|Year of Production
DW Transtel | 28 4941
1 x 52 min / 1 x 45 min
Most people want to live to an old age. But few want to be old. Because age means decay, limitations, disease. But does it have to be this way? Or can we grow very old and still retain good health?
“The first person who’ll turn 150 years old has probably already been born,” say some scientists – and they should know. Because they’re tackling the root cause of the problem: not age-related illness, but the aging process itself.
But what’s the secret of long life without aging biologically to the same extent? In telomeres, the ends of chromosomes, which are longer in Costa Rica centenarians than in other people? Is it enough to zap what are known as “zombie” cells, present in all of us? At least scientists are now able to measure our biological age regardless of our actual age in years. An invention by one of the gurus of longevity research Steve Horvath has made that possible.
Instead of: “How old are you?”, will we soon be asking: “What age does your biological clock show?” It’s not implausible. We’ve already got a first app, developed in Hong Kong, promising to “protect” us from aging. And there are young biohackers such as Nina Khera from Boston, who want everyone to benefit from such research. If it’s possible to delay human aging one day, how about reversing the process altogether? Greg Fahy is conducting research in California on the thymus gland. His initial study on humans showed that by taking certain medication, they shaved an average two-and-a-half years off their age.
The race to crack the human longevity code currently resembles a scientific goldrush, with researchers competing for fame and investors’ favor. It’s quite possible that scientists may soon begin to realize humanity’s age-old dream of eternal youth. They have already moved beyond the ongoing debate on the many social and economic implications of extending certain people’s lifespans.