Living forever

Imagine you could live to 120 years or more … or do you want to as it certainly disrupts the way Nature has intended. But then again who wants to live long coupled with debilitating diseases?

As medical technology continues its steady march to the future, we can certainly ponder what could be in store for our future, maybe not mine but maybe for the enviable next generation.

I picked up the February 16-22, 2015, issue of “Bloomberg Businessweek” yesterday, covering a story titled “Forty More Years for Nanna!” on pharmaceutical company Novartis’s quest for the world’s first legitimate anti-ageing drug. It basically focuses on a rare bacterium called rapamycin, which has been shown to extend life spans. According to the article, it has been found to reduce age-related bone loss, reverse cardiac ageing, and reduce chronic inflammation in mice.

“It’s even been shown to reverse Alzheimer’s disease in them.” However, it is far from hitting the shelves as an anti-ageing drug, even though it has been used routinely as a coating on cardiac stents to prevent scarring and blocking, and derivatives of it has been approved for use against certain kidney, lung and breast cancers.

However, it is said to be “too risky for people who are otherwise fine”. Its side effects include immune suppression, canker sores and impaired wound healing. But nonetheless, promising news for the future.


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