Aubrey de Grey: Methuselarity by 2035 – and it’ll be free

Aubrey de Grey tells Longevity.Technology the revolution is coming, and everyone will be eligible.

“I now think there is a 50% chance that we will reach longevity escape velocity by 2036. After that point (the “Methuselarity”), those who regularly receive the latest rejuvenation therapies will never suffer from age-related ill-health at any age.” So said eminent biomedical gerontologist and co-founder of the SENS Research Foundation, Dr Aubrey de Grey recently on Twitter.

Longevity.Technology: the idea of a Longevity Escape Velocity, or LEV, is one that is really gaining traction; it is the point where for every year we survive, we gain an extra year. As research continues to progress, life expectancy will continually be extended longer than the time that is passing. Is indefinite life extension on the cards and who does want to live forever?
Check out my fascinating quick-fire interview with Aubrey:

Aubrey de Grey on …

Mouse rejuvenation translated to humans:
We are considerably closer to robust mouse rejuvenation than we were 10 years ago … the gap between the achievement of robust mouse rejuvenation and the achievement of robust human rejuvenation is also, in my view, coming down quite fast.
Accuracy of the 2035 Methuselarity date:

When I make a prediction of any nature, about timeframes, I am aggregating all of the steps and looking at all of the potential bottlenecks, the potential delays, and evaluating what I feel they’re likely to be in terms of magnitude.

Longevity escape velocity – how young do you need to be to benefit?
I think that actually the chance of somebody alive today benefiting from the Methuselarity and never getting sick as a result of how long ago they were born, that chance is much higher than 50%. It’s probably 80% or 90%. At this point, the chance of someone who is let’s say, 53, of reaching that is probably 40 or 50%.

Stem cell therapies and senolytics:
I absolutely think that stem cell therapies are going to be, literally, an essential pillar of the portfolio of damage repair approaches that we pursue … and indeed, at SENS Research Foundation, we have a study ongoing right now where we are combining stem cell treatment with senolytic drugs to kill senescent cells.

What’s the cost of LEV: is this just for rich people?
What’s it going to cost to the end-user: zero. And the reason is that aging is so expensive that it would be economically suicidal for any country not to make these things available, irrespective of ability to pay, to everybody who’s old enough to need them. And thereby to allow those therapies to pay for themselves many times over really quickly, just by keeping the elderly, able-bodied, and healthy, and in a position to contribute wealth.

Image credit: SENS Research Foundation