50 more years?

Cheerleaders for life extension which avoids extended decrepitude always make good copy. Here’s some. On one hand it reads as a pretty lazy example of journalism by press release (and from the BBC, too). On the other, it is representative of one line of development which is tempting to buy in to – replacement joints and home grown organs.

Read on, and the level of ambition is some way ahead of the technology. The aims are ungainsayable. More durable hip replacements and the like are an obvious goal when some folks now need a second artificial joint because they live so long that the first one wears out. Removing cell surface antigens from organically grown heart valves or skin grafts is also a plausible and desirable route to follow.

These two lines of inquiry mean, apparently, that “most of the body parts that flounder with age could be upgraded”. Aside from the odd image of a body part floundering, this is quite a big claim to make on the basis of a couple of joints and a few heart valves, but we want to believe it so no sceptics are asked for quotes. That would be too much like hard work/real journalism perhaps…

The piece does say, though, that to replace all donor tissue will take 30 to 50 years. I’ll be a centenarian myself by then but I’m not worried. The singularity is due somewhat before then, isn’t it?

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