Live longer, die suddenly – the double-edged sword of longevity drugs

Paul Raven @ 19-12-2007

CGI drug capsules Everything comes with a price. Research in lab animals suggests that drugs designed to rejuvenate mitochondria (the “power generator” component of living cells) could fend off many of the diseases we associate with ageing and senescence, like Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease and so forth. The pay-off? It appears that when death finally does arrive, it does so with little or no warning, and seemingly no reason. [Image by Rodrigo Senna]

Personally, I’d consider that a fair trade – I’m less scared of death itself than I am of dying, if you see what I mean. But is death itself unconquerable, or is it just the next hurdle in line?

[tags]longevity, drugs, mortality, ageing[/tags]
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4 Responses to “Live longer, die suddenly – the double-edged sword of longevity drugs”

  1. Neil says:

    There’s a horror story in there, screaming to get out…

  2. Dagon says:

    Ah dont worry. Either we die, me my average death would at this time be somewhere between 2035 and 2050, given the average lifespan I can expect *by then*. That means I’d have to suffer through the next decades aging *somewhat* and then something should be invented, say, before 2030 that extends my average life expentancy by what, two decades? So by 2040 my life expectancy would have grown to 2065?

    That’s a fair expectation, and most people reading this score better. If there ever was a time in history where you had a fair shot at living a LOT longer than anyone ever before you, it’s now. In fact, we live *precisely* on that moment in history Everything Looks Set To Change. If we survive it, who knows what’ll happen?

    Normally we would have death to look forward too. The deal I get, even if only statistical and by no means a guarantee, is vastly better than any human, including emperors, were offered in the past.

  3. Jeremy says:

    I for one could go for this. Though it’s nice to have a bit of time to put things in order, but by the time I’m a hundred, I’d like to think my organizational skills would be better.

  4. Michael says:

    Oh, staying ahead of the curve, yes. That’s your ticket.

    I’m familiar with this one — my son (now 8) has kidney disease. I figure if we can keep him alive for 20 years, he’s got a shot at a full and healthy life — which is why I make sure stem-cell-friendly politicians get elected.

    Hate Republicans? Why do you ask?