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August 30, 2010

Life extension from regeneration, stem cells and organ replacement, muscle boosting, cancer and other disease cures

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The Week discusses the progress towards common and convenient organ replacement, tissue engineering and stem cell rejuvenation and therapies.

How would that affect life expectancy?

In a world in which aging or diseased people can swap a damaged heart, liver, or other organ for a new one created from their own DNA, a majority of children alive today might live to 100 or beyond.

Metabolic modification such as the success with rapamycin in mice could add another 10% to lifespans.


The frailty that is common in aging could be counter acted with muscle boosting from myostatin inhibitition. About 7% of persons older than 65 years are frail, and that the occurrence of frailty increases with age and may exceed 45% after age 85. Muscle wasting — called cachexia — is thought to account for about 30% of deaths in patients with cancer.

Early detection and treatment of cancer could drastically reduce deaths from cancer. Early detection has proven value: since 1950, there has been a 70 percent decline in cervical-cancer incidence and deaths in developed countries thanks to a simple screening test, the Pap test. The Canary Foundation is hoping to deliver an early detection test for solid tumor cancers by 2015.

Mitosens and other Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) projects could also repair aging damage.

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