ME and Ophelia

Monday, September 01, 2003

University of Cambridge, England, UK

'Science gets serious about elixir of life'

A Cambridge University conference will next month announce an international scientific competition to solve the secrets of ageing.

Researchers from across the world will gather in Cambridge to discuss research that many believe will see average human lifespans increased to 130 years or more within a few decades.

Other research expected to emerge at the conference will describe new work that links Alzheimer’s disease with a virus, raising the possibility of a vaccine to protect against dementia, and new drugs that can reverse the way bones “decalcify”.

However, such successes also bring new challenges – especially over how the world will meet the needs of a population that is growing much older and larger.

Francis Fernandes, head of research at actuaries Lane Clark & Peacock, said that with a quarter of 60-year-olds expected to survive to their nineties, pensions were becoming ever-more costly.

He warned that eventually society would have to impose limits. “Society might dictate that life has to finish at a certain age regardless of health – or that fertility must be strictly regulated,” he said.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 9/01/2003
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