Life and death

In: Uncategorized

20 May 2010

An astonishing article on Reuters should have received far more attention. Evidently scientists are starting to tackle ageing itself rather than its symptoms.

Until now scientists have focused on treating age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, dementia, diabetes and heart disease. But a more productive approach could be to treat ageing as a disease.

Evidently scientists are starting to investigate the genetic mechanisms which cause ageing and are trying to work out how to turn back the biological clock. One of the main problems to overcome is regulations hampering the licensing of medicines not aimed at treating specific diseases.

* I write this on the day when it was announced that Craig Venter and Hamilton Smith, two American biologists, have created artificial life in the lab. A new science of synthetic biology has been born. Considering the monumental scale of this achievement it has received relatively little coverage.