View Engineered negligible senescence
“Engineered negligible senescence” refers to an engineered scenario in which age-related tissue damage can be repaired faster than it accumulates, as coined by biogerontologist and IEET Fellow Aubrey de Grey. Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) attempts to develop a regenerative medical procedure to periodically repair all the age-related tissue damage in the human body, thereby maintaining a youth-like state indefinitely. De Grey argues for a “goal-directed rather than curiosity-driven” approach to aging. His approach to biomedical gerontology (“anti-aging medicine”) is distinctive because of its emphasis on rejuvenation rather than attempting to slow the aging process. SENS has received widespread media attention, though it has been questioned by mainstream biologists.
The causes of aging in humans and the strategies needed to address them can be classified into seven categories:
*OncoSENS for cancer-causing nuclear mutations/epimutations
*MitoSENS for mitochondrial mutations
*LysoSENS for intracellular junk (lysosomal aggregates)
*AmyloSENS for extracellular junk (extracellular aggregates)
*RepleniSENS for Cell loss and atrophy (without replacement)
*ApoptoSENS for cell senescence (death-resistant cells)
*GlycoSENS for random extracellular crosslinks
We should be able to apply these solutions before we completely understand the targeted aging mechanisms. The goals work together to eliminate known causes of human senescence, are concrete, seem achievable, and are considered feasible by experts in the applicable fields.
Of the roughly 150,000 people who die each day across the globe, about two thirds 100,000 per day die of age-related causes. In industrialized nations, the proportion is much higher, reaching 90%. Engineered negligible senescence therapies could extend the human lifetime by many centuries or millennia. As early therapies give individuals time to seek more effective therapies later on, an actuarial escape velocity of life extension would occur.
The costs of a rapidly growing aging population may increase to the degree that the costs of an accelerated pace of aging research are easy to justify in terms of future costs avoided. Olshansky et al. argue:
Consider what is likely to happen if we don’t [invest further in aging research]. Take, for instance, the impact of just one age-related disorder, Alzheimer disease (AD). For no other reason than the inevitable shifting demographics, the number of Americans stricken with AD will rise from 4 million today to as many as 16 million by midcentury. This means that more people in the United States will have AD by 2050 than the entire current population of the Netherlands. Globally, AD prevalence is expected to rise to 45 million by 2050, with three of every four patients with AD living in a developing nation. The US economic toll is currently $80–$100 billion, but by 2050 more than $1 trillion will be spent annually on AD and related dementias. The impact of this single disease will be catastrophic, and this is just one example.
Wikipedia on SENS