Hu­mans will live for 100 years, but that’s still 15 years dis­tant

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Give it an­other 15 years and you may be able to live till 100.

Im­proved medicines and ad­vanced ther­a­pies that in­volve treat­ment at the cel­lu­lar and molec­u­lar level are in­creas­ingly able to stave off the now-in­evitable fray­ing and de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of the body and help peo­ple live till ad­vanced ages, a panel of ex­perts said Satur­day.

“We have to in­ter­vene at the ba­sic level of cells and mol­e­cules to re­verse the process of age­ing; it’s akin to fix­ing the wear and tear of a car,” said Dr Aubrey De Grey, chief science of­fi­cer at the SENS Re­search Foun­da­tion.

He was speak­ing on the sec­ond day of the Hin­dus­tan Times Lead­er­ship Sum­mit on a ses­sion — How to live up to 100 — along­side Pro­fes­sor Prab­hat Jha, Univer­sity of Toronto Chair in

Global Health and Epi­demi­ol­ogy.

Dr Grey, whose area of re­search is re­gen­er­a­tive medicine to pre­vent the age­ing process, told the au­di­ence many things go wrong within a per­son by the time they reach 80.

“I call it side-ef­fects of be­ing alive that our meta­bolic sys­tem gen­er­ates by cre­at­ing prod­ucts that our body doesn’t know how to rid of so as to not cause in­side dam­age in the long run that even­tu­ally leads to age­ing,” said Dr Grey.

Dr Grey said it was pos­si­ble to live a lot longer than cur­rent life spans but peo­ple would have to wait till the de­vel­op­ment of medicines and ther­a­pies that were mostly in the early stages of de­vel­op­ment.

“It is not only about liv­ing long but liv­ing a healthy long life that is the fo­cus of all our cur­rent re­searches,” he said.

Dr Jha agreed, say­ing dy­ing young was ab­so­lutely avoid­able.

“Es­pe­cially in a coun­try like In­dia, where data shows 8% of chil­dren die be­fore they reach age 10, it is all the more per­ti­nent to de­vise ways of im­prov­ing the health sys­tem and avoid pre­ventable rea­sons that cause dam­age to the hu­man body like smok­ing, eat­ing un­healthy diet, lack of ex­er­cise etc,” he said.

CON­TIN­UED ON P14

RAVI CHOUD­HARY/HT

Dr Aubrey De Grey of the SENS Re­search Foun­da­tion speaks at the sum­mit.

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