Scientist Aubrey de Grey, the chief science officer at SENS Research Foundation, believes that people can cheat death and live forever.
De Grey is a University of Cambridge-educated biomedical gerontologist who has researched and written three books about aging: “The Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory of Aging” (1999), “Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence: Why Genuine Control of Aging May Be Foreseeable” (2004) and “Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime” (with Michael Rae) (2008).
His work has gained the attention of the larger scientific community because it is extremely controversial. He wants to use stem cells to repair old and dying cells like one repairs a car or leaky faucet. He believes that if dying cells are repaired with stem cells people can live longer. The whole idea is simple really. People in the modern world have cured most infectious diseases and the real cause of death is simply living. The cells will eventually wear down and then people will die.
Another aspect of his work revolves around moving away from the need of pharmaceuticals.
According to de Grey, “we will not cure cancer this way. We will not cure Alzheimer’s this way. The incentive structure for modern pharmaceuticals perpetuates this because it can be done reasonably quickly, sold for a lot of money and because people are desperate for anything.”
Controversy aside, de Grey wants people to live longer without dependence on medication and corporate exploitation. To some that is a great thing, but to others, he is playing God.
“We are talking about a world in which quality will confer quantity, in which you will live longer because you are living better. That’s the critical thing here,” says de Grey.