KEY TO ETERNAL LIFE
He hopes to ultimately create preventative treatments that mean humans would be able to consistently re-repair and live as long as 1,000 years or possible even forever.
British-born Mr de Grey, who graduated from Cambridge University in 1985 insists he is one of very few scientists looking at preventing, rather than slowing down ageing, and is perplexed why there is not huge focus on it.
He told the actuary.com: “To me, ageing was the world’s most important problem. It was so obvious that I never tested the assumption. I always presumed that everyone else thought the same.”
But his theory for repairing ageing has not been widely accepted by peers.
He said: “People have this crazy concept that ageing is natural and inevitable, and I have to keep explaining that it is not.
“The human body is a machine with moving parts and like a car or an aeroplane, it accumulates damage throughout life as a consequence of normal operation.”
Mr de Grey is the co-founder and chief science officer of Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) Research Foundation in California, USA,.
Long innings? Dr Aubrey de Grey
It said: “Decades of research in aging people and experimental animals has established that there are no more than seven major classes of such cellular and molecular damage.
“We can be confident that this list is complete, first and foremost because of the fact that scientists have not discovered any new kinds of aging damage in nearly a generation of research, despite the increasing number of centres and scientists dedicated to studying the matter, and the use of increasingly powerful tools to examine the aging body.
“In its own way, each of these kinds of damage make our bodies frail, and contribute to the rising frailty and ill-health that appears in our sixth decade of life and accelerates thereafter.
“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.
He said our bodies were hardwired like a ticking clock for cells to start dying from a certain age.
He said: “The idea of extending human life to 150 or 200 years would just not be possible with the genetics we have.
“No one in the future could be genetically modified for a human to live longer than say 120 years.
“You couldn’t even do it through diet or medicine, no not within the next 100 years.”
But the expert on Parkinson’s Disease is convinced we will see preventative medicines for dementia and other diseases.
He said the medicines would “prevent the mis-folding of proteins that cause many signs and diseases of aging”.