As part of the TEDxSalford event we went to recently Aubrey de Gray was discussing his researching into cell deterioration and maintenance theory.
In quite a rationally laid out argument, in where he states that there are only 7 types of cell deterioration, and if these processes can be stopped, prevented or even reversed; then there is no reason for us to age or die.
Like with a car; if each component can be replaced when needed the car itself can keep running. Like a (admittedly complicated) car, through advances in other medical practices, our cells, joints, vision etc. can be repaired as we need them.
Hopefully, I will be just of an age if this pulls off to benefit from the maintenance approach!
I went to his talk as well during the lunch time break and I felt as though he was being asked the ethical questions of ageing, and not particularly about his work. He felt that what he was offering was purely a solution to medical problem - would there be so much of an outcry if someone found the cure to a disease that killed everyone 100% of the time?
That said, the ethics are if not related to his work, they are going to be discussed. Do we want our population to live so long, what would happen to our understanding of life, family and what would our contemporaries think if we chose to age 'naturally'? Culturally it could be quite a thing to get used to - the idea that only accidents or external factors could really kill us and the idea of 'forever' could be nearer to the truth..