Rejuvenation biotech initiative

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This page describes a transhumanist political initiative that is supported by Transpolitica.

The initiative is summarised as Rejuvenation biotech leading to super health.

Description of initiative

(The following description is taken from the chapter "An introduction to tomorrow's politics" in the ebook "Anticipating tomorrow's politics".)

This regenerative initiative focuses on achieving an abundance of health, for as long as people wish to live.

Given adequate R&D resources, human longevity could be enormously extended, using technologies which are already broadly understood. Prolonging healthy lifespan would clearly benefit the very large number of citizens concerned, and it would also benefit society by preserving and deepening the experience and wisdom available to solve our various social problems.

In this way, Transpolitica supports the aspiration of people in all corners of the globe to indefinite healthy life extension. Rejuvenation therapies based on regenerative medicine can and should be developed and progressively made available to all citizens. The resulting longevity dividend will have large social and economic benefits, as well as personal ones.

The longevity dividend fits the maxim that “prevention is cheaper than cure”. Another homely saying captures a related perspective: “a stitch in time saves nine”. Once rejuvenation therapies are available, periodic application of these therapies will undo the accumulated damage of biological aging. As a result, the present very expensive healthcare costs that are frequently incurred in the last years of someone’s life will be deferred and, ultimately, avoided completely.

The basic idea is that aging should be recognised as an underlying common cause and exacerbating agent of all sorts of disease. Addressing aging can, therefore, be expected to reduce both the occurrence and the severity of these diseases. The approach is described in an article “A Reimagined Research Strategy for Aging” from the website of the SENS Research Foundation:

Many things go wrong with aging bodies, but at the root of them all is the burden of decades of unrepaired damage to the cellular and molecular structures that make up the functional units of our tissues. As each essential microscopic structure fails, tissue function becomes progressively compromised – imperceptibly at first, but ending in the slide into the diseases and disabilities of aging.

SENS Research Foundation’s strategy to prevent and reverse age-related ill-health is to apply the principles of regenerative medicine to repair the damage of aging at the level where it occurs. We are developing a new kind of medicine: regenerative therapies that remove, repair, replace, or render harmless the cellular and molecular damage that has accumulated in our tissues with time. By reconstructing the structured order of the living machinery of our tissues, these rejuvenation biotechnologies will restore the normal functioning of the body’s cells and essential biomolecules, returning aging tissues to health and bringing back the body’s youthful vigour.

Potential damage-limitation and damage-reduction therapies range as follows:

  • Regenerative mechanisms which already operate in healthy humans (especially in young healthy humans), and which could be encouraged to continue operating beyond the point when they ordinarily lose their potency
  • Regenerative mechanisms which already operate in non-human animals, and which could be triggered, via ingenious processes, to operate in humans
  • Brand new biological mechanisms, created via methods such as synthetic biology and genetic engineering, which have no direct parallel within any existing animals (human or otherwise)
  • Brand new physical mechanisms at the macro-scale, for example involving mechanical replacement body parts
  • Brand new physical mechanisms at the nano-scale, such as nano-surgery
  • Combinations of the above.

Depending on the type of damage being addressed, different regenerative therapies will be needed. Transpolitica advocates that extensive experiments with more than one type of therapy should be carried out, to determine which approaches are the most effective in different circumstances.