We’ve spent the last few millennia aware that senescence is horrible but knowing nevertheless that it’s inevitable. We’ve had to find some mechanism to put it out of our minds so we can get on with our miserably short lives.
The biggest handicap in research is an ability to think outside the box. The handicap is being encumbered by all the conventional wisdom in a given field.
Most scientists will get serious media exposure about twice in their entire career. And they’ll get that because they’ve actually done an experiment that was interesting.
If you look at winners of the Nobel Prize in biology, you’ll find a fair smattering of people who don’t know how to work a pipette.
The scientific method actually correctly uses the most direct evidence as the most reliable, because that’s the way you are least likely to get led astray into dead ends and to misunderstand your data.
I don’t often meet people who want to suffer cardiovascular disease or whatever, and we get those things as a result of the lifelong accumulation of various types of molecular and cellular damage.
Basically, the body does have a vast amount of inbuilt anti-ageing machinery; it’s just not 100% comprehensive, so it allows a small number of different types of molecular and cellular damage to happen and accumulate.
I don’t work on longevity, I work on keeping people healthy.
Wikipedia was a big help for science, especially science communication, and it shows no sign of diminishing in importance.
Public enthusiasm for new advances is a key ingredient in influencing policy-makers to stimulate follow-up work with suitable funding, and it can be achieved far faster now that interested non-specialists can explore new research autonomously and can also be appealed to directly by scientists.
Some things tend not to work so well for science – things that rely on substantial written contributions by key experts are a case in point – but even there I tend to keep an open mind, because it may just be a case of finding the right formula.
I’m the chief science officer of a foundation that works on the application of regenerative medicine to the problem of aging.
My approach is to start from the straightforward principle that our body is a machine. A very complicated machine, but none the less a machine, and it can be subjected to maintenance and repair in the same way as a simple machine, like a car.
The aim is to postpone frailty, postpone degenerative disease, debilitation and so on and thereby shorten the period at the end of life, which is passed in a decrepit or disabled state, while extending life as a whole.
There’s nothing wrong with making the best of one’s declining years, but what does annoy me is the fatalism. Now that we’re seriously in range of finding therapies that actually work against ageing, this apathy, of course, becomes an enormous part of the problem.
What I actually wanted to do with my life is make a difference to the world. That led me into science very quickly.
There’s no such thing as ageing gracefully. I don’t meet people who want to get Alzheimer’s disease, or who want to get cancer or arthritis or any of the other things that afflict the elderly. Ageing is bad for you, and we better just actually accept that.
As far as I’m concerned, ageing is humanity’s worst problem, by some serious distance.
Ageing is, simply and clearly, the accumulation of damage in the body. That’s all that ageing is.
The whole point of cryopreserving only one’s head is based on the idea that one can simply grow in the laboratory an entire new body, without a head, and stick it onto the cryopreserved head.
The right to choose to live or to die is the most fundamental right there is; conversely, the duty to give others that opportunity to the best of our ability is the most fundamental duty there is.
There is no difference between saving lives and extending lives, because in both cases we are giving people the chance of more life.
Ever since we invented fire and the wheel, we’ve been demonstrating both our ability and our inherent desire to fix things that we don’t like about ourselves and our environment.
If changing our world is playing God, it is just one more way in which God made us in His image.
In the eye, there is a type of junk that accumulates in the back of the retina that eventually causes us to go blind. It’s called age-related macular degeneration.
What I’m after is not living to 1,000. I’m after letting people avoid death for as long as they want to.