March 30, 2012

Aubrey de Grey Interviewed about antiaging

An Interview with Aubrey de Gregy and others on antiaging

NARRATION
Aubrey and I spoke for some time. He explained why he thought a war on ageing could be won.

Dr Aubrey de Grey
The human body can be treated like any simple man-made structure, like a car or an aeroplane, or indeed a building, for that matter. So here's King's College Chapel, it is the most famous building in Cambridge. It was built by Henry VI back in the fourteenth century, so that's seven-hundred years ago. And I'm damned certain that Henry VI did not think about making the thing last until the twenty-first century. But it has lasted because it's been well maintained. That means, you know, replacing tiles that fall off the roof, or you know, cleaning it up every so often - getting rid of damage. And it's exactly the same principle for a really complicated machine that we didn't actually design - namely, the human body.



NARRATION
Aubrey says ageing can kill you in seven ways.

Dr Aubrey de Grey
Cross-linking of what's called the extra-cellular matrix, the lattice of proteins that holds our organs together.

NARRATION
If this happens, tissues will eventually lose their elasticity.

Dr Aubrey de Grey
The accumulation of molecular garbage in the spaces between our cells. Most of that garbage is called amyloid.

NARRATION
The accumulation of amyloid occurs in diseases like Alzheimer's.

Dr Aubrey de Grey
Number three is molecular garbage inside the cell. The cell doesn't know how to break it down, doesn't know how to excrete it. Eventually it gets in the way.

NARRATION
Cholesterol build-up in atherosclerosis is a typical example of this.

Dr Aubrey de Grey
The accumulation of mutations in the DNA in a special part of the cell called the mitochondria.

NARRATION
They're responsible for energy production. Aubrey believes gene therapy can overcome this damage.

Dr Aubrey de Grey
Having too few cells - so that happens when in certain tissues, cells die and they are not automatically replaced by the division and differentiation of other cells.

NARRATION
Patients with Parkinson's disease have this problem.

Dr Aubrey de Grey
Having too many cells because cells are not dying when they're supposed to.

NARRATION
This can create problems in the immune system.

Dr Aubrey de Grey
And then finally, number seven, and that of course is cancer. It's caused of course predominantly by the accumulation of mutations in the chromosomes.

Dr Maryanne Demasi
So theoretically, all those seven categories are fixable?

Dr Aubrey de Grey
I believe that each of these categories is not just theoretically fixable, but actually that we know in a lot of detail how to go about implementing to fix it.

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