Moonshots for aging

Nutr Healthy Aging. 2020 Nov 3;5(4):239-246. doi: 10.3233/NHA-190064.


As the global population ages, there is increased interest in living longer and improving one's quality of life in later years. However, studying aging - the decline in body function - is expensive and time-consuming. And despite research success to make model organisms live longer, there still aren't really any feasible solutions for delaying aging in humans. With space travel, scientists and engineers couldn't know what it would take to get to the moon. They had to extrapolate from theory and shorter-range tests. Perhaps with aging, we need a similar moonshot philosophy. And though "shot" might imply medicine, perhaps we need to think beyond medical interventions. Like the moon once was, we seem a long way away from provable therapies to increase human healthspan (the healthy period of one's life) or lifespan (how long one lives). This review therefore focuses on radical proposals. We hope it might stimulate discussion on what we might consider doing significantly differently than ongoing aging research.

Publication types

  • Review