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SPOTLIGHT

Get ready to live 140 years; maybe even 1,000!

ABU DHABI, March 6, 2017

Scientists gathered in Abu Dhabi for a forum on human longevity said humans may live up to 140 years within the next two generations with one expert arguing that the first person to live 1,000 years is probably already born.

Speaking at the Aspen Abu Dhabi Ideas Forum, Dr Brad Perkins, chief medical officer, Human Longevity, said: “Right now the most daunting and expensive human health problem that the world is facing is age related chronic disease. Our hypothesis at Human Longevity is that genomics and the technologies that support its application in medicine and drug discovery are going to be the next accelerant in extending a high performance human lifespan.”

The two-day part private conference, part public festival aims to tackle some of the world’s largest “moonshot” challenges.

Dr Maha Barakat, director general, Health Authority Abu Dhabi, argued that the world is in a transition phase, and on the cusp of major improvements in medicine that will help people live longer.

“Once we have gone through this phase and through this research we are hearing about, we will be heading towards a phase where we can live longer without disease. And that I would say is the Holy Grail. This is the utopian society that we are heading towards, where we can live much longer.”

Speakers shared some of the current developments in medicine which will help to achieve this goal, such as regenerative medicine, which is already a reality.

Dr Anthony Atala, director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University, spoke about strategies that exist to promote regeneration include using cells alone, using cells and scaffolds together for structural defects, alongside bio-printing to create human organoid microchips which can be used to test the effectiveness of drugs.

He said challenges exist surrounding cost, scale and regulation, but the goal is to keep bringing these technologies to more patients.

Dr Aubrey de Grey, a biomedical gerontologist based in Mountain View, California, US, and chief science officer of SENS Research Foundation, a California-based biomedical research charity that performs and funds laboratory research dedicated to combating the aging process, argued that the first person to live to 1,000 years is already probably alive today.

He further commented that fixing ageing is difficult, but not impossible and the only way in which people are going to stay alive a long time is by staying healthy a long time.

He further concluded: “We won World War II and World War I. World War III hasn’t happened yet. But World War 0 which we have been fighting against nature since the dawn of civilization is still there to be won.”

The Aspen Abu Dhabi Ideas Forum is a collaboration between Tamkeen, a Government of Abu Dhabi-owned company, and the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organisation based in the US.

The event was held in partnership with McKinsey & Company, the UAE Space Agency, Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, Health Authority Abu Dhabi, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, US-UAE Business Council, NYUAD, The National, Al Ittihad, DubaiEye and Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas. -TradeArabia News Service




Tags: forum | Live | Aspen | humans |

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