From Ananova, there is this little and low-detail blurb about unnamed scientists making some claims regarding anti aging drugs.
Anti-ageing drugs could increase lifespan by 20 years and up the retirement age to 85 by 2050, according to scientists.
Researchers in California believe new drugs capable of slowing the ageing process will start to become available in rich countries in 2010.
They say living to the age of 100 will become commonplace with an ageing workforce employed in physically undemanding jobs.
Existing drugs already alleviate medical conditions which are generally regarded as an inevitable part of ageing.
But new drugs will focus on reducing other harmful processes that bring about the cellular wear and tear of ageing.
Shripad Tuljapurkar, an expert in population studies at Stanford University in California, said there could be four pensioners for every five workers by 2050.
“If that happens, people are going to have to work to the age of 85,” he said.
I agree that true anti aging medicine might be commercially available by 2010, because science is understanding the chemical processes underlying our aging process at an exponentially accelerating rate.
What I don’t agree with, is that we’ll only be adding a lousy 20 years to our lifespans. Maybe there will be a drug that will indeed add 20 years to our lifespan, but why assume it will stop there?
Two decades is an eternity in science. If anybody can come up with a drug that will add two decades, then the people using it will already be in ‘escape velocity’, as Aubrey de Grey so eloquently calls it. This basically means you’d be safely leapfrogging from one rejuvenation therapy to the next one, that arrives a couple of years later and is better. You’d be pushing death away from you faster than you were going there, so to speak.
There exists a real, honest-to-God Quest For Immortality in today’s science. I’d be enormously surprised if there aren’t going to come aging interventions from the coming biotech and nanotech revolutions.
Furthermore, I think the article is incorrect with regards to the idea of people having to work until 85. With robots swifly entering the mainstream to do our work for us, and another industrial revolution right around the corner, I think the quality of our lives will improve and that we’ll actually be working way less than we are doing now.
That’s what happened after all previous industrial revolutions, anyway…