Here I am with a TED talk by Aubrey de Grey in the second session who speaks about the ever interesting topic, 'aging' and its related aspects and the works he had done.
He mainly speaks about 5 things here namely,
1) Why people desire to defeat aging,
2) Misconception about aging,
4) Trials done for defeating aging, and
5) Why fatalism is wrong.
Before I start illustrating what he spoke, I would like to define aging briefly as, 'a Side-effect of being alive metabolically'. It is reasonable definition given by Mr. Aubrey de Grey , It happens to everyone and also to inanimate objects and in humans because of the imperfections in the self-repair mechanisms.
Now, about the 5 things,
1) Why people desire to defeat aging:
The answer given by Aubrey de Grey is that people become sick thinking how old they are growing every birthday and how near they are to the death toll or going to suffer from any disease or disorder. Also, no one likes to depend on others, getting weak and miserable at that old age.
Aging also has the advantages that it enables people to pre-plan their future and deposit or save money for their future needs and for use in their old age.
Our speaker also says that if one lives for a long time, then we can reduce overpopulation as then the birth rate will be low.....!
Also it enables the young minds who contribute to the development of the nation to live for longer time then they would normally if they adopt the therapies developed by our speaker and co to extend life.
2) Misconception about aging:
It is a general idea that aging is unavoidable and miserable, but all of you are wrong coz the life span can be extended and aging can be slowed down by adopting therapies developed by him.
Here, our speaker defined metabolism as," a basically everything that keeps us alive from one day to the other and has side effects which accumulate and cause pathology."
And then he informs us about the development of certain therapies to slow down aging which had some loop holes and that they soon will be fixed up and the life span of a normal human being can be increased to 200 or more years which he called as "longevity escape velocity." But he says that these therapies will benefit the people who are 50 yrs or less only.
4) Trials done:
Our speaker and his team have experimented the therapies they have developed on mice which are 2yrs old (life span is 3yrs) and have been successful in extending their life to 5yrs and they called this as 'robust mouse rejuvenation' and the extension of human life as 'robust human rejuvenation' (RHR).
Then he speaks about 2 ways of technological progress namely - fundamental, major breakthroughs and incremental refinements of these breakthroughs which differ in terms if time.
The fundamental breakthroughs take a long time to make up and it is difficult to predict the time taken by it while,
The incremental breakthroughs add up to the already existing fundamental breakthroughs which do not extend any more and appear only after the fundamental breakthroughs.
5) Why fatalism is wrong:
The reason being if one does not inform about the developments and the trials they have done to the people, then they would not get an idea about the therapy and to assess their priorities. So, he says that there are only half-half chances of reaching RHR within 50yrs.
Now, let me tell you how metabolism causes aging. It is actually by the intermediates that are formed during the process of metabolism which are termed as 'damage' that cause pathology due to accumulation of long- lived molecules which are difficult to degrade and this starts before one is born but becomes evident only during middle age.
Next, he discussed about the approaches followed by him to postpone aging which are,
a) gerontology approach,
b) geriatrics approach,
c) Engineering approach.
a) Gerontology approach:
It deals with the fact that 'prevention is better than cure' but does not interfere with metabolism instead slows down the rate at which metabolism causing damage or pathology.
b) The geriatrics approach:
It is followed when the pathology becomes evident and the geriatrician tries to prevent or cure the side effects of accumulation which cause pathology.
c) Engineering approach:
Most of the damages that occur are repaired so that the threshold of damage is kept low. A list of damages and side effects f metabolism are shown in the middle row which consists of 7 items of which cell loss, mutations in mitochondria and in chromosomes are few.
Finally the talk completes with an interactive session where our Aubrey de Grey answers to some questions asked by the audience as, 'aging is not a result of selection or evolution but a result of evolutionary neglect. A lot of sophisticated genetic pathways and changes are required to occur in genes to slow down the aging process and so there are different organisms with different life spans and no immortal species.
I conclude by wishing all the best to Mr. Aubrey de Grey to develop the therapies as soon as possible and benefit the people and hope even this would not be misused.......!
"This blog does not contain any plagiarized material"
Mrs. Roja Rani