in the search for a real fountain of youth. “I am working on immortality,” says Michael Rose, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine, who’s already achieved breakthrough results extending the lives of fruit flies. “Twenty years ago the idea of postponing aging, let alone reversing it, was weird and off the wall. Today there are good reasons for thinking it is fundamentally possible.”
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The most tantalizing findings have been coming out of the genetics labs of big universities, where antiaging researchers are tinkering with living organisms ranging from yeast to worms and mice. Some are trying to breed for longevity, and others are seeking to alter genes in existing organisms to extend life. Still others are studying how mice and flies, when put on a near-starvation diet, seem to switch on an antiaging mechanism connected with a gene called SIR2.
Just in the past year, researchers at Harvard Medical School and the University of California, Davis, have detected four “cousins” of SIR2 that also seem to play a role in aging. David Sinclair, director of the aging-research lab at Harvard, has called the SIR2 group “as important as any longevity genes discovered so far.”
Molecular geneticists at the University of Southern California, meanwhile, stunned colleagues when they reported finding that deleting a gene known to prolong aging somehow ended up greatly extending life span. At the University of Washington, researchers have successfully lengthened the lives of laboratory mice by 20 percent by boosting natural antioxidants. The hope is that these findings and others could point the way to entirely new classes of drugs to lengthen lives or treat specific, age-related ailments like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Note: The above is an excerpt; for the complete article, visit the Web site below.
—Dr. Bob Goldman
Editor’s note: For the latest information and research on health and aging, subscribe to the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine e-zine free at WorldHealth.net.
Dr. Robert M. Goldman MD, PhD, DO, FAASP has spearheaded the development of numerous international medical organizations and corporations. Dr. Goldman has served as a Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Filene Center, Tufts University; as an Affiliate at the Philosophy of Education Research Center, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, He is Clinical Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Korea Medical University; and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Central America Health Sciences, Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Goldman holds the positions of Visiting Professor, Udayana University School of Medicine, Indonesia; Visiting Professor, Huazhong University of Science & Technology Tong Ji Medical School, China; Visiting Professor, The Wuhan Institute of Science & Technology, China; Visiting Professor at Hainan Medical College, China; and Visiting Professor, School of Anti-Aging, Aesthetics and Regenerative Medicine, UCSI University, Malaysia. Dr. Goldman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sports Physicians and a Board Diplomat in Sports Medicine and Board Certified in Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Goldman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sports Physicians and a Board Diplomat in Sports Medicine and Board Certified in Anti-Aging Medicine. He has overseen cooperative research agreement development programs in conjunction with such prominent institutions as the American National Red Cross, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Defense, and the FDA’s Center for Devices & Radiological Health.
Dr Goldman was awarded the 2012 LifeTime Achievement Award in Medicine &Science. Dr. Goldman is the recipient of the ‘Gold Medal for Science, the Grand Prize for Medicine, the Humanitarian Award, and the Business Development Award. He received honors from Minister of Sports and government Health officials of numerous nations. In 2001, Excellency Juan Antonio Samaranch awarded Dr. Goldman the International Olympic Committee Tribute Diploma for contributions to the development of sport & Olympism.
In addition, Dr. Goldman is a black belt in karate, Chinese weapons expert, and world champion athlete with over 20 world strength records, he has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. Some of his past performance records include 13,500 consecutive situps and 321 consecutive handstand pushups. Dr. Goldman was an All-College athlete in four sports, a three time winner of the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Physical Fitness Award, was voted Athlete of the Year, was the recipient of the Champions Award, and was inducted into the World Hall of Fame of Physical Fitness. Dr. Goldman was awarded the Healthy American Fitness Leader Award from the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Goldman is Chairman of the International Medical Commission overseeing sports medicine committees in over 184 nations. He has served as a Special Advisor to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. He is founder and international President Emeritis of the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the cofounder and Chairman of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). Dr. Goldman visits an average of 20 countries annually to promote brain research and sports medicine programs.
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