Curing Aging 2023
May 26-28, 2023
Aging, like polio,
will one day be
a thing of the past.
It is only a
matter of time.
Most aging research is focused on clearing damage accumulants. In fact, although there are thousands of pathways in which damage accumulates in the human body, there are only about ten damage accumulants that are researched as causative of the exponential increase in human mortality. However, there has been little evidence that clearing any of the damage accumulants leads to an increase in maximal lifespan.
This conference promotes the alternative hypothesis that aging is an adaptation to the environment, and research should focus on tricking the body into thinking it is young or altering the body's programmed rate of aging rather than clearing damage accumulants.
One ambitious research program would be to mimic the transcriptome of young bodies. Another research program should be to upregulate cancer suppression. For example, gene therapy to create additional copies of p53 should be studied. I believe that cancer is the primary mechanism of human aging. People die with heart disease and neurodegeneration, but they die of cancer, as is case with mice. Research programs should in general focus on upregulating immune function to suppress cancer.
Most evidence points to the fact that aging is an adaptation to the environment. This is rejected since it implies group selection, which has been discredited. However, theoretical rejections of group selection are in my opinion not well founded. Furthermore, group selection is the best explanation for the programmed self destruction in cicadas, octopuses, Pacific salmon, sepsis, and in the explanation of eusocial animals.
Some of an organism's characteristics are adaptations to the environment, some of its characteristics are irrelevant to evolutionary survival, and some are maladaptations that have not yet killed the species. The longer period of time that a trait is evolutionarily conserved, the less likely it is that the trait is a maladaptation. The same genes that affect longevity in worms affect longevity in flies and mice and whales and elephants. Thus, aging is heavily evolutionarily conserved. Furthermore, we know that aging is indeed relevant to evolutionary survival as changes in temperature, resources, and fertility have drastic affects on lifespans in worms and flies. Thus, the rate of aging adapts to the environment.