Ready for Another "Manhattan Project"?
Longevity research took a
stunning leap forward in April, 2000, when Robert Lanza of Advanced
Cell Technologies announced that "Cloning
Reverses Aging In Cow Cells, Science Authors Say". What's so
stunning about this achievement is that it shows that Nature appears to have a
way of cleaning up all the age-inflicted damage in an old, old somatic
cell, allowing it to generate brand, spanking new infants. This at least
suggests the possibility of complete rejuvenation of
somatic cells, thereby (partially or wholly) reversing aging! Whether
and when that can be done is certainly an open question, but it would also seem
to offer the most exciting research opportunities! These announcements may be
the year's most significant.
Another promising lead during the year has been the unearthing of the genetic basis for slowing aging through caloric restriction.
I believe these discoveries may warrant the longevity-research equivalent of the Manhattan Project.