It may be the simplest and deepest of human desires, the longing for immortality. For hundreds of years, explorers, scientists, and mad inventors have sought a magic pill that would extend life beyond its normal limits. Until now, the elixirs claiming to provide eternal youth have been, well, so much malarkey.
But today, in labs across the country, scientists are discovering ways to extend life, at least for yeast cells, worms, and mice, and many are promising that human beings will be next. Pharmaceutical companies are investing millions of dollars to develop a pill which could extend healthy human life spans by a quarter century or more. A potential boom in centenarians would change society and the way we view our own lives.
David Sinclair, Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School;
Leon Kass, chairman, President’s Council on Bioethics and author,”The Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics”