• Question: Have you heard Aubrey De Greys theory on aging, and immortality?

    Asked by sciencelover to David, James, Mike, Suze, Will on 17 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Mike Dodd

      Mike Dodd answered on 16 Jun 2011:

      Hi Sciencelover, Yeah he came to give a talk at Oxford last year. His theory is very interesting, that the first 1000 year old person has been born. He says the key to curing the “disease” that is ageing is to target the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell. They take in oxygen, sugar and fat from the cell and creates ATP and water and CO2. ATP is an amazing molecule that moves energy from the breakdown of sugar and fat, to places in your cell that need it. For your heart to beat it needs huge amounts of ATP everyday. Sometimes the mitochondria doesn’t work as they should and they they don’t produce water, but a damaging molecule called superoxide. This is were oxygen is a free radical and will damage your cells and DNA. You normally have lots of antioxidants (found in vegetables etc) which stop the superoxide from damaging your cell. But every time a superoxide is released your cell ages a little bit. Dr Aubrey De Grey’s theory is that there will be a way to stop the superoxide from damaging the cells and ageing. If we can find the wonder drug that can do this, we can stop ageing. Although I don’t believe this will happen in our life time. Sorry if that was a little confusing, happy to discuss this more 🙂

    • Photo: Suze Kundu

      Suze Kundu answered on 16 Jun 2011:

      I hadn’t heard about that before, but I’ve just had a read up about it. Really interesting!

    • Photo: James Marrow

      James Marrow answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      It’s an interesting problem – if he is correct, what are the potential effects on society of this?