In Ending Aging, Dr. de Grey and his research assistant Michael Rae describe the details of this biotechnology. They explain that the aging of the human body, similar to the aging of man-made machines, results from an accumulation of various types of damage. And, as with machines, this damage can periodically be repaired, leading to indefinite extension of the machine’s fully functional lifetime.
By demystifying aging and its postponement for the nonspecialist reader, de Grey and Rae systematically dismantle the fatalist presumption that aging will forever defeat the efforts of medical science. The most realistic way to combat aging, de Gray suggests, is to rejuvenate the body at the molecular and cellular level, removing accumulated damage and restoring us to a biologically younger state.
“The real issue,” de Grey writes, “surely, was not which metabolic processes cause aging damage in the body, but the damage itself. Forty-year-olds have fewer healthy years to look forward to than twenty-year-olds because of differences in their molecular and cellular composition, not because of the mechanisms that gave rise to those differences. How far could I narrow down the field of candidate causes of aging by focusing on the molecular damage itself?”
Now, researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz, Germany, have made a breakthrough in understanding the origin of the ageing process. They have identified that genes belonging to a process called autophagy – one of the cells most critical survival processes – promote health and…