George Church, a professor at Harvard Univeristy, believes that there is one disease that every single human being on this planet suffers from: Aging. Not only does he think that getting older is a medical condition, he is working to develop a way to “cure” it.
That idea alone raises the question, “if we could stop aging – SHOULD we?”
Using a revolutionary form of gene therapy called CRISPR that actually has the power to edit human genes. Gene therapy has the potential to treat almost any disease that humans suffer from, including aging. Church says, “A scenario is, everyone takes gene therapy — not just curing rare diseases like cystic fibrosis, but diseases that everyone has, like aging.” But what would be the benefit of stopping the aging process?
According to Church, “One of our biggest economic disasters right now is our aging population. If we eliminate retirement, then it buys us a couple of decades to straighten out the economies of the world. If all those gray hairs could go back to work and feel healthy and young, then we’ve averted one of the greatest economic disasters in history.” He went on to say, “Someone younger at heart should replace you, and that should be you. I’m willing to. I’m willing to become younger. I try to reinvent myself every few years anyway.”
Even if the technology exists to stop aging, the real question is “should we?” Our planet’s population is already at critical levels, and then you take out the population control function of aging? I don’t see how that cold be considered a correction.
I understand the ability for gene therapy to treat disease, but is aging a disease? Or is it just what our bodies do? Every animal on this planet has a lifespan according to its place in nature.
Personally, I think messing with that design makes as much sense as genetically modifying our foods.